Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It's been a while!

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,

Sending love,
Until next time :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Watache wa Eva desu (私の名前はエバです)

Well that was a day!

We spent yesterday at Hirano church and it was a full day from 10am-10pm, with a little break in between. We had a pretty sweet summer carnival there though, and only in Japan do they have octopus as the snack at a kids camp! The kids ate like never before, they even had my share since it was either they eat it or I ralph.

The food thing is kind of getting to me,(and Gary) at first your kind of like, "ok, let try this and lets try that" and you can pretend to like it, (try to swallow and try to smile) but then when it's the same meal after meal, tea after tea that's hardly swallowable, it gets kind of old. This is Gary's vent for the day "Sushi in Canada is a joke! They should try to eat sushi here, the only way you can stupid raw fish is by dumping a bunch of wasabe sauce on to kill it!!" LOL. We're really ok though because today we started at Hoshida church and the pastor there has been to America before so he knew what we were going through re food, so he took us to Costco and bought us a Pizza. I felt like hiding a few pieces for the rest of the meals to come.. :)

The ministry is going well, we continue to do drimes, testimonies, skits, games, songs and ESL. Tomorrow is actually our first ESL class that we do by our selves. Actually for the next 2 days we do 4 classes each day.... AAAHHH. So prayer for that would be greatly appreciated. With meeting all these people that speak minimal or no english I'm finding myself speak ESL english where ever I go. Even as I write I feel that in my head I'm speaking ESL english. So my blog writing my go down a notch...:)

Today we tried to teach the children an english song, and we personally felt it was a serious failure, the kids sat there and continued to stare at us, the more we tried to get them to sing the more they stared at "Tall white man and women"! The pastor and parents seemed to think it was the best thing ever! :)

Our team as had a few spill incidents along with human, bicycle accidents ect. But today I out did them all. As our childrens group was leaving I quickly wanted to run upstairs to grab the camera and as came down I decided that it would just be a waste of time to take all the steps. Ok let me explain, the steps are tall and narrow, ok, so as you step onto them you step lower then you are use to and the tips of your toes hang off the step, so yes I lost my footing!!! Slow motion this is how it went. "Oh, I'm falling, ok grab the railing, nope missed the railing, ok put your hand back and land on steps with hands, nope steps are too narrow, ok last resort just fall on your bum and rub your back against each step as you fall down the last 5!!!!! With no breath and a screaming body I was greeted at the bottom of the stairs with every single Japanese person in that church...... I Love Japan!!!

On a different note, we are now staying at a Host home with a lovely old couple who are spoiling us rotten.

Gary is sound asleep so I better get some zzzzzz myself.

Sending love,
Until next time:)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jesus loves us!

I have 6 minutes before I need to be down stairs ready to go!!

Things are going well for us. I'm slowly getting use to the heat, all the people and chaos. Gary on the other hand says there is no such thing as getting use to this heat! But says he'll get over it!

We continue to be busy with ministry every day, if we're not at a church then we are somewhere planning for the next event. It is very evident that God is working in the people's lives here. We have already made good friends. In Amagasaki we met some wonderful people, my favorite were 2 70yr old men. They were awesome. They loved joking around and just hanging out with us, but what really got to me was how hungry they were for God's word. They are both not Christians but they are really searching and asked lots of questions. They were wondering how they knew that Jesus loved them!? And how could they know that there sins were forgiven ect. I felt honored to share somethings with them, but at the same time felt as though they should be teaching me with all the years of knowledge they have behind them. We call the one guy Fish, (thats what his Japanese name means) and Gary calls the other guy Japanese Elvis! We will remember them in our prayers in hope that we will soon hear good news!

Well it looks like I have gone 3 minutes over my time. We have a full day at Hirano church today.

I'm amazed at how God is working through our drimes. People love them and it brings them to tears, doing another 2 today.

Thanks to everyone who is praying for us.

I found out I have a very special reader following my blog, Thanks Dad Cool. I love YOU! Your the best Dad in law ever!

Until next time!

Friday, July 16, 2010


If anyone is in need of some Hot weather, I know just the place to go! The first week of being In Japan it was still the rainy season so it was cloudy everyday and rained everyday, well lets just say that rainy season is now over! How do I know that you ask? Well we spent the day in Kyoto yesterday with +35 weather and 80% Humidity, for those of you that have never experienced such a thing let me tell you what that feels like.... Your whole body is sticky, and sweat runs down every where. It feels like you peed your pants all day and your hair looks like a giant frizz ball. Then all day you pray that where ever your going to spend the night will have AC, well some do and some don't! When they don't, you have a shower and start the whole sweating process over again as soon as you turn off the shower taps. And if they do you book it to your room with AC in hope that you won't be completely sweaty by the time you get to bed!:) It's really not that bad!!!
Everything makes up for the heat though. The last couple of days we have spent time with some amazing people. We have done ESL classes, shared our testimonies, done drimes and took part in a black gospel choir. Which was so amazing!! I want to stress it again, there are very few Christians in Japan, but the one's that are, are legit! And I love it.
I still don't understand why everyone loves white people so much and why they want to be like us so bad. When walking down the street, Gary & Judson will randomly get asked if they can have pictures with them. Because there white tall and from Canada! We get treated with serious respect every where we go. Gary and I are staying at a little church in Amagasaki for a couple days now and the rest of the team is with Host homes and the shower us with food and gifts where ever we go. The fridge in this little church can not hold any more food and still everyday some body comes and puts more in there. All of this makes me think, what has happened to the Canadian/American culture!? I mean we're nice, but nothing compared to this!:)
Today and tomorrow are pretty packed for us. Today we have 2 English classes and a party in the evening. At the party we sing and do drimes and play games with the community people. These are really good out reach programs because 90% of the people that come are not Christian. Like last night at the gospel choir, there was about 30 people and max 7 where Christians. Tomorrow we have to perform in 2 church services, 9 and 9:45 and then have lunch and games with the youth and families. I love these opportunities to share Jesus with people that don't know him yet.
At our time in Kyoto yesterday I was really saddened by the Shrines. There was so many people there worshipping Buddha; an empty clay idol. They burnt incense, said prayers, banged on the bell and when they left they all looked just as empty as when they came. Earnest prayers are needed for Japan.
I should get going as I still need to have breakfast and spend time with Jesus before our group gets here.
Sending love,
Until next time:)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crazy Travels

Today was intense.

This morning we finished Japan Orientation had lunch, (Tofu with rice ect. Which made me sick and there for sat on the toilet for couple hours). Then we left Toyota city for Osaka. Getting to Osaka was quite something! I don’t remember how many trains we took, tons!!! We even did an hour on a bullet train, which I really enjoyed until I got sick again and had to do everything in my power not to throw up everywhere. Gary has been to Japan before and he was always talking about how they cram people into the trains, I always thought he was over exaggerating, but I got to experience that today. Japanese culture is funny that way, they are all about personal space until you get on a train. We made one stop and I thought, ok, there is no way we can fit any more people on here, then we made 2 more stops and people kept coming on. Everyone is nose to nose, butt to butt and shoulder to shoulder. We were so tired, hot and sweaty by that point that all of us girls got tired giggles. So picture this, a train packed full of Japanese people not saying one word and then a clan of Canadian/American girls giggling hysterically. Let’s just say we got a couple looks. But the harder we had to laugh. When we finally got to Osaka we had McDonalds for supper,, after 2 days of rice ect. It was kind of nice. I liked mine but the others weren’t too impressed. After supper we walked to the seminary which is going to be our main lodging place while we are here. In Nagoya, where we came from they have a really nice air conditioned guest house for the missionaries. We had already been told that Osaka’s wasn’t as nice but you just never know until you get there. We were greeted with no AC and dorm rooms where one can walk in and back out. (Small single beds which means even Gary and I get separate rooms....he he!) And I’m going to use Gary’s description for the rest as mine wouldn’t be appropriate. He smiles at me and says, “Yep, this place has seen better days, a little gloomy wouldn’t you say?” That’s when I just smile and nod, and ask God to remind me why he sent us to Osaka.

It wasn’t until we went on the bullet train today that I saw the beauty of Japan. I LOVE the country, yes there is actually some places where there is no buildings ect. And it’s beautiful! Rice fields with mountains in the back ground, all so green, absolutely stunning! I was so grateful for God to open my eyes to his beauty in Japan.

Our team is still getting over Jet leg, which means that some are grumpier then others by the end of the day. It’s challenging as a leader to stay positive and encourage them, but God continues to be faithful as he points out the positive to us and keeps us going.

My favourite moments of the day were to hear the hearts of the long term missionaries here and how their heart aches for the people of Japan. I am still in awe. As we were eating lunch this gentleman came to the church and handed out the most amazing pieces of art to all 11 of us, which he had done for us this morning. I can’t explain what they look like, I’ll try to take a picture and post it eventually. But I felt so loved and moved by this man’s gesture..... I will remember that moment forever.

Tomorrow morning we meet with all the different leaders of the churches to finalize plans for the next couple weeks. Looking forward to it. Until next time. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We made it!

After 24 hours of traveling and a straight 14 hours in a plane, we finally arrived and so did all our luggage! Praise God!
We were all so exhausted by the time we got to our host church. I had kankles for the first time in my life, walking on my feet hurt so bad, they looked like bubbles. I guess that`s what you get for only getting up twice on a 14 hour plane ride.
After not sleeping for what felt like 3 days, we got to sleep on the floor...:) And have a COLD shower.... Doesn`t all that sound so good! Anything was good to us at that point! We are thankful and feel blessed.
Everything feels so cluttered here; everywhere you look there are houses or cars. And the inside of the houses are so low and small... Everything in the house where ever you look is small, like salt shakers, cups ect. Gary said he could have finished the whole peanut butter jar on his one piece of toast, but we get to share that with our team of 11. Gary`s head also hits the door frames when walking through. I feel claustrophobic.
We go to church in 20 min. So I should get going. After church we have lunch with church members and then orientation, finishing the day with a supper with local youth. Apparently it`s a 2 hour supper where we will eat things we have never eaten before! YAY!
It was so good to connect with Jesus this morning and just be reminded of why we are here and wait to see how he will work through us.
Until next time. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Flight leaves at 11 am


Thanks for walking with us at Orientation. We are exhausted but so ready to leave for Japan tomorrow.

Please pray for:
Smooth flights
Group unity

Thank you.

I can't think straight, if I could I would write more... So I will save that for when we get to Japan and we have had some sleep.

Until next time, :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oh so much to learn!


I haven't been able to write in a couple days and it's because they have kept us hopping!!! We go from 7:30am to 11-11:30pm. With sessions, team time, drama training, worship and prayer. There are times in the day where we are just exhausted, thats when we sneak in 10 min naps to keep us going.

It's been sooooo good though. We have learned new ways to listen to God and how to spend time with him. How to work together as a team and make the most of it.

We have 3 days before we leave Winnipeg for Japan and we are all very excited.

Please pray for strength and energy as we try to absord everything in the next couple days.

Until next time!:)

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2, The whole crew has arrived!


It's is so hot and humid here, I feel God is totally preparing us for the weather he has waiting for us in Japan.

Yesterday was an intense day of worship and prayer. It was great to just re-focus and get to know all the leaders at a deeper level. We all got to spend some time together before the rest of the groups got here and just prepare and train for the leaders responsibilities.

One of the things from yesterday that I will take with me is a vision one of the leaders got about me and Jesus. It came to him very clearly the picture of Jesus and me walking around a tree hand in hand.... How beautiful is that!? It was interpreted that Jesus in longing to spend time with me and that he doesn't want me to venture out but to stay close to him and just rest in him. So so meaningful to me!

No, we did not forget to celebrate Canada day yesterday, at the end of the day all the leaders piled into a huge van and we all went to Altona for fire works. They were amazing, but very hard to enjoy as the mosquitoes devoured us until we gave up and went and sat in the van.

Today has been exciting as Gary and I got to go to the airport to pick up the rest of our group! We LOVE them! We have 3 girls and 1 boy, all precious gifts from God for us to share our summer with. We have only spent the afternoon together and already we feel like we have known each other forever!

Thank you to all of you for journeying with us,

Until next time :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June 30, Gretna Day 1


Finally after what felt like 2 months of packing and then 3 days of absolute chaos, we left for Calgary yesterday at 5:15pm. It was so hard for me to leave, the last couple weeks had been so busy that I hadn’t had time to just reflect and breathe, so when all was said and done and we had our suit cases in the car and all our stuffed packed. I stood in our empty house and took a deep breath and the flood gate opened. I bawled! I felt like anything I had ever known was gone.... After a good cry I re-focused on what lay ahead and was reminded that the rewards of what God has planned for us would be far greater then all those material possessions I had just given up. Then the excitement kicked in and we were off!:)
Big Thank you to my sister in law Susie and friend Lisa who drove us. It was good to get some good sleep in before our flight at 6:30 this morning. Since we had to get up at 4:30 to leave for the airport at 5am, we were super tired which meant that we both slept on our flight to Winnipeg.
Once in Winnipeg we were greeted by smiling MBMSIer,,, And the journey of “unfamiliarism” began. We were so thank full that the rest of the leaders we scheduled to arrive at supper and that we had free time in the afternoon, in which we had an awesome nap.
At 6pm we had a delicious bon fire and roasted Hot Dogs, which followed with intro’s.... I already love all the people here. Then worship, which is always my favorite. Spending time with God. We talked about what it is in life that we love more than God, or whether we like or love Jesus, and how we have felt unworthy through this whole process of getting ready for this trip. Both Gary and I felt that we had felt unworthy so many times, of the support from everyone and even felt unworthy that God would choose us. We were reminded of how unworthy Peter felt when Jesus filled the disciples boat with fish and how he fell to Jesus’ knee’s but that they were then told, I have given you enough fish to feed your family for a long time know so come and follow me and be fishers of men! What a picture that is! Everything feels so unfamiliar, but no matter where I go, God is always there and always the same... Oh so comforting!

Until next time