In September 2015, Emi and I started out on a journey with a few close friends that has completely transformed how we look at church and Christian community. We’re still in the midst of it, so I can’t claim to be an expert on any of it, but I really want to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way and from watching other similar groups grow.Read More
Author: Erich Boileau
Why language learning is missions OR: Why I stopped waiting for the gift of tongues and just started studying the language
For those Americans who have had the experience of studying Japanese (or any foreign language), they can understand that is no easy task. Some would go so far to say that among the world’s most commonly spoken languages, there are no two tongues so different in grammar, form and use than English and Japanese. With Japanese clocking in at an average of 2,200 class hours over 88 weeks (1.69 years) to gain basic proficiency (however researchers in this case define it) [reference], it’s easy to be tempted to look for any type of shortcut available. Shortcuts Missionaries to all...Read More
Super Speed Exactly three weeks ago, I was in a rush to change trains in the early morning hours when I lost my balance on a staircase. I was in quite the hurry to make the next train, so using my Flash-like supernatural speed, I attempted to use the last step of the staircase to change directions by 90° in order to position myself for the next flight of stairs. You see, I’m a millennial, and we believe that our bodies are simply invincible despite daily reminders otherwise, and I wasn’t going to be late to my event for the sake...Read More
Yesterday marked one year to the day since Emi and I moved to Japan. And as if He were honoring this anniversary, God has been providing us with more and more chances to serve in the community and local church. True to the maxim, “when it rains, it pours,” it has been and seems that it will continue to be a busy and stretching season in our lives. Praise God for having three weeks school vacation to let me catch up on work! Although it’s been a bit overwhelming, we’re thrilled at the opportunities we’ve had recently to do...Read More
It might surprise you to learn that in the late 16th century, Japan nearly became a Christian nation. We don’t normally do this, but my friend Cody discovered an excellent article on the history of Christian persecution in Japan that I felt I just needed to re-post. The article is a short read, considering that it spans from the first arrival of Jesuit missionaries in Japan until the ultimate crackdown and martyrdom of thousands in the early 17th century. Check it: By Michael Lee In January 1597, a small group of people were led to a hill in Nagasaki. It had been...Read More
While school stretches year round for me here in Japan, I’m thankful that the YMCA rewards our dedicated study with lengthy breaks between terms–breaks that enable to us to catch up on work, hobbies and do a little traveling. We have a some great photos from our trips we’ll put up in another post, but for this one, I wanted to share a side project I’ve been working on over the past few days. Christianese But first, one of my favorite Christianese terms: hedge of protection / hɛdʒ ɒv prəˈtɛkʃ(ə)n / noun a fence or boundary formed by closely growing spiritual...Read More
When I was a kid, during the summertime my Dad used to take the family camping or on day trips out to one of Michigan’s many lakes. We would bring the boat along and go tubing, swimming or just hang out and barbeque on the shore. On one of these occasions, we went out to Gun Lake, an exceptionally beautiful place. Now, sections of Michigan lake bottoms can be thick with mud, which isn’t any reason to not swim there, but for eight or nine-year-old boys, stepping down into the cold, gooey sludge was not the kind of sensation that my...Read More
Shinsekai (新世界) pictured above. Despite it’s energetic feel, the area is famed for being one of Japan’s most dangerous districts as a result of minimal redevelopment after World War II. Cleared for Immigration Late Thursday night (Friday morning in Japan), I received confirmation from the YMCA Japanese Langauge School in Osaka Japan that Osaka’s immigration bureau has cleared me from immigration to Japan. I’ve been approved to seek my two-year student visa to study in Japan, which means it’s time to pack. More accurately, it’s time to finish packing; we’ve been preparing for months, and we already have eight or nine large boxes of things packed away to ship with Kuro Neko to Osaka. The long waiting period has come to an end, and we’re finally feeling the real pressure to get to work and work quickly. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us there. If it Don’t Fit in a Cardboard Box… I don’t have much to offer you in this post, except this: Come visit us, and come take our stuff. We’re eager to connect with people in West Michigan as much as we can before we leave in less than four weeks, and we’re selling or giving away anything that doesn’t fit in a cardboard box, so come make a claim! No one visits and leaves our apartment empty handed. Shinsekai, the New...Read More
Meeting Darren Wilson and Seeing the Holy Ghost Movie Last Friday I had a great opportunity to spend some time with the folks at Wanderlust Productions and pre-screen their new film Holy Ghost. I backed the project on Kickstarter last year, which is how I got connected with them and soon found myself with an invite to visit and pre-screen with a few other backers. Chicago Wanderlust is in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, so it’s not an incredibly difficult journey to make for me—just a little over three hours away. Despite what I would consider to be some of the worst, high-speed traffic on the planet and a few outlandish tolls, it was an uneventful drive. I also arrived an hour early because Illinois, while only roughly 25 miles from the Michigan border, is in a completely different time zone. I know this is a fact but always seem to forget it when I’m making the drive. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to botch my first introduction to the crew while I interrupted their work day. I survived the embarrassment by tucking myself away in a corner couch and phoning for an hour while I waited for the other backers to arrive. The Man behind the Films: Meeting Darren Wilson I think if I really knew how famous I was, I would probably quit making films altogether. Darren Wilson,...Read More
About Erich & Emi
Erich & Emi Boileau are Christian Missionaries to Osaka, Japan.
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