You might be wondering, “What was so special about ‘93-’94?” Let me start at the beginning and I’ll answer that question at the end of my post.
My husband and I, along with our two children, arrived in Tokyo to begin language study in 1984. We had a house in the ‘suburbs’ far from the downtown metropolis which made for a smooth transition from the start. After two years of learning basic Japanese, making friends, and helping out at a church, we moved to Hokkaido, the northern-most island of Japan, and settled in the city of Sapporo.
Winters were cold with lots of snowfall, and summers were very pleasant without all of the humidity elsewhere in Japan. We studied Japanese part-time for the next two years while helping out at a church. Sharing Christ in our neighborhood was exciting with ten English Bible classes going on each week in our converted garage. Many of our neighbors knew us as the foreigners who lived on the corner and would often greet us and show us kindness as we spoke Japanese with them.
We were living our dream when we started a church in our home in 1990. The struggles with culture shock we encountered early on were only a distant memory. We felt wonderfully blessed for the many opportunities to engage people and share God’s love with them.
During this time our children were teenagers. We felt very grateful that they worked alongside of us to grow the church. Our son played the guitar and led the praise and worship time while our daughter played the melodies on a digital horn. I remember this time as full of energy and excitement to see what wonderful thing the Lord would do next.
The year 1994 was our tenth anniversary in Japan. We had gained a freedom in the language to be able to communicate from our hearts to the Japanese. My husband and I were living our dream that God had placed in our hearts when we were first married. Japan was also a much simpler place then. There were still public phones everywhere and email was not yet a fad. Hard to believe, isn’t it?
As you read Sky Blue, let me introduce you to that time when Japan was less complicated and relationships were easily made. You will fall in love with the sweet Japanese people and their land filled with God’s intricate, natural beauty.
To God be the Glory!