Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day from Japan

We arrived here in Japan on February 9 and we just celebrated our first holiday. Sunday was Valentines Day, as well as being our first Sunday here in Ikoma at Friendly Chapel. During Sunday School we attended an English language class taught by our host's (Jim & Barbara Blocksom) daughter Joelle. There we learned that Valentines Day is celebrated differently here. It is the girls who give or make chocolates for their special someone. Personally I like the USA way - WE GET THE CHOCOLATES. I explained that in America we exchange gifts. Steve did get me some yummy Japanese chocolates and I sent him an E-card. I forgot to buy one in the states before we left and I don't know where to get one here. After learning tho' that I was suppose to give him chocolate I just had to share my chocolates with him.

Today, Monday, February 15 we had to go to the Ikoma City Hall and registered as "aliens". Once again we had to have passport photos taken so that we can get our alien ID. The ID is like a drivers license with our picture and info on it so we don't have to carry around our passports all the time. Of course actually getting the ID will require another trip to City Hall to pick up the card. We are learning that anything official takes more than one trip to the required office.

We have had a visit from our Japanese son Hiro. He came this past weekend and stayed overnight and attended church with us. It was wonderful to see him again and he and Steve got in about 8 or 10 games of ping pong.

Steve has taken a big step and has driven a car. He says it isn't too hard to drive on the opposite side of the road. The only problem was that the instrument panel is also reversed and so he kept turning on the windshield wipers instead of the blinkers. Barbara said that was OK because she kept doing the same thing when she was in the US and driving a US car. For her everything was reversed. (She and Jim have been here in Japan for more than 40 years.)

We continue to be stretched and sometimes it is overwhelming and painful but. . .others may assist us, but only God can sustain us and so we will continue to claim Psalm 25:1 "to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul."

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