Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today is my One Month Anniversary, though for some reason, Blogger seems to think it's October 28th when it's November confused. anyway, one month ago today, i left behind my friends, my family, and life as i knew it to serve the Lord for one year in Tokyo, Japan. i celebrated by going to Hitotsubashi (my favorite campus from Summer Project) with Mike, meeting up with Yasutomo, a student i met during Summer Project 2 summers ago, then prayer walking around the campus, mostly praying that God would open the way for us to do ministry there. it was awesome, but apparently it wore me out because i fell asleep on the train ride home and missed Mitaka, woke up 3 stops later and had to take another train home. lesson for the day: never fall asleep on a train by yourself. to be honest, i still can't believe i'm living here. i adapt to things so quickly, sometimes they don't quite sink in. while it hasn't happened yet, i have warned my roommates that there may yet still come a day where i wake up and scream "OH MY GOSH I'M IN JAPAN AHHHHHHHH!" for now, i'm content to wake up and simply sit in awe of the fact that i seriously have the best job in the world. i realize i have a bit of catching up to do- i haven't blogged in almost 2 weeks! which doesn't sound like much i suppose, but if i wait too long my brain starts forgetting things. to all of you who actually read this, thanks for bearing with me.

last Tuesday morning (what is it with Tuesdays?) we were all pretty slow to start the day. i'd somehow fallen asleep on the train even while listening to my "pump up" playlist on my ipod, and it seemed like all our feet were dragging/reluctant to do anything on campus. but thankfully we had an hour of communal prayer. and God totally fired us up. perhaps we wake up so exhausted so we rely on Him more and He can show us how refreshing He is. the Thursday prior, Lyndsey and i randomly met a girl named Aya- we talked with her and 2 of her friends for a really long time, and ended up exchanging contact info with Aya. Monday night i realized i still hadn't contacted her so i sent her a text that just said we'd be on campus during the week if she was free to meet up at all. she texted me back immediately, saying "how about lunch tomorrow?" so Tuesday after prayer Lyndsey and i met Aya for lunch. she introduced us to 3 more of her friends (Reina, Hikari and Nana) and we all ate together- they all spoke english extremely well and were really fun to talk to. then her friends had to leave and it was me, Lyndsey and Aya again. we started talking about different hobbies and activities we'd done growing up and in college, and from there we were able to explain about Campus Crusade/ Student Impact. then Aya asked if everyone in America is Christian (a common idea in Japan). it naturally coalesced into a full fledged spiritual conversation, and Aya said she believed in God but hadn't ever really thought about it, so we were then able to share the entire gospel with her and a good deal of our testimonies. she seemed interested in talking more which was exciting. after lunch we ran into Yuki and Kaori, 2 girls Michelle and i had met our 2nd day of campus. Kaori had to go to class but we ended up spending the rest of the day with Yuki, learning more about each other and sharing some about Student Impact with her. Tuesday night Waseda's English Club hosted a Halloween party, so Mike, AJ, Kat, Esther and i all went. the party was a ton of fun, with delicious food and really entertaining performances, and we were able to meet lots of new students and build relationships. Mike was Bruce Lee (though everyone thought he was Jackie Chan), AJ was Harry Potter and Kat, Esther and i were all nerds (b/c it was easy and we are cheap).

Wednesday was our "Day with the Lord," or as i call it, my All-day Date with Jesus. i slept in and then took the train to Koenji, where we stayed on Summer Project 2 summers ago. it was like coming home again. the day before it had been freezing and rainy, but the day dawned bright and clear, which was such a blessing, because i was able to go to my favorite park and enjoy the day, and then spend the rest of my day at an adorable coffee shop called Precious Coffee Moments-
not to sound like a dork but this area of trees really reminded me of Lothlorien from Lord of the Rings...
caramel coffee, pastry and a Shane Claiborne book on prayer- a perfect combination.

while at the park, i sat on a rock by the water under the Japanese maples and listened to worship music, prayed, read some Psalms and journaled. this was my vantage point from the rock:

2 songs that really spoke to me while looking out over the water were "Mystery" by Phil Wickham (to hear it, go to this link: and "Savior, Please" by Josh Wilson (to hear it, go to this link:

these songs really express where my heart has been many times. i have a tendency to focus on DOING things, that maybe if i read my Bible more, or more books about God (like Hearing God, by Dallas Willard- great book by the way) then maybe i will grow closer to God. but God reminded me during this time that it's NOT about what i do, it's about what Jesus has already DONE for me. it's not about knowing more ABOUT God, it's about learning how to KNOW God. i left everything i knew to follow God and serve Him in Japan. but in reality, the more i learn about God, the more i learn how little i really know Him. i realized so much of my prayer life is simply talking to God and not enough listening. i realized that seeing God as Father is pretty easy for me, but i so often forget the crazy awesomeness that He is the Creator of the entire Universe, a thousand lifetimes are a day to Him, and in the heavens thousands upon thousands of angels sing "Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty" without ceasing. i have come to realize that my view of God is way too small. we must never allow ourselves to become comfortable with our view of God. He's too big for that. He's too... there isn't even an adjective to properly describe Him. S.M. Lockridge delivered a 6 1/2 minute oration about God in 1976- it's still the best description i've ever seen:

while watching the ducks swim around in the pond, i started wondering why i was so fascinated with them. i mean, they're ducks. they aren't that exciting. they're kinda funny looking. and Oregon's mascot is the Ducks, and i despise them with a passion. but regardless, i was sitting there mesmerized by the ducks, and i was said,"um God? are You trying to tell me something through the ducks?" and He said, "kimi, why aren't you more like a duck? ducklings simply follow their mothers to the water. they don't complain their feet are dirty, or the path to the pond is too long. they don't test the temperature of the water first before they get in, they just dive in without a second thought. they simply follow." i really need to explain the metaphor? how many times do i do things like that when God tells me something? i say i trust Him, but then i question, i test, i get bogged down by little details, when all He wants is for me to simply follow, because His way is infinitely (and eternally) better than i could ever imagine. may we all be more like ducks (the animal, not the Oregon mascot).

i've already written a ton, so i'll try and wrap it up. Thursday i ran into Iphie, a girl i'd met at the Halloween party and ended up being able to share the gospel with her, then Friday she met with Ariel and Mike and they got to share a ton with her as well which was pretty sweet to see her interest not only in meeting with STINTers but also hearing about Christianity. Friday Michelle and i met with Kaori for lunch and got to talk a lot about love and her own religious background- we're praying that this week we'll be able to share the gospel with her and Yuki. Friday night i met with my friend Manami who i met on my first summer project 3 summers ago- she agreed to be my language partner to help me with Japanese so i will be meeting with her every week. she's been very exposed to Christianity but is not a Christian.

- for God to open the hearts of Kaori, Yuki, Iphie, Aya, Nana, Hikari, Reina, and Manami
- for the boldness and leadership of the Christian students at Waseda and in Student Impact
- that the Lord would open opportunities for us to go to Hitotsubashi University to also do ministry
- for energy and strength
- for patience, wisdom and discernment in ministry
- that the Lord would show us how to know him more every day, and show us how to love others with His love

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

God of This City

i woke up Tuesday morning feeling like there was a gigantic boulder sitting on me (ironic, as i was sitting on a gigantic boulder last week...) i lay in bed and said "God you have to get me up i can't get out of bed..." and He did. He had to shove a bit b/c i was pretty snuggled in my bed. eventually i got up though. Tuesday mornings our team starts the day about 1 1/2 hours of prayer and worship at the Student Center. all of us looked pretty tired and out of it at first, but after some quiet time, some awesome prayer time and even more awesome worship, we were so pumped up to go to campus and share the Gospel. the power of prayer and worship never fails to amaze me- in just a short time i went from braindead zombie to energized warrior. i can always count on Ephesians 3: 14-20 (Paul's Prayer for Spiritual Strength) and these two songs to get me pumped up:


Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like You, None like You
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You, None like You
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?


Nothing can separate, Even if I ran away
Your love never fails
I know I still make mistakes, But You have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails
You stay the same through the ages, Your love never changes
There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning
And when the oceans rage, I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails
The wind is strong and the water's deep, But I'm not alone in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails
The chasm is far too wide, I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails
You make all things work together for my good
You make all things work together for my good...

i've come to discover that 3 of the main ways Satan attacks us in this country are discouragement/timidity, exhaustion, and disunity. but these songs always chase away those feelings. so Tuesday we walked onto campus confident and filled with God's strength; lyndsey and i paired up and went to the cafeteria. we sat down with 2 girls who were nice but didn't speak a ton of english, and they left for class after about 20 minutes or so. still, perhaps we'll see them again. after they left, 2 other girls sat down next to us, and we asked if they spoke english. they said yes- turns out they were exchange students from the Philippines- oh, and they're Christian. and one of them actually was at the church service i went to last Sunday. small world, huh? needless to say, it was really encouraging, and i'm hoping they'll want to become involved in Student Impact this year. after that we went to the international lounge and asked 3 girls if we could talk with them. we sat down and ended up having a really long conversation- 2 of them didn't speak english too well but one did and wants to meet up with us again. she even works at Starbucks and is friends with a few Shockers, aka, my new best friend. one sobering point- they told us we were the first Christians they'd ever met. it was kind of heartbreaking, but at the same time, i suppose it's good they don't already have horrible preconceived notions of Christians. but it was a good reminder of why we're in this country. Tuesday night Kat, Mike, Ariel and i all went to the English club, which was a lot of fun. met a girl named Claudine who is also from the Philippines and actually knows the two girls we met earlier that day, Grace and Dann. she was so fun and i can't wait to hang out with her more. needless to say, it was a good day.

Wednesday we began the day with about 45 minutes of prayer as a team, then we split up and Ariel and i met up with Yumi, a girl we'd met at English club last week and wanted to meet up with us. she brought her friend Risa to meet us, and we all had lunch. then Risa went to class, but we ended up talking with Yumi for almost 3 1/2 hours, and were able to share some of our testimonies and how God called us to Japan. i'm really excited to meet up with her again. Thursday we had a break from campus- classes had been cancelled so we had some evangelism training time with Cam and a couple of the other staff, and then went Shinjuku to the tallest building and prayed over Tokyo.

looking out over the city, my heart hurt knowing that while 12,000,000 people live here, less than 1% know who Jesus is.

i saw the money-driven businessmen, the depression-filled students, the homeless, the prostitutes, the broken-hearted. and i realized- i could look out onto the city and be discouraged by the lack of hope and faith, or i could see it as my motivation to change that 1% to 100%. and i saw that, while most of the view was dominated by buildings and concrete, there were sections of green, of trees and beauty.

and i realized that even though so often i feel that this city is just a dark stronghold, the trees reminded me that God's beauty still exists here and shine's His glory, and He is, above all, the God of this city, and greater things are yet to come. and it instilled within me the passion to destroy Satan's power here. i know i can't do it alone, but i can pray for revival, i can pray for more workers to come to this country, and i can pray for the Christians already here, for boldness in sharing the Gospel with every person they meet. i find it a bit ironic that i had to come halfway around the world to realize that this is simply every Christian's calling, to share the Gospel and God's love...

- please pray for Sakiko, Aya and Misa, the 3 girls who had never met a Christian before
- for Claudine, Grace and Dann, that they will grow in their faith here and have boldness to share it with their peers
- for Yumi and Risa, that God will open their hearts to the Gospel and they would be receptive
- for energy, grace, love and unity among our team and the JCCC staff
- please pray against the spirits of apathy, discouragement and depression that cover this city

May you be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." ~Ephesians 3:16-20

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God of Wonders

ATTENTION, ALL: I OFFICIALLY HAVE WORKING INTERNET!!!! yesterday henry came over and spent way too much time speaking in japanese to the phone company and reconfiguring our router, but his hard work paid off and i am now writing this from the comfort of my own wonderful computer. i cannot even express what a wonderful feeling it is to no longer have to ask to borrow computers....ahhh praise God for internet, and teammates who are engineers and amazing at Japanese.

first things first: here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks i've been wanting to put up but hadn't had the ability to do so:

saw this immediately after landing in Tokyo and figured it was a good sign- i felt very loved at least.

this is a sunset from outside our apartment- who says God's presence is weak in Japan?

after an intense game of Ultimate Football with some Japanese high school students at ICU High School:


last thursday and friday we took a team training/bonding retreat with a few of the JCCC to Okutama, a place near the mountains about 1 1/2 hours from Tokyo by train. it was so nice to just get away from the city and be with the whole team- the 7 of us from the Pacific Southwest region (PSW) plus the 3 STINTers from KCCC New York and the 2 from Korea (Yuni and Uma- they aren't technically a part of our team but they came with us). once we'd all arrived, the first thing we did was walk down to the river and have a little praise and worship time- here's a picture of the combined teams plus 3 of the Staff:

(from left to right) back row: david, mike, aj, henry, cam (staff), ariel, simon (staff)
middle row: me, kat, yuni, uma,
front row: lyndsey, esther, man wai (staff), michelle

we then had some "getting to know you" time and some training, dinner, more bonding time and then worship around a campfire.

the next morning i woke up at 6 am to have quiet time by the river. i had seen a huge rock the day before i really wanted to try climbing. after forging a path to it, and some very ungracefully scrambling ( as i was carrying my Bible, journal and cell phone and could only climb with one hand) i finally made it to the top. i felt very proud that i hadn't fallen into the river in the attempt. here is a picture lyndsey took from the riverbank- can you find me?

here is an excerpt from my journal i wrote during my quiet time on the rock:

"sitting by a beautiful rushing river, surrounded by gigantic trees and misty mountains, i can't help but be in awe of the Lord's majesty. as soon as i looked around, the words of the song "God of Wonders" sprang from my lips- "God of wonders beyond our galaxy, You are holy, holy/ the Universe declares your majesty, You are holy, holy..." even as i sit atop this ridiculously huge boulder, a small mountain itself to my eyes, i cannot also help marveling at how tiny i really am. i could climb the highest mountain and still never reach the Lord by my own power. "for You, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods..." (Psalm 97:9). surveying the boulder at first, i was unsure of my abilities to climb it. how many times do i shy away from attempting things because i do not have the confidence in my own strength and power? praise the Lord that all things are possible with Him! even the things man sees as impossible, for all things are possible for those who believe (Mark 9:23). i'm currently listening to "Blessed Be Your Name" and it's unreal how true those words are. He has brought me out of darkness, sin and despair, and given me abundant and eternal life. He has blessed me with things i don't deserve and could never earn on my own. i am serving Him in a beautiful beautiful country- a broken country, but still beautiful- and i have the best job in the world. when the road becomes rocky, and darkness seems to take hold, may i always remember how awesome is the Lord, how great is His power, and how wonderful is His love. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall i fear? the Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall i be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1). the Lord promises Christ the nations- "ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession," (Psalm 2:8). and He promises us: "it is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob...I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6). light will always penetrate darkness, no matter how small. sitting here surrounded by the Lord's majesty, He reminds me that He made this country, and while we may not see it all the time, He still reigns sovereign, not matter how many times Satan tries to tell us otherwise. and every time i feel like ministry here is impossible, i just need to remember that "with man, things are impossible, but with God, all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

may the Lord remind you daily of his awesome power, and that He truly is a God of Wonders. may we always remember to turn to Him in times of trouble and rely on Him for everything, and may we never stop praising His Name.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting Down to Business....

let me preface by saying i'm still jet lagged and it's been almost 2 weeks....i can't believe it's still affecting me. anyway, it's about 1 am here and i'm on the verge of passing out, so forgive any lack of eloquence in this post. also, i'm really sorry i haven't been able to post any photos yet- right now we're "borrowing" internet because for some crazy reason our own router/internet connection STILL won't work, but for some other crazy reason my computer's the only computer in our apt. that can't connect to the borrowed internet. so i have to borrow my apartment mates' computers every time i want to do anything. this is why i've been writing blog posts at 1-2 am, because i wait for them to finish w/their computers and go to sleep.

Friday was our first "meeting people" day at Waseda. because ministry in Japan is such a slow process, our goal is normally not to immediately share the gospel w/ students unless we feel specifically called by the Spirit. our first goal is to get to know them and hang out with them on a regular basis. we do tell them right away that we work for Student Impact and we are Christian, and are free to talk about spiritual things if the conversation develops, but we don't want to try and force a conversation- it becomes awkward and they get the feeling that we're only talking to them b/c we have an ulterior motive. friday lyndsey and i went to the cafeteria and asked 2 girls first if them spoke english (they said yes) and second if we could talk with them- they said yes and we ended up having a 2 hour conversation with them. their names are Yui and Kanae- they were so nice and fun, and want to meet us again next week! friday night myself, michelle, lyndsey, ariel, david and esther (Korean Campus Crusade STINTers) went to a performance of The Shockers- Waseda's All Male Cheerleading Team. now, michelle and esther had met some cheerleaders who told them about this performance- we were curious but assumed it would be maybe a 5 minute show. but then we saw a crowd of people (mostly girls) standing by a huge building. the show started at 6:30, this was at 5 pm. turns out they were waiting in line to see The Shockers. so we got in line too. we waited over an hour to see the show, but it turned out to be worth it- it was a 2 hour performance, mostly by the Shockers, but also with a few guest dance and cheerleading groups. i am now unashamedly a Shockers groupie for life. here's a video that lyndsey took-

Saturday we had a free day, so we went shopping for some apartment things and had a fun day exploring. Sunday we went to church at New Hope- the message was all about living sacrificially and learning to break away from a self-centered life and centering your life on Christ. the pastor talked about how we have the CHOICE to influence people or not, and the choice as to HOW we influence people- we are called to be the "aroma of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:15-16). he ended reminding us that we are not here for our own glory but for God's. Sunday night was my first time going to JCCC's dance ministry called Holy Spirit. first they do a Bible study, then learn dances, then all have a meal together and fellowship. it was SO MUCH FUN. i've officially joined, and they're letting me be in one of the dances they are performing at our Halloween party since i learn so fast (and begged them to let me perform). it was so glorious just to dance again, and since they dance to worship music, it's so much more meaningful and i feel like King David dancing for God. Monday was a national holiday- Health and Fitness/Sports Day. seriously. it was awesome. we spent the day geocashing at a huge park, then we got korean food and did karaoke.

Tuesday we had a team meeting, then went to Waseda again. michelle and i teamed up and ended up talking to several girls, but the 2 that really excited me were Yuki and Kaori. we originally approached them because Yuki had a dance team bag, but turned out that they were both amazing at English and super friendly and fun. we had lunch with them and talked for awhile, and we're meeting them again next week. they were even interested in trying out Holy Spirit (the dance ministry) sometime! i'm hoping i'll even be able to go to Yuki's dance team sometime. every Tuesday evening Waseda's English Club meets for a couple hours, so ariel, mike and i went to a coffee shop and relaxed until it was time to go back to campus. originally i wasn't that excited about it, and i was really exhausted/jetlagged- i even dozed off in the coffee shop AFTER having coffee, but it was so amazing! it was 2 hours of students wanting to talk to me and being excited, and they were so welcoming and fun- one girl, Yumi, even asked if she could take me shopping sometime, even though i'd only been talking to her for a few minutes! one of the guys i met, Eric, told me he was really interested in learning more about Christianity after i told him that i wor,ked for Student Impact. there were 2 girls from China, Jane and Ellen, who were in my discussion group i was interested in meeting but didn't get a chance- one of the girls, Jane, had expressed her love of hiking during discussion group. Mike's church is going hiking next weekend and my mind immediately thought "YOU SHOULD INVITE HER" but then they disappeared. but God gave me a 2nd opportunity on the way out the door of the university- i turned around and saw them right behind me and introduced myself, Ariel and Mike and we talked all the way to the train station, during which i invited them to go hiking and they seemed really excited about it! God totally refreshed me with their enthusiasm, and i made a lot of new contacts, and am definitely going back next week. it was a really encouraging day- i never expected to meet so many people/make so many new friends in one day. Today our team split and henry, michelle and lyndsey went to Waseda while the rest of us went to ICU High School. we had a picnic outside again and 3 new girls from last week came and talked with us for awhile. after classes were over we played ultimate frisbee and football in a big grassy area, and met 2 new girls and 3 new boys, so that was really encouraging as well. tonight Kat, the 3rd member of the KCCC (Korea Campus Crusade for Christ) STINT team arrived- we all went to the JCCC center to meet her and eat a late dinner. it was really exciting to finally be a full team. tomorrow and Friday we will be going on a training retreat as a whole STINT team (PSW + KCCC) and a few of the JCCC Staff to learn more about effective evangelism and working with our team. even though i've only been in Tokyo about 1 1/2 weeks, it will be nice to go to the country and refresh a bit.

- please be praying for Yui, Kanae, Yuki, Kaori, Yumi, Ellen, Jane and Eric- that the Lord would provide more opportunities to meet and smooth ways to share the Gospel with them
- for energy
- for team unity, wisdom and discernment in ministry

SPECIAL PRAYER: PLEASE PRAY FOR THE EXCHANGE RATE- SERIOUSLY. it's been fluctuating between 78-82 yen to the dollar right now. that is really not good. if it stays this low there is a very good chance we'll have to raise more support just to stay in Tokyo since we're losing so much money because of the rates.

may the Lord bless you and keep you, and may every day you make the choice to serve your Creator, and to be a positive influence in the lives of others.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Few Firsts...

so far this week has been full of "first's" - here are a few of them:

First Alien Registration Card:

monday we went and got our Alien Registration cards for Mitaka (our city within Tokyo Prefecture). this actually was kind of stressful because either we'd been sent the wrong address from our director or i'd written it down wrong- either way, when i tried to apply the lady said my building didn't exist, and it took a really long time to figure out that the address was wrong. i'd written down 9-17-18 when our address is really 9-18-17. needless to say, i'll never be forgetting those numbers now.

First Time Eating Natto:

if you don't know what natto is, it's extremely popular in Japan. i have no idea why, as it not only looks gross, it smells gross and tastes even grosser. it's fermented soybean paste. why anyone ever thought that was a good idea to market as edible is beyond my comprehension. but i told myself that i needed to try it at least once. once was enough. beyond enough. we all went for our first team dinner to a rotating sushi bar, and as it went past some of the boys on our team told me to grab it and told me it was natto. so i sucked up my courage and downed the whole slimy mass, and almost threw up in the process. i could barely keep myself from gagging- i was seriously one fermented soybean shy of spitting it all over the restaurant. but i finally got it down. and then was nauseous the rest of the night. but hey, now i can say i did it. was definitely filled with a distinct feeling of accomplishment afterward....or maybe it was just the unsettled natto.

First 6 Hour Prayer Marathon:

Tuesday was a Worldwide All-Campus Crusade Day of Prayer. so for 6 hours, we joined with the rest of the JCCC staff and prayed for different areas of the world and countries where staff of Campus Crusade are currently serving. it was really cool, but really draining, and at 3:30 pm it felt like 9 pm. that may have been jetlag though. after we finished praying all the STINTers went to a restaurant and got some good grub, and then to Mr. Donut for dessert. oh Mr. Donut, how i've missed you.

First Gospel Choir Experience:

gospel music is becoming a huge fad in Japan- which is really awesome. JCCC has a Gospel choir ministry, a fabulous way to share the gospel because students love the music but a lot of times don't even understand what they are singing, so then we can explain it. the choir meets on Tuesday nights from about 7-9:30 pm. lyndsey goes every week, so myself, michelle, and the two KCCC (Korean Campus Crusade for Christ) STINTers all joined her to try it out. it was SO COOL. i haven't done any choir since high school, and it was so awesome to hear all our voices join together praising God in a beautiful harmony. there were about 13 students that came, and they were all amazing singers and super nice. unfortunately i don't think i'll have time to do it, because i really really want to do the dance ministry and i won't have time for both :( it was a really fun experience though.

First Day on Campus:

yesterday was our first official day on campus. we went to International Christian University (ICU) High School. we used to go to ICU, but CCC keeps getting kicked off of that campus. which is ironic really, but the "Christian" in the name is really that- in name only. however, at the high school, all students are required to take a Christianity class which is really awesome and is a huge open door for us to do ministry through lunch time hangouts and after school activities. we had a picnic outside for lunch and got to meet about 8-9 students. after school a few more students stopped by as well to hang out for a bit. it was really awesome just to be on campus and getting to hang out and meet students.

First Time Playing Halo/Halo 2:

last night AJ and Henry taught me to play Halo. and by Halo, i mean Halo 2. and by "taught," i mean AJ taught me and Henry killed me. a lot. i did manage to kill both of them twice. it was probably b/c they were too busy killing each other that i was able to sneak up on them. oh well. it was a good first attempt, right?

First Day at Waseda University:

this morning we set out for our first excursion to Waseda University. the campus is about 30-40 minutes away from Mitaka. its a really pretty campus with a ton of trees and rocks with Japanese writing (i have no idea what the significance of these rocks is, but they are pretty). this university has a huge international student population, so it's a really good place for us to do ministry, partially because most students are good at english, partially because we are less conspicuous being on campus, and partially because most students are fairly interested in talking with Americans. we prayer walked all over the campus, then spent some time hanging out in a big grassy area w/ Cam and Ayumi, one of the JCCC staff who will be with us almost every week at Waseda. met one of the Christian students which was really encouraging. tomorrow we will be our first day of evangelism/meeting students- please pray that God leads us to the students He wants us to meet!

First Takoyaki:

takoyaki= fried octopus. basically its a ball of octopus w/ fried stuff around it. and it was actually really good. much better than natto. in fact, i highly recommend it. seriously.

- wisdom and discernment in ministry
- open hearts of the students we meet
- spiritual protection from discouragement, weariness and division
- that the Lord would start revival at Waseda University

may your week also be full of firsts!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Touchdown in Tokyo!

well, we finally made it.

flew from Dallas to San Francisco at about 6:30 am, arrived in San Fran about 8:30 am PT, then had about a 3 1/2 hour layover. michelle was supposed to meet me but missed her flight out of San Diego- thankfully she was able to catch one out of LA that would arrive in Tokyo only about an hour after mine. henry's flight would arrive first. i slept for a good deal of the 12 hour flight, watched 2 movies, wrote in my journal, worked on some Japanese, and stared out the window for the remainder of the time.

when i made it out of customs, henry was waiting for me- it was really exciting to see him and be reunited, especially since thoughts of "what if i can't find henry and he can't find me and i'm lost in the Narita Airport???!" kept going through my head. while we waited for michelle to arrive, we exchanged our money for Japanese yen. the exchange rate between the yen and the dollar is about the worst it's ever been- about 82 yen to the dollar. we're going to have to be really careful with our money right now.

Cam, our JCCC director, met us at the airport and drove us all to the JCCC Student Center in Mitaka, where we were finally reunited with the other STINTers- it was SO GOOD to see them again. they had food waiting for us, and we got our new cell phones and bicycles, then we headed to our new homes for the next year. lyndsey, michelle and i all live in this cute little apartment about 20 minutes away (biking) from the JCCC center and 7 minutes from the guys. the living room is actually fairly spacious, and while my room is rather small, i've organized it pretty well and i think i'm really going to enjoy it.

this morning we made pancakes for breakfast, then went to the 2 pm service at New Hope Church in Ochanomizu- not gonna lie, i kind of love that they have afternoon church services. it was so good- i was just so filled with joy at the first notes of the worship music, and could just feel the Holy Spirit permeating the entire place. the message was exactly what i needed to hear, and even their the title of their bulletin said "NEVER, EVER FORGET YOUR MISSION IN LIFE." i thought it was rather appropriate. because even while i am an official Missionary in a foreign land, there are still so many distractions the devil has waiting, and it's easy to get caught up in things that may look good (and might even BE good) but they may not necessarily be what God wants me to be focusing on at that moment.

after church we met some students Lyndsey had made friends with the week before, and we all went to a Hawaiian hamburger place for a late lunch/early dinner. then we went to the 100 yen store and got some necessities for our rooms/ the apartment. then we went to the grocery store- rode my new bike for the first time, which was interesting since i've never used handbrakes. but finally got it figured out and i didn't even run into anything. my bicycle's name is Silver Bullet. i'll put up a picture soon.

spent the rest of the evening organizing my room. tomorrow we're going to get our Alien Registration cards.

in case anyone feels compelled to send me wonderful things from America, here's my new address:

Kimiyo Brown
Kamirenjaku 9-18-17, Gakutou Mitaka Apt. 401
Mitaka-shi, Tokyo-to 181-0012

sorry for the abrupt ending, but it's really late here and i'm sleepy. and i have to wake up before 8 am to take the trash out. apparently you can't take trash out the night before here...silly Japan.