Saturday, July 31, 2010

Debe's Birthday

Thursday was Debe's birthday!  It seems that every year she gets gyped on her birthday -- we're either moving or in need of a new car; something. 

So this year I wanted to do something a little more special, 'cause she deserves it.  We went up to the historic town of Sintra, about 40 minutes away.

There are many historic castles/palaces in Sintra.  This castle was built by the Moors in the 8th-9th century.

The National Palace dates from the 15th Century.  The 2 large "spires" are actually chimneys.

We stayed in the Hotel Lawrence; one of the oldest hotels in the world (it opened in 1764).  Apparently Lord Byron stayed here as well.

And she got to drink coffee at a sidewalk cafe.

Happy Birthday Debe!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Apartment

We were so blessed to have an apartment waiting for us!  Not only is it close to the church and school, but it is a good deal.  Here are a few pics:

 Living Room
All the rooms were furnished which was a huge blessing, since we didn't bring any furniture.

Please note that the sofa turns into a bed, which is useful in case we get any visitors (hint).



The kitchen: one of our favorites places.  The table is a little rickety, but everything works well.  We had to get our own rice cooker, though.


Kids Bedroom
The girls share this room.  We just need to get a small table for them to draw on.

Our Bedroom
Wow, our own bedroom!  After years of sharing a tatami room with the girls this will be a change.

Yes, that is a bidet.
Not too weird after experiencing the "Washlets" in Japan.

The girls love the big tub.

Well, there it is: our humble abode.  Like I said, it is a big blessing.  10 minutes walk from school, furnished, spacious (like a 3dk, for our friends in Japan), and cheaper than the going rate.  God is good!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Strange Things in Portugal

What an interesting place, Portugal; filled with so many wonderful, strange things:


Almost all the sidewalks and many of the streets are cobblestones.

Milk.  You will notice that this milk is in our cupboard.  Not only does this milk not require refrigeration BEFORE you open it, it also does not require it AFTER you open it.  We keep ours in the fridge, though.

Kissing.  Definitely not used to kissing others when you greet them.  This is mostly done by women and children.

Fruit.  Not only is it delicious; it is cheap!  It costs about 1/3 what it costs in Japan.  We eat it every day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Heading to Tokyo

Well it was an exhausting week of cleaning, packing and saying goodbyes:

We visited Debe's grandma one last time on Saturday  


That night there was a ladies dinner. They also prayed for Debe 

Our dear friend Sachiko saw us off at the airport  

Our first of three airplane rides. We will stay in Tokyo for 2 nights

Now we are in Tokyo

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Last W2

Last night was my last chance to attend last W2. W2 is a Sunday night service that attracts many young people from many different churches. Okay, some of us are not that young...

It was really neat to see Yoshua teaching in Japanese and Tamiko translating into English. I was reminded of how far it has come! When it first began (in the girls' Discipleship House) there were just a handfull of people.

One of the first W2 meetings!

What a blessing for us to see God blessing and using this service to touch many lives. We will miss it, but will pray that it will continue on growing and blessing others!

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Show Must Go On

It was interesting yesterday at church. About 5 minutes before church was supposed to start the power cuts off! We ended up moving upstairs to the cafe, which still had power. Wasn't sure how everything would work out since the seating is only about 50 in the cafe.

However, it all turned out okay; Tom Cotton gave a great message, Amanda and the worship team led some nice, intimate worship, and we ended with communion. It was actually a really nice change. It was also a reminder that when the enemy shoots darts of discouragement at you, God's message still needs to go forth.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Hula Festival at Moon Beach

There is an annual Hula Festival at Moon Beach. Since Moon Beach is only 15 minutes away, and since we love Hawaii, and since it is a free event, we decided to check it out.

It was nice to hang out with Lisa and Mom

Of course, the girls were more interested in being "camels"