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April 2007 Archives

April 4, 2007

Guests, cherry blossoms, Li-san returns

As I write this entry, a little black cloud is floating over our house and dropping a few rain drops--seems symbolic as I read the blog of Lisa Gerber's husband Byron as he writes of her death yesterday. What a testimony--and a tear jerker--their blog has been! It is reminder always to appreciate each moment we have with our loved ones and to focus on what matters the most in this life and in the life to come--the Lord Jesus Christ.

Anyway, sorry it has been so long since I have posted! We have had a busy, yet blessed couple of weeks! I have been continuing to take care of Lois, who is doing much better--now graduating to the use of "Johny Long Legs" (her cane) with some standby assistance. Her pain is better and so is her sleep, so we are thankful! She still can't use her left arm because it is in a brace, but the incision is finally healed! Here's a picture Kay took of us with a bouquet I made out of the spring flowers from Lois' flower garden


Jim and Sharon Fehr from West Bend have been visiting us. Jim was in the armed services over here and was married in our Tokyo church 38 years ago. They lived here for several months before his service was over. We went with them last weekend to look at the area where his hospital was (now a park) and where their house was (in Yokohama). It was quite an adventure as things have changed a lot in 38 years! I don't think in 38 years (Lord-willing) that Akihiro and I will struggle to find our first home at 212 N. Harris, Tremont, but we'll see! The Fehrs spent two nights with us. Also visiting Japan is Jana's sister and her husband--Martha Kay and Dana Regier (?sp). We enjoyed spending time with them too and treating them to shabu-shabu in our home! Also visiting (Lots of guests!!!) was Kay Kellenberger! She spent a day and a half with Lois and Willis and I earlier this week and we all enjoyed her company!

Another happening in Japan (and houseguest for us!), is the return of Li-san. Li is a Chinese student who attended college at the same college Willis teaches at. He has been coming to our church for several years now and is a member of the underground church in China. He had gone to China to visit his family and new wife after graduating and before starting his work for Akito Inoue's company which is not too far from our home in Takao. Akihiro has been doing a little real estate business for him--trying to find him an apartment close to the business, yet close to Klaus' and to us for the sake of both Li and his wife Chi. We are all quite frustrated because many people won't rent to a foreigner! Willis and Lois experienced that 50 some years ago, but I didn't dream the prejudice would still be alive. We finally do have one lead, though! Li's wife doesn't know much English and less Japanese, so please pray for her that she can be motivated to study Japanese while she is in China working through the visa process to come to Japan. Also, please pray for her that she can desire to learn more of Jesus and read the Bible. She is not a Christian, but has agreed to learn of Jesus, though privately because of her family situation and the government situation in China. Li-san is such a cheerful and faithful person, so it has been a joy to help him.

Well, the little black cloud is now dumping sleet--or maybe hail--actuallly, looks like it is snow, now! Good thing I rode my bike to the store this am and got my wash out early this am!

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the peach blossoms are catching up with them too. It is absolutely beautiful! Special lights are set out so that we can even enjoy them at night! The first pictures are at the Buddhist priests home right next to Willis and Lois's home. It was a joy to wash dishes with such a view--day and night! The one picture shows their kitchen window through the trees!






The boardwalk by our hotel has been beautiful! Sorry no daytime blooms--my camera battery died! Hopefully next year!



April 9, 2007

Easter, a visit to Akihiro's aunt and uncle, more flower pics!

Friday I babysat for the younger Klaus family as Amy and her parents went to her entrance ceremony for first grade! She looked quite cute in her new backpack--a very heavy leather thing that is required for all students. It will last all of her school years! She also got a cute little yellow hat that marks her as a first grader!

The bike ride to their home is through this beautiful park where the cherries are in full bloom--sorry for so many flower pics! Wish you could come and see them yourself!

On Saturday, we went to Chiba-ken (a ken is like a state here) to visit Yaeko and Shoichi Honna and their two sons. They were very hospitable to us and served us a wonderful meal! We enjoyed walking outside and seeing the cherry blossoms and a special tulip park. I got to hear a special bird singing--never heard such a beautiful bird song in my life! Yaeko is a Christian--so nice to feel the same spirit in her! She became a Christian when she lived in Holland with her husband for 5 years. Their home and small, but beautiful, garden has a little European flavor to it!



We had an early morning ride to church for an 8:00 "sunrise service"! We gathered on a high hill with a good view of the peach blossoms. This picture doesn't do it justice, but if you can imagine something that looks like a pink soft fog settling into the nooks and crannies of the mountains, that is how it really looks--beautiful! After a short service, we ate some cup of noodles, hard boiled eggs, rice balls, etc. and had an enjoyable breakfast there on the mountain top! Then we went to back to church for our usual service. After church we had a little egg hunt for the 2 Sunday school children--they had never done it before and loved it very much--in fact, they want to do it next week too, Akihiro said! We had invited the whole church to Ehnle's house for Easter dinner that evening. Only 3 could come, but we had a nice time! I had hunted all over for a ham--seems crazy when there are big carts of them in the U.S! Finally Akihiro found a butcher who would grind it up for me for ham loaf. The guests had never eaten ham loaf, but really enjoyed it! I felt like my mom cooking Sunday dinner--it was fun!



Here are 4 of the friends from Shioda church who attend faithfully--Fukasawa-san, Hasanuma-san, Iwama-san, and Fujimaki-san



Oh, a note on Akihiro...This month he is doing a few part time jobs--physicals for university students, etc. On Friday, he listened to the lungs and heart of hundreds of students! It is a bit of a change for him after working in the nursing home so he enjoys it. Next one is doing eye exams all day--should be interesting!

Also, Li-san was able to find an apartment in Hachioji that he likes! We are so thankful that it could work out--just about 20 min. bike ride from our house! Thanks for your prayers for him!

April 17, 2007

Anniversaries, homework, etc.

Today is the 53rd anniversary of the day that Willis and Lois cruised into Yokohama Bay in Japan on a big freighter, so we are going to go out to eat tonight to celebrate. Also, tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of the day Akihiro got his answer that I would marry him! Wow, seems like longer than 2 years! Anyway, Lois has been reminiscing of those first days in Japan, so I thought I would share a few things. The freighter they came on could not dock in the port, so a speed boat picked them up and brought them to their new land. They stayed with the Utsuki family until they could finally find a Japanese person who would rent to a foreigner. Willis started university a few days after their arrival to learn Japanese intensively. Lois sat with one of the Utsuki girls and went through a catalog, pointing to items and saying them in Japanese and English, so both learned some vocabulary! They had brought a minivan-like vehicle with them with all their earthly goods, but a big beam had landed on the van in the freighter, so they couldn't get all of their belongings for a while! Their first home was in a bamboo thicket and they soon learned that bamboo thickets breed mosquitos. Screens on the windows were the first order of business! Very few Japanese had cars, so Lois usually had a passel of kids wanting to go along with her when she would get in the van to drive to Utsuki's to do laundry, etc. The Japanese didn't really know what to do with this couple, so everything was, "Hajimete des, hajimete des!" That means, "First time to do this!" Speaking of Willis, here's one of my favorite poses of him!


The peach blossoms are just ending, but the dogwoods are starting to take their place. Many of the streets are lined with every other white and pink ones.



Here's a picture of my homework for those of you whose computers can't support Japanese language! It sure isn't getting any easier! I often think of what one sister said to me regarding learning Japanese--cry, study, speak, and pray! That is right!


April 23, 2007

A new "job"

I got a call from my language school in Kofu that they are "down" a teacher this week and were wondering if I could help out with some of their English classes for children--5 and 10 years old. I worried that I wouldn't be able to do it because of my poor Japanese, but he says that I will be with a Japanese teacher and that if I can just say, "My favorite color is____" I will be a success! Sounds easy enough for me! I will teach Tuesday and Wednesday for about 2.5 hours in the late afternoon. I am looking forward to it!

Spring continues to be in full bloom here! The flowering trees are done, but there are lots of other interesting flowers--many I have never seen before! I've got to be careful though, when I am out for a walk. Today as I walked along a narrow street gauking at the flowers, I about walked into the open gutter! On the older roads here they have these open gutters that are over a foot deep and at least a foot wide that rain water runs in. Lois told me that it is so funny to observe when somebody drives in one. The other drivers get out of their cars and lift it back on the road, bow to eachother, and get back in their cars and drive away. I have never seen it and am trying to be very careful not to put my car in the gutter! I'm still not totally used to driving in Japan--nor the bowing thing! It makes me get the giggles sometimes! I do find, though, that I am starting to bow too--almost unconsciously. I hope I don't bow to the minister on the pulpit in Tremont when he says good morning or finishes up!

Well, I am counting the days until we go home to the States--we leave on Saturday! My mother, the typical mom, is already asking about our favorite foods she can cook while we are home! My mouth is watering already when I think about a nice juicy steak!

About April 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in April 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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