Hello from Japan!
We’ve now been here ten days – we’re a third of the way through our time here and it still feels like we’re only just beginning. We’ve had many interesting cultural experiences – the first cultural difference we noticed was the toilets: heated seats and an assortments of colourful buttons including different bidet settings and various sound effects, and who knows what else…!
Everything here is extremely user-friendly, such as the trains which are prompt, regular and very easy to figure out. We have got used to very regular bowing and changing of shoes! We’ve seen many typical cultural things too – temples, shrines, tea ceremonies, soy sauce factory, karaoke bars, I even had opportunity to try on a kimono!
After arriving we stayed our first two days in Tokyo, and now are staying with a wonderful couple in Kimitsu, about 2 hours from Tokyo. They are OMF missionaries who pastor a Japanese church in Hatazawa, part of the neighbouring town Kisarazu. They have made us feel so welcomed and loved, and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with them 🙂
Since arriving in Kimitsu we’ve spent time joining in with church activities such as Alpha courses, Bible studies at various times of day, English classes, church services and such like. Everyone we’ve met so far has been so friendly – I’ve been amazed at how much people smile here! People have really gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. One particular Japanese Buddhist lady who speaks some English has taken us out for two days and shown us many exciting Japanese places, and fed us many Japanese foods. For example on Tuesday we went to the beach to dig for shellfish, and our lunch was fresh shellfish with fresh herbs that we picked from the garden; bamboo shoots which had been dug up the previous day; rice with cherry blossom which had also been picked the previous day, and some dried seaweed. Very fresh!
This morning while Ben attended a women’s Bible study and shared his testimony there, I helped distribute a monthly Christian newsletter to the houses near the church, and apparently several people have said that they wouldn’t go to church but that they always eagerly await those monthly Christian newsletters and love to read the evangelistic content and the Bible stories.
Tonight we will attend a praise and prayer evening at the church, where Ben will be playing the keyboard. He is also preaching at church this Sunday (and me the following week) 🙂
More updates to come in due course! Keep in touch =]