Saturday, 30 March 2013

Ice Cream, Knots, & Survival

Cherry blossoms!
Well the last two weeks have been eventful ones. I have been teaching English at St. Luke’s center four days a week and then one day at the youth center. The classes at the youth center are some that I helped teach last year. It was so great to see those kids again. They are a blast to be around. Now that I understand more Japanese, I pick up on more of the silly things they say and ask.

Last week at St. Luke’s center, during one of the songs, the kids were told to run. Of course running for little kids also means screaming. I told them in English not to scream. And what do you think they heard? They thought I said that we were getting ice cream. Which then made them chant, “ice cream! ice cream!” It was difficult to tell them there is no ice cream because boy I wanted to eat it too!

Besides confusing little children in English, I also participated in a youth event at the youth center. About once every two months, the center has a youth event on Saturdays. These events are held to get the kids out of their houses, to play, and to learn new things. Two Saturdays ago, the kids learned how to make bags out of old T-shirts and how to tie a knot.

Let me explain story of the knot a little bit. Japan is and has always been prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. But due to the how much damage was brought on by the disaster 2 years ago, many people are taking the time to learn and be more prepared for mother nature. One of the camp leaders had attended a lecture by someone from Uganda a few months ago. There she learned how to make a sturdy knot at the end of a rope. If a tsunami came and someone was swimming for their life you could potentially save that person’s life by throwing the rope with the knot. After the camp leader learned this she felt that it was important to pass on this knowledge to the kids. We pray that they will never have to use this knot to save a life but it to know than not at all.

Even though I am  in Nagoya, away from the devastated area, I am reminded how much that disaster has effected everyone in Japan. The second anniversary of the disaster was just a few weeks ago but the damage from it is still very much present. During the week of the anniversary the TV was filled with stories of the disaster. While there were many stories of sadness and loss, there was also an abundance of stories of hope and joy that came out of the disaster. Please continue to pray for everyone effected by the disaster. Pray that they may continue to move forward.

Lastly, not only am I excited to celebrate Easter at St. Stephens church in Nagoya again, but I also get to hangout with my brother, Mike, his wonderful wife, Natalie, AND my two favorite Australians! This is all happening in less than 48 hours...Woohoo!

Thanks for tuning in!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Homecoming, Exercise Shows, & Changes

Well sometimes things come up and you just have to run with it.

Last Thursday I found out that the missionary I worked with last year in Nagoya was unexpectedly returning to England after sixteen years of ministry at the youth center. I was asked to substitute while they look for a replacement. So I have packed a month’s worth of clothing and am residing in Nagoya for the next month or so. Going back to Nagoya was like returning home. It has been wonderful seeing friends and former students. I also loved returning to my wonderful St. Stephen's Church family.

While they were fixing the apartment I will be living in, I stayed with one of my coworkers and my Japanese grandmother. My coworker speaks fluent English, loves American TV shows, and is an amazing cook. So I felt right at home. My Japanese grandmother is also an amazing cook and a very lively person. One evening after dinner we watched a concert on TV. The entire time she and I made fun of the young singers. I know it’s kind of bad but we were enjoying ourselves. At point in the evening we changed the channel to an exercise program. You should have seen us! We were trying all the exercises right along with the people but most of time we just laughed at how bad we were. 

Most of my work in Nagoya is comprised of teaching English at St. Luke’s youth center. But I have also taken up the task of organizing all of the materials. Never in my life did I think I would enjoy this task so much. Occasionally I also eat with the kids of ELCC. During the day at the St. Luke’s Church there is a school for Filipino children. This school prepares the kids to go onto Japanese school or to go to school in the Philippines (if they end up going back). Last year I taught English, art, and helped with a PE class there. During lunch there is a mixture of at least three languages (Japanese, Tagalog, English) being spoken. I love listening to them go back and forth. There is never a dull moment. 

While I am working in Nagoya I am also continuing some of my work from Sendai. I have recently taken up writing a weekly blog about the events happening in the project. Please check out This last week was the second year anniversary of the disaster. I know I say this a lot but there is still so much that needs to be done for the victims. Please continue to keep the victims and the Let Us Walk Together Project in your thoughts and prayers.