Sunday, June 1, 2014

Orientation and Sports Camp

It's real. Our team made it to Japan! After several (long) hours of travel, we arrived in Tokyo. Once we were in the airport, we met up with the other SIJ (Summer Impact Japan) teams and headed to Yoyogi Olympic Center for our orientation. This was a whirlwind of information about our time and purpose here, as well as an introduction to the culture and language. At the end of orientation, we all prayed for each team as they were sent off to the different cities. SIJ is in Fukuoka, Sendai, Utsunomiya, and Shizuoka. 

Once in Shizuoka, we unpacked and then quickly repacked to head to sports camp in Fuji City. This is a camp put on by the second year students in the BEST club at the beginning of every school year. Their school year begins in April, so this is the first weekend event in the BEST club. At sports camp, each "summer worker" was assigned to a team with the students. I was on GRAPE team! The students all are learning English, and try to have conversations with the Americans. Even through the language barrier, they tried to include me and make me feel welcome. I am very excited because I had the opportunity to get to know two girls on my team. These relationships made at sports camp will be a basis on which I can continue in knowing these girls throughout the summer. 

Our team is doing our best to adapt to everything here. We are still fighting jet lag a little bit. It is difficult to adjust to the time here. The sun rises at 4:30 am and sets around 6:30. This makes it harder to have a normal sleeping schedule. The food is definitely different than home. :P It's not bad... just different (mostly) haha. The most difficult thing so far was natto. This is fermented soy beans and has the consistency of snot. Feel free to look it up, and just know that it is considered very oishii here haha. 

Please pray for our team. It is very mentally draining to be immersed in a language that you don't know. It is almost like my brain is a computer searching for a file that has been deleted. My brain doesn't know that the file is not there so it just keeps searching and trying to understand Japanese. Also, please pray for the relationships that were begun at sports camp. Please pray that these will continue into the summer and that we can get to a point with these students  that we can ask spiritual questions and open the Bible with them. 

I am very excited to continue to know these people and this culture better. They are all so kind and polite. I think maybe I have found that homesickness and love for a place you have never been and a people you have never met. I can't wait to get to know these students better, and to continue to grow with my team. Thank you for praying for us!


  1. Keep ASmile our Face, And Love For GoD And Your Fellow Men In Your Heart.