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Thursday, December 6, 2007

picture overload...

I am going to overwhelm you with pictures because it has been an overwhelming month. Overwhelming in a 'I'm a better person because of it' sort of way :). Life has been going fast and ministry has been really busy, but we have seen some great things happen! God is good, as usual. :) We only have a little over a month left in the semester and then we have a break- so we're going to keep on keepin on and trust the Lord as he does His good work.

this is our Thanksgiving Party- over 200 students plus Staff and Stinters... YEAH!

There is a stinter here who started a gospel choir. They performed for Thanksgiving and they were AWESOME!

We prepared a full thanksgiving meal for all 250+ people who came... I cooked 5 turkeys!!

stuffing. a lot of stuffing.

some of you have asked how the culture is rubbing off on us... :)

cruelty to animals


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sumo Wrestlers and Fried Shrimp

The day before Halloween Jonathan and I (dressed as a fried shrimp and sumo wrestler) went with our team (panda bear, pirate, power ranger) to a couple of campuses to publicize for our Halloween Party. So, yes... we wore these crazy outfits on the trains and on campus.
The actual Halloween Party was so fun! We had a carnival (I was in charge of the bobbing for apples station) and then a meeting where Jonathan shared his testimony. Over 100 students came, and many of them expressed their interest in knowing more about Jesus after hearing from Jonathan and also their excitement for our next event! Yeah!



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a new phase...

We have been here for 34 days. I remember when I was counting down the days before we left. Now we're here. We have been for 34 days. I like that. 34 days of all of the "firsts" and transitions and moving and culture shock. 34 days, I think, must be the mark of the end of the beginning, the end of transition. maybe? maybe not. I'm sure there is still much to adjust to and many more things that will demand our flexibility- but, I really do believe that we are entering into a new phase of being here... I would like to call it the "phase of familiarity".

We are now familiar with looking right first before we cross the street so we don't get run over by the cars driving on the left side of the road.
We are very familiar with walking and working an hour into our schedule to get anywhere.
We are familiar with the Japanese charachters that mean "lowfat milk"
We are familiar with taking our shoes off before we enter any home.
Bowing is familiar. I find myself bowing almost instinctively at any and all occasions to most everyone.
Skype is familar.
All 50 square feet of our apartment is familiar. Just jokin, it's more like 100 square feet. :)

We like living in big cities... although this city really does put LA to shame. There is an area of Tokyo- one train stop away from Mitaka (where we live) called Kichijoji. Mmm, I love Kichijoji. Not only is it one of the coolest words to say, it's also the place that has a romantic park and lake, my favorite cofffee shops, sushi, and clothing store (it's like banana republic clothes meet Old Navy prices). beautiful. The best part is that I can walk there from our apartment without taking the train. You should come visit, I'll take you there.

Ministry is slow, but going well. Jonathan and I went to campus just the two of us today to Nihon Universtity. We usually aren't on the same campus together, so it was a treat. We sat in the cafeteria and just talked to the students who came to sit next to us- it was one of my most encouraging days on campus. One of the guys actually lived in San Diego this summer, we bonded with him over conversation about mexican food. All of the students we talked to are planning on coming to our Halloween party outreach- Jonathan will be speaking at it about " the masks we wear". you can pray for him. :)

ok, enough writing for now, who even reads this much on a blog? I'll show you pictures instead.
This is me and two of my favorite Japanese CCC Staff members, Ayumi and Kaori

We found Indian food by our house that we love... all you can eat Nan! It's like Pita bread and it's huge and yummy!

train in the rain...

Jonathan and Paul went surfing in Chiba!

Jonathan and Kermit (one of our teammates) strolling through Mitaka. Take note of the Hello Kitty rugs and the cute boy in the corner- both of which are very easy to find here. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Has anyone ever told you...?



Yes, we say. People have told us that Jonathan looks like Brad Pitt. We would hear this pretty often when we were in the states, but it's pretty crazy how many people have said something since we have been in Japan. We were going to try and count how many times it happened in Japan, but we've already lost count. I guess you could say that I am a lucky woman, or maybe a very envied woman :)

We're actually thinking of turning this phenomenon into an opportunity for an outreach with college students. "Come meet the Brad Pitt look- a - like. Give us 10 minutes of your time and we'll even let you take a picture with him." Hmmm... that might be a stretch, but anything for the gospel, right!?

There has actually been more going on then Brad Pitt conversations, though. :) I'll be honest, it doesn't quite feel like home yet- but we're getting closer. I'm learning to navigate my way around the grocery store (very slowly, I'll admit, since everything is in Japanese), we're eating a lot of ramen, and slowly furnishing and decorating our apartment. maybe we'll set up a virtual tour soon. We had our first day on 2 campuses today, Waseda and Sophia, we just prayer walked gave ourselves a little tour. Next week is when a typical week of minstry will begin. We would love your prayers :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

We're here!

It's been a long time coming... and here we are. I am sitting in my apartment in Tokyo staring oddly at this blogger page because for some reason all of blogger.com's website is in japanese, I guess I should be getting used to things like this.

God is good and we have totally loved our first 24 hours or so being here. It's kind of been a whirlwind, but a good one. Good-bye's were sad and hard, though. If I were to add anything to the Bible (eventhough I know God is perfect and it's not lacking a thing) I would add "no more goodbyes" to Revelation 21 when it talks about what the new earth will be like. It would go a little something like this:
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying nor pain NOR GOODBYES anymore, for the former things have passed away." (KNAV-Kristen's new adapted version)

I'll post some pictures in the next couple of days and let you all in on some fun stories and details of our first week. For now, I'll just tell you we're here safe and feeling as if we're exactly where God wants us to be. We love you- whoever you are that checks this blog. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

it feels normal...

Today we got back from Colorado (again) where we had our STINT briefing. There were 400 people at this conference, most of whom left this week for cities all over the world on STINT. I think one of my favorite things about the conference is that it felt normal that we were leaving the country for a year (or more, we'll see :)). On any given day I would be sitting next to people going to Siberia, Italy, North Africa, Costa Rica, Thailand, etc.... the list goes on. What great company!
So, we feel ready. We move out of our apartment in less than 2 weeks and I know I'll miss it. We'll miss friends and family A LOT too, of course. But, we couldn't feel more confident in our call to Tokyo.. so, we are excited and ready. Only 31 days to go, and counting... YEAH!!!

Oh, and if anyone out there is into fiction- I just finished the BEST book: The Ezekiel Option by Joel Rosenberg. It's based on end-time prophecies and Rush Limbaugh describes it , "like an episode of 24 with a supernatural twist". Who wouldn't love this book?!

Friday, July 27, 2007

busy times, good times

The slow part of summer is now behind us. The countdown to Tokyo, now at 55 days, is quickly approaching... and we couldn't be more excited. In the last month we have been in South Korea for our STINT leaders training, San Diego for sister court's wedding and Colorado for a staff conference. Now we're home for a day before we start traveling again. :)
We got to worship Jesus with 16,000 students from 120 different countries in South Korea for Campus Mission 2007 ... a small glimpse of what heaven might be like :)



Courtney and Aarons wedding...



Monday, June 11, 2007

the count down

We just found out our official departure date for STINT... September 20. You may think, 'My goodness, that's a long time from now.' Well, I'm thinking that. I was actually a little disappointed when I found out. But then, when I realized I was disappointed about having to wait, I realized that it means that I must have been really excited to go in the first place. Then I was happy. I'm thankful that God has prepared our hearts so much to go that we feel ready now! And now we have more time for raising support, moving, preparing everything, etc. God is good.

This picture is of the craziest pedestrian intersection in the world. It's the Shibuya train stop in Tokyo. Jonathan and a couple of students decided to take a little break in the middle of the street. awesome.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

our team





Here is our new team for next year- we'll actually be splitting into 2 teams of 6. They are awesome! The large group of us are all first time STINTers (Short Term INTernational)and the other pictures are of current STINTers who are coming back for another year!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

new to the blogging world

the picture below is from a fish market- that's tuna!

Here we are. No baby to put up cute pictures of, but bloggers none the less. I thought it might be a good idea to create the habit of blogging, so we could keep everyone up to date on life in Japan when we move there in a few months! We just got back from a retreat this weekend where we met our teammates for the year. We're getting pumped. These are a couple pictures from when we visied Tokyo over Spring Break.