Day 31

Hey, look at that! I have been here for one month. Sorry I haven't updated in a while, not because of a lack of happenings but a lack in my diligence of signing on here, so my apologies. I'll give more of an update later but today I just want to leave a few words from a song we sang this morning that the Holy Spirit always uses to speak to me.

How deep the Love,
How great the pain.

Behold the Man,
It was my sin.

I will not boast in gifts, or power, or wisdom,
But I will boast in death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?
His wounds have paid my ransom.


Day 21

Thursday afternoon,

Not too much has happened over here since the last time I blogged considering it was yesterday afternoon BUT there are a few things I would like to share with you.

The first being of course that Mical got home! Woohoo! I got to Skype with her last night and it was GREAT to "see" her.

The second is a new top 5.

Things I love about Japan in no particular order.

1. Public Transportation
2. Japanese Vending Machines (this is no joke, they're EVERYWHERE)

3. Eating every meal with chopsticks
4. Excellency=Efficiency. I literally rode the bus to the other side of town, got dinner (fresh stir fry cooked in front of me) ate it, and was back in my apartment in 45 minutes.
5. Umami

Thank you Japan.

More to come when there's more to tell!



Day 20

Wednesday afternoon here and I just arrived back at the church from visiting Yokohama Jogakuin School with the CBU Music Team. We will be heading back there this afternoon to spend more time with the students hanging out and inviting them to a concert at our church on Friday night.

The team arrived here on Saturday afternoon and it has been really fun to hang out with them and see some familiar faces. I even have two members of the team, Russel and Andrew, staying with me in the apartment so it is great to have some company. They sang at church on Sunday and the other ISP Japan team came down from Tokyo for the worship service. It was great to have TWO teams here and we all went out to sushi together after church before they headed home.

Monday morning we headed out to the first school of the week to do some singing and Pastor Terry shared a message then we got to hang out with some of them in the afternoon as well. Tuesday was the teams off day so we all headed over to the famous Japanese Sankeien Gardens to walk around and relax a little bit. It was absolutely beautiful but my camera died so I have no photos sorry (I know amateur)! In the evening we got to go see the Yokohama Bay Stars play some good old Japanese baseball at Yokohama Stadium. It ended up raining through the whole game but it was still so much fun to experience an all-American past time in a whole new context!

I am really excited for the rest of this week as we will be visiting one more school on Friday and then having a concert here on Friday night. We have been inviting students all week to come and are really looking forward to meeting with them again and continuing to help YIBC build relationships into the community. I would appreciate your prayers this week as I am sharing the Gospel message at the concert and continue to prepare.

More to come when there's more to tell!



Day 15

Friday evening here and I have just returned from the Friday Night small group the church has at a couple's home near downtown Yokohama. My first night attending that study was last week where I learned they're going through a devotional book on Proverbs. Last meeting they needed someone to to lead this weeks study and I was "volunteered" by someone in the group to lead tonights study on wise speech. It was a lot of fun getting to be a part of this group and I'm looking forward to the next month or so I get to be involved.

That's not all the Bible Study teaching I've been doing this week. On Wednesdays we hold one here at the church for a group of people to meet, have a study, and then pray for the church and community. Pastor Lowe asked me to share about 30 minutes on how I came to be in Yokohama, why I wanted to come, and the spiritual road that the Lord took me on to bring me to those desires. I was so blessed to be able to share about my first experiences overseas and how much I was able to learn not only through those experiences, but also through other small groups and classes I took like Jeff Lewis' Intro to Global Studies. I never realized until I was putting together my talk just how instrumental that class and his study "God's Heart for the Nations" was to my understanding and convictions about our responsibility as believers. Going through that book was the first time I had ever heard about much of what he was saying and it absolutely revolutionized my Faith and what I believed God wanted from creation. It was so encouraging and reenergizing to go through those lessons again and remember where my conviction about my commitment to missions comes from and why it's there. It was really a joy to be able to talk about that with the group and share the real reason why I came and what I hope to get from this experience.

Thursday was my off day and I took care of things around the apartment, cleaning up and preparing for the CBU music team to arrive tomorrow as I will be having two guys stay with me. For dinner I headed down to Isezaki-cho Mall (really more of an outdoor block or two with shops and stores and restaurants) and picked up a few things as well as grabbed dinner at my new favorite restaurant. It's much like Pepper Lunch which I talked about in my last post but MUCH better in the fact that they bring out your food completely raw and put it on an induction burner in front of you and you cook it all right there. They also bring you rice (all you can eat), miso soup, and a salad (there are pictures at the bottom). It is absolutely divine. The best part about the meal? I walked into the restaurant and recognized the song; "I'll be Home for Christmas" by Bing Crosby. I knew it was going to be a great evening and it only got better from there. They continued playing American classics by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and the like. It was truly an evening to be envied. Also, I figured that being in Japan I needed to have a pair of my own chopsticks so I picked some up. I'm super excited to use them!

More to come when there's more to tell!


Oh yea, that's real right there.

I ate all the rice I could eat.

Don't worry, they're not even close. But if they were it wouldn't matter 'cuz I have my own chopsticks! WOO!


Day 12

With it being Tuesday, today was my day to work in Tokyo. It was my first solo trip from the time I left my apt. in the morning til I returned this evening and I managed to make it without any hitches. I'm not going to lie to you, it feels pretty good. Two trains, a station change, and a winding maze of road to my apartment in the dark from the station I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

All that aside it was an awesome day. We passed out hope tracks in the morning as we canvassed a new area of Shibuya and then grabbed some lunch. Afterwards we headed over to a usually very busy park to engage people in purposed conversations or make connections that we could continue with in relationships. On our walk over however, it began to sprinkle a little bit so by the time we arrived the park, though the rain had stopped it was nearly empty. It did give us good opportunity to prayer walk around the grounds as well as practice our balloon animals for a VBS we'll be doing in the park later this month. I must say, I think I may have found a new hobby. I was able to (successfully) create a parrot in a swing, a giraffe, a swan, a dog (basically a giraffe with a short neck), and a tulip! Unfortunately there are no pictures to document this :(.

Later on as the park began to get a little busier we split up and tried to meet people hanging around the park. Nate (one of the IMB interns in Tokyo) and I started playing frisbee and invited a young couple we saw to play with us. We ended up playing for almost an hour and were able to talk with them about why we were in Japan and invite them to hang out again and come to our friendship parties on Fridays. They were very interested and I'm looking forward to hear what comes of that relationship in the future. I will keep you posted as well :).

After the park I was able to meet up with the CBU Japan SOS team again for dinner and we went to a place called "Pepper Lunch" and it was DELISH. They bring your food somewhat raw out on a hot plate and you get to cook it with the spices and sauces on the table right before you eat it. The five of us had a great time catching up and talking about what the last week held for us. It was a real encouragement to me to be able to share a meal with them and have some fellowship with familiar faces, I am already looking forward to hanging out with them again.

After dinner I headed back home and am about to head to bed. Still a long week ahead of me but I'm looking forward to what the Lord will reveal to me!

More to come when there's more to tell!



Day 10

So sorry it's been a while since my last update, things definitely started to get a little busier as the second half of my week got underway. Last I left you was Wednesday and I was able to attend an International Bible Study that we have here at the church in the mornings which was great to be a part of and then in the evening we had a prayer meeting with members of the church. It was definitely encouraging to be able to spend an extended amount of time in prayer with the some of the members of the congregation not only for the church but also the community and Japan.

Thursday was my first day off and it was a very fun day. I was able to sleep in a little bit and catch up on some rest in the morning then I hopped on a bus and went downtown to walk around a bit and see what there was to see. I grabbed some lunch (Japanese curry) and was just able to relax and people watch for a while. After lunch I walked around a bit and took some pictures until dinner then grabbed some starbucks and headed back home for the evening.

Fridays are my days to spend with the Associate Pastor here Jeff. He and I took care of some business around the church in the morning, just filing and a few other administrative things and then headed out to get some ramen for lunch. He took me to a ramen place that he said was Curtis' favorite last year and I must say it will probably be a place I frequent too. I'm actually thinking about heading there for dinner tonight :). After lunch he took me around and showed me a few different areas of the city and then he and his wife Christy took me out to dinner. We ate at an American 50's diner restaurant and then I headed to an evening small group Bible study held at a member of our churches home. It was great to see about 12 people there and the hosts and myself were the only Americans.

Saturday was my other day off for the week and it was mostly uneventful. I took care of things around the apartment, read a little bit, did some laundry and other things. Thankfully figuring out a Japanese washing machine is a lot less complicated than figuring out a Japanese microwave.

That brings us to today (Sunday). Today was a pretty typical Sunday, class, church, and then another missions meeting preparing our trip to Kobe later in July. Now I'm sitting in my apartment getting things prepared for the start of another week.

Please be praying for me as I am teaching the Wednesday night study, the Friday night study and continue to prepare for my class on Sunday mornings. Also please be praying that my time in Shibuya with the other teams would be fruitful and encouraging to me.

More to come when there's more to tell!



Day 6

Hello followers!
Yesterday (Tuesday) was a full day to be sure! As you may recall I could not sleep for the life of me on Monday night and I had to get up early to go to Tokyo as I will be doing every Tuesday, to partner with the IMB missionaries there in reaching the people of Tokyo and the specific area of Shibuya.

Shi•bu•ya |shî boō'yə|

1. Exclamation.
The forgotten latter half of a Jewish salutation : Shalom Shibuya.

2. Exclamation.
Expression used to demonstrate ones approval in the performance of a specific task or function : Cook from WAY down town.... SHIBUYA!

3. Exclamation.
A common Greek phrase expressing great excitement, satisfaction, or jubilee often cheered at celebrations such as weddings.. See also, "Opa" : There's lamb at the reception!? Shibuya!

You have probably seen where I was on the Travel Channel or somewhere else before. It is commonly compared to NY Times Square and is known as the busiest intersection in the world. Seriously, Google it. It was a lot of fun working in Tokyo, we prayer walked, passed out Hope tracks, as well as gave free 5 minute English lessons. We were able to meet a good amount of people and invite them to their Friday night hang out times at a Coffee Caf é one of their Japanese contacts owns. After the full day I was able to meet up with the SOS Japan team for dinner and to catch up on all that has happened since graduation and coming to Japan. It was really great to see some familiar faces so far away from home and I really look forward to getting to hang out with and serve with them every Tuesday. I started to head back home around 7:30 and walking to the train station I had one of those surreal moments, if you've ever been overseas or even just experienced something that you've been looking forward to and planning for a long time you'll know what I'm talking about. After the CBU team left I was walking towards the station and I started to cross that famous intersection. I got about halfway across, stopped, and just looked around for a moment. I had to smile to myself as I thought, "Am I seriously here right now?" Then reality hit me and I realized how much of a goober I probably looked like standing in the middle of the street, 6 inches taller than everyone around me, white as a fresh fallen snow, and smiling like an idiot to nobody. It was totally worth it. I'm so excited to see what God has planned not only for my time here in Japan but also for my future as my conviction to reach the lost of the nations grows stronger and continues to root itself deeper into my heart.

I didn't get a chance to take any pictures really but there will be more coming shortly as tomorrow is my day off and I hope to do some photography then.

More to come when there is more to tell!