Wow. I love days like today.

I have a lot to tell you. And a lot of photos. And I am so tired. But please know that today has been incredible.

And know that I mean A LOT of photos.

I got up early this morning to pray for this house and seek God. This was the view from my balcony…

This area of Japan is classically beautiful, in a vivid green, rice paddies and traditional buildings kind of way. Some of the scenery on our drive today was actually some of the most stunning I have ever seen. And it just made me really thankful to be here. So my time with God was sweet. 

Now, last night I found out that today I would be going to join a local group of parents, children, youth workers and young volunteers out at the mountains around Ikedo. I knew I was joining an activities day already. I didn’t quite realise it would involve being in the great mountainous outdoors in 34 degree heat. 

And I mean this was rural.

I was picked up at 8am by an older lady who made multi-tasking and driving seem like the most common place thing ever. She drove fast, talked on her mobile, and looked at the DVD screen centre place in the front of her car more than the road. Interesting. I was glad for that time with God!!

Work wise, I was visiting this project because of the way they involve and train young volunteers. It’s pretty unique for Japan for this kind of project to be going on. So it was really encouraging. It was also really good for my Japanese as hardly any adults spoke English, and none of the children did. I learnt that 7 year olds are very forgiving when you get your grammar wrong. And that there are many activities that really are completely bilingual. Such as hunting for bugs. And climbing on a rope swing.

So this was our mountain base:

And this was the introductory talk on the weird and wonderful bugs we should go and look for:

And these are just some other highlights from the day! πŸ˜‰

And this is my favourite picture with one of my favourite kids:

Like seriously. Isn’t she actually cuteness personified?! Totally.

Now, I then knew I was going to a bit of a party tonight at the local youth centre. What I hadn’t clocked is that this party… Was for… Me.

Seriously. The guys here threw me this awesome welcome party. They even made me spaghetti bolognese. Hahaha. I NEVER thought I would ever eat spaghetti bolognese with chopsticks. Until today. Anyway, here’s the meal:

 

And then, this is where it starts to get really fun…

I’d had some opportunities to share my faith throughout today, as it’s a big motivation for me being here at all and I’ve been based with Christian projects for some of my time in Tokyo. 

But tonight, they asked me to sing a song for them (news from last night’s worship had spread). So I did. I sang one of my songs. In English. About Jesus.

And then they asked me what it meant. So with a translator, I got to explain the meaning of the song being that God can redeem us and heal our hearts when we trust Him. To a whole room full of non-Christians. 

They then asked me to sing more Christian songs. So I did. I just love it when God does stuff like this:

They said ‘my music’ was ‘healing’. Oh Holy Spirit, You are incredible.

Anyway, after this, the language barrier just became less of an issue. The couple of people who could speak some English translated when my language failed, and the conversation flowed. It was an amazing night.

Please pray for this group of wonderful individuals who don’t YET know Jesus. And pray that Holy Spirit will water the seeds that He planted tonight. He gets such glory! 

And here are some more photos of my new friends:

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