Saturday, October 27, 2007

your prayers are needed

i am writing this quick blog to let our loved ones know some more information about our work situation. we were called this morning and told not to go into work today because the president of NOVA has stepped down as well as many other upper management folks. NOVA will be closed for 10 days and a group of lawyers have decided to take on the NOVA case and try to find a sponsor for NOVA to try to rehabilitate the company. However, if the lawyers fail to do so NOVA will be forced to officially declare bankruptcy. we will be able to receive up to 80% of the money we are owed. so, we will have to wait for 10 days to hear any news.

so wha will we do next if nova fails? we are wondering what the answer to that question is also. we would like to stay in japan but maybe that is not what the Lord has in mind. We are just praying for his guidance and protection in the midst of so many questions. We know he has a plan and we will trust him. We have a lot of peace right now and we are not afraid. this has to be jesus! i am thankful that He is protecting us and for his daily provisions. Please pray for us whenver you think about it.

We will update more whenever we have more news. Until then we will enjoy our time off :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

tribute to the trains

Although circumstances with our jobs are still difficult, we are still loving the time we are having together here in japan. We have had some wonderful food and seen some wonderful things. We have figured out the train system which is a huge feat for any foreigner traveling these parts. We stare at the board that shows the route of the train hoping some how all those Japanese characters will begin to make sense but, as you can probably imagine….they never do and so we hope for the best when we hop on a train. So, considering all of the time and effort and hard earned cash we have used on these trains we would like to give a tribute to the Japan Railways.

Jason took this pic while we were doing what we do on a daily basis….waiting for a train.

We take this train ever day for work and to go into tokyo....

there are few benches and chairs at the station and we walk a lot so any time we get a chance to rest our legs we take it. We often have to stand on the trains because they are so crowded.

a lot of people sleep on the trains and sometimes these sleepers are so out of it that they sleep on you....check out the video below. jason caught it in action.

inside the rain and a cute little girl with bunny ears on

here's the train map posted above the ticket machines

a cute little fella waiting for the train and one is never too young to start text messaging which is a very popular past time while riding the trains in japan.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

turning Japanese

It has taken me much longer than is acceptable to write this blog entry. We spilled water on a table which our computer was sitting on and now we have a keyboard with a few of the keys not working. Two of which are the “t” key and the “y” key. So, we have to copy and paste ever t and y that goes into any sort of letter so…writing any sort of response or email takes quite some time. We are trying to decide on the best course of action to repair our sick keyboard.

Well, we have been in Japan now for about two months and we are getting more acquainted with the new culture with each passing day. At first, it was very difficult to be here. We experienced some culture shock for about two weeks after our arrival and we were quite surprised with all the emotion that living in a new culture can bring. Everything was so new. We were far away from anything that was familiar.

We started our new jobs as English Instructors about five days after we got in japan. Training was intense. We got a lot of information all at once but now we are much more comfortable in our jobs and we are starting to get to know some of the students a lot better. Although we are feeling more and more comfortable in our job, things with the company we work for are not looking so great. There is a lot of talk about bankruptcy and we just received a fax today from the president stating that we aren’t getting paid when we are supposed to because there are not enough funds to do so. Jason and I have been praying about what to do in the next few days. This whole situation has become much more serious since we got here. NOVA has taken a nose dive in the public’s eye and financially. NOVA was caught in an advertising scandal back in June and the punishment handed out was that NOVA wasn't allowed to enroll any new students and some students were upset about the situation so they asked for refunds of their already prepaid contracts. so, what is happening to NOVA is what happened with some of the banks during the great depression. NOVA customers deposited their money and then a mad rush came to withdraw it all back out again. Leaving NOVA with only output and no means of input since they were not allowed to enroll new students for 6 months. so, Please pray for us as we seek the Lord about what we should do in regards to this situation. We don’t want to leave japan yet but we need jobs so….we are looking and trusting that the Lord knows what is going on and that He will provide for us.

Being in Japan has really helped me to slow down. I realize since being here that m life in the states was too busy. Too full of activity…..although all that I did I loved, I just did too much. I am much more still in Japan even though our future here is much more shaky. The Lord is teaching me a lot about surrender and more about his character and His deep love for all of his children. I am very content here and this has only come within the last few weeks which is quite ironic since the current situation, under any other circumstances, would make me nervous and anxious.

We have also seen some great parts of traditional Japanese culture. We went to a sumo tournament, walked around the beautiful East Garden of the Imperial Palace, have had an overpriced, but delicious sushi meal, and we are learning how to read and write in Japanese.We are planning some trips in the near future to some great countryside in a couple of weeks as well as a trip to the southern part of japan sometime in November with Jason’s cousin, Ryan who is also a teacher in the same company.

We are excited to see what all the Lord has to show us. Please pray for us when you think of us as we seek what the Lord would want us to do next if the company we work for fails to survive. Also, please pray for our living situation as we live in a NOVA accommodation and if NOVA fails we will not have a place to live. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and I will try to write more than just an update very soon.

1st picture: taken from the east garden of the imperial palace....its a wonderful retreat from the very loud and very busy city life

2nd picture: our expensive sushi (we were a bit shocked when we walked into the restaurant) but a wonderful presentation! also, it was delicious!

video: taken while we were at our first sumo match.