Saturday, December 8, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It began with the celebration of a new baby in the CAJ community!
On November 1, the Potters (both teachers at Christian Academy in Japan) had their second baby, a sister for 2-year-old Ezra. We have enjoyed having Luna at the CAJ Daycare—the two 1-year-olds seem especially in awe that there is now someone smaller than them!

I really enjoy my work with these guys!

And it ended with a bang! On December 7 at 5:18 pm, I was teaching my last class at a local English language school. As the building began to shake, my five 8-year-old students suddenly stopped their enthusiastic rendition of the names of colors. At first it felt rather like when a large truck drives close by. But at the sensation continued and became increasingly bouncy, we realized it was yet another earthquake.

While startling (and distracting!) for us, no harm was done, and we were soon able to continue on with the lesson. However, for the people living the region of northeastern Japan who are painfully aware of the damage earthquakes can bring, this 7.3 magnitude earthquake was distressing, as were the tsunami warnings that followed. Thankfully, the largest wave was only a meter high, and all tsunami warnings were lifted by the end of the day.

To read more about this quake, click here

Meanwhile, CRASH Japan collected 500 presents for earthquake/ tsunami survivors (see photo). Soma Christ Gospel Church, a local church in northeastern Japan, will distribute these gifts to those still living in temporary housing this coming month. I'm glad gifts can be distributed to survivors because this a difficult time of year—a time that is full of memories and New Year's traditions for the Japanese people.

Rumiko spent most of her time this month organizing the gift collection

Since March, 2011, CRASH Japan has played a significant role in the relief effort in northeastern Japan. Now, 20 months later, CRASH focusing on local grassroots ministries that will continue to support relief efforts after CRASH Japan pulls out in March 2013.

With March only few months away, CRASH has begun downsizing, resulting in a decrease in work at headquarters. I talked with my supervisor, and starting this month, I will be working at CRASH on as-needed basis. I am deeply grateful for the time I was able to serve, and I hope that you will continue to pray with me that Christians will be the hands and feet of Christ as they bring the Gospel to survivors.

What else has been going on?

  • I began working at a local English language school, Kamito Academy Japan (KAJ). I will be teaching students from age 3 up to adults on Tuesdays and Fridays. 
  • Luke Nagai is currently home with his family. Recent tests have shown that the chemotherapy was unsuccessful in fighting his leukemia, and he will need to receive bone marrow transplants.
  • We are looking forward to Christmas! My parents and I decorated our tree the Sunday after American Thanksgiving and are expecting my fiance and sister next weekend!
  • CAJ, Family Life Group (FLG), Kurume Bible Fellowship (KBF), and many missionaries are preparing for Christmas events that will be held in the coming weeks. I will be helping to put on a Christmas party with FLG next Saturday and will be baking cookies for Christmas outreach events at KBF and a local coffee shop.

This month, please remember these prayer requests:

  • Pray for me as I begin my work at KAJ. All of my English language teaching experience has been one-on-one, so I am adjusting to the classroom setting. Pray that I will assist their learning of English and that my faith will be evident in my communication with my students.
  • Praise God that Luke is able to spend some time with his family at home! Pray for the Nagai family as they prepare for the ordeal of being tested for bone marrow compatibility. 
  • Praise God for the gift of His Son! Pray that God will use Christmas programs to draw non-Christian Japanese to Himself.


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