I know that's a lot of crazy city names but most of them actually make sense once you know what the kanji means. Anyway, I'll start this post off with a yummy picture of sweet potato ice cream (Japanese call it purple ice cream) with black sesame paste and sesame nuts on top. Mmmm...
I met a couple of my Phillipino friends that I met at the international language school last year. We met up at a Starbucks in Tachikawa. From right to left: me, Nikka, Ariane, Azumi (Nikka's niece), and Nikka's older sister. It was good to catch up and talk with them after over a year.
The Tachikawa 'illumination' as the Japanese call it
A beautiful morning job back around Carrie and Akihiro's in Hachioji
Cherry blossom trees aren't only pretty in the spring :)
Hannah Klaus was the perfect babysitter and gave Tomo-kun a bow and arrow which literally occupied his mind the entire time. His goal was to get the arrow to stick on the glass door. After a lot of practice, he got it and was so excited!
I stopped by Anna and Makoto's home in Seiseki Sakuragaoka to see them before I went to Marie and Akito's in Keio Horinouchi for the night. The next morning I was blessed to hear brother Akito's testimony at breakfast. Praise the Lord for how he guides our time!
For lunch I met Yoko Suzurikawa-san and Jana Klaus for 'baikingu' (taken from english word 'viking' and it means 'buffet') It's a crazy transition from 'bakingu' to 'buffet' but oh, well. These japanese buffet's set a time period for each party. I guess so they don't get all their food eaten by the same people. So at 11:37am we sat down and had to be finished by 12.47pm. It was plenty of time but made me feel like I was in a race.
Afterwards, we walked through a beautiful park and Suzurikawa-san shared her testimony of how she became a Christian. It was such a blessing to have Jana along to help translate some of the tricky parts. And Yoko did amazing in English.
This is for a few of my friends who told me to take a picture of the biggest japanese maple tree I could find. Looking at the people on the path you can see how big it really is.
me (blinded by the sun), yoko suzurikawa-san, jana klaus
The next day was funjinkai, a ladies meeting where there is a small bible lesson and then a craft. Several women from around the area come to listen and then partake in the craft. I had the blessing of sharing a bible lesson, so I chose the story of Paul's testimony to King Agrippa and showed them pictures from Caesarea Maritima from my trip to Israel this summer. Out of the 5 unbelievers, none of them had ever heard this story. So I shared the backstory and context through sister Onoda-san who is a wonderful translator. I pointed out the special parts to the palace areas and where Paul was when he gave his testimony.
After the bible lesson they had one of the ladies bring dried flowers and create cards and bookmarks of pressed flowers.
top: ayana/anna, hiroko, yoda-san, muramori-san
bottom: asano-san, marie inoue, onoda-san, ida-san
yoda-san's beautiful creation
the ladies meeting is usually done upstairs in tokyo church or in shioda church
i thought the americans would find this 'genkan' for taking off shoes and putting on slippers quite nice
our tokyo church's backyard is an elementary school
the nice front of our church right next to the street
a local nursing home in tsutsujigaoka where our church people carol occasionally
hiroko-san, onoda-san, and me
after the ladies meeting I went with hiroko to stay at her home for the evening. she took me to her station at Shinyurigaoka to a nice meal and then back to her apartment.
The Shinyurigaoka 'illumination'
Once I answered her that I do like coffee she popped out this coffee jelly and poured creamer over the top. I'd never seen a concoction such as this but it still tasted pretty good.
We looked at many pictures through the evening and this was one of the most special ones with all ages from Andrew Klaus as the baby in the back row on the left and Akito in the front left, sitting on the stair
After chatting through several albums and the coffee gelatin it was time for bed beneath a beautiful mountain of pillows and blankets in a dark, tranquil room. May God be praised for the Christians He has raised in this country! And may he continue to strengthen their witness!