Jayden and Jonathan
The very day after Dave went off for a week in Tokyo, Jayden Bray and Jonathan Tan arrived at Nagaoka Tenjin Station to stay with us for a week. They had spent a week in Osaka visiting a church there and also ministering to homeless people. While with us, they got see some of the things we do here including the church and some English classes. Although the kindergarten English classes had finished, we were all invited to take part in a regular class at Megumi Kindergarten for half a day. It was in that class that the words "Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."" (Matthew 19:14 NIV) rang so true as we experienced the love and hospitality from the children who welcomed us into their class group.
Well, in July of 2009 Jonathan wrote to say he would be making a trip to Japan and possibly bringing a friend along. In the end the way it worked out is that they came here for the week that Dave went to Tokyo.
God has given Jonathan incredible talents for the Japanese Language, he has picked it up so quickly. He plans to come to live in Japan in the future, once he's graduated from university.
It was also great to get to know Jayden who has very different personality to Jonathan! It's is amazing to see how God works in all types of people.
The differences in personality meant all had our moments and misunderstandings, but in the end it was a growth experience!
We know Jonathan's heart is for Japan and reaching the Japanese people with the Gospel, so we are sure we'll work with him more in the future.
We're not sure if God is going to bring Jayden back to Japan or not, but if does come back Ritsuko and I'll welcome him with arms wide open.
Dave was about to head off to Tokyo on a late night bus, as a bit of a send off we organised a dinner at a restaurant below the Kyoto tower with some of the other teachers from Megumi Kindergarten. Before dinner Ritsuko and I took Dave up to Kiyomizu temple where we were able to watch the sun setting over Kyoto. It was a very fitting end to this stage of Dave's mission trip to Japan...
Arashiyama on a cold and rainy day
One of my favourite places in Kyoto is Arashiyama and I wanted to share it with Dave during his time with us. Well on a Thursday morning we had an opportunity to go, with the stipulation we got home for a 4pm English class. It was a very cold (about 2 degrees Celsius) and wet (drizzly) morning when we headed out to Arashiyama. We both put on full wet weather gear over the top of our warm winter clothing (including duck down jackets).
Soon after we got there my little Casio gave up the ghost (well so I thought)... However, after warming it up under my Jacket and pulling the battery out and putting it back in again it came back to life and has worked ever since.
Well, we went to Tenryu-ji (a Zen Temple) and then to the Bamboo forest. After that we had lunch at an Udon Restaurant, but we were still feeling hungry so we went to a nice cafe for parfait desserts. Well took so long eating that we had to rush back to the train and then rush from the station back home to make it in time for the English classes. We made it back in time, but had to change clothes, because we were drenched from running home in so much gear... So much for the wet weather gear keeping us dry!
Four Degrees Celsius
It was a Monday and we didn't have any classes until 6pm, so we decided to take Dave out to visit the Sakamotos in Omi-Imazu. Well, this time unlike when we went there in the New Year Holidays, we decided to walk the 2.6kms from the train station to their house. When Ritsuko and I visited Omi-Imazu with Julia in 2007 we did the same walk, but as you can see from that photo
the weather was quite a bit more pleasant! Still we made it on a cold day and the walk also warmed us up pretty well and good too!
Along the way we stopped to show Dave the the street (top right) named after the famous missionary (who "tentmade" as an architect) William Merrell Vories with a Bank, a Post Office and a Church which he designed.
Once we arrived at the Sakamotos' house we enjoyed plenty of good food and fellowship, before we had to head back (by car to the train station this time) to make it back home in time to for the English class.