Friday, May 08, 2015

Documenting the daily grind

Today’s coffee: Kenya

Tired. Thank God for coffee.

The pre-home-assignment photography frenzy has started. As we went through 4 years of photos, picking the best ones to turn into photo books and slideshows, we found that there were some important aspects of our lives that had gone un-photographed, simply because they were such ordinary things that we never bothered to take pictures—prayer meetings, language study, time spent informally with friends, places visited on a regular basis.

We hear that this is a normal occurrence: missionaries running around like crazy right before home assignment snapping pictures left and right. I suppose usually I just think of these everyday routines as “not worth taking pictures of”—so I don’t. But these things are also an important part of our work. Not to mention, somehow these routines are comforting in the midst of looming change.

So this week I’m going to give you a glimpse at the usually-not-photographed daily grind sorts of things that we do. There are still lots more photos I need to take…

As I sit here at Tokumitsu and write, Keith is working on a sermon with his Japanese teacher at home. They usually talk for hours about things which may or may not be related to Japanese study.

This is Keith’s study spot—it has been since back when we were in language school. When I got to Shino’s house for rehearsals on Thursday afternoons, Keith sits in the student lounge at JLC (the OMF language school), hangs out with people and studies Japanese. And sometimes he looks out the window when he needs a break.

Then later on Thursday afternoon, we have tea time and prayer meeting for the Sapporo area missionaries. I have been preparing drinks and snacks for tea time each week for the past couple of years.

And the prayer meeting. I think we’ve said this a lot of times, but praying is probably the most important thing we do as missionaries. If I am not praying, I end up trying to do things on my own strength and failing. Prayer acknowledges that this is God’s work, not mine.

"Now get into groups and pray for..."
After prayer meeting is supper. Once every couple of months there is a potluck. I usually bring casseroles.

We sit around a bunch of big tables. These days there are lots of people!
On other weeks, we sometimes go out with friends. “We need to take photos” became our excuse last night to go to our favorite soup curry restaurant.

Everyone loves the mushroom soup curry!
We got the owner to take a couple group pictures, and I switched with him for the last picture--he's next to Keith.
Well, most of that is what takes place on Thursdays. I still need to photograph church prayer meetings, small groups, the worship service… lots to do! The photography frenzy continues.

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