Gospel Town

As Luke was discussing Christmas with Reiko, his adviser, the subject of Christianity came up. Luke told her that it is a Christian holiday. She wanted to know if he was a Christian and when he said yes she was interested. She had never met a Christian before. Kinda cool. So she looked up the church in Ohira for us and drove us last Sunday. We knew that there was a church some where but we had no idea how to find it or how to get to it once we did.

Reiko drove us there and when we got out and had met someone to take us in she said that she wasn't coming back to get us. We were both very confused but apparently she had already arranged for some one to bring us back.

The whole church area is called Gospel Town. It is composed of several buildings with a pond in the middle surrounded by flowered bushes. Both pastors (husband and wife) speak pretty good English but the services are in Japanese. Luke translated for me. A familiar song was played, Silent Night, of course in Japanese but as I sang along in Japanese I could hear Luke singing in English and then on the next verse he sang the Japanese and I sang the English. We both were so overwhelmed by the experience and the song. There were many tears of joy.

All of the buildings and furnishings within were imported from America. I believe the church has been there for 20 years or so.

The pastors have a pretty cool story. They both attended Baptist seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas! That is actually where they met. They were the only two Japanese people there and when they finally met, each thought the other had been Korean and were surprised that they were Japanese!

We did meet another American family who sat behind us. They live in Izumi, near Sendai. Very nice people. After the service everyone eats lunch together in one of the other buildings. It is a good chance to get to know other members of the church. As we were waiting for our ride back to our apartment (another hour and a half) we sat in on a bible study that meets to discuss the message from the morning.

It was a great day. I was invited to a tea the next day for the women of the church which I attended. That was also a great time. Getting to know the women of the community, share some pastries (who doesn't love that!) and work on my Japanese language skills!

This is the Cafe where the ladies gathered.

The pastor is on the left and the American woman is Adena and then her friend and her friend's two children. American furniture but we are still all sitting on the floor! I guess I never really noticed the difference in children who are raised with Christian parents and those that aren't in the US but here, in this culture, you can definitely tell. This brother and sister just loved each other and played endlessly. Full of joy and no worry. It was beautiful.

More women from the church. The lady on the left made the pastries, and also makes beautiful jewelry, so she and I are going to be good friends! I got the recipe for her meat pie already!

The kitchen in the Cafe. Everything in these buildings down to the cabinets were imported! The pastor said that we are welcome to come and use the big oven any time! Oh yeah!

Before training on Wednesday Luke and I went with Jo to the library to renew our books and I invited her to join us for church on Sunday. As it turns out she went to college for two years at a Christian college. Very interesting. But she has never been to church. This Sunday is all the Christmas festivities so this will be a great day to go to church. I can't wait!


Dad W said...

I am sooooo excited for you two!! How far from where you live is the church? So clean and modern looking! Have fun with the big oven!! Could you expand on the difference in Christian children versus 'Japanese?'

Anonymous said...

Really nice story, I'm so glad you are starting to get about a bit and finding new friends and adventures.
Love you,

Anonymous said...

Lindsey, how funny to see this here! My friend Andi shared the link with me just now. She went to Gospel Town, too, and left six months or so before you came. I suggested you friend her on Facebook. :)

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