With grateful thanks for your prayers, we safely arrived in Tokyo on Friday night. We travelled by taxi, plane, bus, and train (we couldn’t find a boat to round out all modes of transport). We were met at the airport by the ministers of Eifuku-Minami church (where our women and Sensei are sleeping) and Hamadayama (where our men are sleeping). After a long day, we were pretty keen to hit the futon.
The next morning was an early start as we went to see a bit more of Japan. We were joining a hiking group, some Christians some not. We went via the budget option of local trains, which meant quite a bit of getting on and off. But that also meant meeting a few different people and even someone getting to share how they came to trust Jesus with a Japanese man who did not know much about Christianity.
One of the things that made coming to Japan seem close was an invitation to hike “Shallow Space Mountain (Sengenyama) in Box Root Land (Hakone).” The hike was described as easy, but that can be subjective. Tom Ong lead from the front for our group, and the rest of us were scattered through. There were some good conversations had as we got to know each other along the way, and there was a lot of delicious food as we had hot pot (nabe) at the top. There were some first time hikers and others who had been part of Brian’s hiking group for a while.
The end of the hike held the promise of relaxing at the resort/onsen town of Hakone Yumoto. Some of us went to the onsen (Japanese public bath), while others chose just to enjoy the time staying in one place for a while. Either way we saw a bit more of Japan than we expected. Having a conversation with a stranger about the gospel while in the bath is a first time experience for many of us.
After a traditional Japanese feast, we headed back on the many trains to our church homes to sleep and get ready for a big day of church in the morning. While most people slept, an interesting discussion was had with someone from church about the movie “Silence” and with some others about Japanese churches in Sydney.
When we finally arrived at the station we caught up with Rachael who came to Japan a day behind because she was at a close friends wedding. All in all, it was a wonderful spring day that left us with a happy feeling of “yuzame” (the Japanese word for the tiredness you feel after a bath). But it also left us with great expectations for what God will continue to do in this place.
Please pray for:
Brian, the leader of these hikes, and for the people that go on them.
Please pray for us as we get both more tired and more used to life in Japan.
Please pray for God to put more Christians in the path of those with whom we had short conversations.