Hello from Ohio! I can’t believe it’s already been one week since we arrived! It has been a full week for our team – getting to know each other, learning about Japanese history and culture, and studying the Japanese language. The setting here is absolutely beautiful; the church at which we are having our orientation is like a lodge, with a spacious upstairs area that has a kitchen, a library, a huge room with a fireplace, and a balcony with a picturesque view of the field and pond behind the church. A very generous family has allowed us to stay in their home, which is just a couple minutes’ walk away from the church, so we get some nice walking time in as we head to the church every morning and come home at night.
The church community here is amazing, offering their support through their prayers, their kind interest, and their hospitality. Every day, someone from church brings in lunch for us, which we heartily enjoy as we give our minds a break from learning. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and love shown to us, and it’s so comforting to realize that these wonderful people will be thinking of us and praying for us as we head to Japan. I was so excited to go to Japan with the support of a team, but I didn’t expect to have the support of the whole church community here as well!
Our team has spent some quality time together this past week, even making time for a few fun activities like bowling and hiking. It’s been fun to get to know the unique personalities of each person, and to see us start to mesh as a group. Although we all have different backgrounds and motivations for coming here, it is really cool to see the focus for God that each person has, and the heart that each has for following Him into this new adventure.
This week we are wrapping up our orientation, taking three more days to study more about Japanese culture, the jobs we will have, and teaching techniques. On Thursday, we get ready to head to Columbus, where we will stay overnight so that we can head out early in the morning for our flight on Friday!
Although I have some trepidation about finally going to Japan and starting a new job there, I’m also excited. God has provided and blessed in such awesome ways up this point, and I know He will into the future. The adventure has only begun, yet already it is amazing…