I didn’t think I would have any free time to blog, but since it’s raining, we have to delay our plans for outreach and do it after lunch. That means I have time to reach out to you guys!
As some of you may know, I’m in Shibuya Tokyo right now. I’ve been throwing pictures and tweeting like a mad man this whole experience when I get back to the hotel and have wifi. (like right now).
Japan is such an interesting place. Living in Hawaii has actually prepared me for this. My friends and I are so used to Hiragana and Katakana written all around our town, talking to Japanese tourists, and being in a Japanese culture in Hawaii, that coming here to Tokyo wasn’t really a shock! That was disappointing to me, I wanted to be blow away by everything, but it really just feels like I’m in a big city on the mainland with Japanese people in it.
I am so proud of myself for buying things here. I was scared for that since I do not speak Japanese, but everything has worked out fine. I bought two bento boxes for my sisters and some other fun stuff that I had little to no trouble doing. I did have to have some people help me figure out which coins to use when I was buying because I was stressed out and my friends were pulling me along like a dog on a leash down the streets of Harajuqu. That was slightly embarrassing.
We haven’t really dove into a whole lot of mission work yet, because we’ve been waiting for a couple things. Mainly, we’re here to pass out flyers for an English camp Tokyo Baptist Church is putting on. There, Japanese who want to learn English can come stay with a family and be surrounded by English for a week while they go to this camp where they teach English through the gospel. What an amazing idea! Pray that that camp can reach many!
When we pass out flyers, it’s a bit tricky. Many many people don’t want to have anything with what your doing. I’m trying to seam as “white” and happy as I can to gets people’s attention. It matches the colorful flyers anyway! It’s disappointing when they ignore you, plus, as loud and cheery as I am, I struggle in social situations due to my anxiety. As well, they don’t speak English every time, so when people have questions, I have to use broken Japanese and as easy to understand English as I possible can. I’ve learned never to underestimate the power of facial expressions. They have helped me connect with many people as I pass out flyers.
We also have to run away from the cops when we pass out flyers around Shibuya. They might shoo us away, which makes me think that what I’m doing is perhaps, not wrong, but not socially acceptable or very classy. (Kind of like how it’s rude to drink and walk down the street at the same time here. hmm…) Here I am, an obviously white girl (only about half my team is white so I get a lot of “smack” about being white on this trip) I’ll just pretend this is a special mission and running from the cops sounds a lot more fun.
Another thing we’re doing all this week is called the “Let’s be Friends Cafe.” It’s a hang out time at Krispy Kreme down town with the youth group at Tokyo Baptist Church and random youth that saw our flyers and wanted to join our chill time. Pray the right people would come to these hang outs this week and that their hearts would be ready to hear about Jesus’ love!
There are a lot of biked around, so I sing that one Naruto song, the bicycle some every time I see one. I feel so cool but also very strange. I’m sure the poor people on bikes thing I’m strange too.
Every morning we go to Family Mart the Konbini with my friends. We bought umbrellas today because it was raining – the clear ones that make me feel like a Japanese school girl who runs through the puddles and giggles. (…because I do) I’m surprised, how much French there is here at the store on the products, and how many super cars there are that no one seams to notice. That’s goo because I took French in high school (I even spoke to some French folk staying in our hotel, dream come true!) and I really like cars.
This Sunday, my team and I did Sunday school for the middle school. It was so much fun to fellowship with such a diverse group of people! We did a skit on good and bad fruit. Since I’m the loudest one in the group, I was the narrator. Thankfully, we had one of the boys from the youth group Luka, translate everything I said. It was an interesting dance of pass the microphone back and forth while I read in the bible and danced around the stage.
I love talking and having fun with people. I get emotionally easily and cried a little when I heard God speaking to me through worship. I was feeling so much this trip like I wasn’t in a good place to go on a mission trip and shine the light of Jesus. But like we sang over and over again yesterday for the many different worship times we had together,
“I may be weak, but your spirit’s strong in me.”
So as my knees destroy themselves walking around, it doesn’t matter because there is a force in my heart that is stronger then my body hating itself. My weakness makes me strong. Remember that, in everything you do, and your knees will take you far! You don’t need to be “spiritual” to work with God on a missions trip. I don’t even know what “being spiritual” is.
Please pray for Tokyo Baptist Church this summer and all they do. Also please pray for the health and well being of my fellows on this trip. I have to tape my knees every day because I have old gymnastic injuries that make walking difficult for me, and we’re walking everywhere in Shibuya.
Thank you so much everyone! I’ll post more later!