Day 4/5

Being super tired from jet lag all day and then not being able to sleep for the same reason: One sleeping pill.

Having an insatiable midnight snack craving because of said jet lag and failure of said sleeping pill: One bean and cheese burrito.

Trying to figure out a Japanese microwave at 2 a.m.: Priceless.


Day 4

Well today was my first official day of a typical work week here at YIBC and it was a good one. The day started with an ESL class at 10 here in one of the church classrooms. It was great to meet a lot of new people and see some again that I have already met. The class is taught by an American woman who has been here at the church for over 30 years! I will be helping her out with the teaching and other things in the coming weeks as the class begins to wind down for the summer. It was so cool to see what a tool English can be to share the Gospel. There were about 20 in the class today, it fluctuates each week, and I would say one third of them were non-believers and some had travelled from over an hour away to learn English, Bible stories, or more about Christianity. It was neat to see believers and non-believers alike talk about Daniel in the Lions' den and ask questions about angels and other things. I also got to share a little bit of my story and that I had just returned from Uganda. A Japanese woman took out her date book which had a map of all the continents in the back and asked me to point out to everyone where Uganda was because many of them did not know. After sharing a little about myself they asked me some questions but two of them sparked conversation that I never would have imagined. The first question was "What is the church like in Africa?" I was able to tell them about how animated and energetic it was, how much fun (and tiring) the worship services were and how overt the spiritual warfare was. The second question was "Why exactly were you in Uganda?" As an answer to that question I was able to talk about Favor of God Ministries and what they do, as well as World Vision and the LRA. Many of them hadn't ever heard about the LRA so I explained about what they had done and the atrocities that were committed against the African people and their children as a result of the evil by which Joseph Kony and his followers were allowing themselves to be ruled. As I talked just briefly and summarized about child soldiers, night commuters, and the education generation gap some of the members of the class, men and women began to tear up. Japanese don't often show emotion and one woman apologized explaining that as Japanese they often times don't get exposure to international news like that and were oblivious to the nature of the evil that was happening in other countries. I was struck by how deeply they were moved by just my short summary of what was happening. It made me think about how important awareness is. In Hebrews 10 the author writes, "Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, which is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as we see the Day drawing near." It was an encouraging experience to see the members of the class stirred up so passionately by what is happening. One woman said she was going to look into World Vision because she was so impressed by what they were doing and another said she would begin to pray for the children and nation of Uganda. What a great start to the day!

After ESL Pastore Lowe, Pastor Jeff, and I had the weekly staff meeting and went over the rest of the week and some logistic things and then I grabbed a bus and headed downtown to scope out the area by myself and try to get my bearings a little bit. It was a beautiful area, lots of skyscrapers, a ferris wheel, some rollercoasters, and at least 3 malls within a stones throw of each other, I am DEFINITELY not in Africa anymore! For dinner I was debating between and few places and chose one that proved to be an AMAZING choice. They had a drink there that I am already craving again, Iced Earl Grey Tea. Maybe you've had it before but I have never seen it in the States. Iced Tea is my all-time favorite drink, that coupled with Earl Grey, my favorite hot tea, and I must say I found my beverage bliss. That plus the fact that it was perfectly paired with a Big Mac and Fries made for a pretty great meal. I know, I know, I'm in Japan and I had McD's shame on me but I was having an epic battle with jet lag today and I needed a little time in my comfort zone to keep me in the right state of mind. I have no regrets.

More to come when there's more to tell!


Top 5 Reasons I Know I'm Not In Africa:

5. Everyone is Asian
4. I have not seen a woman breast-feeding her child while carrying on a normal conversation shamelessly
3. There are trash cans
2. I don't have to squatty when I use the potty
1. Instead of not being able to escape a conversation or greeting by an eternally long handshake, I now am unable to escape because of an eternally long exchange of bows


Day 2

I don't think I'll be posting everyday but today was a pretty chill day so I think I got it in me :). This morning Sonja (Pastor Lowe's wife) made us a delicious breakfast of bacon (YUM) eggs and biscuits which was the perfect way to start out my day. Today was spent getting acquainted with the church properties, the street we live on, the bus routes, and some of the city. We walked around the different properties and then drove into downtown Yokohama and they showed me a little bit of the area and where the essentials are, the cleaners, the bakery, post, Starbucks, you know. The essentials :). After that we grabbed some sushi to go on the way home and came back for lunch and a nap. After the nap Sonja made enchiladas for dinner, she is taking SUCH good care of me and my belly! Now I'm just winding down getting ready for bed. Tomorrow we'll have church and the first day of the class I'll be teaching. Please pray that God would use me to speak His words and continue to lead me in my experiences here.

More to come when there's more to tell!



Day 1

I have arrived. Bags and all have touched down safely and I am sitting on my couch in Yokohama, Japan safe and sound. After taking 91 hours and 3 countries to arrive in LA from Gulu, Uganda just to turn around the next day to head back to LAX and hop on a plane to Tokyo, it will be a welcome relief to spend more than 24 hours in a single place. Recently the unfamiliar has been my familiar and I realized how much it was getting to me when I didn't even notice we had been driving on the "wrong" side of the road until we pulled into the parking area for my apartment. I am so thankful for the hospitality the Lowes have shown me to prepare this place and open up their church and community by allowing me to come and serve along side of them for the rest of the summer. I am really looking forward to everything that I'm going to experience and have already had a great time chatting with the Lowes and getting to know them a little better. That's all I really have to say for now, no photos, haven't really done much except arrive so more to come when there's more to tell!


p.s. I had grilled eel on the airplane for lunch and have hit my head twice already. Welcome to Japan.