Sunday, July 31, 2011

One Month Down

Tomorrow marks one month since the day I got on a plane to move to Japan. I am moved in to my apartment and am full swing into my 40 hr/week schedule. I am anxious to start learning Japanese and dive more into the culture. It feels like I have been here for longer, which is bringing on feelings of being behind... like there is this invisible schedule of what I need to have done by now...

Anyway, there is a holiday coming up here in Japan call Obon... people believe it is the time when relatives who have passed on come to visit so many go to be with family and pray for their ansesters. Because of this I get a week off work (as do most people in Japan). During this time I will be blessed to see my living sister! Kathy is traveling right now and come Aug. 8th we will travel some of Japan together for a week. I am very excited! Please pray for us as we navigate new places with no Japanese to speak.. and pray for Japan as they pray for those passed on... pray the Holy Spirit will meet the people here and speak to them with love and hope.

I have been having computer trouble and so staying connected to my family & friends has been hard since I have been here. Tomorrow, August 1st would have been my dad's birthday. I am struggling a bit emotionally and have wanted to talk to family more... though at the same time I am calling out to God more and trying to learn how to better deal with my emotions. I am being stretched in new ways and though some of it is uncomfortable I welcome it so that I may become more of who I am!

Today was the third Sunday I was able to go to church. I found a great church of about 40-50 people that is in English and Japanese... so I can't speak Japanese yet but I can sing praises to God in Japanese already, which is way cool! The church is called Grace City and it is a church plant from Australia. The lead pastor is from England and the congregation is a mix of English speakers from different countries and native Japanese folks. The church is passionate about the Lord and about Japan. It is so wonderful to find others here like minded that want the same thing... to see the nation of Japan (and the world) experiencing the fullness of the Kingdom of God! My desire is to bring HOPE and FREEDOM to all I meet.

I would love to post some pics but my camera seems to eat batteries in less than 10 minutes, which makes it a challenge to take pictures at all. I am slowly making friends, enjoying my students (of all ages), blessed to have found a church so quickly, can't wait to dive in more deeply.

Please pray for me:
-For my emotional and Spiritual states.. that I will lean on God more and mature in dealing with my emotions, especially grief.
-For a new computer, gym membership, etc.. that I will be a good steward with what I have a make wise decision of when & what to buy or join.
-For friendships to develop more quickly and for fellowship
-For health for me and my school... this is a time when many kids get sick.
-For the language, that I will find the right class to join and catch on quickly.

Thank you so much for caring about me. Thank you for your prayers. Please let me know if you'd like prayer as well. take care and please dive into the spring that the Holy Spirit offers and be filled with joy, laughter, hope, peace, and rest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Suit Up"... I have to ;)

So I have survived 2 days wearing a suit. I will don my third tomorrow as I continue to train for this new job and gear up to teach my first class to real students (though I'm not at my school yet and they know it will be my first time). That means I have been in Nagoya, Japan for just over 3 days.

I can't believe it's only been 2 days of training since we have cover so much! There is still 6 full days of training left!! I hope I can remember everything. I am training alongside some great people, four have been to Japan and three speak Japanese, and us 3 remaining are here for the first time. We are enjoying exploring some of Japan together, though not much yet since we are training from 11 am to 8 pm everyday. We will be together until next Wednesday when we all move to our schools and into our apartments. We all are within 30 minutes of Nagoya's center. It's nice to be doing this with others.

I am focused on taking in my new job for now and will get more into learning Japanese when my brain has more space. I also will look for a church, try to find the swing dancers, and rediscover who I am. Some of us might try a hip hop class and there is a hiking club... some are talking of doing marathons (not me).. there will be many adventures, challenges, laughter, tears, and personal growth this year. I pray that in it all God uses me to be a light and bringer of freedom to all around me.

My move to Japan is underway. I don't feel like I live here yet but moving into my apartment next week will help with that. Please pray I do well with my job and that I find balance as I adjust to living alone in this new nation. Thanks.