Except for the the language, I would have thought I was back in Georgia today as we sat in church at Senri Newtown Baptist Church. We had taken a bus (Corban usually rides his bike. I was relieved to know we were taking other transportation!) as close as we could get and then walked the rest of the way. We were early (Wow! Maybe Japan is rubbing off on me???!! Naaaa.) I got the bulletin…why?…and the little radio for the English translation broadcast of the sermon. I was not surprised to learn from Corban that the church had imported all the fixtures and building supplies from the US (because that was cheaper). Down to the red carpet, every detail seemed familiar! I was asked to fill out a visitor’s info card. The service began. Display screens in the front had the words to the songs. I couldn’t read them, not even transliterate them, but it didn’t matter because I knew all the songs! The organ and piano players, special music and sign language ladies added to the service. Perhaps there are not English speaking visitors often because the lady interpreter seemed to be challenged. At the end of the service, during the announcements (I was just guessing that was what was happening!), Corban tapped on my leg. “They want you to stand up.” Oh, yeah. The “greet our visitors” time. I stood. I “bowed” AND waved, hopefully covered all the bases. They are very mission minded and support missionaries all over the world. The huge wall map hangs in the fellowship/dining hall. The church has lunch after the morning service and many people stay for the 4:00PM service. It is too expensive to drive/ride home and back. We visited with the pastor and his wife and another couple of the church. Corban mentioned that my number one (my “Ichiban”-Japanese word for “number one.”) desire while in Japan was to have a Japanese Tea Ceremony. The wife of the second couple disappeared for awhile. Smiling, she returned with news that a lady in the church had all that was needed to have the tea and was going home to get it. We would have the ceremony right there at the church. It was in one of the Sunday School rooms upstairs above the kitchen. The floor was covered with tatami mats. I realized I have American knees NOT Japanese Knees! (Say Japanese Knees 3 times fast!). It killed me to sit like that. But, I did my best! The matcha was better than I’ve ever had. Maybe it was the jello like stuff we ate before we drank. Two other ladies, besides the one doing the ceremony joined Corban and me. What a blessing!
We walked home the long way, going by a “Wal-Mart” type store and a grocery store looking for a certain type noodle. I also got to browse around trying to figure out what everything was and what it might be used for.
On the way back to campus, I noticed the ultimate efficient use of parking space! Sorry I didn’t get a closer picture to see how they do this! (photo on right!)
I got to work on my blog posts. Corban went to a different grocery store to find the noodles he needed to cook a Korean meal with a fellow student (yes, she is from Korea!). Can’t wait to taste that.
Well, it was supper time when Corban returned so he went into the dorm kitchen down the hall and “whipped up” some awesome Chinese food with chunks of deep fried chicken he had battered and fried. He had even made the sauce mix from scratch! He has a rice cooker in the room that works great, too. Ladies, (single ones, that is), he is a catch! (He won’t be reading this blog, too much homework, so I’m sure I’m not embarrassing him.) We sat in the “dining room” to eat and were visited by some of the other students who passed by. Good times.