We thank you all for praying for Daniel as he traveled to Osaka to do some in-country ministry from July 14-25th, and for helping him go with your generous donations! Here is an update on his activities while he was there:
Work at Mustard Seed Christian Church Osaka
The GIC office is in a space being lent to them by Mustard Seed Church, and is in need of repairs and updates. Just like at our home church, Daniel worked at fixing and building things to make the office space more usable for the GIC volunteers. This helped reinforce our belief that God has us ministering at CRC for a twofold reason: to reach our local neighborhood for Christ, and in preparation for the work we will be doing in Osaka. Daniel was also happy to find that there was a hardware store in Osaka for making such repair-related purchases. (We’re DIY types.)
Daniel also attended Mustard Seed on his first Sunday in Osaka. He said he was happily surprised by their music choices and even children’s curriculum being familiar to what we use at our home church. While this was helpful, both Daniel and I long for the day that the church in Japan can have its own Christian culture and begin contributing songs, traditions, literature, and messages to the larger worldwide body of Christ. Daniel and a younger Japanese man began discussing how to create Japanese worship music without having to translate American or Australian songs, and the young man said he had already begun attempts at composing songs.
If you are interested, here’s a Japanese cover of “Oceans”:
Daniel got to try lots of tasty things, and some… other things. Okonomiyaki: An osaka style meal intended to use up the leftovers in one’s kitchen, is kind of like a pancake with random ingredients fried and mixed on top, including egg, Japanese mayo, Japanese BBQ sauce, fish flakes, fish, pork, cabbage, etc… One night he ate raw chicken and assorted cooked chicken innards on a stick. He tried octopus later in the week and said it was pretty good, far better than the chicken. One of the first things he ate was Katsu Kare, Japanese fried pork over rice with curry sauce.
TOEFL Seminar Teaching
Daniel prepared and taught one of the lessons for the TOEFL Seminar that GIC was hosting the week he was there. For those who are unfamiliar with it, the Test of English as a Foreign Language is an exam students must take to prove their English abilities to be able to study abroad at English speaking institutions. The GIC TOEFL Seminar focused on the speaking portion of this exam. Daniel’s lesson was to present an academic lecture, and guide the students through processing and summarizing it, leading them to speak it back to him in a manner that proved they understood what they had heard and could articulate a synopsis. The students found this lesson rather difficult, but were dedicated learners. After this section, Daniel did a mini-lesson on English idioms, which the students enjoyed.
The first day of the seminar, the students wanted to stay and chat with the staff and teachers, so they all went out to dinner together. Daniel thinks this is a good sign, and prays that students will notice the unity in Christian friendships and interaction and want to participate and get to know them better.
Several more students came to check out Genesis Cafe. This was a night of English interaction hosted at a local coffee shop, in a more relaxed atmosphere. Beforehand, Daniel helped pass out flyers in the city to passersby, and encountered an older man who began to quote the Gettysburg Address to him in English.
At the event the native speakers went from table to table with conversation topics and helped encourage conversation among the Japanese attendees. Opportunities popped up for some of the young Japanese Christians to share their testimonies with the other students during these conversations. We pray for fruit from these conversations.
Once again, the attendees wanted to stay and interact with GIC people for a long time after the Genesis Cafe was officially over. Conversations continued, and hopefully more people will become interested in the college through this ministry.
Daniel got to meet several of the people he is working with at GIC face to face on this trip. He was happy to get to know Yuma, a young Japanese boy who has come to faith in Christ, and begun working at GIC. He really enjoyed listening to his stories and learning from his experiences.
Daniel went to the Osaka Castle, a nearby Shinto shrine, a local children’s playground, and the top of the Umeda Sky Building to get pictures of the city and culture for you to see. So, here you go!