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



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


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,


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: 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 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:
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,