10 Minutes Away

One warm Summer night we were having a “Movie Night” with all the ESS college students at Setouchi Chapel and our movie disc kept freezing. I felt bad because I knew all the students had come to watch the movie together. Some traveled as far as 45 min by train. So when it was obvious that the disc wouldn’t play, I decided to ride my bike back to the store to get an exchange. Most of the students were shocked that I was willing to do it, but in my mind, the store was only an 8 minute ride away and I didn’t want the night to be spoiled. Some of the students tried to stop me and some wanted to come with me. I just tried to hurry out the door so we could pick up where we left off. As I started down the road, I noticed a guy had followed me. He quickly caught up on his bike and we rode together, chatting about what to do once we got there.

When we arrived at the rental store, he explained what happened to the cashier and we were told that we could grab another disc. Unfortunately, the movie we had was the last one, so we were subjected to picking another movie for the whole group. Of course this is the 21st century, so we texted the leader and asked which of 2 movies everyone wanted to see. They made a decision and we hurried back to pop in the new movie.

One of the most interesting things about this story is that it seemed so common in Japan. Our friends would drop everything they were doing to come and be together. It almost seemed countless how often they put spending time with others over spending time on their own endeavors. This type of thinking seems to promote community better than any method I’ve seen. We even adopted such a mindset – and going everywhere on bicycle helped a lot.

Technology has it’s advantages and it’s frustrations. For the oldest and longest-serving missionary in Takamatsu, it has more of the latter than the former. Stella Cox reached Japan first in 1953, beating her husband by a year. As communication advanced over the years Ralph, her loving husband, kept up with their supporters using every modern form including email. So when he went to be with the Lord in 2008, Stella was left to do a job she had never needed to do. And naturally she needed a little help. This is where I come in. 

Stella would call me to come over and help with her prayer letter nearly every month. Sometimes I was rewarded with her famous pancakes, and sometimes not. But often this phone call came out of the blue and I was generally busy studying Japanese or in-between English classes. Knowing that her house was a short 10 minutes from ours, I would usually hop on my bike and pedal on over to help. Now that we’re in America, things may be 10 minutes away, but the distance is much greater. I’m not sure whether it’s the difference in my head or if it’s having to get into the car, fight traffic, and spend gas, but somehow it seems like much more of a burden to travel that 10 minutes here.

This is one of the things that we’ve struggled with since coming back. In part, I believe it’s a difference in communion between the two cultures, but largely it feels as if our automobile-dominated society is somehow missing out on a lot of opportunities to bond and spend time together. Think about these things in light of Christ’s life of sacrifice and discipleship – always with His disciples.

Posted via email from Reeds in Japan

Prized Japanese social values that withstand ‘Westernization’ | The Japan Times Online

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/eo20100516a1.html

Interesting look into the values of the modern Japanese person. I’m not sure whether from being associated with Japanese culture or from my upbringing, but I would likely rank the same traits at the top. I just wish the author showed the full ranking!

Posted via email from Reeds in Japan

Beautiful Footage of Japan from BBC

Make sure to watch it in 1080 if you can. The quality is amazing. Some of these scenes are a bit cliché, but gorgeous nonetheless.

Posted via email from Reeds in Japan

July ’10 Prayer Letter

Our latest Prayer Letter is now available here. If you’d like to sign up to receive our prayer letters, click here and/or if you’d like to get ALL of our amazing site updates and cool videos in your inbox, click here to subscribe!

Posted via email from Reeds in Japan

Fewer Foreign Residents in Japan for First Time In 48 Years – Japan Real Time – WSJ

It’s interesting to see the decline of foreigners in Japan. This is bad for Evangelism because there has been a decrease in missionaries as well since the 80′s. TEAM, with whom we served, saw 2 surges into Japan. One directly after the 2nd World War ended, and then a second wave in the 1980′s. Many of those who came in the 40′s and 50′s have now retired or been promoted to Heaven. As a result, TEAM has seen a sharp decline in missionaries in recent years. According to this article they are not alone. Due to the high cost of living, many who want to go are still stuck in their home country raising support. But our God is not limited by finances. Let’s pray for a new wave of missionaries to be able to come and serve Christ in Japan!

Posted via email from Reeds in Japan

Takamatsu Charity Concert – April ’09

This is a little video I did of the Charity Concert we had in Takamatsu in 2009. The music being played is by The Messengers, who did the concert and live in Japan as foreign missionaries/local Christians. There’s a little bit of an audio mess-up at the end but it’s not too bad.

Posted via email from Reeds in Japan

April ’10 Prayer Letter

We’re trying a new service this month that could prove to be super helpful! We have quite a bit of news. You can read it all here. Please tell us what you think via email or in the comments!

January Prayer Letter

Sorry this is so late getting up here. Life has been a blur for us the past few months but we’ve realized that many people missed our January update. So in case you need it, here it is (right-click to download).

Counting Down the Days

Well, It’s the end of September, and we are getting impatient to get home! We have about 10 days left and we are just packing and planning. There are only small things left to do so that is helpful. We just wanted to do an update for everyone since things have changed and might be a little confusing. Matt is still searching for a job. Well, more like waiting. There are a lot of small freelance jobs that are a possibility but we would like the idea of something more full time. Matt has been doing some web design projects while he has the time here, expanding his opportunities for future work. If any of you need a website, let us know! Matt is building his portfolio now.

I haven’t been looking for a job too much because it is hard to find something part time that I think I would enjoy in Lynchburg. We don’t think it is wise for me to work full time and do school full time. Oh, and as a side note to clear things up, I have picked the Fashion Merchandising and Interiors major shooting for interior design. That is a 4-year degree. So, we were hoping for Matt to work and me just focus on school. Not knowing if that is possible, I have sent in my application to Liberty. My hope is to also do some freelancing in the beauty department. I do makeup and nails, so, again, if anyone needs a makeup artist for a wedding or event, let me know! There is so much that we want to accomplish, but we know it takes time and money. So, we are looking forward to taking this next step in our lives slowly. Which brings me to my next topic, our future.

We have a 5 year plan that includes school, finishing school, paying off school, and starting our family. Though, we are still leaving room and time for God to lead us. We are done with the crazy busy lifestyle of go, go, go! We are ready to take it slow and have time to let God lead us. So, that is why we are not looking at full time missionary life in Japan for the future. We love Japan, and we have learned so much. Most of all, that God is still guiding us. This is just the next step. We don’t even know where we will be in 1 year! But, we are prepared and we want to at least have this plan. We hope to be able to support missionaries and visit Japan on short term trips. But, as of right now, we do not plan to be career missionaries. We know that God has lead us to this decision, and truly feel like we are in His will right now. Leaving Japan was one of the hardest decisions we have made and will be heartbreaking to leave these relationships, but we also remember the  decisions that God has lead us to make in the past similar to this and we know it won’t be the last.

That’s all for now, I will put a video up on youtube with this same info in it. If you have any questions, please let us know. As always, thank you for your payers and encouragement. See you soon!

September Prayer Letter

BIG News! Thanks for reading! :)

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