Here I am at Narita Airport waiting for my plane to depart to Los Angeles. Since there is free wi-fi in the airport (yay!) I have been catching up on emails and thought I’d take a few minutes to update my blog.

First off, our team retreat with our Reach Global partners was so awesome! Even though I was pretty sick with a cold, Matthias and I enjoyed a very special time of fellowship with our teammates filled with meetings, lots of prayer, yummy meals, sharing of life stories, and several rousing board games.

After we arrived in the pouring rain, we saw a double rainbow!

We enjoyed staying at this cabin right by the ocean.

Team dinner of homemade tortilla soup

One of our team meetings

I know I’ve said this before, but I will say it again: without a team, I could never be in Japan. I feel so blessed to work with a team of people who not only have a lot of life experience but who have lived in Japan for a very long time. I feel privileged to have co-workers with such dedicated hearts and who understand the language and culture of Japan. Our team’s desire to be a blessing to the people of Ishinomaki and beyond, to serve them and love them in practical ways.

Another highlight of this week was meeting with our new friend from Peru and chatting for a few hours. What an honor it was to hear here share about all that she suffered since the tsunami. She lived in Onagawa for 18 years and told us it used to be a beautiful place with gorgeous views of the ocean. She spoke of losing many dear friends from the tsunami and also shared that she lived in an evacuee shelter for five months before moving into her own temporary housing unit. Her husband is Japanese
and we hope to meet them both to do karaoke when I come back from New Jersey.

With my new friend, Mrs. Abe

One last thing: my husband’s lifestyle of LONG conversations continues! Even since yesterday morning (when I said goodbye to him), Matthias managed to meet new people (two while waiting for an oil change!) and had several excellent conversations, one lasting for four+ hours! My dear husband delights in talking with people, and even though I am sad we will be separated, I am sure he will keep busy with helping, serving, and talking with many people in my absence.

Right now, I feel as though my life is so full of incredible blessings – a loving family, a wonderful husband, lots of new friends, a new apartment, a rewarding career filled with opportunities to help those in need, etc. As I head to NJ I am full of thanksgiving – makes me look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving Day with my family in a few weeks!