Yesterday was an open classroom at the kids’ school, so both Eric and I had a chance to go and watch our kids and meet different parents (as well as sit through a long and boring PTA meeting!). It was really encouraging, both in terms of how our kids seem to be adjusting and making friends, and the openness of the moms that I talked to. I am on the brink of making friends with several of them. Annie had her first play date earlier this week, and I had a chance to meet that friend’s mom and several others who live in the same area.
In Owen’s class, all the kids had to go up in front of the class and read part of a story aloud with two other members. I was nervous for Owen – reading in Japanese is not easy. But he surprised me with the degree of fluency in his reading! his teacher later asked me if I was impressed and commented on how well he did.
I think that we had sixty or seventy people crammed into the Be One house tonight. It was insane, and lots of fun. A team of nine from Osaka drove through the night last night (and they are leaving tomorrow morning) to work up here for the weekend. They spent the day cleaning out a tsunami-hit apartment, and cleaning out a shed that had been filled with tsunami water but wasn’t opened for a year, until today. Oh, the smells
Most Saturday nights we do a community meal, inviting friends from the community to come in and eat together. Tonight, several members of the Osaka team prepared and cooked the meal- it was great! In addition, two men came who own a Japanese noodle factory in Ishinomaki… back in the early days right after the tsunami Be One volunteers were taking bottled water and food around, and they were able to get some needed supplies for their family. Tonight, they brought a bunch of their yakisoba noodles, and then ran out to the store and bought meat and veggies and made it for us all. It was great! I guess that Ishinomaki style in part involves serving cooked eggs on the top.
We also made takoyaki, or octopus dumplings…. There were a bunch of junior and senior high girls who came, and enjoyed helping out with the cooking.
There was M., a sixth grade girl who I sat with for awhile. I was so happy to meet her because she is going to the same school as Owen and Annie, just a few grades older. I asked if her mom had come to the open classroom yesterday, and she said no, because her baby brother had just been born two days before (on Olivia’s birthday!). No way – that is such cool news! I was excited for her. I asked if she has other siblings, and then she shared that her four-year old brother had been killed in the tsunami. I felt the breath go out of me. I think she was glad that I knew, but I realized that asking about family members in this town is not a “safe” question.
She had come to the party with her aunt, who worked at a volunteer center and lives in a nearby apartment. I spent a lot of time tonight with these two, and look forward to building a friendship with her family. Although she said that they have enough clothes for her special little brother, they don’t have a lot of supplies like a car seat, baby stroller, etc. We are going to see how we can help. Their home was destroyed, so they are living in an apartment in the downtown area. Her aunt makes these amazing lunches for kids, in which the different foods make characters. I’ve asked her to teach me some of her tricks. Looking forward to building on all of these new friendships.
5 thoughts on “Meeting People”
It is so heartwarming to read about how you all are settling in and making friends. I pray for you–kids included–with a happy heart, thankful for your hearing God’s heart and your willingness to do, not just hear! Still praying for the Lord to reveal the home He has reserved for you. Oh, I cannot imagine the ghastly smell within that shed! Gak!
Hi Sue! I love reading your blog and hearing about all the wonderful people God is bringing into your lives! Would love to meet M. this summer – does she need an English tutor? 🙂 We can hardly wait for July 25th to come and to finally make Ishinomaki our home, too!
Thank you for taking the time to blog. Praying with you and for each of you! Hugs to you! Susan
That is so awesome how you all pull together and reach out to these wonderful people… I paused myself right after I read about the young girl’s brother and thought about the unspeakable pain that their families have experienced and are experiencing- and talk about an open door to share the hope we have in Christ! I got to admit reading that brought tears to my own eyes and pulled some of my own heart-strings.. What an Awesome impact I believe you all are truly making! Praying for your family and that all of your needs will be met including those who desperately need your help and friendship, but most of all the God who is able to save eternally!
Glad to hear about the kids’ adjustment. We have been praying for that.
We are praying for the property situation….