DURING THE LAST week of December, we went to Tokyo to speak at a Japan Campus Crusade retreat for more than 100 workers.
We received many blessings. Here are 10 of them, not in any order:
1. Just being in Japan is a blessing. The cleanliness, the trains that never failed to arrive on time, people in colorful scarves, boots, and mittens.
2. It was minus 3 degrees C the morning we left. But we loved the change from Singapore's heat and humidity!
3. Getting to know the Japanese workers. Their sincerity and warmth surprised me. (Confirmed. Japanese people are not all cold and reserved.)
4. Meeting Keiko Kawagami again. We met five years ago on a mission trip to Tokyo. She visited us later in Singapore and accepted the Lord. She served us a Japanese tea ceremony before we left; it was completely charming.
5. Going to Harajuku one afternoon. We felt we had landed in Manga-land.
6. Dawn, Julienne's friend who came with us. She enjoyed our worship and talks (she's a Roman Catholic), she said. That makes me very grateful.
7. Almost every restaurant and cafe we went to, there was always very nice jazz music playing. That's a treat to us.
8. The sushi and sashimi in Japan are fresh and surprisingly affordable. Our hosts took us to a place where sushi is half the price of what we get here in Singapore. Shocking, isn't it?
9. Staying with Patrick and Estella Low, Singaporeans missionaries, and their three kids. I learned from them how to extend hospitality, enjoy udon in five different ways.
10. Celebrating our daughter's 21st birthday on our final night with the Lows and Dawn. What can I say? It was an evening of good company, great Japanese food, and tons of gratitude. God is good.