Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kabuki and my cafe

Today my friend Mihoko and I went to see kabuki. She gave me a quick summary of the play before it started which was incredibly helpful! I think I understood less than half of what was said. It didn't help that the men felt they had to talk like the were all basses and had marbles in their mouths. There was one guy and most of the gals who I could understand. Mihoko knows a man who is a playwright so after the play he introduced us to one of the actresses. She is 80 years old. She was great in the play. She is the one in the green to the left of the main guy on the picture.
Before the play started there were the usual announcements, no photography or videos and turn off cell phones. Then there was the announcement that one actor has a tattoo! (I guess you can figure out which one from the picture!)
After the play there was a concert. The main actor is also a singer and most of the other members of the cast also danced. My favorite song was the samba song. Imagine kimono-clad people singing Japanese folk-type music with a samba beat and dancing. It was great fun!

When we had finished chatting with the actress we went to my cafe! It is the Shan cafe! Well, in katakana it is the same as my name. It is the German word Schon with the two dots over the o. The coffee cups had the name of the cafe written on the side so I asked the owner if I could take a picture with one-I did not order coffee:) I think he was entertained by us!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Monday the 12th was our second baking class. I overbooked so we had a morning and an afternoon class. In the morning there was one new member and one lady who couldn't come. So, it worked out well. Then in the afternoon there were two students, one who had planned to come wasn't able to come.

I forgot to take pictures so the only one I have is this one taken after everyone left of the recipes and the two left over brownies. One the recipes we made had a peanut butter topping. That was a hit! I may be making peanut butter lovers out of these women soon! We made one batch with cocoa powder and the other with melted chocolate. SInce Baker's chocolate is hard, well almost impossible, to find here we used 88percent cocoa chocolate bars. It worked well and they can be found easily here.

It is looking like I am going to need to think seriously about continuing after Christmas. Everyone seems to really enjoy our times together. I really do, too!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Last week I atended the Church Planting Institute in Shizuoka. From our hotel we should have been able to see Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately, we really only saw it as we drove in on Tuesday. The rest of the week she stayed cloaked in fog and clouds.

I rode with 4 Japanese pastors and two missionaries in a van that had an amazing amount of leg room in the back seat, which was great for me!
The conference gave me lots to think about as we look to starting church planting next year. The core training I attended was led by Scotty Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman's pastor. He talked about living in the Gospel every day. Remembering where we came from, the Garden, what God did for us, the cross, and where we are going, the new heaven and the new earth. Being a rather big Steven Curtis fan, I'd say that he actually listens to his pastor's sermons and applies them to his life-writing songs!
I also made several new friends and renewed old friendships. What great fun to talk about what God is doing around Japan in people's hearts, families, ministries and churches.
Overall, a great week!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

AGC Fall Gospel Concert

This morning after church I hurried from our church over to the concert site, Izumi Catholic Church, for our AGC (Anointed Gospel Choir) fall concert. Here is a little re-cap of the afternoon...
While our director was setting up the PA system we were:

The tenor section was practicing.

The soprano section was having fun!

After practice we took a little break during which Ueno san had a little help putting on her fake nails.

I got to introduce the song "It is well with my Soul" and then sang the first verse in English.

Even with the interesting lighting I am guessing I am easy to pick out. It was easy to decide where I would stand, the other sopranos had a little discussion about who was taller and who had to stand in the front row.

After the concert we went to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Our director and the guest choir's director sang a song for us. They were going to sing another but one of the workers reminded us there were other customers in the restaurant!

It was a fun day! I really enjoyed singing praises with these women. Some members we talked with from the guest choir said that they could feel and hear the difference in our singing. Mrs. Hara explained that our director explains the meanings of the words we are singing as well as prays before and after our lessons. The gals we were talking to said that their main goal was just to memorize the words, they really didn't think about the meaning of what they were singing. What a blessing to be part of a choir in which the director loves Jesus and wants others to know that love!

Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I noticed the building next to mine being enclosed with scaffolding last week and figured they must just be working on that building since I hadn't received a notice in my mailbox. Yeah, and then I looked at the bulletin board in my stairwell! My building gets to have scaffolding, too! Yesterday they started to put up the scaffolding around my building. They are not done yet so I do have sun shining in today.
I happened to be sitting in my living room on Tuesday (or Wednesday, I can't remember which now) when they were working on the next building so thought I'd take a picture of the guys working.

Then I took a second picture so that you can see the wide pants that construction guys wear. Look at the guys up on top!

Lara's visit

Lara and I finally remembered to take a picture together just before she went through security on her way home a couple of hours ago.
It was great fun to have her here. It reminded me of our time as short termers and all the fun we had running around the country, helping lead Joy Chapel, and just learning about ministry and Jesus together.
After all the times I crashed at her place during home assignment, it was fun to get to have her at my place. Having friends visit is always a treat. (No this is not a little hint, it is a great big huge HINT!!!!)
Time to get back to work now!:)
Thanks for the fun, Lara!