Last night we had a rare chance to experience night life, Japanese style. Our good friends, Atsu & Ken (read more about my growing friendship with Atsu here) went on a double date with us to a yakitori restaurant (skewered grilled chicken). It was actually an izakaya – or a small restaurant that is often used by business people and others who want a place to hang out and drink the night away. The owner and chef of this establishment is a friend from our neighborhood — his daughter is Owen’s special friend from schol, Y. He was awesome, and made some amazing chicken….
You really can’t guess all the special kinds of chicken you can eat on a stick besides thigh meat! Liver, heart, stomach, skin… and our new favorite was the raw chicken -this was a first. (Actually I had to spit half of mine out! Our friends are holding the dish, below)
What was fun about this three-hour event was the great time that we had with our friends. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine finding hours of things to talk about in Japanese with Japanese friends! As Eric and I drove home that night, we sort of marveled at how easily the conversation flowed as the server brought us different plates of chicken delicacies… We talked about many things with them… how we’ve changed since getting married; vacations we’ve had and ones we dream of (they are hoping next year to go to Hawaii and visit friends of ours – a Christian couple who had done a homestay with them last year); parenting issues.
I think for me it was so fun to do co-ministry like this with Eric. Going out on a date is rare for us here; going on a double date with a couple from our neighborhood is a first. For them, too. Couples in Japan rarely go out together once they are married — we like it that these friends recognize the value of spending quality time together. To be able to spend this time building friendships together was a special treat.
Incarnational ministry- it’s what we’re all about here. We pray for more chances to nurture these friendships, and to continue to share our Hope.