22 May, 2013

Exciting meeting

Yesterday I met with two Japanese friends for coffee. Doesn't sound too unusual, does it? But there's a lot of back story!

One friend, T*, I've known for seven years. We met as mums at our children's Japanese kindergarten. We've done many things together, and she's helped me with various bureaucratic things (get driver's licence, various errands at the city hall etc.). We ran an English club for mums at the kindergarten for three years. Now that we no longer see each other as we drop our children off to kindergarten, it takes a more deliberate effort to see one another, but she works near my hairdresser, so I usually drop by and see her at her stationery shop on those occasions. She also loves to come to CAJ's theatrical performances.

The other friend, M, is a newer friend. I got to know her because she married an Australian five years ago who supported us (though I'm still unsure how we met him). We've been meeting in the last couple of months, to "exchange language". So we talk in English for a while and then switch to Japanese. Both of us benefit! It's been really enjoyable too. Motivation to learn Japanese has always been a problem for me, but these conversations have piqued my interest in a way that no language lessons ever did.

It just so happens that the mid-way train station between M's house and mine is (approximately) Shin-Akitsu station. This is the station right by T's shop. Last time M and I met, I "ran into" T on my way back to the station! She wanted to know why I was in the area, of course, and I told her about my language exchange. A keen student of English, she immediately wanted to join in. M agreed and yesterday we met for the first time.

It certainly upped the level of Japanese conversation challenge for me! But it was a very enjoyable time. We had a number of things in common, not the least being Australia. T spent a year in Australia in her young adult days and M, is not only married to an Australian, but has spent a total of five years there at various times.

Wow, I came home really buoyed by this coffee meeting! The biggest thing I'm excited about is that we've been praying for T for seven years. She's not interested in the Bible or knowing about God. M is a keen Christian. Because we're exchanging language, there is no pressure. But I'm waiting to see how this interesting "God-incidence" (as opposed to a co-incidence) will progress.

*I've not told you their real names because I'd hate for them to be embarrassed by me telling this story.

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