Just a quick update for tonight… Eric (and several others) have spent a lot of time the last few days preparing for his upcoming trip tomorrow to Ishinomaki. Several of the storekeepers now know Eric and try so hard to be helpful. At one place today when he and a church member went to buy 300 pairs of croc shoe knock-offs (these have frequently been requested from those in Tohoku) and older ladies’ underwear, the store clerk came out to the van. When she saw the amount of stuff loaded to take up, she was moved to tears.
While Eric, Peter, and Ray worked on loading up the rental van (I was sure it would not all fit – they did another miracle and got everything in!), I went to the airport with Owen and picked up Randy from Hawaii. He and Eric will head out tomorrow morning after Eric teaches a morning class. It is about a twelve hour drive, so you can pray for them. I am sure the drive gets old to these guys who have done it quite a bit in the past two months.
I will be helping to train Ray in the morning and then teaching three of Eric’s kids’ classes in the afternoon while Ray watches our kids. Annie has been home sick today with a fever and sore throat – praying that she is better tomorrow! It promises to be a busy, challenging day so I know both of us would appreciate your prayers.
Today I went with Olivia to “ichigo-gari” – or strawberry picking. (You can view photos here). It is an important tradition for moms and their kindergarten children to do this together. Olivia was quite thrilled with the abundance not of strawberries, but of frogs! She managed to bring three home in a plastic bag. Whether any of those three are still alive out in our yard is another story. But I love her passion for the little things in life…. She is my child who reminds me of the need to stop and enjoy the present moment. I have decided that she is one of the best teachers I could ask for. I am always trying to multi-task and get a million things done as efficiently as possible. Olivia is only doing one thing – often not what I wish she was doing — but she is doing it fully engaged with her whole heart and with a whole lot of love. Even kissing frogs! So as the week without Eric starts again tomorrow, I hope I can enjoy each day and whatever God brings my way.