Tokyo by bicycle

This post will combine the second and third weeks, so, the days before and after the Miyazaki Ministry Camp.

On Tuesday, October 3rd I visited the Rosenkranzes to discuss what I can do while I’m here. The church schedule was first established: Wednesday: Powernight, Friday: Prayer Night and sometimes Harvester Meeting, Saturday: Every other week Ministry School and every Week outreach (except the Ministry school goes on for too long), Sunday: Church Day. Further, I will join the Waseda Bible Café every Thursday (this will later be further explained). Additionally, Naomi and I thought to start an English (and maybe even German) language school for Kids and High Schoolers. Learning English is extremely popular in Japan, and parents cannot wait to send their kids to classes, so we thought we might be successful with that. The plan was, to teach kids some vocabulary and grammar and then finish the lessons with a short and easy bible story. For the High Schoolers, we would have offered conversation classes. In Japan, students mainly learn the theory and grammar of the English language, but they get barely any practice and thus their speaking skills are rather low, which is why we thought that conversation classes might be the best option to reach high schoolers, as this is something they usually wouldn’t be able to do. But, unfortunately, we had to put this idea on Ice for now. In November my Japanese classes will begin and, when I looked up the schedule I realized, that it will change every week. They have both morning and afternoon sessions. Students may have class either in the mornings or the afternoons, and this can change on a daily or weekly basis. Thus, I am not able to create a fixed schedule with Naomi for our language school, which means we will have to wait for my Japanese language class to be over before we can start our English School. In the meanwhile Christian has recommended ‘hello Sensei’. This is a website where I can sign up as a teacher and do one-on-one classes with people in my area, so I have decided to sign up for that, I will just have to find students who are flexible or hold all of my classes in the evening, where I can be sure that I don’t have classes on my own.

After our conversation, Christian, Zion and I went to an event at the Swiss Embassy. By bicycle. Through Tokyo. One hour. That was quite an interesting experience. At the Embassy the next interesting occurrence happened. The first person I saw when I walked in was: a Friend from Zurich University!? She had gotten the internship at the embassy and had volunteered to work an evening shift for this event. We were both surprised to see each other and talked for a bit before the event started. The event was a presentation by the Pasche family about their life. This is a Swiss family who has adopted a nomad lifestyle. They have been touring the world for 13 years now. On bicycle. Their stories and pictures were entrancing, I would certainly recommend you to look them up (their website is ylia.ch).

When they had finished their presentation we were able to connect with others while enjoying a delicious meal: Raclette!!

Inspired by what we had heard, happy to have reconnected with my friend, and a tummy full of cheese and fruit salad, we mounted our bikes and rode back to our apartments.

A picture from the highest building at Anna’s university

The next day I visited Anna at her university, and together with a friend of hers we ate lunch, she gave me a quick tour of the campus and then we headed back home where we chatted over tea and, watched ‘the shack’ before going to Power Night.

The following days you have already read about in my Miyazaki post.

On Thursday, October 12th, I went to Waseda for the first time. Waseda is a huge and famous University in Tokyo, that is famous for being the University for many future politicians. Zion and Yukie both attend this University, and they have started a Bible Café, intending to reach fellow students and lead them to God and the Church. This would be the first meeting, and we met early to talk about the plans for the next semester. At some point, Naomi came up with the idea to turn it into an ‘International Bible Café’. By doing so we could go to diverse language clubs at university, and invite them, arguing that it will be great to exchange languages and culture, while also learning about the Bible. We also thought that we should have several events which will make an attractive invitation to join us. This week we will have a TakoPa (Takoyaki Party; a ball-shaped Japanese snack, typically filled with octopus). We will start with worship, then one of the leaders will share a testimony, then Christian will share a quick input, and lastly, we will have time to connect, engage and cook and eat Takoyaki together.

On Saturday I went to Shinjuku to pick up Cierra. She is a missionary’s daughter from America, who has spent almost her whole life in the Philippines, and has it now on her heart to serve in Japan. She has already been in Miyazaki for almost 5 months and has decided to come to Tokyo for a quick recharge before going to a different place and helping in a Christian school. She will stay with Llyza, Yuka, and me for about 3 weeks.

In the evening we left Cierra to rest and went to Shimokitazawa for my first outreach. We had a guitar and several signs (e.g. free healing, free friend, etc.). We had also made a special sign this time, as this Sunday afternoon service was a bit different than usual. We had an event called ‘love navigation’, where Christian and Naomi taught about having a good and healthy relationship and marriage.

We stood there for a while, singing and shouting several invitations (‘Are you interested in being healed?’, ‘Tomorrow we have a special event to learn about love’, ‘There will be food’). The start was a bit slow but after a while, no one was shouting anymore, because we were all immersed in conversations and exchanging social media to stay in contact and keep inviting them to church.

Sunday morning, Yuka, Llyza and I made Egg sandwiches for everyone at church to eat for Lunch before Yuka and Lyza joined the band practice. In the afternoon, as already mentioned, we had the special ‘love navigation’ event where more people than usual filled the chairs. We played an ‘ice breaker’ game and after service, we all stayed and ate some snacks. Well, many snacks. Naomi and Christian had asked everyone to bring something to share after church and everyone DELIVERED. There was so much food, dinner was not needed anymore, so at some point, after having talked, laughed and taken some pictures Cierra and I headed home. Yuka and Llyza had already left earlier as they both had some other engagements that night.