This week’s Tuesday I spent together with Anna and Ciera. First, we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market. The actual market where the fresh fish is being sold is not open to the public, so this market was mainly filled with food stands and small restaurants. Lucky for us the fish smell wasn’t too strong, because most of the fish had already been prepared. We walked through the streets and at some point met a young French woman advertising a restaurant serving sushi bowls. We talked with her for a while (in English, so that Ciera and Anna would also understand, and my French isn’t that strong anymore) and let her convince us to visit that specific restaurant. The meal was extremely tasty and the freshness of the fish was noticeable even for us who don’t have much understanding of fish.

After this filling meal, we started walking toward Tokyo Tower. On our way, we bought ourselves Tayaki, a sweet red bean dessert, shaped like a fish.

Taiyaki with the Tokyo Tower in the Back

We didn’t spend much time at the tower, we just took a couple of pictures and looked at all the souvenirs. We decided not to go up to the top of the tower, but instead, we wanted to go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building (Tocho) where we could go to the top floor for free. The view is much better, as it is much higher, and free is also a better price than having to pay an entrance fee. So Tocho seemed like a much better option. We arrived at Tocho at the perfect time to enjoy a stunning sunset, and we were even able to peek at Mount Fuji through the cloudy sky. It was marvellous. After the sunset, we stayed for a bit longer to take some pictures of the city covered in little lights, before we finally went home.

On Wednesday I had another English Class before going to Power Night. This night’s message was about building the church up through our words. Specifically How every single one of us can help build up the church with practical words.

On Thursday morning I got up early to make chocolate truffles. On Saturday we would celebrate Yuka’s birthday in ministry school, and we wanted to surprise her with some treats. I made the truffles on Thursday so that I could give them to Naomi in the Bible Café and she would store them in her fridge, hidden away from Yuka’s sight. When I was done it was already time for me and Ciera to head out to Waseda. We ate our lunch and then tried to talk to some people. We didn’t manage to invite anyone to the Bible Café but at least I could make two girls’ day by telling them that I enjoyed their dancing (we saw them practising in front of a Starbucks). This week we had to meet earlier for the Bible Café because the time we usually wanted to meet someone else had rented the room. So when Zion and Yukie arrived we didn’t have time to invite more people but directly went to Phoenix Lounge. There we met Naomi (Christian couldn’t make it this time). The people we met the previous week had all told us that they couldn’t make it this week because of the different times, so we remained as just the five of us. So after the worship, Naomi decided to change the message and gave us a teaching that was dedicated to harvesters and wouldn’t have been suitable for newcomers. She talked about evangelizing and bringing people to church, underlining all of her points with bible verses.

Because the Bible Café ended earlier, Yuka, Ciera and I had made plans to go to a Swiss restaurant near our apartment. Spontaneously we invited Yukie to join us. Together we shared a small fondue, oyster fritter (I know, very Swiss), and a mushroom risotto.

The food was quite enjoyable, and even though the cheese was nothing like a Swiss Fondue, it was still tasty and we had a great time.

On Friday there was some kind of Holiday, so we had another ministry school camp. Most of the members from Miyazaki and Fukuoka arrived on Thursday night so they started at 10 A.M. with worship practice, at 10:30 we started praying and at 11 A.M we started the official program. We first took our exams on the books of Galatians and Ephesians and wrote down the Bible verses we had to memorize. (For this ministry school we had to read Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians and memorize Romans 8:15 and 1. Corinthians 4:17). After we finished our tests Naomi commenced her teaching about the two books we just got tested on. When she was done, she decided there was enough time for Philippians, so we took that test before hearing teaching about that book. During the breaks, we all gathered in the kitchen to make Onigiri (rice balls with some fillings). So in the afternoon, when Naomi finished the third book, we packed the Onigiri and some other snacks and drinks, and we headed out into a park where we had a picnic for lunch. After lunch, we worshipped for a little and then some of us started to play football and badminton. This was great fun to let out some energy after an intense morning.

We then went back to church and Christian finished his Timothy Series. The first time we heard about the differences between a Son and e Servant, the second time he taught us about how we can be good servants who can be sent out and this final teaching was about being a co-worker for our leaders. In the evening we spent some time talking, and then we split into three groups to eat Ramen for dinner. Naomi suggested three restaurants and everyone chose one to go to. I was in a group with Yuka, Llyza, Maho and Shinri. The latter two are from the Fukuoka church. We enjoyed our food, and I taught them some Swiss German and Shinri taught me some things about Osaka (He is originally from Osaka). We then returned right on time for prayer night.

Saturday we started the same way as Friday, and we took our final test and teaching on the book of Philippians. Then Christian started a new series about Praise and Worship. Teaching us about the differences, explaining the terms and foundations. I found the 7 Hebrew words for praise and their meanings quite interesting. We took a break around noon to eat lunch together and then finally surprised Yuka with a little celebration. After this break, Christian continued talking about the 7 Words of praise until we got interrupted by visitors. As mentioned in the previous Blog, we had visitors from Missionaries. There were a total of five people. A Texan couple (Andy and Karyn), Andy’s mother (Nelda) and a Mexican couple (Ruben and Consuelo). After greeting each other, Christian invited Andy to take over. Andy talked about the ministries they are doing in Mexico and their passion for the Holy Spirit’s fire. Fire is the main topic in their missions, and they teach how everyone can receive that fire of the holy spirit. He also asked Ruben and Consuelo to share their testimony. Consuelo shared that she had been dreaming of coming for a while, but buried that dream until Andy mentioned their trip to come this year. They are both thankful for this opportunity and also see it as a test to see if they should come to Japan as long-term missionaries. After the ‘Fire Group’ finished sharing we got up for an intense prayer session. First, our visitors prayed for us and shared some prophetic words, and after some time they asked us to start praying for our neighbours, to walk around and pray for and bless those who we felt needed it at the moment. After this intensive prayer time, we gathered to eat dinner and talk, and to get to know our visitors better.

Some of us also went out to do some street evangelizing, and we did manage to exchange a couple of contacts.

When we returned, we were told that the missionaries were getting ready to sleep, and, as they were sleeping at church, we quickly gathered our stuff and returned home. Maho and Yuka decided to let the day end by going to an Onsen, and Llyza and I quickly grabbed our things to do the same.

On Sunday we only went to church at 10 to allow our guests to sleep in and get ready before we start preparing for church. For the morning message, the ‘Fire Team’ was once again allowed to share some prophetic words, and Christian shared a message about following Jesus and learning to obey. On our lunch break, we continued the conversations about future aspirations, goals and living in faith.

In the afternoon Andy held a message about why fire is so important in our lives and shared many occasions of fire mentioned in the Bible. As always we stayed in church for quite a while, talking, exchanging and having fun. At some point, Christian and Naomi invited the 5 missionaries to eat dinner with them, while the rest of us cleaned up, and prepared the room for them to sleep in again and to keep talking and having fun.

On Monday me and Ciera went to meet our fives guests to help them see a bit more of Tokyo. They wanted to see Shibuya, so we guided them there, showed them the famous crossing and led them to some stores where they could buy souvenirs.

This robot showed us to our table

At noon we went to a robot restaurant, where our food was delivered by tray robots and we were accompanied by an AI robot who sang for us, told us stories and danced.

our entertainment

After Lunch, I helped them to find a train to go to Yokohama as they had a meeting with a YWAM group. Ciera joined them on their trip. But I was unable to join, as I had an English conversation class later that day. So I said my goodbyes and went home to prepare for the day’s lesson.

On Tuesday morning I helped Ciera carry her luggage to the Sengawa train station. Her time here has come to an end and she will continue her journey with Andy, Karyn, Nelda, Ruben and Consuelo. This also allowed me to say a final goodbye to the ‘Fire Group’ and exchange some contacts. I then helped another church member clean the church before going home and spending the rest of the day at home.