Monday, October 19, 2009

First Update from Japan

Sorry it has taken me so long to put my first update from Japan up here. I’ve been busy trying to get settled in and working.

I spent the first several days in Japan in Tokyo, but I’ve been here at the TEAM camp since Sunday the 11th . Camp is in Karuizawa which is in the Nagano prefecture, (similar to state), not Nagano the city. It’s a beautiful area, a lot of the rich in Tokyo have weekend homes here in the hills, and there must be a whole lot of weddings here because there are bridal shops all over the place.

The camp consists of about 20 cabins and is used to house missionaries attending the Language Learning Center just down the road, or for Japanese pastors or missionaries to come for vacation, or for other special events / retreats.

The project I’m working on right now is a brand new building that will be used as a meeting room for large groups to gather. There are 3 couples from Oregon and a couple from Germany here helping to work on it. The couples from Oregon have made several trips here in the past and are heading up the construction of this new building. They even shipped a lot of the tools and materials over from Oregon. They arrived about the same time I did and have another week and a half before they go home. I’m being spoiled right now with food because the ladies cook lunch for all of us each day, and then they usually put more food in my hands before I head back to my cabin at night for dinner.

Here’s a picture of my bachelor’s pad while I’m here. It’s a newly renovated cabin and is very nice. Don’t forget to take your shoes off in the genkan (vestibule) before coming in though.

I’ve been given a mountain bike to use to get around, so I’ve been doing a lot of biking and hiking around town and through trails in the mountains early in the morning before we start work. Illinois “mountain” biking is like going over speed bumps compared to the hills out here. I have to walk my bike up half the hills here…I’m going to be in great shape by the time I leave though.

Prayer requests that I can think of now:

-Continued health and safety provisions, safety while we work and while I go out exploring in the woods or through town

-A servant’s heart for all of us working, I know that there are a thousand ways God could accomplish what we are doing, but He has chosen to give us the opportunity to be a part of it and I pray that we would do it in all humility with a heart of worship and praise to Him. So far we are working exceptionally well as a team and I pray that continues.

-Maybe a little help picking up some of the Japanese language. English gets me nowhere near as far as I thought it would. None of the cashiers or waitresses speak English, and very few things are written in English or even with the roman alphabet. I have a “First Steps in Japanese” book that I’m starting to work through.

Well there are plenty more things I could write about, but I need to save some things for future blogs, right? I’m going to try to update again in about a week, so check back then. Hope all is well back home, don’t be afraid to email or facebook message me.