Monday, August 23, 2010

Game Night

A common theme I quickly noticed when talking to young people around Karuizawa was that "there is nothing to do at night in this town!"  And so, I created something to do at night, Game Night.

Every Friday night at 7 is Game Night in Nate's apartment.

I started this up in April and it has been going strong since.  We've had attendees from America, Japan, Canada, Germany, Korea, Australia, and probably more.  Attendance ranges from 4 to 12 ppl, which effects what games we can play.  Games like spoons, mafia, pictionary-telephone, risk, catan, uno, are the norm.  Every once in a while we'll have a cook-out along with it.

A couple hours of fun one night a week has been a great blessing for me and I know for others as well.  Whether it be a break from the constant studying for the language student, or an event the overwhelmed missionary can just enjoy without having responsibilities for, or a way for the homeschooler to get away from little siblings for a while, I hope that it's a time of mental refreshment for all.

Friday, August 20, 2010


August came and brought with it summer holiday for the school kids, several church and missions conferences, and lots and lots of tourists to the cool, shady, resort town of Karuizawa.  Every cabin here at KTC was full on July 31st, including the cabins I've been working on the past several months and was able to finish July 30th.  Times were busy and a little stressful in July with the deadline looming ahead in the near future.  But with the help of some good people, we finished in time and I think everyone has enjoyed their time here.

KTC seems like a different place when it's full of people, it's great to see all the missionary kids playing together when they only get to see each other this one time each year.  The missionaries also enjoy the fellowship in English, and English church services.

Because of the influx of tourists in Karuizawa in August, and with KTC being full in August, we don't do any construction work during this month.  So I've been up to other things:

The first week of August was the Union Church Annual Conference where I helped with the Jr/Sr high group.  The second week of August was the TEAM Annual conference.  During the mornings we had a time of worship and messages tailored specifically towards missions work in Japan, and then in the afternoons I helped with the kids program.

During this week and next week I'm getting organized for the next few months by drawing up blueprints for the next cabin, ordering materials, organizing the shop, etc....

While discussing all the work that needs to be done before winter, we have realized the need for more help.  We could really use some painters and some carpenters for a period of 1-3 months this fall before winter hits.  Please be in prayer, and if you are interested, or know one who might be, let me know.

More to come later......

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What do you want to hear about?

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I've been here almost 4 months now and everything just feels like everyday life instead of a short trip that I want to blog about all the new and exciting things... So help me out... what do you guys want to hear more about???

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


...continued from previous post...

Jim and Donna Larson arrived about two weeks ago from Minnesota.  They snowbird in Arizona in the same area that the Schulz's live and so they've become friends and the Larson's decided to join us for about 4 weeks working at KTC.  Jim and Dale have been working on an addition to 12, as well as doing drywall finishing in 5.  The ladies have been keeping the incinerator burning with leaves and sticks and construction waste, as well as doing some painting for me.

Amos and Emma Cole are missionary kids who where born and raised in Japan.  They came up from Tokyo for a couple of days to do some exterior painting for me and were able to finish 3 of the 4 sides of the language school so that we could tear down the scaffolding and have the place look nice for it's opening dedication last week.

Clemens is a man from Germany who has spent some time working here at KTC last year and has returned to help out again for 2 months this time.  He just arrived last week, understands English pretty well, and is a very willing worker to do anything that is asked.

I lose six of my workers in the next two weeks, but they will have put me in good shape to have things finished up before summer.

More updates to come soon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fresh Workers

It's been quite some time since I've last updated you all on the construction progress here.  I keep waiting for things to settle down, so I have some time to write, but things never seem to quiet down just enough.  That's life, ain't it?

Well the team from Oregon and Germany was able to finish the roof, get the windows that I ready installed, and start on the siding before they had to head back home.  They're a veteran team that has been here many times and are responsible much of the work done here at KTC over the years.

To prevent me from getting a break, or getting lonely, more workers came before the team even left.  Dale and Vivian Schulz, from Arizona arrived about 3 days before the team left during the last week of April.  They will be with us here until mid-June.  I've had Dale working mostly on a new bath and kitchen addition to cabin #12, with the occasional drywall work on #5 on rainy days.  Vivian has been doing yard cleanup burning leaves, sticks, and construction waste.

Also the same week, the Heisswolf family arrived for their Golden Week holiday with their three oldest ready to work.  They caulked the new hardi-plank siding on the language school and meeting room, and put rigid foam insulation underneath the floor of two existing cabins which required a lot of crawling and squirming in tight, dark, dirty, buggy areas.  Obviously, I'm very appreciative of their help for the week and a half they were here.

The Miyake's are still here, working away.  Edwin keeps putting out cabinets for kitchen after kitchen, as I keep feeding him drawings and supplies for more.  It's such a huge help and money saver to have them here.  Whenever I something comes up where I need a good finish carpenter, I turn to Edwin and am always impressed.  The Miyakes are also scheduled to leave mid-June.

As a write, I'm realizing how much has passed since my last construction update.  Much more has happened, but I'm going to stop now and write another post later, because no one wants to read a super long post, but I have 5 more workers to introduce to you....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Samurai Marathon

The church I attend here in Japan starts at 2pm on Sunday afternoons.  This makes Sunday mornings the perfect time for hiking.  So, this morning, I went to one of my usual quiet hiking spots, where I rarely see another person on the trail, but was taken by surprise when I saw what I saw....

Apparently it's called the Samurai Marathon.  Over 500 participants this year dressed up as... more than samurai as you can see.  I watched the first person cross the finish line, then started hiking down the trail they were running up.  Definitely the most interesting hike I've ever been on.  Most are walking and exhausted by the time I saw them... I only hiked the last 3 of the 42km these guys trekked in full costume.  I think I saw most of the 500 runners during the 3 hours I was on the trail.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I mentioned snow in my last post.  On Friday we had a light snow all day that didn't really accumulate into anything, but then Friday night, it really started to come down, by 1am we had about 4 inches, then at 7 there was at least 9 inches, and it was fairly warm, so good packing snow.  I trudged over to camp at around 8 Saturday morning just to look around, not expecting to see anyone out and about, yet, to my suprize, behold, Miyake-san, my 70-something year old finish carpenter from Hawaii is out building a giant igloo all by himself!  So of course I was happy to have a friend to build a snow fort with and just had to help him.  So we built a 7 ft tall kamakura, or igloo.  Eventually others started coming out to join us and build a big snowman, and do a little bit of sledding.  So I had a lot of unexpected fun in the snow Saturday morning... and I hear it's been in the 80's back home?!