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.