14 April, 2012

A full, but fulfilling Friday

The writers working hard (the spare computer is mine).
Yesterday was a full day. In the morning we finished off the second half of our one-day writers' workshop. It went very well. Writers are generally a fairly solitary bunch, and it can be a lonely, discouraging pursuit. For writers who are also missionaries, there is little opportunity for spending time with other writers. However, hopefully we're beginning to address that with these twice yearly workshops. One of the writers wrote this to us in an email last night:
I always knew writing was fun. But I had no idea it could be so much more fun. More than anything else you brought to us the value  of writing in a community of writers. And you certainly kindled a deeper joy for writing in our hearts.
Discussing how to make our writing better.
Oh, I feel so encouraged. These workshops are my "baby" and God seems to be using them to help others in a variety of ways. Yay! One of the things God has placed on my heart is a desire, not just to encourage others with my own writing, but to get the stories of others out there too. And what better way to do that than to encourage and help other writers!

The biggest challenge with the workshops is that the participants expressed a desire that they be taught more about writing. Who me? I don't feel qualified to do such a thing. I've never studied writing formally, I've not written a book and I don't even have many published articles out there. How can I stand up in front of a group with any authority and say, "This is how to write better." I'll have to think on this for a bit. Our next workshop is to be in autumn down in the Kansai area (containing Osaka and Kyoto), so I have a little bit of time to think.
Geoff and Carol Reilly with some yummy
Japanese strawberries.

Just after 12 I dashed off to the train station in order to meet friends from Australia. Geoff married us 15 years ago and we served alongside him in the church in various ways (deaconate, missions committee etc.). He and Carol have been wonderful friends and always so warm towards us.

Two years ago we learned that they were headed to Japan to teach English at a church for one year. Unfortunately when they went back to Australia in the middle of last year we'd not managed to get together with them (they worked a reasonable distance south of Tokyo).

Then, I heard via Facebook that they were coming back again this week for a fortnight. And they would be in the same prefecture that I was in for the workshop on Thursday/Friday. So, I seized the day and asked if we could get together for lunch.

It was further away than I thought (about 70km from our house), but despite the 2 1/2 hours it took me to get home, I was totally worth it. It is not often we get to spend time here with people who knew us "back then". Most of our friends here have known us for less than six years. Additionally Geoff and Carol have experience in living in Japan and, most of all, a missionary's heart for Japan, that is all too rare in Australia too. So, conversation is easy and encouraging.

They are seeking God's leading in their lives — should they come in this later stages of their lives to serve for a longer period in Japan? Not an easy decision. As immigrants from Ireland to Australia they've already left one country and all their relatives on the other side of the world with their young family. This decision would mean leaving their three young adult children in Australia without any wider family. Tough, but I know that they're not ones to shy away from tough decisions. We'll be praying for them.

1 comment:

-J said...

A family from the church I attended in college (20 yrs ago) stopped by for a few hours last month, and I was caught off guard by how refreshing it was to be with someone I'd known "back then." So glad you had that time!