Monday, March 18, 2013

Missing Japan

The first time I went to Japan, when my group got off the airplane at Osaka airport my group leader smiled and exclaimed "It smells like Japan." Of course it smelled like any other airport. Yet that statement stuck with me.

That was not my first time overseas. I'd flown to Peru and the island of Grenada on mission trips when I was in high school. But this was my most anticipated trip. I had wanted to see Japan for years when the opportunity finally came in my Freshman year of college. My group went with the goal of sharing Christ by inviting college and high school students to come on a homestay in America. I made several friends that I am still able to keep up with thanks to Facebook. I've been able to see several Japanese girls become strong young women in Christ.
Not from 2003. Actually from May 2007.

Thinking back I understand better why my group leader, who had been visiting Japan at least annually for about twenty years, cherished that moment. It wasn't necessarily the smell, although some of the sea air and fishy food could be sensed. It was a homecoming feeling, and the love of the people of Japan that he felt.

Some great ladies. The one on the right lives in Orlando now!
I went twice to Japan, about a total of two months of my life. I long for the day I'll be able to go back. I miss the people, the atmosphere, the food, the train, the culture. In 2011 my church in Orlando sent a small group to Tokyo to help with a conference for pastors and missionaries in Japan. Unfortunately we weren't able to go on that trip, and our church isn't going to that conference again this year. I'm watching for an opportunity to go again. I feel that tug in my spirit toward that country.

A good friend of ours is teaching English in Japan. He's been there almost a year now. I think if I were not married and settled here now, upon graduating college I would have done the same as he. I'm very glad I didn't, because Japan is a very difficult place to be assimilated into as a foreigner. Not to mention I'm very blessed to have my husband, my family, and my life here.

I want to have my children see me and my husband go on mission trips when they are young. I'd love for them to come on mission trips with us as a family as they get older. I want them to see what it is like to serve the Lord both here in Orlando and to the ends of the earth. For me, that's Japan. Hopefully God will provide us an opportunity soon.
The second time I visited was during the Swine Flu scare. But that's a story for another time.

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