Hi family and friends,
Wow, it’s been a while since we updated the blog. We have been busier than ever! We barely get a down time to breath now.
I. Working in a Japanese company
Since my work became a big part of our life, I would like to write about it. It’s almost like everything I heard in my Business Japanese class is true. Long hours, obligatory over time, extreme hierarchy system, senpai-kohai relationships–sometimes it’s too much to witness all those every day. I’m still adjusting to be more “Japanese,” and it’s darn stressful sometimes. Coming from American culture, it shocks me how employees are treated, are obligated to work 18-hour shifts, and female workers are chastised for their hairdos or the color of lipsticks.
I am not culturally sensitive enough to pick up on Japanese social cues or care about every single comment or move people make around me, and I’m glad I don’t because my hair will fall out from stress if I had such sensitivity.
Don’t get me wrong–I’m glad to have the job at where I am. I love that I get to be around people every day. I love the people I work with. They are some of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met.
It’s been rough because I had to work 40 hours a week in January on top of being a full time student. I reduced it to 32 hours a week this month, thank goodness.
It’s one thing to hear about the work culture in Japan, and it’s another thing to actually experience it. God is really using my work to teach me about the heart of people in this nation. Work is the highest priority you can have here. They would sacrifice almost everything for their company–personal life, time with their spouse and children, school, relationship, friends, health.
We are loving New Hope and the people there. With help from Chris Maybury, Erich and I began serving coffee at the church. We are soon in charge of hospitality, youth group, and I even did a live translation for preaching. It’s like God prepared a perfect spot for Erich and I to serve in this community. We are developing deeper relationships with the members, and we love it!
III. Praise Report
- My sister Mari and her husband Hajime had a healthy baby boy last month! I have a nephew Ace! Yes, do check out our awesome chalk art above. And yes, notice that we made him Christian. And I know, I am an awesome artist, thank you very much. Erich did the cool fonts.
- God has been blessing Erich and my marriage even through busy schedules and less time to spend with each other.
- I had an opportunity to give a testimony to my coworkers and pray for one of them.
- Erich and I are officially married in Japan. Yay! (I still need to change my last name though)
- We got a missionary discount for Erich’s tuition in YMCA language school for the next semester. Thank you pastor James!
V. Prayer Request
- I want to go back to Holland in June for friends’ wedding, but financially only Erich could fly back. And I don’t know about my practicum schedule allows me to go back either. I really really want to visit Holland with Erich, though.
- I need prayer and guidance where I could do a counseling practicum or internship in Japan. I have backups, but I really need clear guidance from the Lord about this. Please let me know if you hear anything from the Lord.
I love you and I miss you. Please let us know how we can pray for you, too.