Sunday, October 26, 2008

Great Day!

It is always a wonderful day when someone decides to get baptized.

Image from "T-Ray"

There is a lot I could say about today, but I will limit it to a few observations:
  1. I appreciated the fact that since another church was already baptizing when we arrived, that we waited for them to finish, yet celebrated along with them.
  2. I also appreciated the fact that many of this other church stayed to watch/support our baptisms.
  3. It was amazing that two weeks after 8 were baptized, 5 more wanted to.
  4. It was awfully hot for the last week in October (high 80s?)
  5. It was a privilege to help out.
  6. Pastor Tim is really rocking in Japanese these days.
Although baptism is merely an outward show of an inward work, it has special meaning, especially in Japan. This was a big step for these saints. God will reward their faith!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sports Day

Today was Undoukai, or Sports Day.

A day filled with running, exercise, and of course, lots of ceremonies.

This was Emi and Mika's first time.

After opening ceremonies (marching, speeches), it was time for rajio taiso, or radio warm-up.

Then there was a folk dance with the parents, mostly mothers.

Mika ran in a race for 1-2 year olds.

Notice how some sat down and refused to move. Mika won her first race (with a lot of help from Emi).

Although it looks like Emi is first, she is actually dead last. She made the classic mistake of looking to mama as if to ask, "Do I run now?" and got too far behind.

The highlight of these things has to be lunch.

You are supposed to make a bento (box lunch) for the family. Some people really went all out and made some really fancy bentos. Debe made some delicious bentos for all of us.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Day of School!

Well, they're off!

Emi and Mika are both attending preschool now.

We wanted them to go to preschool so that they would hear and speak more Japanese.

Their English is strong, since they hear it often at home and at church.

Yet although we desired for them to attend there were two big obstacles: the cost (which we could not afford), and the idea of leaving our little monkeys in someone else's care.

So what happened? Well Debe got hired at a bilingual preschool. So now she can bring them to preschool and get paid to watch them (and several other kids too). Although it is more work, so far everyone seems to be enjoying it. Truly this is a blessing!

God really will take care of all our needs.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Okinawa Goes Green!

From October 1st most of the grocery stores on Okinawa have begun charging for plastic bags. This is to reduce waste and CO2 pollution.

Apparently, Okinawa uses almost 400 million plastic bags per year. That is a lot of bags!!! They hope to reduce plastic bags use by 80%, which would cut 18,700 tons of CO2.

If you bring your own bag, then you don't have to buy a plastic one.
This should be good for the environment and perhaps people will waste less (they are notorious for over-wrapping stuff here). Also it seems to have been a boon for the "My Bag" industry.

So, I don't mind except when I forget to bring our "My Bag"; then I have to pay an extra 3 yen per bag (about 2 cents).
After all, God did tell Adam to take care of the earth (Genesis 2:15).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Summer...

Well, it sure feels like autumn here...
which means the temperature is in the low 80's instead of the high 80's.

Actually the nights are getting cooler, so it is a nice change.

Japan really knows how to celebrate the seasons!

There are seasonal foods: (persimmons, chestnut rice, sanma or mackerel, pears, mikans, etc.), not to mention all the nabe, or soups, stews and such.

There are seasonal activities: Tsukimi, or moon viewing, Momiji, or Leaf viewing, and Sports Day.

Even McDonalds gets into it with their Tsukimi Burger:

a poached egg on a hamburger. Whatever.

Well, we don't get to have snow in Okinawa, but at least we can enjoy the other stuff!