Friday, April 25, 2008
One night Michael Eastwood, who is from Maryland teaching English as a JET in a small village called Morita, appeared having 10 hands!! That's even more than an octopus!!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It seems to be that lately I'm posting about things that happened a month ago. It's either I don't have time or I'm not making time. I think it's mostly that I'm not making time. Anyway I made time to write about Easter this time. These are the activities and my observations of this years Easter.
On Sunday the 16th of March, we decorated the church with palm branches. Remembering Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey while people shouted "Hosanna" and swinging palm branches in the air. There was palm branches above the church entryway, in front of every window in the sanctuary and on the cross. It was pretty cool.
Naomi and I were asked to decorate the front entrance of the church to make it look like we're having a celebration, so we got some streamers and balloons and did some decorating. It came out pretty good. We left the decorations up for a week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. It was nice. People walking by on the street must have wondered what the church was doing.
The pictures above are from the last supper meal we had in Kanagi Church
on March 22nd. Since the Messers were still in Sapporo refreshing their Japanese, my Dad, Mom, Naomi and I went up to Kanagi and cooked a meal. We ate food the Israelites most likely ate while they were slaves in Egypt. Lamb meat, unleavened bread(flat yeast less bread), matsoball soup and some vegetables. The same food the Israelites ate for the Passover celebration. The same food Jesus ate with his 12 disciples the night before he was crucified. We also had grated apples with walnuts to show the mud the Israelites worked in to make bricks for the Egyptians while they were slaves. We had wassabi, parsley and eggs, too. Easter is basically the only time I get to eat lamb meat, so I quite like it.
Above are the kids I ate the last supper meal with on Good Friday, the 21st in Itayangi.
Above is a picture of people talking around tables right after the last supper meal in Itayangi. As for the program; we read the Bible, sang some songs, had an explanation given about all the food, ate the food and my Dad gave a message about the meaning of Easter and the passover. At the end we saw a short part of the "Jesus for Children" movie. The part from where Jesus was put on the cross to where he rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples. There was a lot of non-christians at the meal so I think it helped them understand at least a little bit about what Jesus came to do for us and the power He has. It was a nice meal and there were good conversations.
As a church we also had a kids Easter event. The cookies above are one of the things we gave to the kids that came. At this kids event I played Hosanna on the piano. It was my first time playing the piano in front of at least 40 people so it was exciting. I made a couple mistakes, but I think I was alright. At least the kids sang so that was good.
At the kids Easter event everyone got to color and decorate an egg.
After Sunday school on Easter Sunday the church kids decorated eggs.
Everyone liked placing their eggs in the dyed water.
These are two of the eggs that we drew on this Easter.
The one on the left is the one Naomi drew.
The one on the right is the one I did. It's simple, but I like it.
You can't spend Easter without the Easter egg hunt.
You can see that the kids are really excited to find those eggs.
Even I got to go search. It was fun. I got three.
The candy stuffed eggs that the kids love.
Over all it was a great Easter remembering that Jesus came to die in our place on the cross to pay for our penalty of our sin and giving us hope by resurrecting from the dead. It's great to know that we Christians serve a loving powerful Saviour.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Satoru ＆Nobuko's Wedding
On March 8th, we had a wedding reception at church. They already had the wedding ceremony two weeks ago somewhere in Tokyo area, so we just had the reception. It was nice.
from left:Mom(the cake maker), Nobuko
(groom) and Dad(the pastor)
likes purple, the theme color of the wedding was purple. As a result my Mom made a purple wedding cake. It was actually Nobuko
that beat the cake and added food coloring to the icing, but Mom was the one that decorated it with Nobuko's
sister. It was a chocolate cake. I've been to many weddings, but having a chocolate wedding cake was my first time. It tasted good.
This is a group photo of the groom and bride with the Tsugaru
church members(everyone except Mary) that attended.
The main reason of this post was to talk about the food that was served at the wedding.
Everyone that came was served a box with two layers of Japanese food. I emphasize "Japanese" because, it was filled with food considered to be luxurious in Japan. Below is a picture of one of the layers.
There was sashimi(raw fish), raw squid, raw shrimp, deep fried ship, crab, sushi, deep fried fish and fried salmon. Thankfully there was some food that was actually cooked like chicken and salmon that I like eating, instead of raw seafood. There was also cakes and pumpkin pie on the table so I didn't need to worry about starving.
I noticed that by eating luxurious Japanese food, you can learn a lot about sea creatures. Such as shrimp, squid, fish and crabs. I really found the crab interesting. They served a little amount of crab meat still attacked to its club. You can sort of see it in the top left corner two pictures above. It was funny, I could open and close the scissor part of the club, by pulling on the white part sticking out. Very amusing!! After the wedding when I was cleaning up, I managed to collect 4 crab clubs and keep them. I think there pretty cool.
I forget when it was but about a month ago, a bunch of kids and parents from my Mom's child rearing class and a bunch of kids from the church English class had an outing on a Saturday
and went to Asamushi Aquarium
(浅虫水族館).I had a very low expectation of the place, I didn't think it would be very interesting, but it actually was a very nice aquarium and very interesting
Naomi and Tomomi in front
of the Aquarium
Bethany and kids standing in a tunnel looking at creatures swimming all around them
Shark!! He was mean looking.
Sting ray, there was a very big one swimming all over the tank
Seahorse, I'd never seen a real Seahorse before
the coolest fish!
Nimo and his friends
There also was a Dolphin Show. It was pretty amusing. The dolphins did flips, jumped through hoops, kicked a ball hanging maybe about 5 meters above the water and many other things. In the picture above, a dolphin is catching a frisbee.
There was a section in the Aquarium where we could touch such things as clams, starfish, crabs and things like that. It was very interesting. above is Naomi and Tomomi holding strange creatures.
Over all it was a very nice place. It reminded me again how creative God is creating so many different kinds living things. My favorite was probably the Octopus. If I had a chance I would definitely go back.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Japanese Snowmen and American Snowmen
On the last day of February(February 28th) of this winter me, my sister and 8 kids from Young Life made two snowmen. It happened to be that one turned out to be an American and the other Japanese. I don't know how this started but American snowmen always have 3 parts, but Japanese snowmen always only have 2 parts. Strange!? Maybe I shouldn't say American. I just looked at a picture of a snowman which New Zealanders made
and there also was 3 parts. Maybe it's just the Japanese snowmen that only have have 2 parts.
Anyway, one of the activities for the Young Life sleep over we had was to make a snowman. Since we had a lot of people, we made two. That night the weather temperature wasn't too cold for the snow to be powder or ice and the temperature wasn't to warm for the snow to be really wet. It was just the right temperature to roll a small snowball and allow it to get bigger as snow stuck to it. The snow stuck very well. As a result we kept rolling and rolling until the ball got too big and heavy that we couldn't move it any more. It was ok for the first one since it just stayed on the ground, but we had a problem with lifting the second one on top of the first one. Even if two other boys and I tried, we still couldn't lift it high enough. So, we managed to think smart and make a ramp with 3 pieces of 120cm long wood. We laid them side by side 3 ends on the ground and the other 3 ends at the top the bottom snowball. Our plan worked! Instead of lifting the snowball, we rolled it on to the first one with the ramp. We were all happy that it worked. The third one was quite heavy too, but it was a little smaller so three of us lifted it to the top. To look at other pictures of us making the snowman and the other things we did at the sleep over check out Itayanagi Church's Young Life blog
(it's in Japanese). The sticks we used for the snowmen is the same sticks we used for the ramp.
This is how our American snowman looked a couple days after we made him.
Looking happy with a nice big smile.
This is how our snowman looked several days later.
His arms had broken off and fallen to the ground, he lost his face and he also got a lot slimmer. I guess spring has to come sometime.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Pit Digging in the Snow
Ever since coming back from the summer of New Zealand and Australia I haven't posted anything, but a lot has happened. Especially things to do with snow. I've dug holes in the snow, I've built snowmen with church kids, and I've gone snowboarding on Mt. Hakkoda. On this post I will talk about digging holes in the snow.
On the beginning of March, I decided to dig a deep square pit at the end of the church parking lot where we get our snow pushed aside. Since all of the snow that snows down on our parking lot gets pushed there, there ends up being a big pile of snow. It took 3 days for me to dig the hole that you see in the picture above. I managed to dig about 2 meters before I hit the parking lot cement. It was a lot of work lifting the snow up above over my head with a shovel. It sure helped me build my arm muscles. Since it was so deep I made a couple foot holes at different heights in one corner of the square where I could place my feet in and climb out. The finished hole turned out pretty cool.
I've actually dug a pit like this two years ago before I even started this blog. I probably would have done this last year too, but there wasn't enough snow so I couldn't. Instead I built a small igloo with the church boys. Here is a picture of the igloo
. My friend, John wrote about the pit I dug two years ago on his blog. If you want to read about it check out flat3D
I was even able to lie down in it with my legs stretched.
Not that I would want to spend a night in there, though.
When I showed the square pit to some kids from church on a Sunday, they wanted to contribute to my project in some way, so I suggested them to dig two more holes and connect them by digging a tunnel between them. So together with about 5 people we took turns digging a triangle hole and a circular hole. We didn't quite finish the circular hole before everyone had to go home, but we managed to finish the triangle hole and connect the square one with it by digging a tunnel between them. Everyone was willing to dig and lift snow so that helped us make progress. I thought making different shaped holes would be interesting.
This was where we dug. The first square pit that I dug is on the left and the triangle one is on the right next to my black gloves. You can't see the circular one in this picture, but it is where the middle shovel is.By the next Sunday, the snow had melted quite a bit. Within a couple weeks the tunnel melted to this condition in the picture above. You can see that the roof of the tunnel could break anytime.
This is a picture from the triangle hole looking through the melting tunnel towards the square hole. Since I didn't start digging until March, the whole thing melted quite quickly. Even though this pit/tunnel digging project didn't last for long, it was nice to make worth of all the snow we had and have fun with it. At least I have pictures to show that the church kids and I dug a cool tunnel.