Last week Japanese language school just started. My language school, KCP, has about 500 to 600 students and is located near the center of Tokyo in a place called Shinjuku. Every day I get up early and take about an hour train ride into the center of the city to go to school.
Stuffed into the Train
Alley of Shinjuku area
Main street around Shinjuku
There are seven levels of schooling which are supposed to take about two years to complete. Once these levels are complete most people here will be prepared to attend a Japanese college. For most students, this is their chance at a better life since the Japanese standard of living is one of the highest in Asia. My class mostly consists of Chinese and Malaysian students that are about 19-23 years old. (There is also an American, a British man, and a few other southeastern Asians.) Many of these students study Japanese in their home country before coming, do rigorous language school study here, and some work 1-2 jobs at night to pay for everything. They hardly sleep and are in large apartments with a lot of people. For many Asians life is a competition from day one for a better quality of life, so the rigorous schedule of work in Japan is no problem for them. In America it almost seems like we expect a certain level of prosperity without having to work as hard. (40-50 hours a week versus 60+ hours a week, and yes I am not talking about doctors, lawyers, and business owners.) It makes me consider what do we do with our success in America. We have great responsibility to use our resources to further the Kingdom given that most of the world is in some form of poverty. (Luke 12:48)
Orientation at KCP
The Chinese students that I have met are very friendly. I can tell that they have limited access to outside information in their country. (No Facebook, limited internet, gasp!) I sit next to a girl named ‘Jessica’ and a guy named ‘Chris’. They both understand English very well. Jessica speaks English very well and has offered to help me understand any of the Japanese in class since the whole class is in Japanese. Please pray for them as they are from the mainland of China and have likely not heard much of Christianity. I will attempt to befriend them to share the gospel. On a lighter note I met another Chinese guy in class that spoke some English. His first words to me were: “I love United States. I love Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake.” Our culture definitely reaches people more than anything! The first two days of language school were intense. Please pray that I can understand as well as speak Japanese! Katie has had multiple opportunities for witnessing to people as well as doing some actual bible studies. Please pray for her as well as those she is meeting with!
As many of you have seen on the news, a second typhoon has come through Tokyo bringing much rain and shutting down public transportation for awhile. Hopefully this will be the last Typhoon of the season as the first Typhoon killed 9 people from what I have heard! Also a lunar eclipse occurred with great clarity here in Tokyo!
Lunar Eclipse Photo
Thank you for your thoughts, support, and prayers as I continue to adjust here!