Thursday, April 26, 2007

No Graven Image

I just finished reading Elizabeth Elliot's "No Graven Image." It is a novel about a gal who goes to Ecuador to an unreached people group up in the mountains and her first year there. There was so much I could relate to as she learned to live and love the place God had placed her. I was told that this book was almost banned when it first came out because no one could believe that the mission field was really like that. I thought it would be filled with head hunters and violence. But it wasn't, it was filled with the reality of life as a missionary, not the perfect life we try to portray in prayer letters. I suppose the people thought it was blasphemy, I don't know. I recommend it.
Here is a quote from when Margaret, the missionary, begins to understand who she is:
"The Indians had become people to me-they were no longer my 'field.' While I had once declared them to be my equals, I now regarded myself as theirs. Instead of saying, 'Oh, you are as good as I-let me help you,' I now said, 'I am as poor as you. God helps us all.'"

Monday, April 23, 2007

Walking in Osaka

Today I went into Osaka City to get a re-entry permit and to try to cash a check that someone sent me from Canada. It started out cloudy threatening rain but turned out nice and sunny.
First, I went to the bank. I found out that it is basically useless to send me a check to Japan. A very sweet lady from Canada went to her bank and had a check made out to me-with my name mispelled-in Japanese yen. The kind lady who spoke barely above a whisper at the bank told me that you have to have an account there even though that is the sister bank that issued the check. SInce I don't have a bank account at any bank in Japan I guess I will have to send it back! That was my first adventure of the day.
Next, I walked through the rose garden since I was right by it. Most of the plants were not flowering yet, but I am sure it will be beautiful soon! I had lunch at an English Tea Room that was really yummy. Then since I still had a lot of time I decided to walk from the place I had lunch to the immigration office. It ended up being a nice 40 minute walk.
The time at the immigration office was uneventful. I filled out the paper work and they gave me my re-entry permit. Since I am a registered alien in Japan I have to get a re-entry permit before I can leave and come back.
On my walk back to the station I went through a crowded shopping area just to look around. Suddenly a Japanese guy started talking to me in English. He is a volunteer tour guide for Osaka. Well, he volunteers his service to people and then hopes they pay him, I think is how it goes. He called himself a Bohemian artist-he is a photographer. When he found out I live in Japan he realized he wasn't going to get a job but we started talking about what I do in Japan. He was surprised to hear I am a missionary and told me he reads the Bible. He especially likes the Gospels. It was an interesting conversation. But, he wasn't interested in finding out more about Christianity because he thinks it can't work with being in business. We know that God's Word doesn't go out and come back void so...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

First Post

Well, I am finally joining the 21st century and starting a blog. Friends have been bugging me to get started. So, here we go! I don't really know what I am doing so this should be entertaining. Of course, living in Japan, most of the time I don't know what I am doing so this is really not a new feeling!

I guess I don't really have a theme for this blog. Just my ramblings about life as a non-Japanese living here in Japan. I love living here and amazed that I get to be here living and working. What a difference from growing up in rural America!

Life in Japan is going well. Spring is blooming all around and the kids are outside playing these days until the last bit of sunlight fades away. Living next to an elementary school gives me even more chances to hear the usually happy voices of children playing and the entertainment of being around sometimes when they all are. Being a foreigner in Japan gives one instant celebrity status.

This week I added a new role to my list of responsibilities. I am now a school board member. There is a small Christian school about an hour or so away. Since one of my collegues will be going back to the States for a year and has been a member of the board for a long time they asked if someone from our group could fill in for him. So, I get to do that! Yesterday I met the other board members and sat in on a meeting. There are lots of issues to discuss and even though everyone has opinions about how things should go, the love for the school and wanting it to be an effective ministry keeps them focused and fairly unified-as much as is humanly possible.

Well, that is my new news for now. Now I will see what happens when I hit the publish button!