Thursday, July 9, 2009

The End of Project

this is probably mostly for my own benefit (i need closure...), but if you're reading, enjoy- as it will probably be my last post about Tokyo A Summer Project 2009.

when we arrived in Hakone, we took a bus to our hotel/B&B. walked to the Family Mart to buy dinner and some snacks. saturday we took gondolas over the mountains to a lake, where we took a pirate ship across to a cute little town with a big shrine. we grabbed some lunch and ate it next to the water (very peaceful except for when josh squirted ketchup all over andrew and he had to wash his shirt in the water). then andrew, kylan and i took a swan paddle boat over to the shrine gate, then came back and hiked a path up to the actual shrine. there were some other tourists, but there were a lot of people doing ritualistic things as well which was heartbreaking to watch.

after we all met up again as a team, we just chilled by the water, sunbathed, played cards, etc. until dinnertime- we went to a place called The Madhatter that had some awesome kabob sandwiches, then we waited 45 minutes for the next bus home.

sunday we woke up early and went to Yunisun, a huge water park of different baths- for example, they had a chocolate bath, a honey bath, a dead sea bath, a strawberry bath, coffee bath, green tea bath, wine bath, sake bath, and others. basically the entire day was walking around and soaking in different baths. it was amazing. they also had a water slide we went on a few times. we had lunch at the park where they had a massive buffet set up, then after lunch we went to one "bath" where basically you dangle your legs in a pool of little tiny fish that come and nibble away the dead skin off your feet- i would not recommend this if you're ticklish. they tickled so badly! my feet were all soft afterward though... that night we went to dinner at an italian restaurant, then had one last Bible study as a team, then played cards for awhile until midnight when everyone surprised me for my 21st birthday with a little birthday tirimasu cake and some little presents and a card- it was really cute.

monday morning we left at 7:15 am for the bus station- we had a bit of a hike with all our luggage but we made it. took the bus to the train station, took the train to Shinjuku, changed trains to the Narita Express which took us to the airport. we had plenty of time to kill at the airport, so we bought some lunch (last sushi in Japan...) and some souvenirs (and in commemoration of my 21st birthday, i bought a Japan shot glass that i'm currently keeping all my Japanese coins in- it's very handy). then after a few card games it was time to board the plane. we ended up being really spread out on the plane, but it was cool because i sat next to a Taiwanese college girl and we got into a conversation and i was able to share the gospel with her over dinner :) i've decided plane rides are wonderful times to share the gospel- you have a captive audience!

our flight left June 29 about 5:30 pm (Tokyo time). we landed in LA June 29 about 11 am (LA time). we arrived back at Vanguard University for debriefing about 1 pm, got some real american pizza for lunch, then relaxed until dinner and evening meeting. it was 2 other girls' birthday as well, so at the end of meeting they made us stand up and everyone sang happy birthday to us. after meeting the team presented me with 2 more birthday cards, one that had "21 Things We Love About Kimi" which was really cute. then a few of us went to the store and got a couple angel food cakes, whipped cream and strawberries and came back and had another little celebration. then we played cards and hung out in the guys' suite until bedtime.

tuesday i wasn't feeling well (i'd started feeling a bit feverish on the plane) so i slept for most of the day until team meeting in the afternoon. we got to write on a white board all our memories and recall stories which was fun. then we had free time until dinner and evening meeting, then that night we had one last "clearing the air time" with our team. it was good closure. wednesday we had breakfast, morning meeting, and team time, where we spent 5 minutes encouraging/thanking each person on our team which was really cool. then we had some free time until dinner and the last evening meeting that was sort of a "decommissioning" but also a "recommissioning" to go out and make wherever we are our mission and our ministry. and it reminded me that whatever i'm doing, if i'm doing it to the glory of God and to show others his light, then it is my mission. whatever job i have, i can make it my ministry. i can share Christ's love with every person i meet, whether i'm in Japan or Los Angeles or Texas. Jesus didn't descriminate- he didn't just share God's love with certain cities, he made every city, every town, every road he traveled his ministry, and so should we if our desire is to live like Christ. wednesday night our team went to huntington beach and gen and heather washed our feet, and then we all went to Ruby's for milkshakes.

thursday was a sad day, because it was a day of goodbyes. the michiganders and matt left first, then most of the team went to disneyland and jeremy and i stayed behind to wait for gen and heather, then they left for disneyland and trina and paul took me to the airport. man, airport people in America are SO different than the ones in Japan....i miss Japan. i arrived back in Dallas thursday night, spent the next 5 days with family and friends, and then headed back to LA to spend the rest of the summer.

and that's where i am now, back in LA, missing home, missing Japan, and missing my team and the Japanese students like crazy, but i know God has a purpose in this, and while i do not know his plans for me, He does, and they will be more wonderful than i can ever imagine. someday i hope to return to Japan, but until then, i will continue to grow in what i began to learn this summer, and continue to pray and keep up with the students i met in Japan. my request for anyone reading this is that you would continue (or begin) to pray for the country of Japan, that the hope of love of Christ would spread like wildfire in that nation, that the students of that country would become a new generation of believers and would rise up and build a new nation founded on God's Word, and that God would send even more laborers over there to share the good news of him.

Tokyo A Summer Project 2009: always remember the laughter, the fun, the silly moments, the hardships, the trials and struggles, but most importantly the love.

not the end. only the beginning...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Catching Up: Last Week in Tokyo

first off, i apologize for getting behind on blogging. we're back in the country now at debriefing in Costa Mesa (Orange County area), CA. we arrived in the States yesterday about 11 am, safe and sound. now we're all currently chilling in the boys' suite common area waiting for emily, matt and joe to bring us In N' Out. but more about that later.

the last monday of project (june 22) was our last day at Gakugei. we had one last Joyful Cafe lunch, and then afterward Jess and i hung out with Heidi and Ran in the JCCC club room, ate koala cookies and just talked about random things, in which i tried to insert something about God/the gospel of Jesus whenever possible. didn't see Ran come to Christ, but i know she is close. we are going to keep in touch on facebook. monday after we got back from campus a lot of the team went to Harajuku for last minute souvenier shopping at the Oriental Bazaar and Kiddie Land, in which i spent way too much money but that's ok. then jess, kyle and i got amazing crepes, then headed home for a last date night with Jesus.

tuesday was our last day at Tsuda. we had one last English Lunch, which was fun but was mostly just friendly conversation so i felt kind of "unproductive." but after lunch, Shi Wen (JCCC staff) and i went sharing and she told me to pick who i wanted to sit with and i saw a girl in a yellow shirt immediately but decided to go to the other side of the cafeteria first, then didn't see anyone that looked like they'd want to talk, so i went back to the girl with the yellow shirt and turned out she knew english really well and wanted to talk so that was awesome, and one thing led to another and we were able to share the entire gospel with her and gave her a new testament because she seemed interested- she said she wanted to keep studying and learn more :) her name is Aya, so please pray that the the Lord opens her heart and mind to understanding and faith. tuesday night was our last girls' night, so we all went to Kichijyoji for gelato and Bible study, in which we read through all of Song of Solomon and talked about how beautiful God sees us, and what it means to be a godly woman.

wednesday morning we had breakfast at Room 201 and it was amazing. then after breakfast we (the girls) gave the boys little katanas and notes that said "To a Strong Warrior of God...." and then we performed "I Say a Little Prayer for You" but changed the words a bit to fit. i think they liked it. then we went to our last English Lunch at Hitotsubashi. it was a bit disappointing b/c like no one was showing up so jess and i left to go find people to talk to (turns out Ngoc came late and we missed her but it's ok b/c we got to see her thursday). we found a really sweet girl who was pretty interested in spiritual things so we shared the gospel with her but unfortunately she thought that Jesus was first a man who became a god instead of Jesus being both man and God, so it was hard to explain but then Fumi (JCCC staff) found us and began sharing with her so it was awesome. wednesday night was our American Theme/ Goodbye Party at the JCCC Mitaka Center, so as soon as we got back from campus we changed, grabbed all of the food and decorations and headed to Mitaka to set up. i was on Outreach Team and the party was our responsibility so i was kind of stressed/ on edge for awhile, but eventually got to relax and really enjoyed the party- i think the japanese students did too. i was a bit disappointed that a couple girls didn't come but that's ok. we had a whipped cream eating contest, a costume contest, and a dance contest, and at the very end we (the americans) performed a shortened version of Thriller for them. they thought it was hilarious. so that's good. then after everything was all cleaned up we went back to Koenji and did "Secret Santa" presents for each other as a last Family Night activity.

thursday was our last day on campus and we were only at Hitotsubashi from 12-2 pm, but jess and i were still able to meet up with Noriko (the first girl we met on the very first day) and introduce her to Yukiko and Anita (JCCC Staff) and then Ngoc came and found us and we got to share the gospel with her in Vietnamese (her native language) b/c Yukiko had found it online and printed it out- it was so cool to see her understanding and questioning, and she is going to continue to meet with Yukiko. i cannot wait to see how God uses her. we all reconvened at 2 pm and watched Kylan (our campus team leader) swim across the disgusting murky waters of a fountain/pool thing in the middle of campus (apparently it's tradition for exchange students to do it on their last day of classes and he didn't last year...) after campus we came back to the apartments and made lists of all our contacts for the JCCC staff, then ate dinner and got ready for a surprise outing Gen and Heather had planned. we took taxis to the Hyatt Hotel and went to the top floor's restaurant and had amazingly ridiculous dessert (and $12 coffee for me....wish i'd known that before i ordered...oh well, how often do you get to go to a ritzy restaurant in one of the fanciest hotels in Tokyo?). thursday night was packing night, because friday we left for a mysterious retreat location that turned out to be Hakone, just outside Tokyo and famous for its hot springs :) this has been a long post so i'll finish later. and it's 1:45 am and i need sleep. goodnight!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last Week of Project....Part 1

this will be short because it's past 4 am and i need to go to sleep soon, but wanted to give a quick update:

yesterday (thursday) was our last day on campus. it was really good but really, really sad to say goodbye.

today (friday) we leave Tokyo to go on our end-of-project retreat somewhere else in Japan (gen and heather won't tell us where because it's a surprise) but we won't have internet until we get back to the States so i wanted to let everyone know that and that i will give a full account of our last week in Tokyo when i return to the States for de-briefing.

matta ne!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week 4: Perseverence and Team Unity

forgive the lateness of this post- i had a very nice pattern of writing twice a week all of Project, but this week was pretty busy...i really hope i don't forget anything. time moves at a very odd pace when you're overseas, and my memory is bad enough without wonky time relativity.

this week the focus was on perseverence and team unity.

monday we had English lunch at Gakugei- lunch was a good time, and afterward we got to spend some time with sumire, nemo, yuka and heidi and talk just about life and how God's been working in our lives and sneak in some gospel so that was good, but afterward when jess and i went out to do some random evangelism, every girl we approached turned us down. we literally got turned down by about 9 girls. it was hard, but each time we got rejected we brushed it off and moved on to another cafeteria, but after the 3rd cafeteria and no girls wanting to talk to us, we were a bit discouraged. interestingly enough, we had prayed earlier for perseverence and humility...God has a funny way of answering prayers really quickly sometimes. needless to say, we both felt like we needed some time in prayer and reflection, so we went and sat on a bench near a cute little pond on campus and talked and prayed, and then it was time to go. talking to God always makes me feel better though, so by the time we met up with the boys i was much more encouraged. monday was also jess' birthday, so i'm sure it was hard for her to have a frustrating day of campus. but monday night we all surprised her with a cake and flowers so that was a lot of fun. amy and i had to go to 3 different places to find a cake big enough for 17 people though- it's so hard to find any big cakes in japan! everything is tiny. eventually found one though :)

tuesday we had prayer/worship morning, then went to Tsuda for English lunch. a new girl came which was exciting, and after lunch amy,traci and emily came to campus so that was way exciting because i'd never been on the same campus with amy or traci before. heather and i had been a bit disappointed b/c we were hoping a girl named Mai would come to lunch, but she didn't, but it was so cool because all 6 of us girls were standing near the front of the school when guess who runs up- Mai! it was really awesome. so emily and heather went to get coffee with her, traci and jess went to do some random evangelism and amy and i went to a cafeteria to do the same. we ended up asking a girl named Yurie if we could talk with her and then her friend Yoko came and sat down so we got to talk to both of them for about 40 minutes until we had to leave but we made plans to meet up again tomorrow so hopefully they will show up. tuesday for team training we were given cards and told to put them under categories of Always Valued, Often Valued, Sometimes Valued and Seldom Valued in regards to a team or group setting, and we were required to put at least 2 in every category. i discovered my Always Valued were accountablity, conflict resolution, shared goals, valuing differences and healthy working relationships. it was cool b/c we got to see how everyone operates and what they value so we can better serve them and their needs. tuesday night for Girls Night we went to mcdonald's to get some food and then had Bible study over Psalm 119.

wednesday room 305 cooked us a scrumptious breakfast of ham, english muffins, and eggs. we had English lunch at Hitotsubashi, and at first we were kind of nervous because we were trying to get people to come with us to lunch and weren't finding anyone. emily was at Hitotsubashi for the day, and she and i got rejected by so many girls we stopped counting. we had literally given up and were heading to lunch when we saw joe and asked if there were a lot people there yet and he said they were all Christians who had been there before and i was just like "oh no--emily we've got to do something!" so it kind of put a fire under us and we resumed trying to find a girl to invite. we saw 2 girls heading toward the cafeteria so we made a beeline for them to cut them off at the pass but they ran away so we were disappointed but then a girl walked up and i just went up to her and asked her if she spoke english and she did a bit and we invited her to lunch and she said yes and it was very exciting. turns out she'd been taking a class on Bible history and had lots of questions so emily immediately began a conversation with her on Bible stuff, and when we got to the lunch room Ngoc had come back and i was so excited! i was afraid i'd scared her off last week, especially since i hadn't heard from her in a week, but she was so much more receptive and we got to go through the whole gospel together and she kept saying things like "so then what happened? what happens next?" and it was so encouraging. i gave her a New Testament and encouraged her to write down any questions she had. i firmly believe God is working in her heart and i'm so excited to see what happens. after lunch we left Hitotsubashi to go to Gakugei b/c the boys had sports outreach time, and so emily and i went to the cafeteria and proceeded to have an incredibly tedious hour conversation with 2 girls who spoke very little english but we ended up talking a lot about spiritual things and their stances and what we believe and whatnot, but it was an exhausting conversation. when we got back from campus though we had a big bouquet of flowers and a decorated card that said "to the precious princesses of Rain Palace Room 408" on the front and on the inside was an invitation to a formal dinner on friday, signed "The Men." so that was exciting. then wednesday night for family night we went to shabu shabu for dinner (plates of really thin meat that you cook yourself in big pans of boiling sauce) and then to karaoke, which, not gonna lie, was pretty amazing.

thursday i switched campuses and went to Gaidai which was a lot of fun- it was a nice change of scenery, and since it is mostly a foreign studies school everyone we talked to knew a lot of english so that was a really blessed change. we had lunch w/ some girls emily had already made friends with and then yukiko (JCCC staff), emily and i set up Soularium and had some girls answer the questions as a survey, which was really cool to hear their answers but we didn't get to share the gospel- hopefully emily will be able to stay in contact with them, or pass them on to JCCC staff. thursday night we had practice for our Thriller dance performance that we will perform at our American Sayonara party on wednesday, then i went to dinner w/ gen, heather and jeremy, in which we all proceeded to eat way more than we should have.

friday was an interesting day. as a way to both help each other out and for each of us personally to act a bit differently than normal, we each got "incumberances" that we weren't allowed to tell anyone (though if people guessed they were allowed to help us out) and we had to stay in that state until we got back from campus at 4 pm. mine was based on Philippians 2:1-5 and my incumberance was that i was not allowed to speak unless spoken to (unless it hindered evangelism in which case it could but put on hold for a bit). it was really hard. but it also made me realize how much i talk just to talk instead of simply actively listening to people, or talking to people instead of talking to God. so that was cool. interestingly enough, jess had the exact same one, except she also could use big gestures or noises (she does that a lot)- i noticed pretty quickly that she was also much more quiet than usual but didn't confirm we had the same one until after English lunch when we needed to go out and share the gospel together. since neither of us could talk unless spoken to, we couldn't talk to each other, so we resorted to writing notes when needed and otherwise just going along with whatever the other person was doing. we did get to have a good conversation with 2 girls in spite of everything, and hopefully they will come to the American party. kylan ended up figuring out our incumberance by the time we met up to walk to the train station so he helped us out by directing lots of questions toward us which was nice. friday night was our creative date night with the boys and it was amazing- they all dressed up and escorted us with roses to Mitaka where they had cooked dinner for us and provided entertainment (including a poem and skits of "What Project Would Be Like Without Girls"). it was pretty awesome.

saturday we all spent the day at Disney Sea together- we left at 7:30 am and stayed at the park til closing at 10 pm. we were exhausted by the end of the day but it was so worth it. sunday morning i woke up not feeling well though so i spent most of the day resting until Sunday night meeting in Mitaka.

and now we are on our last week of project. i'm trying not to even think about the idea of going home, but it's hard. today was our last day at Gakugei and it made my heart very heavy, mostly because of the amazing girls i've met there who are so close to accepting Christ. but as my mother said, i've done all i can do- all i can do now is give it to God and let him work. which actually takes away all the pressure and responsibility, which is kind of awesome.

i'm really sad we only have a few more days on campus, but i'm also so excited to see how God is going to work this week. please pray for our spiritual protection, health and energy :) oh and sorry this post was ridiculously long.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

God's Strength > coffee

i did it.

i went an entire week with no caffeine of any kind. this is a much bigger deal than you may think- i have been addicted to coffee/caffeine for about 6 years. the only times i didn't drink coffee were if i was sick, and then it didn't matter b/c i was sleeping all the time anyway. the past few years i've had, on average, at least about 4 shots of espresso per day. i had been challenged to not drink coffee before, but i did not have the faith that God would wake me up for class or keep me awake to write a paper during the school year. but this is all just a testament to the amazing power of God, because no one and nothing else would have been able to give me the energy and strength needed for this past week. because this past week was really draining, physically and spiritually, and the combination of less sleep, more spiritual conversations, challenges and responsibilities, and no caffeine really took its tole. i would go to campus every day feeling tired, out of it and unfocused, but God blessed me with energy and strength and words to speak and a clear mind every time i needed it. it was so awesome. and even when jess and i were having a conversation about how unmotivated and tired we were, God gave us grace and handed us 2 girls to talk to- they just sat down next to us while we were complaining about our tiredness! it was such a good reminder that it's not about us, how we're feeling, where we are, or anything like that- it's about God, and his power and plan for us.

my theme verse for the week: Isaiah 40:30-31

"even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who wait upon the Lord shall have their strength renewed. they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

as for my goals for the week:
1. my ministry goal was to share the gospel with 15 people- God actually granted me even more opportunities that that! it was pretty awesome b/c i was so worried about being goal-oriented but He just kind of made things happen on their own
2. personal goals: succeeded with coffee, but being constant in prayer was hard. i'm starting to think a lot more before i talk though so i am being more careful that my words are uplifting and beneficial
3. still praying that God would establish Student Impact as an official club at Hitotsubashi

friday we had English Lunch at Gakugei, and i got to chat with the girls i'd shared the gospel with on monday, but we didn't address anything spiritual, which was actually good b/c i want to build their friendship too and don't want them to think i'm pushy or anything. friday was the first day i didn't have a single spiritual conversation though, which bothered me at first because i felt unproductive or like i wasted the day or something, which totally wasn't true. i got to help out by being a part of English Lunch, which not only helped the JCCC staff but also i was able to talk with the girls again (Nemo and Ran) and then jess and i found a couple freshman girls who were really sweet and we found out one of them was going to a gospel concert both jess and i had been invited to, so we planned to meet her there. friday after we got back from campus we only had a little time before we needed to head to Mitaka for the Student Impact Annual Discover Friends Party. we helped them set up and prayed for the students who would be coming. the party was so much fun- we taught the ice breaker (a name game called Samurai) that everyone really enjoyed, then we had dinner, then jess gave her testimony with kylan translating (all the japanese were very impressed with him and his amazing japanese skills), then some of the students performed a dance, then we did a thing called Solarium- we broke into groups and laid out a bunch of different photographs and asked the students to pick which ones represented their lives and why, what they wished to have in their lives and why, which one represented their idea of God, and if they could have a relationship with God what picture would represent it. it was so cool to hear their answers and see them open up and talk about deeper things in their lives (because japanese totally don't do that). i had Nemo, Ran, and 2 other girls from Gakugei and they all are SO CLOSE to trusting their lives to God! they just aren't quite there and i don't know what's holding them back so i'm praying desperately that they can surrender whatever it is and accept Christ's love. joe and i got to explain a lot of how God has been working in our lives though and share the gospel through our stories, which was cool. i gave Ran a New Testament and so i really hope she reads some and understands.

saturday gen and heather (with jeremy's help) cooked a brunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup for all of us, so that was really nice to sleep in after a long week and then have food waiting when we woke up. that afternoon most people went to harajuku but i got to meet up with my friend Manami who i'd met last summer at Dokkyo University for 1 day- we only spent a few hours together but kept up occasionally on facebook over the year, and she wanted to meet up with me while i was here so considering how saturday was a free day i figured it would be a good time. we met in shibuya (praise be to God for her finding me- there were so many people i knew i'd never find her!) and we went to a store so i could get a journal, then got some ice cream and sat and talked about our lives for awhile, then went to starbucks and continued the conversation. it was so good! i really didn't know much about her at all and was a bit worried we wouldn't be able to talk about very many things, much less about God, but we just shared so much about our lives and i was able to share so many things God has been teaching me, and got to explain a lot about the gospel to her and it was just so cool. and she's coming to our Goodbye party! so yay. saturday night i went running (a lot longer than i'd wanted b/c i got kind of lost...) and then took it easy and finished up a lot of things i'd been putting off.

sunday amy and i woke up early and went to a gospel concert with some professional gospel singers we'd been invited to, and it was pretty awesome (even though half of the songs were in japanese). it was also just really encouraging to see so many Christians and visitors there to hear the gospel- it just reminded me of a verse that says:

Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” (Acts 18:9-10).

after we got back i took a nap, then we had team meetings. this week our focus is perseverence and team unity. we even get to switch campuses one day this week. i'm pretty stoked.

and now it's bedtime b/c it's past 2 am. and even though i can now technically drink caffeine, i'm going to try to do without it as much as possible.

please pray for Hitomi, Ran, Nemo, Shunire, Ngoc, Hikaru, Manami and all the other students we've talked to and shared with- that God would continue to work in their hearts and give us more opportunities to witness. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Week 3: Challenge Week

so sunday night at team meeting, gen and heather announced that this week would be a bit more challenging (or a lot) than usual (hence the title). not only would we be starting our days an hour earlier every day, but we needed to set 3 goals for ourselves:
1. a ministry goal for ourselves: mine was to try and share the gospel with 15 people this week
2. a personal goal: mine are
- to rely on only God's strength this week, so i am giving up caffeine in all forms (coffee, tea, everything) and relying on God to give me energy
- to pray continually
- to let no unwholesome word come out of my mouth but only what is uplifting to others
3. an "exceedingly more" - a goal we ourselves cannot accomplish but must have the faith that God will if we ask, so mine is that God would establish Student Impact (Campus Crusade) at Hitotsubashi University as a legitimate club

it's been challenging. but awesome. God's been so faithful and amazing already. i have never actually gone off all caffeine since i started drinking it 6 years ago, unless i was sick and it didn't matter- so this is really difficult for me-- i've been trying not to seem tired or complain, but it's hard. every day i've been going onto campus feeling out of it and tired and unfocused but God is so good and has blessed me with energy and words to say when i get into conversations, and good people to be with me and support me.

monday: went to Gakugei. had English Lunch and it was awesome for 2 reasons:
1. we got to meet and talk with a girl who had become a Christian the day before! her name is heidi and she's so sweet and was just eating up everything we talked about pertaining to God and the work He's done in our lives- it was so cool to see her excitement and wonder
2. i was having a horribly difficult time talking with these 3 girls, then randomly in the middle of a silence one girl (Ran- pronounced "rahn") pointed to my hand and asked what was written on it and i told her "oh that's one of my favorite Bible verses (it was philippians 4:13 - "i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ) and i showed it to them in my Japanese/English Bible and that just sparked a great spiritual conversation and i ended up being able to share the Gospel with all of them. it was so awesome. then we got shanghaied into going to a gospel concert on campus put on by a Korean Christian club and we wanted to go sharing more but jess and i just shrugged and went along and it was actually a ton of fun and really encouraging. monday night Jesus and i went to the park and listened to a guy play japanese flute by the pond and it was so tranquil just to sit on a rock and listen to the music and stare at the reflection of the trees in the water. then we did laundry.

tuesday: went to Tsuda. had an amazing English lunch because of many reasons, one being that Hitomi came! and jess and i got to lead a sort of Bible discussion and we chose Luke 12:22-27 as our basis for discussion so that was cool to do that and get good question/answer from the girls at lunch, and then afterward Hitomi and a girl named Kei stuck around for another 1 1/2 hours and talked about the Bible and we got to share the Gospel and gave Hitomi a Bible and she's in theory going to read some of John and come back next week with questions! it's so awesome!
after English lunch, jess went sharing with anita and heather and i met up with emily, and we were just standing there talking and heather noticed these 3 girls sitting at a table staring at us and she asked if we knew them and we said no but they kept looking at us so she starts walking over and they beckon us over and we do introductions and all the sudden we're in a conversation with them and were able to invite them to Student Impact's Discover Friends party which is Friday (technically today b/c it's about 2 am as of now) and one girl Mai is really excited about it. so it was a good day. tuesday night for Girls' Night we just had a chill night and then went out and bought stuff to make the boys breakfast wednesday morning

wednesday: wednesday morning we got up really early and made french toast and sausage for the boys for breakfast (each apartment rotates cooking every wednesday) -- it got so ridiculously hot and smoky in the room, but the food turned out well and the boys enjoyed it i think. and they made us each posters with acronyms of our names- it was so cute! mine:
K araoke enthusiast
I ntercessory heart
M ovie star in the making
I nnovative evangelist
Y outhful energy
O h-so-good hugger

so after breakfast my team went to Hitotsubashi. English lunch was also pretty sweet- met up with Hikaru (girl i met in the bathroom last week and had like a 3 minute conversation with and she wanted to meet up again) and when we got there Ngoc (Vietnamese girl) was there as well, and we met another girl named Yuki so God totally answered my prayer for girls at the lunch, so we set up a table of girls and just started talking. i was a bit frustrated b/c it seemed like i wasn't able to turn the conversation spiritual at all, but at one point there was just this shift and i started talking to Hikaru about what God has shown me in my life and how i know He has a plan for my life and she says "oh yes i totally agree with you" and i was just like "wait- what?" and so we started talking and i wasn't able to go through Jesus' resurrection really but she wants to meet up again and talk so praise God. then she had to leave so i joined the conversation jess was having and it was spiritual so i just kind of jumped in and it was one of the hardest conversations i've ever had b/c Ngoc was asking great (but really hard) questions to answer even in america, but the language barrier and cultural/spiritual barrier was really hard to overcome. she does want to meet us again though so hopefully something will change. afterward i went and had a quiet time and then met up with jess. wednesday night for family night we had ice cream sundaes and most of us played mafia while the others played settlers.

thursday: the most unproductive (in my mind) day on campus. got to talk to some girls and invite them to the party but then they had to leave, then i was talking about how i was feeling so out of it and unfocused when 2 girls just sit down next to us which was cool b/c it was just a reminder that it's not what we do or how we're feeling, it's God. so we got to talk to them for awhile and i felt like i should start talking about the Gospel but i felt like it was really awkward and difficult, but they seemed interested (possibly just out of politeness) but hopefully we can see them again. it's in God's hands now. then i went and had disciple time with heather and then quiet time. then when we got back from campus amy and i went on a dinner date and had some good food and conversation, then went and got eclairs from a bakery and talked for awhile, then i was going to be productive (like write this blog) when heather came in and asked if we wanted to go on an adventure w/ gen, tim and jeremy so we said sure and we went to the Rainbow Bridge- a pretty touristy area but it had a lot of cool picture opportunities and we found a beach where you could see the bridge and it was a lot of fun. but i'm totally worn out and need sleep. tonight (Friday) is the Discover Friends party and we have to help out a lot, but i know God will give me energy and strength if i have the faith He will.

please be praying for Hitomi, Ran, Nemo, Ngoc, Hikaru, Mai, Tomoko, all the other people we've met and invited to the party, and for jess' friend Arisa who she met with tonight and had an awesome conversation with! may the Lord bless you and keep you always, now and forever-

Saturday, June 6, 2009

End of Week 2

hokay, so.

thursday was kind of a hard day for me at first. for the first time i was the only girl on our team to go to campus, because not only was jess not there (because she had to go to the doctor) but neither was heather (who had been coming with me so i wouldn't be the only girl) or any of the JCCC Staff, so i felt a bit like i was battling to repress feelings of apprehension all morning. but i got to meet up with one of the first girls jess and i had met- noriko- for a few minutes before her next class so that was exciting that she had gone out of her way to meet up with me and talk even if it was only for 15 minutes. after she left, i got some lunch and wandered around outside for awhile until kylan found me and decided to stick with me to have lunch (which was very nice of him b/c sometimes it's harder to get into conversations if it's a guy-girl pair and you find a table of all one gender) but it was cool because he found some freshman lacross guys jeremy and andrew had met earlier, so we sat with them. at first it was a bit difficult because they didn't speak much english so i felt a bit like the outsider b/c while kylan speaks amazing japanese, i do not, so at times the conversation was hard to follow, but then a guy sat next to me who spoke english pretty well so that was nice. then one of the guys asked me what was written on the back of my hand (i had Romans 12:12 written so i could remember it) and so kylan and i looked at each other and whipped out our japanese/english New Testaments and began sharing with the guys next to us- kylan was able to share some of his favorite verses and John 3:16, and i was able to get into a good spiritual conversation about religion and how Christianity is more than a religion- it's not just a set of rules to follow, it's a way of life, and a faith that God isn't just a mean judge but a God of love, compassion and grace. hopefully we'll be able to talk with them more in the coming weeks. they already love jeremy because of his lacross skills, so that's definitely helpful because lacross is huge at Hitotsubashi. after that conversation, we met up with Nosuke (JCCC staff) who was chillin' on a bench, and the boys left to go evangelize and i did a quiet time. then i wandered to the west cafeteria again, said hi to jeremy and joe, and saw a girl sitting by herself and decided to take my pudding cup over and ask to sit down. she said yes and we immediately began talking- her name is ngoc and she's vietnamese, is very good at english and loves to talk. she was really excited to practice her english because she said she never gets a chance since everyone speaks japanese. and she wants to come to English Lunch on wednesday! hurray for answered prayers! i left campus that day in good spirits. thursday night was a free night so i took it easy at the apartment and went to bed early.

friday we went to Gakugei and had English Lunch set up for us already- i love fridays because CCC is already an established club at Gakugei so not only do we have a solid weekly event to go to, people normally know what we're talking about when we mention CCC. it was so awesome because as we were getting lunch, josh invited a couple guys randomly and then they brought like 6 other people, so we walk into Engish lunch with all these students in tow that we've just met, and then even more showed up! and then i saw like 4 people that we'd met at monday's lunch who had come! and tomoko, a girl i'd talked to on monday for awhile, had brought 3 of HER friends so i got to meet and talk with all of them! and they want to come to the Discover friends party and lunch again on monday! and while we haven't gotten into deep spiritual conversations yet, evangelism in Japan must start relationally or else normally they won't really trust you, so the fact that God has opened up all these doors for relationships is fantastic. the average Japanese person takes about 5-7 years to become a Christian, and the majority of Japanese students have no interest in any sort of religion at all, so honestly, even the fact that we've gotten chances to talk about the gospel at ALL is a miracle. friday night we took it easy and split off- some watched a movie and some of us played a card game called Nerts.

saturday morning we got up at 3:30 am to go to the Tsukiji Fish Market- the largest fish market in the world. it's only good early in the morning b/c that's when all the fish are fresh off the boat. the 2 best stories of the day are about eels:
1st story: we were walking by these big containers of eels and one decided to slither out and fall to the ground- the fisherman picked it up and sliced it's throat and threw it back in the container, but it kept fighting and slithered out AGAIN. poor eel.
2nd story: a guy was tossing live eels from one container to another crate thing and i was video-ing on my camera, when he decides to toss one AT ME and onto the ground. i squealed and leaped like 3 feet backward because i was so startled, and then he and all the other fishermen around him started cracking up (as well as the team members i was with...). sigh. at least i made them laugh. they're all big and scary, so it's cool to make them smile or laugh. later we got some sushi right next to the market- freshest sushi around, and kylan, amy and i ate eel (ironically) at the best place i've ever been to in Japan- the guy talked like a muppet and was so funny and nice and gave us all sheets of paper with the restaurant name in calligraphy and took pictures with all of us and had us sign his guest book. and he made us pinky promise to come back. awesome.we got back at 9:30 am feeling like we'd already spent a whole day out, and so we took naps and then i spent the day resting and catching up on things.

now i have to go plan things with the Outreach team, and then we're going to church! i love sundays.

please continue to pray for team bonding, spiritual protection and that we can continue our new friendships with students, share the gospel, and lead even more students to Christ.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

SOME FAVORITE PICTURES OF THE PAST 3 WEEKS

this is our team after the commissioning at briefing

sunset from the roof of our apartment complex
(that i'm technically not supposed to go on, but it was totally worth it.)


most of the team at some cool fountains near the Imperial Palace

standing on poles outside of the Imperial Palace

one of the best days on campus- last monday my campus team went to Gakugei University and had planned to meet a few Japanese students for lunch- turns out they brought a ton more friends and it was just one big gathering of Japanese and American college students, eating and laughing together- it reminded me of how Jesus would hang out and have meals with those He was ministering to- hopefully we can make it a weekly gathering








Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2nd Week so far...

it's too early in the morning for eloquence, but after waking up early to send off Team 2 to their first day at International Christian University High School (or ICU High), i knew that if i went back to bed i wouldn't want to wake up again so it was better to keep awake somehow. what better way that a blog update?

monday Team 1 went to Gakugei University and it was awesome- friday josh, nosuke (one of the JCCC staff) and i had met 5 Japanese students in the cafeteria and they loved josh- they decided they wanted to have lunch and meet the rest of our team on monday, so monday pretty much as soon as we got near the cafeteria one of them found us and brought us over to some picnic tables to have lunch. we set our stuff down and then went to the convenience store to get some food. once we had gotten our food, we came back and there were even more Japanese students we hadn't met! it was awesome- just 2 huge tables of Americans and Japanese chilling and laughing and eating together. it was so much fun and hopefully we'll be able to make it a weekly gathering and develop stronger friendships. after lunch i went and had a quiet time and prayer walked until it was time to go. monday night was "date night with Jesus" in which Jesus and i got some exercise running up and down the stairs of the apartment complex, and then we did laundry.

tuesday was one of the best days i've had so far. me, jess and emily went to Tsuda (an all women's university)- the campus was gorgeous and we met up with anita and nicole (JCCC staff) and they brought us to a lunch they established- there were 4 Japanese girls (1 Christian) and we just had a good time talking about ourselves and our homes, etc. next week they are going to have a "Bible talk" and hopefully we'll be able to share some of our experiences with God and show the other girls Christ's love. after that nicole, emily and i went to the cafeteria to try and talk to girls. emily saw a girl sitting by herself and asked if we could talk with her and she said yes and we sat down and began conversation. her name is hitomi, and her english was amazing even though she's never been to america, and her sister was Christian! she said she wasn't but she enjoyed singing gospel music, so we began talking about singing and she wants to take us to karaoke so we can sing Disney songs together! it was such a great conversation and she seemed like someone we could really become good friends with. it was really encouraging. after that emily and i prayer walked and prayed for jess and anita who had a really good conversation with another girl who wants to meet up again. tuesday night was girls' night so we went to an italian restaurant and then played "hot seat" basically where you can ask any question to the person in the hot seat for 3 minutes. it was a lot of fun and a good bonding time. God began breaking me of some things and it was hard but really good and my spirit still feels renewed from it.

wednesday we went to Hitotsubashi- jess went to the doctor because she had a cyst on her tailbone and it was making her sick, but they fixed it all up and she's on the road to recovery, which is awesome because she's been really frustrated that she couldn't be on campus with us. she goes back to the doctor today but hopefully she can rejoin us soon. when we got to campus we went to the international dorm where kylan had set up an English lunch-- it was really encouraging because JCCC has tried English lunches before and they haven't done so well, but there was a good turnout of people (although they were all guys) and it was fun. afterward we prayed for the the campus and people we'd talked to and i prayed that God would bring a couple girls to the lunch next time. then we walked to the main part of campus and a campus circle was doing obstacle course races so josh joined in and they thought it was awesome. then we met up with some of the JCCC staff and yukiko and i went sharing. the first girl we went up to was a bit discouraging because i basically said "excuse me do you speak english" and she said "a little" and i said i was from America and visiting and wanting to meet Japanese students and would she mind if we sat and talked to her for a bit and her response was "um i am eating my lunch." ......so i was like "oh....ok thank you" and we moved on. we then went to another part of the cafeteria and asked 2 girls to sit and talk and we asked them some questions and it was just really sad because they seemed to have no spark of life or excitement for anything and they had no goals or dreams and no sense of purpose in their lives. one of the girls had a Christian friend and so we began talking about Christianity a bit and i shared how i used to not have a specific goal either but i liked making plans but they would turn out completely different than i intended and i came to realize that God had a better plan for me than i could ever make and that He gives my life purpose, etc. and as i was speaking they became visibly closed off and the walls around them just shot up, to the point that by the end they weren't even talking at all anymore. so we decided that was our cue to leave, and it would have been discouraging but God reminded me that my job isn't to convert, it's to sow seeds, and even if all i did was plant the question in their minds of "do i have a purpose? what is my purpose?" that's a success. and one of the girls had never even met a Christian so it was cool to be the first. after that i was a bit drained and yukiko had to leave so i decided to go have quiet time and try and find the library. i went to the bathroom and was fixing my hair and there was a girl next to me painting her nails in the bathroom and taking a long time and i was just standing there like "she's taking a long time in here...am i supposed to be talking to her?" so i shrugged and said "excuse me do you speak english?" and she said "yes!" and i was like oh-wow-cool..."um i'm from America visiting" and she asked for how long and i said 4 more weeks and i asked her where the library was and she said she'd show me so off we went and had maybe a 2 minute conversation- she was a freshman and wanted to study abroad in America and had been a few times to the states before and i told her i was with 15 other people as a part of an international student club going to different universities and meeting students and by that point we'd gotten to the library and she asks "do you have a cell phone" and i said no but i had an email address and get this- she asks me to meet with her again and talk! after literally maybe a 2-3 minute conversation! i don't even know what her major is (which is one of the first questions we ask). i tell her of course i'd love to talk more and i tell her about the English lunch next wednesday and she wants to come! God is so awesome. especially when He answers prayers in an hour. it was so cool. and really encouraging. AND THE BEST PART OF THE DAY: JOE LED SOMEONE TO CHRIST!!!!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD! please be praying for Yuuichi, that God protects him and his new faith and he would grow into a strong man of God.

last night we all (except jess, who was resting after the doctor) went to see Star Trek and it was so much fun- i really enjoyed it. when we got back though we found out that Team 2 had been kicked of ICU campus because the administration thinks Student Impact is a cult, so they may not be able to go back there, so please pray for ICU's students and that God would use this for his glory. the cool thing is though- that means Satan's scared of them. that's pretty exciting, because it means not only are they doing something right, it means he's scared of what they might do in the future. later last night heather had a crazy back pain that made her not be able to walk so we took care of her until she could start walking again.

crazy things are at work in Japan- please pray for not only our spiritual protection, but for the students who are already Christians and the ones whom God is working in to prepare their hearts for the Spirit. but we rejoice in God's beautiful and awesome plan that we have the privilege of being a part.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

First Weekend

the weekend:

saturday we met at 11 am (by "we" i mean, everyone except jack, kylan and josh, who went to a soccer game, and jess, who was still sick, and kyle, who kept her company) and headed out to do some sightseeing and be touristy. first stop was the imperial palace, where we took lots of pictures of trees and ducks, and the palace (or what we could see). then we went to asakusa, a pretty touristy area known for its huge temples and shrines. it was cool, but when we went into the main temple it was really hard b/c there were a ton of people praying and throwing in money into this huge thing-to-throw-money-in and it was just so sad to see so many people worshipping gods that don't exist and praying to gods who won't answer. most of us couldn't stay in there for very long. but even though it was hard to see, it was a good reminder of why we're in Tokyo, what we're up against, and what God has already conquered. after that we all needed a bit of a pick-me-up so we got ice cream at this place that had the most ridiculous flavors- purple sweet potato, rose, sesame, and others. gen and i got green tea and milk ice cream and were so half-asian. after ice cream we explored the shops and got some souvenirs, then headed home. saturday night we chilled in the apartments, and a few of us watched The Italian Job.

sunday we met up with our smaller teams for planning and whatnot. josh, kyle and i went to Precious Coffee Moments (an awesome coffee place about a 2 minute walk from our apartments- a little pricey though) and got coffee and pastries and discussed/brainstormed ideas for our American-theme/End of the Year party we're throwing june 24th for Student Impact as a part of outreach. we're also helping with Student Impact's Discover Friends party (an outreach party) so we brainstormed for that as well. we left for church at 1 pm to take the train to Ochyanamizu. the last time i was there, the guys had left megan (the other girl on Project) and i to find our way on our own- we ended up going out of the wrong train station exit and walking around lost for over an hour and by the time we found it church was over. thankfully, gen found the right exit to lead us to this time. i really enjoyed the church service, and the worship was fantastic. and they had a worship dance team! it made me want to get up and dance with them so badly! it was really cool, and the message was all about remembering God's blessings He's already given us, because when we forget, we lose trust in God and fear overtakes us. the pastor also talked about ephesians 4:19 where it talks about how our words should be benefiting to others- blessings, in a sense, because our negative words can separate us from God and make us forget his blessings. after church we came home and relaxed for a little while, kylan showed amy and i how to work the laundry machine (after spending about 1/2 an hour trying to find detergent and stain-remover - it's hard when you have no idea what the labels say) and then at 6:30 pm we all met and went to the Mitaka Student Impact Center for some team debriefing time.

please continue to pray for our team this week as we go on campus and try to build the friendships we began last week, and that we'd have more opportunities to make new friends and share the love of Christ with them!

Friday, May 29, 2009

End of the First Week...

hello all who happen to be reading this

update of the rest of the week:

wednesday was hard. woke up early to get donuts and milk for the guys as a thank you for bringing us extra blankets and mattresses, so i was kind of tired but really excited to go to campus. we got to campus and jess and i were so ready to go and meet students and hopefully share some of the Gospel,but when we got to the cafeteria there were like no seats available to sit next to girls (hitotsubashi university has very few girls- like, the percentage of guys over girls is huge) so we decided to sit at a small table and pray for the guys on our team who were already in conversations. while we were praying one of the JCCC (Japan Campus Crusade for Christ) staff came over and talked to us and we ran some ideas by him about maybe starting an "English Lunch" once a week on campus (it used to be a major draw for students who wanted to come practice their English, then you can just have conversations with them) and he wasn't discouraging about it, but told us that Student Impact had started cutting down on those kinds of things because it was really draining on the staff to keep up weekly and they weren't seeing much fruit come of it, but we were welcome to try it. the weird thing is that it made me really discouraged and defeated though for some reason. i just got hit with this wave of downer-ness. after he left, jess asked me how i was feeling and i was just like "i feel really really discouraged right now" - literally to the point where i was about to burst into tears. thankfully i have pretty good will power and knew it wouldn't be the best idea to burst out crying in the middle of a japanese cafeteria, but it was so bizarre because a) he really wasn't discouraging at all b) i'm one of those people where if someone tells me i can't do something my stubbornness immediately flares up and i'll do everything in my power to prove them wrong and c) i don't cry. especially in front of people. so all of this was really bizarre and i felt really spiritually attacked, so Jess just started speaking truth to me and spewing Bible and it was awesome- it was totally the Holy Spirit because she didn't even remember what she said afterward, but it made me feel better and i got out my Bible and turned to Matthew 19:26 where it says "...with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" and i just kept going over that in my head over and over until i felt renewed and the discouragement had gone away. interestingly enough, i got an email that morning from my mom saying that she had had an overwhelming urge to pray for spiritual protection for that day. now i know why. anyway, i started feeling a lot better, and afterward we prayer walked and then joe and i met some freshmen guys and talked to them for a bit which was cool. wednesday night was family night, so our campus team went to dinner together, then everyone came over to the girls' apartment and we played Signs for awhile. the hardest part was not being too loud to annoy our neighbors. it was a ton of fun though.

thursday was much better. we had prayer and worship time from 9-10 am, then quiet time, then went to hitotsubashi again. jess was feeling sick so she didn't go, but heather came so i wasn't the only girl on our team, and for some spiritual protection. we prayer walked then just sat down in the cafeteria and waited for people to come to us. eventually 2 girls came and sat down next to us. they were really sweet and talked to us for a good while til they had class. i've begun to realize that any time a japanese student engages with us in conversation, that itself is a victory. of course, the goal is to get a second meeting to actually get to know them better and at some point share the Gospel, but still, just the fact that they don't ignore you or run away is awesome. so after they left, we prayed and then got coffee and had some discipling time which was definitely good for me since my disclipler is back in LA, then we met up with the guys at Starbucks- our official meeting place for hitotsubashi university. thursday night we went to Mitaka for the weekly West Side Student Impact meeting. at the train station we met up with some of the staff as well as a japanese Christian girl who goes to USC! her name is taka and it was really cool to talk to her- hopefully we'll be able to hang out soon. the meeting was a lot of fun- they introduced all of us to the japanese students, and we played some "getting to know you games" and then had worship (in japanese) and a message about God's love and how to show that to others, that we ourselves are incapable of loving people as God does (i mean think about it, He sent his Son to be tortured and die for the sins of all of us) and in order to do so, we must admit our weakness and ask God to overflow us with his love so we may pour it into others. after the meeting, i was able to meet some of the girls who are at the campuses i am/will be going to- hitotsubashi, gakugei and tsuda (an all girls campus). that was really encouraging just to meet Christians who i know are on those campuses, and they can introduce us to their friends and hopefully we can work together to evangelize.

today we all woke up late. it was also our first day at gakugei university. jess was still sick, so i was the only girl on my team to go to gakugei. they had an established English Lunch in a classroom though so that was good b/c we got to just sit and chill and talk to people who came to us. when we got on campus, i also realized i had been to gakugei last summer so that was exciting. got to talk to one girl in particular for awhile, then talked with 2 other girls til they had to go to class, then nosuke, josh and i went to the cafeteria to meet people and i spotted a girl eating by herself so i went and asked to sit down. she said yes and i began talking to her. her name is eri and she was so nice and put up with all my questions and seemed to actually enjoy talking to me which was nice. it was a bit harder talking just by myself but it wasn't too bad, and she seemed to genuinely hope to see me again (i didn't set up anything though b/c i thought it would be awkward) but when she left i went to join josh and nosuke and met 5 japanese students (2 girls, 3 guys) and they all want to have lunch with us next monday when we go back, which is really exciting! tonight we had a free night, so most of us went to dinner and then explored koenji. jess and i read some from shane claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution, now she's asleep and i'm exhausted, and hopefully can sleep in some tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Day on Campus!

hey y'all!


so today was our first day to go to our campuses. our team of 15 students split into 2 separate campus teams- mine, led by jessica and kylan, consists of myself, joe, josh, jeremy, and andrew. today we went to Hitotsubashi University. the campus is GORGEOUS. there are paths leading through forests and a pond and fountains and a MOAT- it's SO COOL. we split into girls and guys and began with prayer walking for awhile until lunchtime, then headed to the dining hall. we got some food in the co-op downstairs and talked to a girl from Hungary briefly who i pray we run into again because she suggested meeting for coffee after only talking with her for about 2 minutes! she had to run to class though. then we found the dining area upstairs and were a bit discouraged at the beginning b/c we walked around and couldn't find any places to sit that were with girls (in Japanese culture, there isn't a ton of guy-girl interaction, so ministry/making friends/etc. is better with the same genders) but then the Lord provided 2 seats at a table with 2 girls, so Jessica and I went and asked them if we could sit at their table while Heather went to a different table to read the Bible, pray etc. they were so sweet and they spoke really good English! it was such a blessing and so easy to make conversation- we ended up talking with them for about an hour and a half! their names are Noriko and Yui and are both seniors. they seemed excited that we'd be back on campus and we got their contact information so we can keep in touch. hopefully we'll see them tomorrow or thursday when we go back to Hitotsubashi. i'm already in love with the campus- please pray that God continues to open doors for us and work in the lives of the students, and He would lead us to those He wants us to talk to and break any language or cultural barriers. also we found out that there IS a Christian circle (or club) on campus and we already have a contact there through kylan which is AWESOME. so please pray that we'd be able to be of use to them.

tonight we had some awesome girl bonding time and now we're all exhausted, so it's time for some sleep :)

jaa mata!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The First Day...

こんばんは (pronounced "konbanwa," or good evening) from Tokyo!

it's been an amazing journey so far, and Summer Project is just beginning!

God has already blessed us with 2 miracles- getting the rest of our support money and the finding of Jack's passport (that had been lost by the US Postal Service), and has been blessing us since with a safe plane flight and some awesome time together as a team.

speaking of, i should introduce them:

our leaders: gen nakamura and heather brainerd (both from USC - fight on!)
the students:
1. me
2. andrew guirguis
3. sammy cunningham
4. matt pfaff
5. josh jimenez
6. traci lawrimore
7. amy ledin
8. emily niemond
9. jessica jury
10. jack mitchell
11. jeremy barnekow
12. kylan schroeder
13. kyle pash
14. tim daugherty
15. joe gudobba

they are amazing. i can't wait to bond more with them and learn and grow together. we arrived in Tokyo about 5 pm on saturday, may 23 (Tokyo time- there's a 16 hour ahead time difference) and took the train to Koenji, our new home. there we were met by a few of the Student Impact Stinters (Student Impact= Japanese Campus Crusade, Stinters= international Cru interns) who took us to our new apartment building in Koenji, which is conveniently only a couple minute walk from the train station. all the girls are in one apartment, which is a bit snug but it's a lot of fun to all be together. once we get the apartment fully set up i'll take pictures and post them. once we got in the apartment, we crashed pretty quickly after a quick meal and some tips and reminders from the Student Impact stinters. this morning we got to sleep in a little bit (but the time change screwed us up- i woke up at 3:30 am, 6 am, 8:30 and 9:30 am, as did most of the other girls) then we met for a team meeting in our apartment. we were split into 2 campus teams so we can have people on more campuses simultaneously- my leaders are jessica and kylan. then we were split into other smaller teams for organizing outreach events, prayer/worship meetings, family nights, and recording all our activities while in Japan. kyle, josh and i are all on outreach team, so we went out to lunch together at a small tempura place and brainstormed ideas. then we got lost coming home, but it was a nice opportunity to explore Koenji. we found our way home though, and i spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and organizing the apartment with the other girls. then we all went out to dinner as a whole team, then came back for a meeting where we discussed our theme Bible verse for the trip-

Jeremiah 17:7-8 -- "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust IS the Lord. he will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. it does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."

and now it's only almost 9 pm and half of us are already asleep b/c of jet lag. and we have to wait up at like 6:30 am tomorrow for orientation with the Japanese Campus Crusade staff, so i should stop typing. more to come soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

so...

48 hours ago, my team was $19,000 short of funds to go to Tokyo.

as of now...God has blessed us with $18,000 of that! in two days.

do you believe in miracles? because i do. i'm living one.

and we're confident that if He can give us $18,000 in two days, he can give us $1,000 more to finish up our support. thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting us and praying for us- God used y'all to perform an amazing miracle.

i can hardly believe we leave for the airport in 8 hours...and i am so excited that i don't even have the words to describe it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

INVESTING IN THE ETERNITY OF MILLIONS....

hey y'all!

this is my first blog post for Tokyo Summer Project 2009. i'm currently at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA for a few days of briefing before heading out to JAPAN!!! met all my teammates and we're already starting to bond :)

i am super excited for what God is going to do this summer- but first,

PLEASE READ:


collectively, my team is still $19,000 short in order to go to Tokyo on Friday.
if we do not individually have our support, we cannot go on Summer Project. even if you have already given, please prayerfully consider contributing to the other students on my team so that the money will help send all of us together. i know that it is in times of greatest desperation that Our Father works his greatest miracles, and i'm so excited to see how He will use people in these next few days.

if you are willing to invest in God's mission in Tokyo, please let me know ASAP the amount you are willing to donate, and if you can,
donate online at: www.give.ccc.org and search my name
--
the money goes toward our whole team, not just me. actually, it's all going to God (to whom all money belongs to anyway...)

email kimiyo.brown@gmail.com or call my cell (214. 282.3988) with any questions.
please make any checks out to Campus Crusade for Christ with Tokyo A Summer Project, Kimiyo Brown in the memo.

i am nearly at 100% for my support, but any extra will send another teammate with us to Japan.


The address the checks should be sent to is:
**TOKYO A SUMMER PROJECT FOR KIMIYO BROWN**
Campus Crusade for Christ

C/O Chrissy Tsai
16 Technology Dr Suite # 205
Irvine, Ca 92618

i am confident that God's will is going to be accomplished, and i am excited to see just what it will be. please encourage others to join with our team as we join with God as he works through us in Japan.

to all of you who have already graciously offered your prayers and financial support, know that you have invested into eternal rewards, and I am so so so appreciative of your sacrifice!!

God bless you all,
kimi

Friday, April 17, 2009

日一にとうきょう

きょ五月私はとうきょうに行きました.私は二週間によりました。
                             

むさしこがねいのげしゅく
(our boarding house in Musashi Koganei)        
  

私のへや。へやは小さいでした。私はルームメート がいました。

Thursday, April 16, 2009

いちじかい 。。。

             いちじかいごはんでにほん。


私がみたいちじかいみたいちじかいスターバックス でにほん。
   



  


  






              私がみたいちじかいマクドナルドでにほん。

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

りょこう


私は
たいていにちちかてつ(subway)いきました。
私はスイカ(Suika-train pass card)をかいました。



JR East

てつどうがいしゃ
ちず (Railroad Company map):


 ギラフはとてもかわいでした。











ちず はとても
おっかないでした。


ステイフさん。


















こにちかてつでした。こはふとってりました。
にほんじんこはとてもかわいです!

Monday, April 13, 2009

すも!



まえ五月、ときょうは大きいGrand Sumo Tournamentがあります。なまえのすもトナメントはほんばしょ。ほんばしょはりょごくこくぎかん。ほんばしょはりょごくこくぎかんスタジアムにあります。すもはとてもむねおどるです!はじめは, わかなった。なった。















  

わたしとともだちにほんばし!
どひょういり: ceremonial entrance procession
of wrestlers into the ring



  りきし(sumo wrestlers)                       












  私はとても大きいです!



    









ビデオのすもばん(match/bout):
ちりちょうず : ritual squatting, clapping, and bearing of empty hands performed before each sumo match
video video

かんこうめいしょ (Sightseeing!)

 東京タワー (Tokyo Tower)
         
タワーはとてもたかいとおのしろいです。
まいにちタワーはとてもあかるいです。               


  
 
















うきょ (The Imperial Palace)















私とともだちにこうきょ。
はし(bridge)はゆうめいです。
         







私にはらじゅく!私はよくかいものに行た。




















つきじいサカナヤはとてもゆうめいです.私とともだちはよじごぜんにおきたりいったりしました。サカナヤはとてもすごい!さかなはとても大きいでした!私はせがひくいです。。。

Sunday, April 12, 2009

とうきょうはとてもたのしいでした!私はいきたいですはいきたいですまたぞろ(again)!!!