Monday, Sept. 20, 2009
Today we went to Tachikawa for the 20th anniversary of the Japanese School of Evangelism. (JSE) So we got all dressed up and headed down the road again. Obata-san was very excited to go. He was Dean of the school for many years, and still teaches classes. This year the school only had one student. He is from Okinawa (which is very far south)and actually takes his classes via Skype.
We had a guest speaker, the President from the Osaka Bible School. They are primarily Christian Church affiliated. From what we could understand (with Steve and Debbie’s help) he was very excited to be here and to be apart of this celebration. I think being a part of training Christian leaders in this country is so rare that he was happy to see another school enjoying a long life. (Even with such low attendance.) He was also very surprised that we all listened to his speech with such politeness even though we have differing doctrines on some things. (Mainly in Japan the difference is their worship with instruments.) His message was on Christ’s call for us to make disciples and through that leaders. It was very good and a respectful topic for our brethren.
After the address and some worship we had lunch. Almost everyone had a turn saying thank you for something that had happened in the past year. Obata-san took the opportunity to introduce us to the brethren. And asked Paul to say a few words. Good thing he only knows a few Japanese words. It was nice to hear from everyone.
After lunch we went back into the auditorium to listen to brother Nomura speak about the Restoration Movement. He is quite the historian. He had hundreds of books in his library about the Movement and especially its effect on Japan Christianity. After Brother Nomura’s talk Obata-san had a teachers meeting.
So Paul, Debbie, and I went walking. It was sort of a small adventure. Steve and Debbie lived in Tachikawa for many years before moving to Matsudo, so Debbie knew this area very well. We all decided to find a local recycle shop (it’s kind of like a Goodwill store, or flea market). Its full of useful things that people just throw away or sell to the shop. We walked for about an hour. We passed by lots of cool things. Like this persons front yard. How cool is this. It look that its straight out of Karate Kid 4. And this ceramic shop was making beautiful Holland pieces. This picture is all of the ceramic that she had broken. She made it into this beautiful 3-D collage.
Then we passed this small river. Debbie gave us a little history lesson. The king wanted clean water for drinking run straight to the palace so they made this stream run from the mountains into the palace. No one was allowed near the stream, because they might polite the Emperor’s water supply and they would be killed. This was done hundreds of years ago and it still running from the mountains clean spring water.
Our little adventure started to become funny after a while , because when we got to a corner of a street Debbie thought the shop was just a little farther. I think she said this about 5 times. Finally after looking at the time we decided to head back. We didn't want Steve or Obata-san getting worried about us. Well we still had fun looking around and we really enjoyed talking and walking with Debbie. We even walked through the train station.
On our way home we stopped by Costco. We were really excited. We don't even have a Costco within 5 hrs of us back home. So this is a treat. Obata-san has a membership so we were pumped to see if we could find any special things we have been missing like a big box of cereal, a mattress pad for our bed or anything fun. We started to pull into the parking lot. Costco is on the same grounds as a huge mall. It looked really fun, but we didn't have time to walk around inside. I plan on going back soon to check it out.
This week is special its Silver week. There are a few Holidays connected together to give people Saturday thru Wednesday off from work. It is for respecting the elderly. So I guess in Japan to show your respect to the elderly you must go shopping, because this place was packed. From the time we pulled into the parking lot till the time we parked and actually walked thru the doors of Costco was 1 hour!
We barely had enough time to look around. We felt really bad for Obata-san. He drove us through there like a pro. We told him several times that we could come back another time, but he insisted on getting through those doors today. We made it inside with about 45 minutes before closing time. It was just enough time to look for the few things we hadn’t been able to find.
It was getting really late and we still had about 2 hours of driving left, or should I say Paul has 2 hours of driving left. I got to sleep in the back seat. :)