Friday, October 21, 2011


This past week or so, we've been enjoying a sunny 60 degree Autumn, so I was quite surprised to hear that according to Hokkaido tradition, and my English students, Snow is on its way.

Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for class, I glanced out the window and saw snow. At least, it looked just like snow. Even Stephen was fooled. But considering it was 60 degrees, and sunny with out a cloud in the sky, we decided it must be something else.

(The picture I took was not nearly as clear as this one I found online)

When my students arrived to class, they were all abuzz. "Did you see the Yuki mushi (Snow bugs)?"
So, that's what they were!

My students explained to me that these bugs, only found in Hokkaido, always appear right before it snows.

(Again, not my picture. But, don't they totally look like snow!?)

No one could say how long between Yuki mushi sightings and first snowfall. All they could say was, "mosugu" (soon).


November 15th, we got our first snowfall. It melted quickly when the sun came up, it it fell non the less. That's 3.5 weeks from seeing the snowbugs. 3.5 weeks does not seem like mosugu (soon) to me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

10 days with "Living Hope"

Short term teams are a breath of fresh air: they give everyone new life, energy, and motivation.

Our short term team from Living Hope Community Church was no exception.

Before they said their good-byes today, I was able to interview a few team members to get their perspective on the 10 days they spent serving in Japan.

It was great for me to hear what things impacted them as they ministered this week. I was surprised to hear that many of their answers were the same. I guess it just goes to show their unity and how God was working in their team this week.

Q: What was a highlight in ministry this week?
-"Seeing the example set by Akita Sensei, the associate pastor ofthe Chitose Church. Even though, he is gentle and reserved, he never missed an opportunity to share the Gospel."
-"Watching the interactions of this very international church in Sapporo. It reminded me that God's grace is not limited to one people group. We are all one in Christ. Language doesn't separate us from God's grace."

-"Seeing God's plans overtake our own. For example, when we went to Hokkaido university's campus, I was hoping to meet non-christians. Instead, we met a young Christian man who came to our evening event and was the life of the party. Him being there was important for developing relationships that night. "

Q: What surprised you the most?
-"Separating the trash was a big surprise."

-"I didn't expect to give my testimony, until an hour before church on Sunday. I was glad I did though, because after, many people came up and told me that my story is similar to theirs."

-"Before I came here I was only superficially interested in Japan. I liked how cute and effiecient everything was. I was surprised that God has opened up my heart to love Japan spiritually."

-"I was talking to a girl on campus about if she knew God, and she said, 'What's a god?" That surprised me: that here, so many people have never even heard about God."

Q: What was the best food you tried this week?

-"Tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet). It melted in my mouth!"

-"Soft creme (soft serve ice cream) from a dairy in Chitose. I can never go back to eating McDonald's soft serve again."

-"The sukiyaki that Akita sensei made for us our last night in Chitose. You could tell he put a lot of work into it."

Q: What was your biggest cultural misstep or most embarrassing moment?
-"Speaking in limited Japanese. I kept messing up my vowels can calling Sapporo, 'Sopparo'."

-"Putting trash in the wrong bin"

-"Jet lag induced delirium while playing Taboo one evening. I had a really hard time paying attention and everyone had a good chance to poke fun at me."

-"I told two people "Hajimemashite" (a greeting which means 'nice to meet you') when we were saying good bye."


If you are interested in serving for a week or two as a short termer in Japan, send me an email (, can I can put you in touch with the right people to talk to.

We would love to have you come and share in ministry here in Japan!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Welcome to Sapporo!

Our church has the pleasure of hosting a J-Team from Living Hope Community Church.

(Below: the team posing with the kids who attended an event Monday)
From Oct 7-Oct 15, this 8 member team will be hosting kids' events, meeting students on campus, hanging out with students at church, helping with English classes, and engaging in existing church ministry.

Pray with us for this short time of ministry would yield lasting fruit for God's kingdom.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Practical language

Language is awesome. The more I learn the more amazed I am at its beauty. Like euphemisms and expressions. I love how there are so many ways to convey the same thing.

Here's a list of my most recent, favorite expressions is English and Japanese:

I'm Eating for two.
I have a bun in the oven.
I'm in the family way.
I'm with child.
I'm craving pickles and ice cream.
We're expecting.
I'm preggers.
I'm knocked up.
My eggo is preggo.
I'm on stork watch.
I'm gestating.
I'm preggtastic.
妊娠しています(Ninshin shite imasu)

Yep, it's true. There's a baby on the way!

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