Hi friends! I'd say it's about time to write an update, wouldn't you agree? Let's get crackin'!
So, support raising is a bit sluggish at the moment, but it's thanks to my previous learning experience with support raising that I can say that I am really trusting God through this whole process. If He taught me anything from last time, it was that He has a plan and timing for everything! It could be so easy to feel heavyhearted that the support isn't coming in very quickly, and there are times when I begin to get discouraged, but at the moment I am so thankful that He has provided any support at all! I feel confident that He wants me to go back - I'm just unaware of how long He wants me to be there. But that's okay, because however long I will be there will be by His timing, and I can only pray that I would glorify Him through the whole experience and that He would use me in whatever way He chooses.
About a month ago, I had the wonderful opportunity of having one of my
good friends from Japan visit with me for a few days. It was so
wonderful being able to see someone from Japan after being away for over
a year! I loved having my two worlds - my American family and my Japan
family - together! And it was all through Christ that it was possible!
While she was here, I was able to practice my Japanese, and she her
English. It was so nice having a one-on-one tutor to answer all of my
silly questions, and to teach me origami. :) It was also fun introducing her to many new things!
We went to the D.C. Zoo together, made pizza at my house (her pizzas
looked so much better than mine, which is a little embarrassing
considering my occupation is making the stuff ;-)) and she got to
experience her first American wedding! Having her here made me
appreciate the little things about my everyday life that I take for
granted. Every morning when I woke up I would find her looking out my
bedroom window at my yard, and she would always say, "So green!" I had
forgotten how much I had loved when I came home from Japan last time to
find the beautiful green of Virginia, and realized how much I had missed
it while being away. Having her here also fed the fire of my excitement
of going back to Japan. It was so cool when we were saying our goodbyes
and were able to say, "Bye! See you in Japan!" and talk about the plans we've already made of what we're going to do together when we both return.
I'm very excited because my church is hosting a giant yard sale this Saturday as a fundraiser event for my Japan trip! It's going to be so much fun, and I am so overjoyed and grateful for the (literal) mounds of donations my church and friends have brought for the yard sale! Please be praying that it would be a successful event, and that the weather would stay nice!
One thing I've been realizing recently is how much more difficult leaving will be this time. When I returned from Japan last year, I think I realized how much I had taken all of my wonderful relationships here for granted. I feel like in the last year I've become so much closer to so many people than I have in the decade or more that I've known them. It's so wonderful, but at the same time I am sad to be leaving so soon after building these relationships up even stronger. When I left for Japan for the first time, I honestly wasn't sad at all. I was so incredibly excited beyond belief, that there was no trace of sadness. It was a wonderful, adventurous experiment that I was looking forward to braving through! This time, it's so familiar and yet new at the same time. I am a changed person from the last time I left. This time will be different on many levels.
Yes, I will be sad to leave this time, but I am still incredibly excited to return to the country I love so dearly! I can't wait to see my old students! I can't wait to walk the streets of Chiba and Tokyo again! I can't wait to be able to speak and learn more Japanese! I can't wait to see my friends and Japan family! I can't wait to worship in Japanese again! I can't wait for the new experiences God has in store for me!