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November 2007 Archives

November 8, 2007


Sorry, not creative title today!
Thanks for your prayers! Akihiro returned safely from Hawaii and he felt like his test went much better than the last time. We"ll know in a couple of months if he passed. Chi-san and I have done fairly well. It is pretty quiet as we can't communicate much! We did get a laugh at the grocery store recently. I wanted to buy some beef, but wondered about the kanji--was it beef or horse meat--it looked a little different. Ah, I thought, Chi-san can read the kanji, but I don't know the Chinese word, so....I looked at her and said, "mooooo". At first she looked a little concerned, but then she laughed and nodded "yes"! Thankfully we had had a conversation earlier with her husband to translate on various animal sounds and how they are said differently in different languages, so it wasn't totally foreign for her to hear me "moo"! I wonder if anyone heard us! We explored Tokyo one day with Megan, the Klaus's helper, and had a great time--especially noteable was our lunch. We bought lunchboxes and decided to eat at the imperial gardens. We couldn't find a great place to sit, so we sat on this big slab of stone. It was positioned by an explanation of how they restored the rock walls, but it didn't look like a bad spot. We were halfway through our lunch when a large tour group came in our direction--complete with the leader carrying a flag (a common thing here!). He marched them over and started speaking about the rock we were sitting on. We had our backs to the group (thankfully) so just tried to keep eating as casually as possible with the whole group looking at our backs! Oh well!
We also enjoyed the monorail around Tokyo bay, a store opening, and the big ferris wheel.

We have been busy, yet blessed with many visitors lately. Mark and Bev Bahr were here for Communion and Fall Fellowship meeting. It was a blessed time. This communion I felt even more at home in Shioda church--that feels good! Then Dave and June (my aunt and uncle--for those who don't know them) came from America. We enjoyed showing them around our town and eating sushi with them! We also took a trip to a park in Yamanashi where the leaves were really pretty. We hiked along a creek and enjoyed the bright red maples.


We also enjoyed taking them to a special restaurant where we had our own little cottage in a lighted Japanese garden. They were brave and tried all the food. Some, though, were braver than others when they learned that the fish on their plate had not been cleaned at all and that it was intended that the whole fish be eaten--guts, bones, head, eyes and all! It was raised in a very clean water, so I gave it a try--not bad! (I know, that sounds disgusting! I guess it is proof of God changing my taste buds to match my circumstances)
Dave and June are on a tour this week and we meet up with them on Friday for the weekend. My third Flat Stanley arrived just in time to come along as we are entertained by the Ito Family and various interesting dining experiences and a tea ceremony. Next week we fly to the north island for a business trip, then we host Thanksgiving at Tokyo church on Sunday Nov 18th. Can you imagine inviting two whole churches to your Thanksgiving! It's only one turkey, though, less than the Sauder or Fritz family Thanksgivings, though

November 16, 2007

Tea Ceremony, Hokkaido

We enjoyed our weekend with Dave and June. I took them on a brief tour of Tokyo on Friday night. Here we are at Asakusa temple and shops with Flat Stanley. (By the way, Flat Stanley is quite famous--when another American couple saw him, they said, "Is that Flat Stanley! We know him!"

We had dinner with Akihiro's parents and enjoyed the artful autumn display of foods.

Another highlight was a tea ceremony with Akihiro's aunt and uncle. The tea ceremony originated as a meditation and relaxation for the samurai soldiers at the end of a day of training or fighting. Everyhting has symbolism and is done in just a certain way. The most challenging part for we Americans was sitting on the floor for an extended period of time--even though we didn't sit on our feet like we were supposed to!

Tuesday and Wednesday we were in Hokkaido--around the Sapporo area on a business trip. The business kinda fizzled, so we ended up doing some sightseeing. This sightseeing centered mostly around food! We went to the hall of fame for ramen and an all you can eat seafood restaurant. The crab is especially good this time of year.


November 26, 2007


I hardly know where to start with a title like this...so many aspects to cover. First of all, though, I am thankful for all the prayers that have been said for my father and family in the past days and will be said as we move forward. As many of you already know, my father had colon cancer 5 years ago and was successfully treated. On a follow-up check-up they found cancer in his lung and a few other places in his body. They will do more tests this week to determine the prognosis and treatment. At this point he feels good and has no physical indications. This serious news put a whole different slant on Thanksgiving--to be thankful for my dad and my family, to be thankful for God's peace and comfort in a difficult time, to be thankful that through the Spirit of God, I can still feel close to my family even though they are on the other side of the world, to be thankful for a supportive husband and group of believers and friends in Japan who have been so understanding and prayerful, to be thankful that God knows best and that He grants grace to accept His will as perfect and holy, to be thankful for the good things that this has already resulted in...on and on. Yet, the human part of me still struggles and there are still many "unknowns" so I ask for your prayers for my family and for me.

Other Thanksgiving happenings here....Last Sunday we fed about 44 people for our Thanksgiving feast! The turkey and gravy got gobbled up (along with the rice, of course!) It was a wonderfully blessed gathering filled with fellowship, eating, singing, praying, and a little skit by the Sunday School children about the origin of Thanksgiving.

Last Saturday we hiked up the nearby Takao mountain with our dear friends, Li and Chi. Everyone and their dog was there, so we couldn't take the cable car or chair lift up, so we started out on foot. At the top, we could only see the faint outline of Mt. Fuji, but we enjoyed the beautiful red maples and a cup of hot chocolate that we made on our little portable burner. It was fun to see Li-san enjoy his first cup of hot chocolate in his lifetime. He came back for seconds! The cable car line again was too long going down, so we walked with the masses down a concrete road in the dark--thankful for a beautiful round, bright, full moon! We crashed at our house and had tuna steaks and a few fixin's with apple crisp to finish up. It was a good day.

About November 2007

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

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