Friday January 1st, 2010
12:01 am HAPPY NEW YEAR! We were excited to bring in the new year together in Japan. We spent new years eve together at home this year. We watched a few movies we could find and waited for the count down to begin. At 10 till midnight we found a Japanese TV station that was counting down to the new year. We chanted along with the TV Jyuu(10), Kyuu(9), Hachi(8), Nana(7), Roku(6), Go(5), Yon(4), San(3), Ni(2), ICHI(1)!!! Happy New year! We popped our little party favors and we ran outside expecting to see the rest of Japan celebrating. We opened the front door and I think the only thing we heard were crickets and the pigs grunting. Well we yelled YOI OTOSHI WO, and HAPPY NEW YEAR any way!
Saturday January 2nd, 2010
The new year has started out very well here in Japan. We had a couple of visitors today. Obata-san and Rumiko-san’s daughter-in-law(Sachiko-san) and grandson(Luke-kun) came up from Tokyo for a couple of days. Also Joel Osborne, Sasha Ingle,(missionaries) and Gaku-san (their friend)came down from Sendai to hang out with us for the day. Joel has been in Japan as a missionary for 7 years and Sasha has been here for 2 years. Recently Sasha has been looking for financial support because of the financial situation of America she has lost most of her support from different churches. So if you would like to support the efforts of a missionary spreading the Gospel in Japan please read more about her at http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsashainsendai.blogspot.com%2F&h=f0b92e8f5f3d19fb105820f96bdd6268 And Gaku-san was recently baptized in to Christ as a result of studying at the Sendai church of Christ. Sachiko-san and Rumiko-san prepared a wonderful New Year’s meal for us all. It was delicious! We had a lot of traditional new year foods and a few specialties from Sachiko-san. We enjoyed the day talking and listening to Luke-kun play his trumpet for us.
Sunday January 3rd, 2010
We had a wonderful day praising God today. We had quiet a few visitors today. Sachiko-san and Luke-kun were still in town, also Obata-san’s sister came to visit. After services we enjoyed a wonderful meal together with everyone that attended. We had more delicious traditional New Years food. After evening services we were invited by Ryosuku and Rieko to our first movie here in Japan! We were excited. We went to see “This is It!” the Michael Jackson movie. This was not our first choice for a first movie in Japan, but we were excited just to be able to go to the movies. We enjoyed seeing all the differences of the movie theater here. First the price is quite a bit more expensive. Usually about $18 to $20 for a ticket. (won’t be going to movies very often!) They do have times during the week that are discounted to $10 per persons. For example Monday is “couples” day, Wednesday is “ladies” day, Thursday is “men’s” day. Also they have matinee prices ($12 per person) after 8:00pm everyday. We also had to be assigned seats. It was nice to know where you were sitting. Another nice part was snacks were about the same price as a US theater! We got our snacks and headed to our seats. As you walked through to have your ticket checked they offered you a nice fleece blanket. Japan can be so thoughtful! We really enjoyed the movie. It was cool to see Michael Jackson still so passionate about his music, but it really made me realize how we never know when will be our last day and how important it is to be ready to meet our Lord at anytime! Are you?
Monday January 4th, 2010
We were excited for today. We had friends come and visit us! We knew Ryosho Matsumoto and Chiemi Uchida from Wichita. They both went to Wichita State University and have now returned to Japan. They each live about 1.5-2.5 hours from Takasaki. They really wanted to see our house and the church we are working with. And they said they wanted to see how bad Buta-san really was :O. We picked them up at the train
station and enjoyed lunch together. After that we headed back to Haruna and showed them around the church building and our house. We had a great time talking and laughing over tea and I made Ryosho a special snack, his favorite, Nachos! They also brought us a couple wonderful gifts from the US (cereal!) and
from Chiemi’ s family's grape farm (homemade grape Jelly). We are so happy to have more friends so close. We hope to visit each of their hometowns as well!
Saturday January 9th, 2010
Junko-san had to go back to the hospital for another round of treatments. We decided to surprise her with a couple of special gifts. We went to visit her and found her completely exhausted from her treatments. But she sat up in bed with a big smile when she saw she had visitors. I had drawn her a picture of the words Amazing Grace (her favorite song) and the scripture Titus 3:7 “so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Mark Yeakley also helped us out by sending us a copy of his Quartet singing Amazing Grace. She loved it. It brought tears to her eyes as she listened. She started searching the room to find a piece of paper to write on. She wrote a thank you note for the men that sang this beautiful song and took a picture so we could send it to them. (The cat is her sister’s, she keeps it close to cheer herself up.)