When I left I told people I was going to try to write everyday, they thought I was really ambitious..... I guess I was, must have lost it along the way.
Things are well for us. We were off today so some rest was really enjoyed, although I spent most of the day figuring out our next 2 church ministries. The schedules they give us here drive me crazy,,,, so I redo them, I think I scare the rest of the team.
It has been an interesting week for me, lots of mixed emotions.
At orientation we spent a lot of time in prayer and spending time with Jesus. It was so good because you go fully assured why you are going. Then you fly half way across the world into a completely different culture, into intense ministry and all of a sudden there is a lot of questions. Although I enjoyed my first couple weeks here, I kept asking Jesus where he was and what he was trying to teach me. My energy levels were low and I had to really focus on the positives. Finally yesterday I felt close to Jesus again. I think it was because we had been going pretty steady and my focus had been on just getting everything planned and serving at the churches, which can be extremely draining. You try to communicate and build relationships with people that do not speak English.
But yesterday I just said to Jesus, I have given up everything to serve you and go where ever you want me to go..... Please, please create in me a joyous heart. It's hard to think that when we come home, we have no home, we pick up what's left of our belongings and go to Briercrest, and then who knows where. Having moved to a different location every 5 days or so in the last month, after living in a nice new home, is not easy. Gary and I have said often, how nice it would be to just sleep in our bed one night again...... But although on the surface we often say "Why us Jesus, why can't we just settle in a home some where and live comfortably?" We know and want to follow the plan He has for us, what ever that may mean.
We have served at a 4 different churches so far and it has been so good hearing the feed back from them. The drimes we do are pretty intense, so it seems that they are one of our best ministry tools. We do ``Everything by Lifehouse`` which is my favorite. It is about being distracted by the money, beauty, partying ect. And how that weighs you done and in that it`s hard to find Jesus and impossible to serve him along with all of that.
We received some very good feed back from the last church we served at. When we come in as a team we don`t know who know`s who or who is friends ect. So at this church we did an adult ESL class and in the class we played games, which involved everyone interacting with everyone. It was so much fun for them, some laughed so hard they were crying. And apparently through the fellowship and interactions through us, relationships were mended and people were encouraged to work together more as a church body. I know God will continue to work through us, but if that was the only difference we made in Japan I would be happy. Having a Pastor tell you that he now has new hope and is encouraged to continue on goes beyond anything I imagined we would do here.
This past Monday our team got a chance to tour Nara, it has the worlds oldest building and we also saw the biggest Buddha of Japan. I continue to struggle with how much Idol worship there is here but something interesting came out of it for me. As we went through the museum of all there idols/gods, we came across one called Canon, does that name look familiar? Yes it is the name of a camera, and of course the camera is made in Asia. Well it turns out that one of our team members has a Canon and she stayed with a host family that are Buddhist, and when they saw her camera they related it to there idol, because it is named after there idol........ I don't know what you get out of that, but it really spoke to me. I think that many of us have idols and even worship then and we don't even think about it. We may not bow down to our camera's or earthly possessions but we do often value them more then Jesus and spend way more time with them then Jesus, and we always want more and more. Nothing is ever enough. I think many, many of us North Americans worship idols and we don't ever realise it!!!!!! It got me thinking and really felt God was speaking to me about it.
I should wrap up here, the team will be down for breakfast soon!
We are back at the seminary for a couple days, we sleep here anyways, doing ministry at Sojiji church during the day. I really enjoyed our host home, they were so great but I was some what glad to be leaving and this may sound strange, but my host Mom reminded me so much of my mom that my emotions were all over the map. The first night there I had a grief flood again. I hate it when they happen, always at the strangest un opportune time. But there was something about how she could hardly speak English, but tried so hard and how she worked so hard from morning to night that reminded me exactly of my mom. I would often just sit and stare at her, because I felt like I was in the presence of my mom again and it felt so good but hurt so bad.....
Its raining this morning which means it's a bit cooler and wow is that nice after having temperature of 38+ with 80% humidity. I honestly do not remember what it feels like not to be sweaty.
Sorry that was mighty long,
Until next time :)