This week, I want to tell you a story about the train.
There are some people who I don’t think would do well on public transport. There are people I know who just love their cars and personal space. While I love driving, there’s something about the train that I find really relaxing. I take a Japanese class about 30 minutes away in a big city called Okayama. I go every Thursday, and I’ve really come to enjoy my commute. Driving takes focus, but when you’re on the train, you can just clear your mind, listen to music, try to make sense of the advertisements, or just watch what’s going on.
There are some days I just like to stare out the window at the passing Japanese countryside. Recently I’ve seen the farmers out harvesting rice. Sometimes I wonder about the little towns I pass by and what life must be like there.
All that to say, I like riding the train.
Thursday, I was riding back to Kojima from class when I noticed someone. There was a girl standing next to me with a Spiderman shirt on. I love the Marvel movies. I really enjoyed Spiderman: Homecoming. There’s a new Thor movie coming out next month and I’ve been wondering who I could go see it with in Japan. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to make a new friend. Still, I worried, did I have enough Japanese to carry on a conversation? What would happen if she said something I didn’t understand? Could I muster anything more than a broken, “Do you like Marvel? What’s your favorite movie?” I decided to push past this, so I asked her, “Sumimasen, Marvel ga suki desu ka?”
She responded back in perfect English, “Not really. I just liked the shirt.”
I was not ready for that. Immediately we struck up a conversation. As we talked, I found out she and her family were Christians and had lived in America for awhile. I also found out they’d been looking for a place to come to church. I invited her to church on Sunday and she came with her family. Afterward, we went out to dinner and talked for awhile. Hopefully, they will come back again in the future.
It’s amazing how God can work in the strangest of places in the strangest of ways. Even on the train. Even through Spiderman.
Hopefully she and her family will come back again.
That’s my story for this week. But, before I go I want to tell you about something big and ask you to pray about it.
At the end of this month, we will open the Logos Fureai House. Fureai is kind of like “friendly welcome.” It doesn’t have an exact English equivalent. Basically, it’s a room in the bottom of Logos English School where we also meet for church. For those of you familiar with the UTC Christian Student Center, my hope is that it will be something akin to that for Logos students. Or, just anyone really. For those of you not familiar, I want it to be a place for people to come, to have fun, to study together, to build relationships, and ultimately to study God’s word.
We will be having events there to try to meet more members of the community and find more people to do Bible studies with. All of us here in Kojima are very excited about it. The Fureai House grand opening will be October 28. Please be praying for us to build relationships with people in the community and for the grand opening to be a success.