Monday, February 20, 2006


I am back to Kim's and computer access. It has been quite a whirl wind the last few days. We were up early Sunday morning to take the train about and hour and a half to my 'home town' of Totsuka. It was a little surreal walking to the church as so much was the same with a few changes here and there. It has been such a long time since I thought about my neighborhood and the shops that I walked past almost daily for two years.

As we climbed to the third floor I heard the worship team practicing and I couldn't help but smile. Suzuki Sensei, my pastor, greeted me at the door with a hug and his wife right behind him. Then it was a frenzy of greetings and introductions. As the service was starting Suzuki Sensei asked me to talk about my job now during the sharing time. I knew I would be asked to speak at some point during the service and it was nice to have a direction. Then the music began and I smiled to see a familiar face up front but also 5 new faces singing and playing instruments. Totsuka Chapel is growing and changing and it is exciting to see.

As the music played I sat composing my testimony for these people that invested so much into me as a young person. I knew by the shuffling in the back that some of my former English students had arrived. All of them still unbelievers. And I wanted to say so much to everyone. I don't know if I communicated all that well... but I think they were encouraged. When the survice was over I was instantly enveloped by a dozen former students. They were so kind to come and most stayed for lunch with me at the church. As I began to talk to them God gave me back a lot of my memory so I could ask about children and events by name. Things that I had totally forgotten for so many years. They stayed for about an hour and then everyone left. It was only Suzuki Sensei, his wife, and a church elder that stayed to sip coffee with us for a couple of hours. Suzuki Sensei called Nate, my teaching partner for two years, and I was able to talk to him for awhile. It doesn't seem right to be here without him, somehow.

The afternoon ended with Lorrie and I hiking up the hill to my old apartment. It was fun to be in my old neighborhood and show Lorrie my life here. We went back to the train station and went a couple of stations to Kamakura. A good friend and former student, Keiko met us there. We went out to eat for gyoza(pot stickers in american-ese ... but better). Then walked to her father's hotel where we spent the night.

We woke up to a rainy Monday. We bought some bright umbrellas and made the best of it. We went to a famous temple in Kamakura before hopping on a train for a very modern shopping area that I used to spend a lot of time in. It had an English bookstore and Eddie Bauer... so when I needed a little bit of home I spent time there. We shopped the day away and had some wonderful Tonkatsu for dinner before getting on a crowded train back to Kim's. Praise God we got seats early on the ride! But we were glad to get back to Kim's and soak in her Japanese tub.

That is the brief version of the last few days.... I started this last night and couldn't finish it then... so you get the summary this morning. More later...


rubyslipperlady said...

How wonderful it must have been to be 'home' again. I am so excited that you had so many students there and were able to share with them.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Carrie~
How fun and refreshing for you to be among "your people" again. That was wonderful that some of your former students were able to come and see you.
Your adventure sounds fun and I'm glad to hear what you are doing.
We miss you here.
Love, Phyllis

Anonymous said...

Oh sister, the memories it brings back for me! I could just see the chapel and smell the curry for lunch. Not to mention the flash-backs to shopping in Yokohama and staying at Keiko's Fathers Hotel. And the number of stairs to climb to get up the hill to your apartment. Oh how I wish I could have gone with you!

Thank you for the memories we created in Japan together and you revisiting them and reminding me of all the fun we had! I can't wait until you get back so we can talk and you can remind me of even more wonderful things!

Misty :)

Friar Tuck said...

Sounds like you are having a great time. Does it make you want to go back there in a mission capacity again?