24 May, 2012

A panel, flowers, and Kangaroo-do

The end of the fourth day of our training week. Only one day to go!

Our meeting room, during a break.
Today we had a four person Japanese pastor panel who answered various questions that were put to them. The questions ranged from: "The church in China flourished after the missionaries were forced out in 1950, should we missionaries all leave Japan?" to more theological and missiological questions. Thankfully I was able to get access to translation as the 2 1/2 hours of Japanese would have mostly gone over my head, I'm afraid. I caught bits and pieces here and there, but I got a lot more out of it with greater understanding.

One of the encouragements we received from them was not to be too worried about our foreign-ness. That is it actually an advantage (gives evangelism opportunities that Japanese people don't get). And that it isn't so much how good our language is or how conformed we are to their ways that speaks to the Japanese, but that our motivation for being there, our love for them and our sacrifices to be here speaks loudly to the perceptive Japanese. Of course that doesn't give us licence to trample all over this culture or refuse to try to grow in our understanding of the people and culture of this land, but it does mean that we don't have to be weighed down heavily with guilt because we can never be as Japanese as the Japanese.

Tulips, I didn't get a photo of azaleas.
After that heavy morning, we had a longish lunch, so I took the time to go for a 20 minute walk. It was a sunny day, and really quite pleasant to be outside. It surprised me to see the flowers that are in bloom. Before, when I was living in Sapporo, I had no idea how the timing of flowers blooming here is a little unusual. In Tokyo there is a distinctive order of flower blooming in the spring. I cannot tell you them all exactly, except that tulips and azaleas don't bloom at the same time. They were today!

I'd also forgotten that snow-country architecture feature that has a double entry. You can see it here in the front. There is more than a roof over the door to the house, there is a little covered room. Reason is simple. If there is a snow storm during the night, you might be snowed in and unable to open your front door in the morning. The doors of this little extra entry are always sliding doors and usually glass.
See the extra little glass room before you
get to the front door.

This afternoon we had discussion groups, talking about this morning, then we had the weekly OMF prayer meeting. It is an institution that we enjoyed during our 3 1/2 years up here. A great time of worshipping and praying together as well as fellowshipping.

Today they invited each of those who don't normally go to this prayer meeting to share about our ministries for two minutes. Most of them have heard my name, because a couple of my jobs has involved emailing everyone, so it was nice to help them put a face to a name.

After prayer meeting we also enjoyed a pot luck meal, after which I swallowed my shyness and made an effort to meet as many of those whom I didn't know (and there were a lot, because this is where the new missionaries come first to study the language). I'm pretty tired now!

But one humorous photo before I go to bed. Yesterday at the shopping centre I found this upmarket bag shop: Kangaroo-do! I wonder what they'd think if I told them what an Australian is likely to think of immediately they hear a name like that?

1 comment:

Hippomanic Jen said...

"Kangaroo do" - I think I must be a 7 year old boy. - thanks for the giggle