An Update from Japan
The Royal Green Plaza Hotel in Hakuba, Japan.
Thank you all for your prayers. We have been in Japan for just over a week now, and are thoroughly enjoying it. Our earlier post was made as we were running out the door of our hotel in Tokyo the morning after we arrived — and we didn’t have reliable Internet access again until now. So it’s time for an update.
The whole family made the trip (l-r: Grandma, Isaac, James, Sarah, Brett, Alex, Mom, Dad).
The purpose for the trip was two-fold: First, for Dad, Mom, Brett, and me to speak at the Christian Home Educators Association (CHEA) conference in Hakuba last weekend, and second, to host a Rebelution Tour event in Tokyo this Saturday.
The trip marks the first time any of us (besides Mom and Grandma) have been to Japan. It’s been exciting. Eating raw everything, including squid, octopus, and whale; experiencing two earthquakes in 24 hours; going to a public bath; playing on the coolest playground ever; and meeting the greatest master potter in Japan.
After arriving in Tokyo last Monday, we spent the night near the airport before the all-day train ride to Hakuba. We arrived to the first snow of the year at the Royal Green Plaza Hotel — a stunningly beautiful, Swiss-style ski resort.
Q&A time with interpreter, John Broman.
The CHEA conference went wonderfully — despite our feelings of unpreparedness. Brett and I opened the conference with the first keynote session. Speaking with an interpreter was a new experience (i.e. hard thing) for us. It required that each of our sessions be cut in half. But God was good, and it went well.
We gave three more workshops over the weekend, as did our parents, while also enjoying the snow, the food, ping pong, and the daunting, but truly splendid public bath (including a wine bath, sauna, outdoor bath, and waterfall).
Brett throws a well-aimed snowball.
It was such an honor for Brett and me to participate in what God is doing in Japan. The homeschool movement in Japan is where the US was twenty years ago. To see how far we’ve come, and to see how God is working there, is an exciting thing.
After Hakuba we headed by van to Marumori, where we spent several days with a community of missionaries and Japanese Christians who are doing great work to spread the gospel across Japan and the rest of Asia.
We called them “gospel tanks.” Vans equipped with speaker systems that proclaim the gospel across Japan.
The time at Marumori was a real highlight for all of us. Hearing the stories of the missionaries who pioneered the efforts being made today — who started with just five dollars in their pocket fifty years ago — and to see the multi-generational vision and cooperation among the families there, was inspiring and challenging.
Sunday was the date of the Keimei Christian School annual field day, with races, games, and barbecue. Just watching was a real treat, but we also got to participate in the relays — as well as play basketball and soccer with the other young men.
Alex, Isaac, and Brett line up for the start of the relay race.
Yesterday we made the trip from Marumori to Sendai, home of MeySen Academy — the world’s coolest kindergarten. This is not only because the Japanese children are adorable (they are), or because the school is shining the light of God’s Word (it is), but also because it has the most incredible playground ever.
James and Alex… Climbing around at MeySen.
We have made so many new friends and created countless memories. Tomorrow we head to Tokyo to prepare for the conference this weekend. Please continue to pray for us — and for our work on the book, which will continue once we return.
For now, check out a lot more Japan photos at our Flickr account. Please leave a comment here or shoot us an email. We love to hear from you. God bless you all!