Peter Pan premieres at the box office. Eisenhower becomes President of the United States. The Korean War ends. These events all occurred in 1953, the same year that a church plant was created.
We had just spent a fun night with good friends and made a few new ones when it was time to head home. As we stood in the street saying our goodbyes, I saw an elderly woman walking by, curiously trying to understand why there were so many young Japanese and internationals in her neighborhood at ten o’clock.
As a Baptist, I have always been drawn to the concept of the priesthood of the believer in church life. In scripture, we learn how Christ equipped everyday women and men to share his message and do great things in his name, and that we are called to do the same today, no matter our role in modern society.
On September 5, we celebrate our first year of ministry and life in Japan. We each compiled a list of our our Top 10 Experiences of our first Year with explanations below.
A few months ago, we met a woman in her fifties from a neighboring prefecture who had come to visit Kanazawa Baptist Church, where we worship and work. We learned from our pastor that this woman’s father was a longtime church member, but had been in and out of the hospital and was nearing death.
No matter the sport, no matter the season, we hear their title. In conversations with friends in the office as well as all over social media, men and women alike express their disgust at their interest and enthusiasm.
Many people around the world know that Japan is famous for its abundance of cherry trees that blossom in the early spring with various shades of pink. During our first spring in Kanazawa, we were excited to see if the sakura (cherry blossoms) lived up to their hype.
Creation care is a hot topic these days, especially in Christian circles. For Laura and me, we find it imperative to take care of what God has given us to be able to share it with those who will come after us.
Two weeks ago Laura and I took part in the annual CBF China-Japan team meeting in Macau, China. As part of our gathering, we did a tour of the city with our teammates and the Macau team members’ English students. We visited many beautiful sites, but the most famous and awe-inspiring were the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, a historic Portuguese church near the center of town.
I began planning for winter when Laura and I arrived in September. I had heard how bad it could be and wanted to be ready. I brought a heavy jacket, thick socks, and weather resistant hiking boots to prepare, but soon found out that these particular boots would be a hassle.
As I sat down to the large banquet table, I began to quietly inspect the food sitting in front of me. I’m still learning about traditional, formal Japanese meals, and I wanted to prepare myself for what I would be partaking. I studied the small crab, bowl of soup, and some mysterious appetizers at my place setting.
We read a lot in the Bible about “the stranger”. It is full of stories of cross-cultural encounters and experiences, both positive and negative. Like us, those in the biblical narrative needed guidance on what to do with the strangers in their midst. We learn from these texts themes of hospitality and inclusivity for those who are not like us.
Just as the NextSunday Resources blog is a new location for Christian education in your congregation in this New Year, we too are experiencing great newness in our missional journeys. In June of 2013, we were officially appointed at the CBF General Assembly to Kanazawa and made the big move in September.