06 March, 2016

Retreat joy

The retreat site was very close to this river, the Tama. I went for a stroll
along here with some other ladies before I drove back to
Tokyo. It was delightful, even though the trees don't yet have their
spring-clothes on yet.
I had a special 24 hrs this week at the women's retreat I wrote about on Tuesday. So glad I got to go to some of it, it really is a part of my strategy to stay afloat in this missionary life: emotionally and spiritually. 

Leaving the boys was harder than I thought it would be, even though I knew they were in good hands. I'm glad I didn't decide to go for the whole two days, that would have been too hard. 

I'd invited a friend, a Japanese friend who has much better English than my Japanese. At one point I was chatting to her and a young lady who's recently joined OMF as a short-termer. They both commented on how many friends I had. They were right. I knew many of the 64 women who were there. Got some great hugs too. 

This was one of several encouraging posters on the walls of the retreat
centre. It encapsulated what the retreat helped me do, lifting up my eyes
 to my Creator and Saviour.
I have been to eight of these now (I'm pretty sure that's the right number). That plus my connections at CAJ plus my work with the magazine all add up to knowing quite a few Christian expats in this corner of the word. I also love networking. This retreat is a place my extroverted side comes out. I feel comfortable there. But my preference is deep conversation in twos or threes, though, so I don't always look like an extrovert. 

I think two main things for me were being with other Christian women who understand what living as an expat in Japan is like and the worship times. Singing praise songs in English isn't to be taken for granted. It's been a challenging month and a chance to lift my eyes to my Saviour once again was precious.

I love the colour of these.
I also bought some beautiful jewellery. Nozomi Project was there with jewellery made from pottery broken in the tsunami of 2011 and recycled (or up cycled?) pottery. Nozomi means hope in Japanese. They have a great story that began with the triple disaster of 2011, check out their link above. I've published a couple of articles about them in Japan Harvest. It's wonderful to finally own a couple of their pieces. 

Additionally we were all given fresh water pearl necklaces. A reminder that we have Jesus, our pearl of great price (see the story here).

My pearl necklace.
On Tuesday I wrote about how going to this retreat was a precious gift made possible by someone else. Since then I remembered that this isn't the first time someone has given me this gift. The very first time I went was only made possible because another female missionary volunteered to look after my young boys (I had a toddler at that time). The next year I believe my husband took personal days off from school to allow me to go. Wow, it's wonderful to look back and remember how God's looked after me.

1 comment:

MOM2_4 said...

The jewelry is beautiful and will be a beautiful reminder of time away. I am so glad you were able to go.