Sunday rolled around quickly and many genki na gaijin (energetic foreigners) rolled out of their futons exclaiming that they were more comfortable than first anticipated. The less said about the bean-filled pillows, however, the better; these are summer pillows meant to allow airflow to stay cool. The last few nights have been spent in school-camp-like quarters and it has been a golden opportunity for team members to do some bonding together before the next part of our adventure opens up. For example, the girls have uncovered the hair-braiding talents of Shaelee and Mrs Ellis and the dormitory has become a pop-up hair salon in the students’ downtime.
This morning, the team visited the First Vineyard Church in the neighbouring town of Kani and enjoyed a morning of singing, listening to the word of God and sharing fellowship with some of the church’s youth group over a lunch of Japanese curry rice. Noah and Rachel were brave and made us proud by giving a short speech of greeting (in Japanese) to the church congregation. Many students commented that they felt blessed to see that worshipping the Lord has the same heartfelt expression of devotion for Christians all over the world. Students bopped along to the amazing music created by the small church band and tried to guess the familiar worship songs they were sung in Japanese.
A new segment was introduced tonight during our team debrief called, ‘Super Cute Things That Haru Did Today,’ in honour of a special addition to the JOE team. The three-year old son of a Minokamo teacher joined us on our adventures today and was the sweetest and boldest of playmates for the Genesis students. Having left us at the end of the day by offering enthusiastic high-fives and blowing kisses, we hope to welcome Haru to Genesis one day when he is a bit older!
Rainy weather saw our plans change slightly as the team spent an hour in the afternoon doing some local shopping before returning to the dormitory to rehearse their item for tomorrow’s Welcome Assembly.
Our students are packed and ready for tomorrow’s official introduction to Minokamo school life before meeting their host families.
All is now quiet for the night and the students are well. You can be proud of them for they are giving their best efforts with good attitudes.