Sorry I've been lazy about updating. Sometimes I just don't feel like rehashing my days, but I'll give you a quick run down on the most recent excitement.
Sunday I went to church at Taga, which was a blessing as always. The Bible class Judith teaches is so refreshing because it's such a mix of people. We have two junior high students, a woman in her twenties who has been studying the Bible for a while, a high school boy who comes because his teacher first got him insterested in it, his teacher, who is a fellow OC grad in TEFL and vocational ministry and a great leader in the church, me, and Judith. There are sometimes others, but I think that is the core group. We're reading through and discussing the gospel of Mark, and it is always good to get fresh perspectives on old stories.
After church Jun (the high school teacher) was kind enough to take me to help get my internet set up so I don't have to steal it from Jared forever. That took about an hour... gotta love Japanese beaurocracy! He was so nice and patient to do that for me! Then a big group of us went to eat at Yusuke's (the high school student's) house. His mom prepared a sushi feast for us, which luckily included options besides just raw fish. But I did eat raw ham! That was an amazing meal. Sunday night we had a big birthday dinner for Judith (see earlier post) then went karaoking afterwards. I love to karaoke!
Monday was another random national holiday, this time "Health Sports Day." God bless the Japanese and their plentiful holidays! Monday was nuts. Long story short, the assistant principal at my school gave me a bike, only he lives half an hour away and I somehow had to get it back here. My dear friend Tomoko was kind enough to meet me there and haul it back here for me. It did involve dismantling the bike, but it is here! Then I spent the rest of the day shopping with them. There is an amazing store here called "Uni-Qlo," which is essentially Old Navy, only maybe better. I stocked up on warm clothes for winter, because it was sooo cheap and they had such good stuff! Then I hauled it all back on the train that night. Trains are great, just not for hauling stuff. :) So there was my holiday. A thousand thanks to the Kikuchis for helping me out with that crazy bicycle.
Sometimes I wonder what on earth I'm supposed to be doing in Japan, and if I have actually done any good so far as far as spiritual things are concerned. Have I been helping to build the kingdom? I don't know. But today the Lord gave me a healthy dose of encouragement. One of my English teachers at school has very little confidence in her English, and she is really embarrassed by it, so she asked me today if I would be willing to give her lessons. There opened the door of opportunity! I was like, "Well my church gives English classes every Sunday night..." and she was thrilled by that and said she wanted to start coming and bring a friend with her! Please pray for her heart to be prepared and touched by the message of God that she will hear if she comes to these classes! I am so excited. What more teachers come? What if my students start coming? Oh, the possibilities are plentiful.
I love the people at Namekawa Junior High school, and I take very seriously the responsibility of being possibly the only Christian influence they have in their lives. Being here has forced me into a level of humility that is breaking me down-- acknowledging my helplessness and my dependence on others-- and that has translated into my faith as well. I was reading the passage in 2 Corinthians the other day comparing us to jars of clay holding the beauty and splendor and the power of God inside of us. Isn't that an awesome thought? To quote Caedmon's Call (my favorite calvinist group... ha ha ;) ), "I'm so thankful that I'm incapable of doing any good on my own." Imagine the misery and despair that would be in if we were responsible for our own salvation through our good works? We wouldn't make it; we'd miss the mark. Thank God for dwelling inside of us to be the light to the world.
Okay, sermon over. :) Ha, my dad's always joked about me just needing to find a pulpit, and I finally realized that I have one-- my blog! :) Love you guys!