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November 2008 Archives

November 28, 2008

Home from America.....and a few faith lessons

Well, I finally am getting around to making a blog entry—sorry for the long period of silence. Our trip to America was very full as usual, but a blessing on many accounts—faith, family, friends, and finds!
First of all, faith. When we left Japan, I felt like I was going home for a furlough—a need for a kind of spiritual refreshment and revitalization to prepare for what God has for our future as far as the church responsibilities and life in general. We received much good spiritual counsel from dear brethren in America for which we are very thankful. One specific encouragement was in the area of our personal devotions. The most important devotion being the personal time that we spend one-on-one with God in prayer and in His Word. Yes, couple devotions and family devotions and church devotions are important, but what is most important is our own relationship with God. I have been trying one method of personal devotions that was suggested to us—immersing myself in a chapter in the Bible and reading the same chapter every day for several days—even a week. Granted, I started with Philippians 4 which is jam packed with thought provoking verses, but I have found this type of devotion to be an amazing illustration of how God’s Word can be new every time we read it. Anyway, I did indeed receive the spiritual encouragement that I needed, but also was faced with the stresses of being in such a different culture and social situation. One little thing is that I am not tense at all when Akihiro preaches in Japan, but his sermons in America are far from a relaxing experience for me. Everybody keeps telling me it gets better, but for now, I guess I am thanking God for this crazy Japanese language and for our small family of believers here in Japan. People often look at me kinda strange when I say that I am ready to go home to Japan after being in the U.S. for awhile. It is very difficult to explain, and perhaps I have tried after other visits home. I felt it when I got back to Japan—a certain peace that this is where God wants me right now. Even my mom said that, yes, she enjoyed our stay, but knows that God wants us here in Japan for now.
Will write more later and post some pictures—am busy making squash casserole, pecan pie, and apple bread for our Thanksgiving gathering tomorrow.

November 30, 2008

Family, friends, and finds...

Just thought I’d share this picture of my dear family (minus the top of my big brother John's head--sorry John)!

It was great to be with them all. I wished I could have put a few of them in my suitcase and bring them home with me! Those little smiles are irresistible! Mom had kindly arranged Fritz Christmas at Chestnut Place while we were home. We had record turnout! It was great to see everyone—even a cousin from Colorado. Akihiro had been visiting his residency program nearly every day in Springfield and had met up with a Japanese man who is in residency there. We met him and his wife at Cracker Barrel for supper one evening. We were talking about Fritz Thanksgiving and how there would be around 50 people there and their eyes got as big as saucers. They had never been to a Thanksgiving, so we invited them and they came! It was fun to observe someone experience a family Thanksgiving for the first time. The wife was taking pictures of the food line—turkey, mashed potatoes, etc.—just like I take pictures of sushi and other interesting foods here! She said Aunt Martha’s mashed potatoes were the best she has ever eaten and that Aunt Sally’s pumpkin pie was also the best! BTW, our Thanksgiving celebration here in Japan yesterday at Inoue’s was a real blessing—except for that fact that I ate too much! There were about 26 people there!
Back to our America visit, I also got to have supper with my girlfriends, visit my good friend Kara B., and a quick stop for lunch at Judy B. and Elaine Y. home in Cissna Park.
As far as “finds” go, I stuffed my 4 suitcases full of nice cheap American clothes—mostly socks, underwear, etc. and lots of food stuff. Upon unpacking here in Japan, I found out that those cheap brownie mix packages and seasoned noodle packs don’t travel the best. There were a few noodles floating around the goods and a light dusting of brownie mix as well! Oh well!
Stay tuned, I hope to blog some pictures and account of our trip to visit Akihiro’s grandpa’s relatives in Nagano—I guess that was already a week ago!

About November 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Welcome to ITO NEWS in November 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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