Matthias recently joked that we probably speak more Japanese here in Berlin than the average American living in Japan. There might be some truth in his joke, since Americans living in Japan do not learn very much Japanese. We are so thankful to God for bringing so many Japanese into our lives since we arrived in Berlin last October. During the last two weeks, Matthias has begun teaching German to several Japanese students- very exciting!

Friday night was an especially lovely evening. Even though I got very sick in the afternoon, I was able to go to a bi-monthly gathering for Japanese folks living in Berlin hosted by our friend, a retired Christian Japanese woman named Mikako. After a delicious, homemade dinner of oden (Japanese winter soup), Matthias was asked to lead the Bible study; I was so proud of him for doing a wonderful job preparing the talk and also encouraging such a good discussion. Everyone shared from the heart and we enjoyed hearing their comments very much. Being with Japanese again brought me so much joy that I though I would burst with happiness. I must admit, in moments like those I am more than willing to stay in Japan for twenty years if God allows us to do so. We have such a deep love for the people of Japan that I think we’d stay as long as possible.

We are both so eager to go back to Japan, but for the time being we are content to be here in Berlin so that I can learn a bit of German and Matthias can finish his internship at Berlinprojekt.

I think if it were up to us we’d go back to Japan tomorrow, but we trust that God has wonderful reasons for allowing us to wait. In the meantime, we hope to faithfully serve and love the Japanese people in our lives during our short time in Berlin.