I have been fighting a cold all week. Thankfully it’s been nothing more than fatigue, a bit of a sore throat, and a little cough. Perhaps it is because the weather has been all over the place this week – at the beginning of the week it finally got frigid but then today and yesterday turned out to be incredibly warm and mild.
Today I went with a fellow missionary, Annette, to her prenatal exam at a clinic. She amazes me! She has a three-year old, a one-year old, and another on the way in a few weeks PLUS she hosts myriads of folks over for dinner, takes care of her kids, feeds her family, helps her husband, etc. I worked with her husband ‘s parents in Sendai back in 2001-2003 and having Annette and her family around has been a breath of fresh air. Because Annette’s husband Matt is fluent in Japanese he is able to lead Bible studies, discipleship groups, preach, teach, and do a whole host of other things at the local church. I am enjoying getting to know Annette and their adorable children very much. I am doing my best to teach her Japanese and she has turned out to be a very good student! Two other girls asked me to teach them Japanese lessons so I find myself busy doing something I didn’t expect to be doing here – teaching Japanese to my friends!
Annette C. and her daugher Karissa
One nice thing about being in Japan is being stretched a lot in the area of hospitality. Because of my wonderful Japanese cooking classes, I am able to make a good number of Japanese dishes which makes the prospect of having people over much easier and very pleasant. Also, being able to read packages and the directions has been a big help. I went a little overboard and wound up inviting about 12 people over next week for dinner – I hope it’s not too overcrowded. I am finding out how much of a joy it is to extend hospitality. I am not necessarily good at it, but I like doing it whenever I can. I am learning so many recipes here and cooking is much more fun than I ever imagined.
I took some photos of my MTW family here as well as the Green Chapel where I attend church most weeks. I am so thankful to be part of these two families!
MTW (Mission to the World) Ladies’ shot
Veteran missionary Jane with baby MJ (Michael Jr.)
Michael and two of his kids (he looks so young – I’d never guess he is the father of five and has three master’s degrees and his PhD!)
Here is a semi-group shot – this shot was taken at a team pizza party last weekend – we got PIZZA HUT
GREEN CHAPEL! Little baby Shoto keeps growing and growing! He is Pastor Aoki and his wife’s third child. I hold him every chance I get. He even threw up on my lap during the worship service last month – haha!
Pastor Aoki preaching
Sunday school craft
Miku and Shoto (the Aokis’ oldest)
This weekend I am heading to Kyoto and will get to see the glorious fall folliage. I am visiting a friend who used to live in Philadelphia for two years -I used to teach her English. Since we last met she had a beautiful baby girl named Sakura (cherry blossom) and I can’t wait to see her again!
I am also starting to think of coming home – I fly back home December 17th and there are so many people I want to see and catch up with again. Hopefully I will be able to see everyone while I am home. I am planning to come back to Japan until December 2009, God-willing. After my time here ends I don’t have any particular plans, but I am glad to know what I will (hopefully) be doing for the next year or so. And I am so much more glad that God knows what His plans are for my future. Anyway, I will post a few more photos of fun times here with some of the sweet ICAN (International Christian Academy of Nagoya) teachers who live in my apartment complex and other friends. I am so blessed to be here!
Jenn (from Tennessee), Nobuyo, and Yisel ( from Uruguay)
With Julie, a dear, sweet friend who returns to the US very soon 😦
With Julie, Steph, and our new friend Marina who is Japanese but grew up in Queens, NY