Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tadaima! (ただいま!)

I know it's been several months since I last updated this blog.

However, I will definitely be keeping a better record of this summer, because, for the first time in 2 years...I'M BACK IN JAPAN! Tadaima means "I'm home!"

In the summer of 2008, on a hot, humid day in June, I stepped off the plane and onto Japan soil for the first time. I had never flown internationally, never shared the Gospel, never spoken Japanese. Little did I know that my time in Japan on that Summer Project would change my life forever. Almost six years later, I have been to Japan five times, twice on Summer Projects and three times while STINTing with Cru. Now for the first time, I have been given the opportunity to co-direct Epic Movement's Japan Summer Project! I am extremely honored and humbled to see how the Lord has grown me these past several years, and to have the privilege of leading a group of 12 college students from all over the US to Kyoto, Japan this summer.

It's amazing to see how my experiences in Japan have come full circle, from my first reluctance to even apply for the project to now directing my own. The several months leading up to Project were an adventure in themselves, going through Summer Project Directors training, processing applications, forming our team, making phone calls, raising financial support (and helping our students), and of course, planning all the details of 6 weeks in Japan.

And now, after 6 months of planning, preparing and praying, we're finally in Japan! In fact, we've actually just finished out first week, complete with all the fun challenges of traveling with 16 Americans, in an unfamiliar city, with unreliable forms of communication. But God is sovereign, and even after sitting in the wrong train car on the way to Kyoto and having to migrate with all our luggage 5 cars up, being unable to find our Kyoto staff who was meeting us at the station, the taxis getting lost to our houses, having money complications with the banks, getting on wrong busses, and leading the team onto the wrong university and getting kicked off...we are all still alive, our team is wonderful and gracious and loving, and we've already seen one Japanese student accept Christ! I have much to tell, but for now, enjoy a few pictures of our past week...
All the International Epic Summer Projects at briefing in LA
Epic Japan Summer Project 2014 with our coaches
Adventure Day to Arashiyama!

Touring the universities in Kyoto! 
First Student Impact Kyoto meeting- so encouraged by how much it's grown!
Praying over Kyoto on top of Arashiyama
Making friends with macaque monkeys?
The monkey didn't really like me...oh well.

More adventures to come! Stay tuned....