This week was truly exhausting. Everyone is pooped, especially the Japanese leaders. Playing with kids is tiring but absolutely wonderful. I have to admit, today was one of the sweetest days I’ve had here thus far playing with the kids at the Child Friendly Space in Tome-shi. However, the weather today was funny, switching from hot to cold within minutes and the wind was very strong. I think a typhoon might be on the way.

I have some very sweet memories of this week including reading a book in Japanese to some very small kids, making origami strawberries with little girls, kicking a soccer ball with an adorable first-grade boy, playing with Legos for a few hours, and talking with young moms about their kids. I have to admit, I am loving being totally immersed in Japanese and speaking it all the time with the other volunteers and kids. Matthias and I love the volunteer staff here – everyone is super sweet and it brings tears to my eyes to think of how hard they are working for the sake of the children.

Today was supposed to be our last day day of volunteering, but it seems we might stay for an extra few days.  I feel like I am just starting to get the hang of things and it’s almost time to leave. Oh, well. Tomorrow we’ll go to Sendai for two days and we’ll probably come back here on Monday to volunteer for a few extra days before heading to Tokyo/ Chiba and then Nagoya.

On a serious note, my father’s health is declining very rapidly. He can no longer drive and he is falling at least once a week. His last fall was very serious and I am thankful he didn’t break any bones or bleed. I am SO glad we can spend the summer in NJ and help care for my parents. We have some rather huge decisions to make about the future. Although we have been planning to move to Japan next year, we are considering whether or not to switch plans to care for my parents who need so much help and care. If we were to move to the US, Matthias would need a visa and job and a lot of things will need to fall into place. However, we are trusting God is going to guide us and if we have to wait a while to go back to Japan, so be it. I am slowly but surely learning to lean on God…I am such a slow learner.

M playing with a first-grader

Tonight’s awesome dinner with volunteer staff members