Curry and community.

So this blog post is a day late… Sorry, sorry, sorry… Saturday got lost in a mix of teaching, coffee, great Mexican food, ice cream and 6 hour conversations.

I know, they're actually the worst excuses ever… 😉

I'm currently sitting in the sun watching (or not actually watching because I'm writing this blog) a fierce frisbee game that's taking place between the guys in my church.

Summer feels like it's well and truly here, and I am so incredibly blessed by days like this one.

It's been a good week here, made completely wonderful by the fact that me and some friends went to a local restaurant that did really great Indian food on Thursday.

Because nothing makes a week good like a great curry.

It was actually one of those nights that grew in more ways than I expected.

Last weekend, just as I was telling three of my friends how much I fancied eating a good curry, we ran into the owner of a local Indian restaurant. Like, we literally just ran into him in the middle of one of the shopping streets. What are the chances?!

Some tentative planning, and introductions later, we arranged to go and visit said Indian restaurant on Thursday night.

Four people.

Easy.

But over the course of the week, as various coffee meetings and lunchtime conversations and curry-induced-excitement took place, our group grew.

And grew.

Until on Thursday afternoon I suddenly realised that there were 19 people coming.

Nineteen.

That's a big group of people for one small restaurant.

Our new owner friend was as accommodating as ever with a last minute quadrupling of his evening's custom and we had a truly wonderful and hilarious evening.

A group made up of more ages, nationalities and interests than you ever normally pull together in one room.

And in a small way, this evening highlighted to me something that I've been seeing in a very big way over these last few months.

People here are longing for community.

Real, deep, genuine community.

Longing for friendship.

Real, deep, genuine friendship.

Longing for love.

Which when it is genuine can be nothing other than real and deep.

I spend a lot of time listening to stories. Drinking tea and listening to stories. And listening to stories. Opening up the vulnerable places of my heart so that others might just feel that they can open up the vulnerable places of theirs.

It's a joyful and beautiful thing. I love really Jesus and I really love people.

But what continues to amaze me about Japan as I continue to get to really know people in Japan is the crazy amounts of worry and stress and sheer work hours that most of my friends are under.

A lot of my friends work 6 or 7 days a week. It's not uncommon for them to report pulling a 13 hour day. On each of those 6 or 7 days. One of my good friends works three jobs. Another explains they feel totally isolated from everyone around them. At least 4 of them tell me they can't eat or feel consistently sick with worry. Every morning.

Every morning.

These are my friends. People in their 20s or 30s. People I care deeply about.

And the overworking culture you see here is literally… Mind blowing.

It leaves people so busy and yet so isolated from those around them.

It leaves people deeply lonely.

Which is why I'm seeing more and more how creating genuine community is so vital and so central to being able to share Jesus and faith and the good news of the Gospel.

In easy ways like eating food together, and drinking coffee together and laughing together, and being really-really-real…

Because people respond to love.

Which when it is genuine can be nothing other than real and deep.

Especially when it goes out of the way to meet them.

Which when it is genuine it can do nothing other than.

So please keep praying.

Pray for my friends. For change. For more Holy Spirit opportunties.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Curry and community.

  1. Hi,

    Great to hear about curry and community. However reading your blog made me think, ‘Is there a need for Work Place Chaplaincy Japan?’…Serving the workforce through listening, caring and supporting. I would happily come and lead a seminar for churches😉. However given the picture painted of isolated, stressed, overworked people is the listening ear possibly a way to demonstrate the amazing love of Our Father.

    Great to see you seem happy & settled.

    Shalom

    Grant

    1. Hi Grant,
      There’s so much of a need for the kind of work you do out here – and you’re right – listening and praying and being faithful in that seems to be so important in building genuine friendships and sharing Jesus. And obviously, eating curry helps too 😉 Bless you so much! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! You should be able to follow by clicking the add button at the top when you’re signed into WordPress, or through the right hand side option if you’re on a PC – I think I just got a notification saying you were following the blog though 🙂

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