Thursday, June 4

First of all, I apologize for not posting sooner. Things have been a little busy and I'm trying to finish a quilt for some friends who are having an auction this summer, with the spare time I do have. (more on the auction later)

So, maybe it's just that I grew up in a diverse area, or the fact that I had been living in such a diverse area before we moved to Japan, but sometimes I forget that here in Japan I stick out like a sore thumb. I kind of just feel like I fit in here - I say hi to people as I pass them by and bow. I, for the most part, have grocery shopping figured out and can find things at the store. I am fully confident in buying a train ticket and riding the train. And, the other day I even conquered the feat of learning how to pay my bills here (you pay them in person at the grocery store). So really, I feel like I can do most normal everyday activities and not feel like I stick out too much.

But then reality sinks in...

Everyday I walk past the Youchien (Preschool/Elementary school) and for about 50 yards away the 3 year olds will yell to me "Eigo no Sensei, Eigo no Sensei" (English teacher, English teacher), usually followed by "Hello" or "Bye-Bye". They are so cute so I, in passing, say Hello or Bye-Bye in return, and then greet the teachers in Japanese.

But the other day it dawned on me, if a 3 year old can recognize that I'm an oddball from 50-yards away, I must really stick out here! Japanese isn't diverse at all - Chris and I, and our fellow teachers, are the only foreigners living in this rural town, and probably the surrounding towns too. But sometimes I just forget how much I really stick out.

So then in thinking about that, it dawned on me even more, that being here, and realizing that everyone is watching me, my actions are not only a reflection on myself, but on my teammates, on the Japanese family that has invited us to join them here, and most importantly on the example of Jesus that I am trying to live out to and for the Japanese people I encounter here.

It's ok that I'm an oddball here, people are wonderful and continuously show me grace when I don't understand something about the culture here, but I must remember everyday, that every action I take is not just about me, but is about a much bigger picture here!

Posted by Posted by Chris and Abbie at 1:14 PM



WML said...

You are a great person to watch! God is and will use you in mighty ways.