It has been a week of much joy – our CBS staff member’s wife Irene arrived! She is Ugandan and quite a lovely lady. We’re so thankful she is here with us after a time of separation from Kent due to visa problems. The CBS staff went to lunch to celebrate Irene’s arrival and several birthdays.

Paul, Michael, Craig, Shimatani-san

The amazing array of desserts at the Italian restaurant

The waitresses sang happy birthday to Mr. Chapin

Mr. Chapin’s dessert (the Happy Birthday thing was made of chocolate)

My cute students, Ruka and Koya

On my way to Japanese class in my town, Nagakute, there are two shrines. I have gone to one of the shrines a few times and sang several hymns at the top of the steps of the  shrine. It’s an interesting place to sing praise to God…particularly “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun” and “This is My Father’s World.” No one was around when I sang but I know God heard me.

This is the first thing you see to your left at the base of the steps. I asked my roommate what this says. She says it says “purfication.”

I asked my roommate what this is…she says Japanese people use these ladel-type things to wash their hands and some people even use these to wash out their mouths. If they wash out their mouths, they don’t spit the water back into this basin but onto the ground. It reminds me of Psalms 24:3-6.

“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.”

This is a horse god.

Guardian of the shrine (that’s what my roommate said)

Closer view of the shrine

This sign gives directions of what to do at the shrine. First, HAIREI (bowing down at a 90 degree angle). HAI means to worship and REI means to bow. Repeat twice. Next, put together both hands in front of your chest and then clap twice. Then, pray. Then do HAIREI one more time and that’s it. (Thanks to my roommate for translating the sign with me!)

Final shot before I left the shrine – this is the sign of a shrine, the gate with a rope.

Besides these things, All Nations Fellowship continues to go well. It is truly an international gathering of people from so many different countries (Canada, Australia, Uganda, France, Indonesia, etc.). Besides that I moved yesterday (a little earlier than planned), and I am currently living with a six-month MTW missionary named Michele. My future roommate, Mary, is in the U.S. now and hopes to return to Nagoya by mid-July or so. Overall, I continue to enjoy being here immensely. I have so much to be thankful for.