Monday, June 15, 2009

大学生とカラオケ [college students and karaoke]

Hello again, everyone! Sorry my second entry has been so long in coming--I've definitely been busy getting settled here. Let's see... so much has happened since my first entry! Well, let's just dive right in, shall we?

My first week was a little uneventful, the first half of it being dedicated to getting orientated and shaking off jetlag. I did help with a few things here and there, though, and I began going to a Friday lunch that the local Campus Crusade team leads at Gai Dai University near our church. It was great to meet and begin getting acquainted with the students there. Some of the Crusade team invited me to go to karaoke as a social ministry outing that night, as well, so I talked with various students throughout the afternoon until it was time to go yowl out some pop songs. Interesting karaoke fact--the whole idea of singing to instrumental versions of popular songs as entertainment actually orignated in Japan, and the word "karaoke" itself is Japanese. It literally means "empty orchestra," with "oke" being short for "orchestra." :)

The karaoke place we went to was nice--with two stories of rooms to sing in, a full food menu, and dramatic decoration, it was pretty much a karaoke palace. I wish I'd taken pictures! Ah, well, perhaps I'll have another chance before I leave. We met several medical students from a nearby university there, in addition to some Gai Dai students. As I'd come to expect from past experience, it was a blast--everyone sang their hearts out, and there was lots of laughter. Amidst all the fun, I even got to invite one girl to English classes at the church. As we were leaving, two other students asked me about a button on my jean jacket that shows an Eastern Orthodox icon. I found myself very naturally telling them about what the picture meant and relating its story of Jesus and the woman at the well, explaining to them the concept of Christ as the Living Water. Thinking about this afterwards, I was shocked by the natural flow of it all. Praises be to God for using this little decoration from my friend Kerry as a gateway to genuine sharing!

I have much more to share, but my other stories will have to wait for a day or two--for now I have to take care of a few errands before dinner. Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it. じゃあ、またね!I'll see you later!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

名古屋へようこそ!--Welcome to Nagoya!

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to my Nagoya blog, where I'll keep you up-to-date on my latest adventures as a summer missionary in the land of cherry blossoms and tiny cars.

As of today, I have been in Japan for 3 days. I have spent them getting acclimated to the time change and familiarizing myself with the city. I also attended church my first morning here, since I arrived on Saturday night. Meeting people in the church community and sharing a meal with them after the service was lovely. On Monday I got to enjoy a few sights in Nagoya with the help of Linda, the missionary whose apartment I am currently sharing. She didn't let me off easy, though--we drove big circles around the neighborhood and I had to tell her how to get home. Eek! It was hard, but I appreciate the orientation of the area that it gave me. I snagged a few pictures later in the day, which I'll include soon in a photo post.

Tomorrow I will sit in on my first English class and meet its members, as I'll soon begin helping with the teaching. I have to admit that I'm a little nervous, but it will be fun to actually jump into the swing of things, so to speak.

For now, I'm tired, so I'm off to bed. 読みのをありがとう。Thank you for reading. おやすみなさい。Good night!

[A small note: If you notice the posts below, just know that they are from my study abroad in Hong Kong a few years ago. They have nothing to do with my current exploits, but feel free to read them if you'd like.]