seriously. what is the secret to washing dark clothes in japan?
mine always. always. come out with white soap on them still.
quite possibly the singlemost frustrating thing about japan.
what is the secret December 16, 2008
seriously. what is the secret to washing dark clothes in japan?
Quick little post December 11, 2008
God’s been giving me some awesome opportunities lately! I was able to talk to two of my students this past week rather extensively about God and I didn’t even initiate the topic!
As usual it’s work work work, and come home and sleep. I feel like I’m always trying to make the most of my sleep time and trying to balance time for talking to family and close friends. Kind of difficult though.
I also started a new lifegroup this week! It was really awesome, we met in the girls home. Her host mother made us this gigantic and super delicious dinner, and it was really great. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to eat such a large meal, and not feel like a hippopotamus afterwords. It was the best!
For interests’ sake…here is where I live!
peek into my world December 8, 2008
I haven’t updated my blog for a long time! I’m really sorry everyone, lately I have been ridiculously busy!!
So, to make up for it I thought I’d just tell you in a little more detail about my week and what I am so busy doing!
First I teach a seniors class of about 12 students! I always get asked out for lunch by the oldest and richest one; he’s about 76 and drives a Mercedes.
I teach 6 days a week! I’m always running to and from work, and even though I really don’t teach super long hours, the travel takes up most of my time. The picture above is my friday night class, Jun and Jun Lee who are two Korean kids. All these kids do is study! I always ask them, what did you do today and they say; went to school, came home and studied, came to english class, and i will go home and study more. Absolutely amazing. This class I love, because I structure it so it’s mostly based on games. My main goal for half of my students is simply to get them to laugh and have fun learning english, not to have them studying out of a boring old textbook. Anyways, these two kids are great. Their english level has gone from not being able to speak anything other than I am fine how are you, to comparing and describing things in the classroom. Awesome! So awesome I travel an hour by train to teach them! (ahaaa)
Then I also teach a girl named Mina before their class. Mina is always fun, we always have tea together and laugh about boys and school. She’s also a super serious student, she always does her homework and she’s really smart. She’s 13 and doing Eiken Pre level 1 (for those of you who’ve got no idea about Eiken, it’s a japanese made english test. Level 1 is university level english, level 2 is high school level english).
After I teach this class on Friday I hop back on the train for about 30 minutes to…good old ENGLISH CLUB! And then I finally go home and sleep (if I’m lucky)
Saturday I wake up nice and early, around 7am and go teach for 2 or 3 hours. I have a class of two lovely ladies (one of whom is always late) first and then I usually teach my senior ladies.
I looove these ladies! Naoko especially, is 78!
She’s awesome!!! She’s learning english and painting, and she memorizes books. How freeking cool is that. Eh? I mean come on, I probably won’t even live to 78.
Of course, my students are just part of my life.
Recently we had baptisms!
It was so awesome to be able to collect together, to pray over eachother and worship God.
I think it’s one of my favourite times; worshipping God! Don’t get me wrong, I love listening to teaching. I love it so much I do it on my own all the time. But there’s something so awesome about worshipping God with a huge crowd of people whose hearts are in the same place. You can just feel God sweep over the congregation.
Of course I also spent time horsing around…mainly with Nicky!
But even that is building towards God’s kingdom! We’ve established a relationship with our local police…every time we walk by we say hello (goodnight) to them, and they often chase us down on our bicycles but that’s of course because we’re doubling up and causing a hazard to the lively midnight society. Even so; we love the police!
Anyways, I eat well…(mother, I know you worry)
But most importantly…
SAORI MISUDA December 6, 2008
I have great praise news; one of my friends from…ENGLISH CLUB came to church for the first time and accepted Christ!!!
Saori is 19 years old, and a freshman in university! She lives with her family, and she’s ‘cho genki’ or super happy and super cute. She received Jesus on November 30th! I gave her a living translation Japanese bible and she is really excited about God! She also sings in a bible gospel choir; how’s that for having seeds planted eh?
We really need to pray for Saori! It would be really awesome if she could get hooked up in a life group (cell of small group)!
Her father is the leader of a buddhist community, so it’s really unfortunate she’s not allowed to come to church at this point. Since she lives with her parents, it’s important for her to respect her father’s wishes. We really need to pray that God will change her father’s heart and allow her to come to church!
Saori called me when she found out she couldn’t come to church, and was almost crying on the phone as she said to me; Kat! I really love you…and I really want to be your friend!!! But I can’t come to church because my father won’t let me (she explained). Can I still come to your english club? I really want to still be friends with you!”
Adorable eh? What a beautiful heart she has!!!! I reassured her that of course I was still her friend and I loved her so much, it didn’t matter if she came to church or not. I also told her that God felt the same. Then I got her to talk to Rie, my beautiful and super awesome Japanese house-mate who was able to talk to her about her situation in way more depth than I could ever hope to.
It was really good to see Saori tonight, and to give her the bible! I think she was really touched. She said to me; thank you Kat! You care about Saori (nothing like third person) so much! Thank you for emailing me bible verses earlier! It’s so nice for me!’ – ka-wa-iiiii (FREEKIN CUTE!)
ENGLISH CLUB December 4, 2008
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT ENGLISH CLUB YET!?
We meet every Friday night at Takadanobaba’s WENDY’S!!! Woohoo! Students from Waseda University, Keio University ( I can’t spell that one) and Jouji (sophia) all come to this english club! It’s totally free, so come on out and practice your english with us!
Every week we have close to 50 people attending; let’s keep growing!!!
It’s seriously fun.
So far english club is going really well! We have lots of opportunities to talk and sew seeds into the people who come. Most of the people who attend for the first time come back every week!!!
How’s that for a testimony November 26, 2008
Today I had a lesson at my christian student’s home, Emiko. She was telling me about the “Barabas Mission”. I had no idea what she was talking about, until I looked it up. And was I ever blown away…
The Japanese Yakuza are basically Japanese gangsters. But are relatively high-class gangsters, with a lot of money. They are the reason why in public places you can see signs as such;
Anyways, this is the testimony:
Hiroyuki Suzuki’s shoulders and upper arms are alive with colorful tattoo images of carp and monsters. His pinkies have both been trimmed at the first knuckle. All are sure signs of a Japanese gangster, a distinction he most definitely had for 17 years of his early life.
But time can do wonders – even for mobsters; today he’s born-again and a reverend, leading a congregation at the Siloam Christ Church in Funabashi, just east of Tokyo.
“My tattoos and missing pinkies are my handicap,” he says from his office in between services on a recent Sunday. “I always tried to hide that fact. However, I stopped hiding it after I became Christian. [Before] I led a life of lies. But after I met Jesus and came to know the Lord, I wanted to live with my true self.”
His “life of lies” included drugs, gambling, and general debauchery as a member of the Sakaume yakuza crime group in Osaka.
Reverend Suzuki says he’s now serving a higher boss.
“When I was a yakuza, I treated my wife really badly, but as she was a Christian she forgave me,” he says. “I’ve learnt the power of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, he’s my boss now,” the Reverend adds.
Here is the story of another ex-yakuza.
Grinning like a Banshee November 21, 2008
Do you know hallmark? It’s a company which makes cards…really good cards. They also have online cards, called e-cards.
It was an epic day in the Chaloux family household when we discovered the screaming banshee cards, and proceeded to send them to everyone we knew meanwhile laughing hysterically.
She doesn’t stop screaming…She screams from the moment she wakes up.
She screams through her work.
She screams through her birthday.
She would probably scream through christmas even.
Some days I really realise how much good a smile can do. When I walk around with a smile on my face, it’s not like it stops the japanese population from staring at me, but it does cause a different reaction. It’s funny to imagine the screaming banshee, walking around everywhere screaming her lungs out. But at the same time, what do you walk around looking like?
Do you even know?
In Japan, it’s so easy to turn on your ipod, set a straight face and not look at anyone from your home, down the street, to the station, on the train, out the other side until you get to work. It’s so easy to ignore the thousands of people around you.
I want to challenge you, spice it up! Do something crazy, like smile at some random stranger. Say hello and goodmorning to everyone you pass on your way to work. Be happy, walk around with a smile.
It’s not so hard to do, but it makes a big difference.