I made it safely back to Hamamatsu in time for a wonderful church service last night… Talking about the importance of living our lives gazing on the Beauty of God, and through that bringing His beauty to the world.
Very relevant, and very striking for me, as today I have been organising my notes, documents and thoughts about my trip so far and what I have been learning. I’ve been writing a lot on this blog about my reflections on this as a Christian and the burdens of prayer and intercession that I have been carrying. But I have also been thinking about the reality of running a project or beginning work within this context. Today I began to practically map out some of the patterns and concerns and themes that I’ve been seeing first hand and hearing about from practitioners here.
Now, it hasn’t all been work. This morning I ventured into Hamamatsu to be brought Japanese-Indian food for lunch and then buy highlighters, post-its, and ring binders for my productive study afternoon.
I had a great lunch… And also discovered a phenomenal revelation… My name is a really great brand of post-it labels here!! Hahaha!! Check it out:
Yes. I did buy this brand just because they had my name on the packet. Yes. I am that sad. No. I don’t care at all. 😉
So, then, this afternoon has been filled with organisational tasks that will probably be exciting for no one but me. Leaflets filed with business cards, coordinated to meeting dates, linked to interview transcripts, organised into ‘translated’ or ‘need-to-translate’…. It’s looking good though… I’ve taken over the lounge in Ben and Ruth’s and am working away in my pretty typical, sprawled, stuff-spread-everywhere, bad posture position, with my worship music blaring away.
This is probably the most important document I have produced in the last few hours:
Some of you will be very familiar with the stage of planning and thought this means I’m in and be able to sympathise with the multitudes of random thoughts shooting through my brain. In short, there are key themes that have emerged from my time with all the projects I have visited. There are also common concerns about national policy and it’s response to these key themes. As I said yesterday, for me, two very vulnerable but different groups have emerged: young people leaving care, and hikikomori young people. But today, going back through notes I have been able to see the routes that these vulnerabilities stem from in a clear way. As you would expect, care leavers come from being children in care; hikikomori from often being long-absent from school young people. So there is a definite early-intervention point.
Hmmm… Not sure I have any conclusions for you yet… Just ideas… And thoughts… And coloured pens.
And Jesus. The best strategist I know! 😉