Truth: the Lord provides
Evidence: (see below)
Recently I had been feeling a bit homesick. Not because I don't fully love loveeee Japan (because I do), but because I've just kind of missed the coziness of a home, sitting around a big table and grubbin on some home cooked meals. Plus the holidays are coming up so I found myself anxiously counting down the days til I'm back.
Then, one weekend after teaching my Saturday class, one of my students comes up to me and says, "Amie, I want to invite you over to my house sometimes soon to meet my daughter and son-in-law who are visiting from the states." I tried to play it cool, "Oh sounds great! let's pick a day" but really I was freaking out inside that I would get the honor of being invited to her family home to meet her kids.
The day arrived and I was so thankful...
She picked Steph and I up at the station and drove us 10 minutes to her beautiful family house. In Japan, people build their own houses and choose the design and layout, so they're all amazing! They fed us some seriously good food; ginger pork, quiche, veggies, kabocha (pumpkin) soup, salad...drooooool.
The lady, Motoka, has three kids. Her middle daughter is married to a guy from Texas and they came to Japan to have a formal Japanese wedding ceremony. It was so fun chatting with them about their travels and their hobby of bouldering (they're so cool) and the funny differences between Japan and the states. They also fed us home made green tea pudding, with ice cream, and cheesecake.
Chris, from Texas, Motoka's son who is an up and coming singer in Tokyo, Motoka, and her daughter who is so cool and cute! We stayed and chatted until 10:30pm on a Thursday night! haha. We were having so much fun together that we kind of lost track of time. It was such a blessing to spend time in their cozy house surrounded by such good conversation. They recommended so many places in Japan to visit and go hiking at, and I wished them the best of luck with their lives back in American.
Then, the next day I get a text from a lady at church, Bernie, who has been like an Auntie or Mother to me..."Hey Amie, If you want you can come down and bunk in my house this Saturday and we can take you to church on Sunday!" Wow! I had to teach my Saturday class again but I told her I could come down after that.
Bernie is from Singapore and her husband Tom grew up in Tokyo (but lived in Singapore for many years). They don't have any kids of their own but they are like a mother and father to so many people at church, and they really are so loving, hospitable, and kind. The picked me up from the station and invited me in their awesome house!
They made a tatami floor guest bedroom upstairs just so the people who visited would feel "in Japan" and they even had tiny shampoos and soaps in their bathroom that made me really feel like I was in a hotel. They cooked me up the most amazing ramen with homemade dumplings inside! And a side dish of really good tofu. wasabi, and shoyu. They kept feeding me fruit, snacks, pudding, rice crackers, and kept refilling my cup of hot tea. We walked around their neighborhood after dinner and then ended the night watching Korean reality shows on T.V.
Side note, they even gave me fresh lemon-water in a canteen to take up to my room and have as a refreshing night drink. So cute.
The next morning I woke up and went up to their 3rd floor deck to have some quiet time and devo. It was chilly outside but Bernie gave me a wool blanket to use so I was more than happy. Plus how cool are they to have a 3rd roof deck?!
Then, we walked to the bakery 2 minutes from their house and got the most amazing breads! This bakery is called, Queue, and for good reason since there is always a line outside. The breads were by far the best I've had in Japan. Incredible. We walked back home, blasted the worship music, had coffee and breakfast, and then they drove me to church. My favorite part of my time with them was when Tom prayed and said, "Thank you Lord for bringing Amie here. Continue to keep her safe and protected..." simple prayer but it meant so much coming from him. He told me "I think I'm about the same age as your dad, so I can be your dad while you're here!" I felt so loved and taken care of under their protection and they didn't even realize what a true blessing it was to me at this specific time in my life.
The Lord provides.
How funny that in a few days time I had two incredible dinners at two beautiful homes, surrounded by the best people. Life is always an adventure when you're following Jesus and you place your desires, your fears, your anxiety, your joys, your time...in His hands. When I was feeling homesick, I didn't even know what I needed. I thought I would just eagerly count down the days till I flew home for Christmas...but God knows what we need even before we do! He knew I needed a few nights spent in the presence of family and those with such pure hearts of service and gratitude to calm my anxious heart. He knew I needed this refreshing weekend to pick me up and carry me over until I'm home for the holidays.
God is such a good good Father. He knows us so well!