I am currently sitting in a Starbucks in the middle of Sendai Station. This is the busiest station where we are located in Tohoku Region of Japan. Streams of thousands of people are pouring in and out of this station and I cannot help but think of God’s love for His creation.
There is no doubt that Casi, the girls, and I get stared at wherever we go. I am sure it is mostly because of these blonde curly-haired girls running around, and not my astonishing good looks (just kidding). This is our first time living outside of a culture that we understand and in many ways we feel lost.
First, there is the language barrier—anywhere we go they only speak Japanese. The second night we were in our new home there was a knock on the door. With panic and nervousness we opened it. There standing on our porch was a nicely dressed man that we had never seen before. He started talking really fast in Japanese! We didn't have the slightest understanding of what he was saying. We got a friend on the phone that translated for us. Turns out he wanted to tell us he owns a medicine store and if we ever need anything to come to his store. We feel lost because we cannot communicate with others. We want to, but we just can’t…yet!
Secondly, we cannot read much of the language that is written. This does play into us feeling lost, but it is quite comical. At the store or restaurants, we don’t know what we are eating. We usually try to pick a place with pictures so we can at least get an idea. The other day I pointed at a picture thinking it was one thing, when I got it and tasted it, it clearly was nothing that I had ever eaten before!
As we sometimes feel lost in the sea of culture change, I keep going back to God’s love. We are here in a country that is hurting. We are in a country with people who are lost—spiritually. I pray that I, that we, can be a source of God’s love and shine with the hope that He brings into lives.
Don’t get me wrong, we may feel lost at times, but we have been found in Jesus Christ. We are not discouraged, in fact, we are encouraged for the task that God has brought us here for. Please continue to pray for Japan. Pray for the pastors here as they continue to build disciples and reach out into their communities with the Hope of Jesus Christ!
Thank you for your support as together we shine here in Japan! Our next update will be about our church Oasis Chapel and our town of Rifu.