We started the New Year (2009) in Seattle with my family. Our friend, Carla came to visit, too.
At school (Regent College), we were busy with big projects. Keith took the Old Testament comprehensive exam, while I worked on my arts thesis, which was a series of worship services with lots of instrumental music. (Incidentally, this was the year when I got over "artistic block" and started practicing my cello again.) Meanwhile, we both worked as teaching assistants for Greek (Keith) and Hebrew (me). Busy times. We were really glad when it came time for...
That's right! We graduated from Regent College on April 27! After 3 1/2 years of noses to the grindstone, we finished. Both of us got a Master of Christian Studies degree. Keith's concentration was in Biblical Studies, and Celia's was in Christianity and the Arts. Keith received prizes for Greek and Old Testament, and Celia received prizes for Christianity and the Arts and Hebrew.
We went to Colorado to visit friends and prepare for... the next step, finished up stuff in Vancouver, including my cello teaching job at St. James Music Academy, then we went on a road trip to visit Keith's family and a couple of national parks. We came back to Vancouver, packed up our apartment, said goodbye to our friends, then we were off to...
After spending 3 1/2 of our 4 years of marriage in Canada, we thought, why not try living in a third country? ;) We're presently living in Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido. We're here for 8 months (until around the beginning of April 2010) working for Overseas Missionary Fellowship International (OMF).
Since we arrived in Japan, we've been studying Japanese, working at Satsunae Lighthouse Church, playing concerts, working with students at Hokkaido University... as well as eating and generally enjoying and growing accustomed to Japanese culture. That's a very short summary, so please check out the links above, and also our September and December newsletters if you haven't done so yet.
December was a very busy month. I prepared for and played 4 concerts (1 of which could have been a Master's level recital). There were many Christmas parties and events to attend and help with. Meanwhile, we carried on with our usual activities--Language study, meeting with students, and playing music at church. We celebrated Christmas without our families for the first time ever... and yes, it really is true that Japanese people eat KFC on Christmas Eve...
It was a little lonely, but we were glad to have a few days to rest. Keith made a roast, and we ate Christmas dinner with our "house parents" and some friends from their church.
At present, we are enjoying the company of my parents and brother here in Sapporo.
They arrived on December 28. We celebrated New Year's together, I played a concert on Jan 3... but maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, since now it's 2010. I'll post more specifically about the concerts and Christmas things soon, but for now, check out my mom's blog about family time in Sapporo and New Year's.
As we say in Japan... 新年おめでとうございます！ Happy New Year!