Last week was the annual women in ministry retreat in Karuizawa. I love going to this retreat. Not only is it a time to be refreshed, be encouraged and hear messages in English, but it is also a time to see friends from language school days.
My friend, Yuko, who is about the busiest person I know, always makes time to pick me up at the station and have a Starbucks before the retreat starts. She also goes with me to Natural Leaf to make candles and visit with the Nishiyamas, aka "The Candle Shop Couple."
Then there is time to visit with basketball friends in the evening at the Woodshed cafe. Last year Madoka, in purple on the left, was pregnant so this year we had another addition to our reunion. This year Fumiko, in the front in dark blue, is pregnant so next year we will have another little one! She also got married in the past year so we got to see wedding pictures. Yoko, in the front in hot pink, is engaged so we will get to see more wedding pictures next year!
Of course, the main reason for going is the retreat. This year our speaker was Jane Rubietta. If you want to learn more about the ministry she and her husband are involved with go to http://www.janerubietta.com
She reminded us that we are loved perfectly by a perfect God through imperfect people. Our group talked about how this is not just others loving us imperfectly, but also us loving others imperfectly.