Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Sad Day

Enjoying the terrace one last time

August 31 was a sad day for me.  The place I have studied, relaxed, met friends, and made new friends for the past eight years closed.

"My" Starbucks closed.  

It was sort of out of necessity.  The building in which it was housed closed, so they obviously had to do something.

Pretty much every day I was in Izumi in August I went to Starbucks.  I was a little surprised at how sad I was.  I mean, it is just a place.  But, it holds so many memories.  It was comfortable and familiar.  The people were comfortable and familiar, even the people I hadn't met yet.

Chocolate Chunk Scone, one of my favorites

Thankfully, I did not have to say good bye to the staff.  They are all going to be moving to the new shop opening at the new mall.  It doesn't open until October 30, so until then they are all spread around the area.  But, they all get to work together in the new shop.

Until then, I just wait.

Several times over the past three weeks I have almost packed my bag to go to "my" Starbucks.  I am looking forward to seeing my friends again in the new place.

The only challenge will be that there will be thousands upon thousands of people there the first few months the mall is open.  It will be difficult to relax and actually get to chat with the staff.  Even though it will be crazy to try to get into the parking lot and the mall, I probably will go pretty soon after they open.  I need to see my people!

It is a bit farther from where I live, but it is right next to Costco!

I am looking forward to my new place!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Here and There, Part ?4?

I have lost count of the here and there times over the summer!

Just after returning from California, I jumped in my car and headed to Tsu for the JBC college and career camp.  It was a great 30 hours of time with some quality young people who love God and fellowship.

We had a good time eating, playing, laughing, studying and praying together.  We learned about the privilege of work and how God has provided work for us.  I learned a new German work, although I am not sure how to spell it, beluf ベルーフ.  This word includes the meaning of work + calling, not just work for work's sake, but thinking of work as a calling, a purpose in work that is not making money.  Our prayer is that work will be part of serving God for these young people as the learn, grow, and join the work force.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Here and There, Part 3

My next adventure took me to the U.S. and a completely new experience, leading a group of Japanese people to L.A. for a home stay program.  I have been to L.A. before, but it has been quite a few years!  I have had Japanese friends visit me in S.D.  Our family hosted Japanese students who came to S.D. for a home stay program.  And, now I have been the leader of such a program.  Thankfully, everything was basically planned before we arrived.  As often happens when traveling, some plans were changed, but nothing major.

Our group

We spent mornings at a sister NAB church studying the Bible in English-I did do some translating to help with understanding.  After Bible class was American culture class.  I enjoyed refreshing my American history memory and singing some fun songs.

Bible study time

American Culture Class

Afternoons we participated in a variety of activities, L.A. sightseeing, making crafts, volunteering, visiting city hall and the fire department, shopping, and a historical homestead tour.

Meeting the Anaheim Fire Chief

Painting trash cans at the park

Our home stay families, the volunteers from the church, and our teachers did a wonderful job of making us feel at home and cared for.  It is always a joy to see God's people sharing God's love with brothers and sisters from around the world!

Church friends teaching the art of S'mores

The joy of a s'more!

Highlights for me were attending church, Disneyland, and seeing long-time friends as well as running into some avid missionary supporters from Canada who happened to be on vacation and enjoying Disneyland!

Missionary cheerleaders from Canada!  They just happened
to be at Disneyland the same day we were!  And, even more
amazing, Moni recognized me!
(I have only met her once, I think!)

Awesome photo bomb that took on a posed look when we
saw what his shirt said! (Jesus changed my life)

Mickey pretzel!

Love these guys!  Still wild and crazy and in love with Jesus!