I admit it. I’ve been a BMB – a very Bad Missionary Blogger. Perhaps I should have written when we first arrived, almost two years ago now. Probably should have updated friends and family immediately; should have shared photos and commentary of this fascinating, brand new existence, but…<sigh>. To be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed for the first entire year. We departed America just two weeks after the Christmas holiday of 2010. Packing, donating, selling, and shipping a lifetime of acquired goods of a family of four was not an easy or a quick task, and during winter of all seasons. After the initial excitement of the big move – We. Were. Exhausted. Period. Physically, emotionally, but mostly – mentally. Our brains were tired. For the first three months, none of us could wake up before 10:00, sometimes 11:00. I’m not sure if I should be telling you this, but, now as I reflect on those earliest days, somehow I think it’s okay.
We arrived in Fukuoka on January 18, 2011 around 11:00 p.m. To our surprise, many of the church members drove 45 minutes south to the airport that night to greet us. We met most of these friends once or twice before during our previous visits to the country, but two in the group were unknown to us. Now, two years later, I’m happy to report that those who were strangers to us that evening are now some of our closest friends.
Our first few weeks were spent with Nils and Andrea Olson, our gracious senior missionaries. The Olsons, along with a good friend, found a house for us prior to arrival, but we had to wait to move in as final preparations were being made to the home. While we waited, we took care of various obligations: registering at City Hall, filling out paperwork, visiting the Realtor, and sleeping. Lots of sleeping.
Have you ever been completely floored by God’s demonstration of provision? We’ve been in several situations where He’s surprised us with finances and other blessings, but this one was over the top. He must have chuckled with delight when He delivered a financial gift to us in the form of several thousand dollars to initially outfit our new home. We had only brought clothing, books, and some small, personal mementos to Japan, and had no thought of how we’d purchase appliances, furniture – not even beds. But our Big Daddy had spoken to a church member who generously supplied for these necessities. Looking back, it was not only miraculous, but so much fun to buy all of this brand new stuff!
Our first purchase, along with an iron and microwave, was this cute fridge. We got a great deal on it because it happened to be the last one in stock, which was also the floor model. Appliances, along with everything else, are very expensive, so it was a huge blessing to receive almost half off!
Here are a few of the other items we bought. You can’t tell from the thumbnail photo but, this washing machine is completely in Japanese. All the appliances and their accompanying directions ONLY use Japanese. I initially had to memorize washing cycles by pressing buttons in a certain order. This was also the case for use of our high-tech fridge, toilet, and 3-way microwave/grill/oven. In fact, I was rather intimidated by all the kanji and thoughts of calculating temperature and time conversions on my oven, that I only used the microwave setting for months. I can now bake cakes, cookies, and even lasagna in our small but mighty range. (However, with regards to the washing machine, I pretty much stick to one basic setting for everything. The kanji’s still a mystery!)
Well, how about I end here for my first BMB entry? I’ve got lots more to share with you, but I want you to come back now, don’t I? Until next time…