Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October in Japan

Hello everyone! Much has happened since I last posted on this blog. I am now quite over the jet lag as well as sickness and am in the process of adjusting to life in Japan day to day. Also, last weekend we faced some heavy rain, winds, and flooding from the Typhoon, but all is well now. As you can well imagine adjusting to another culture is not easy. Day to day communication is quite difficult, however I am learning new words each day. There have been a few ups and downs with adjusting to the culture as well as big city life. Adjusting can be tiresome, but God is ever present. Mostly my brain has been continuing to get used to new sounds, sights, tastes, and expectations. Here is a link to my video about some Japanese foods:

Japanese Food

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!


  1. Acts 2:38-40 ESV

    And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

  2. Hi Eli, Sounds like you are settling in and adjusting to Japan very well. Ahh, yes, the typhoons. I also remember that it rained for a solid 6 weeks one time when I lived there. Lots of water is certainly a large part of the Japanese environment. Your language school and program sound very good. !Hope you continue to synchronize well with it all and have a great time. And, of course, vaya con Dios! Mike Norvelle, Missoula, Montana