*Our blog was experiencing problems for the past month. We are now able to post again* Our weekly trips to the mall started a year and a half ago as a convenient place to have dinner after Japanese class. However, it has turned into so much more. The mall is not just a place to eat and shop, but now we can see opportunities to build friendships, practice and learn Japanese, and for God to be glorified.
Every week there seems to be at least one person we connect with. But last week something so beautiful happened that gave me hope that God can use anything, even when things don't go the way they "ought" to.
The food court has a play area in it that we love! It gives the girls a chance to play while Dan and I chat with each other or make new friends. Once our Japanese classes changed we started going to the mall on different days, based on that week's schedule. By "chance" we see some kids more regularly than others. One boy we began seeing more and more frequently. One time he asked if we would come back the following Thursday. We later found out he has piano and drum lessons Thursday late afternoons. So now Thursday has become our mall night. The mom and I have been able to chat more and more. Before Landon was born, I knew I wouldn't be at the mall as much for awhile, so I got her phone number and sent her a message and picture when he was born.
During rainy season a few weeks back, we were at the mall and Abbi and Ryli were much more energetic than usual, so was our friend. At one point all three were running through the middle of the mall. While they watched "Let it Go" on the tv display, Abbi threw her headband in the air, like Queen Elsa, flying who knows where. They were throwing the blocks out of the play area and running pretty crazy. I began to pray. It's funny though I didn't pray for the kids to calm down, instead I prayed that God would use our time at the mall. A few minutes later, in really smooth Japanese, I said to the mom, my friend, "the kids are really energetic tonight. After the rainy season let's go to the park to play".
She seemed happy about the idea and said yes.
The rest of the night I was so thankful that despite crazy kids and moderate Japanese, God can turn a less than perfect situation into something beautiful. I now have a play date on the horizon with my friend. Relationships don't happen all at once. I'm thankful for this opportunity to build this relationship I know it's not by accident.