Kofu, Shioda, Hachioji and back home again

Starting the day with Hiroko before heading to Kofu

 

A picture of Hiroko's parents, They are stylin those kimonos well!

 

She accompanied me all the way to Shinjuku to make sure I found the right train. What a good friend! (Fun fact: Shinjuku train station is the busiest train station in the world.)

 

The Azusa train views from Shinjuku out to the mountainous beauty around Kofu

 

 

 

Toru-san met me at the train station and took me out to lunch with Junco-san to a local french cafe owned by one of her friends, Amemiya-san

 

 

Toru and Junco remodeled their home in the last year and I was blessed to see all their hard work, including a fun project their daughter created on the refrigerator. What a fun idea!

 

me and Junco-san (Akito's sister)

 

Toru-san and me

 

Their Christmas tree :)

 

Junco, Toru, and Ayako (Akito's daughter)

 

Ayako and I had a night cap near the train station while she shared her testimony of her journey with Jesus Christ. It was one of the several times I've been convicted by hearing the perseverance and faith in others' lives.

 

 

Ayako and me

 

Now this requires some back story: This is Wakako, a friend I met off of Facebook. So, back in middle school my family had the opportunity of hosting an assistance Japanese teacher (Wakako Tsuchiya) for a few months. Once I started getting back into Japanese, I tried looking her up on Facebook and found many, many people with that name. None of the pictures looked right but it had been several years so I friended a few of them but she never turned up. This girl friended me back and since then always likes and comments on my posts. She noticed I was in Japan and asked if we could meet up. I've never met anyone like that before so I was a tad nervous and had some friends pray that our meeting could go well.
So we met for a coffee and I realized she took a bus from 2.5 hours away to come see me. I invited along to a lake for boating that was already planned for later that day. And I had to brush up on my Japanese quite a bit since she didn't know English, which was such wonderful practice. She is not a Christian but seemed to respect our conversation and thoughts. Having Akihiro, Carrie, Hannah, and Rachel along for boating was great since they could speak much more Japanese than me. I'm hoping to keep up our relationship and continue praying for her, her 3 children, and husband living in Chiba.

 

 

It was a beautiful day with smooth water

 

The morning service is a typical sermon from Brother Akihiro or Akito on occasion, then lunch, then the afternoon is usually a bible study led by one of the three brothers in the church, this week Kotaro gave the study. Afterward, Toru-san was about to leave and Kenji-kun wanted to give him a handshake. I thought it was so adorable!
After church, I listened to brother Kotaro and sister Reiko's testimonies with the help of Brother Akihiro who translated for me. We then had some supper and they took me to the train station so I could get back to Hachioji station to meet my friends I babysat for last year.
Toshio-san and Ayako-san were a couple a met last year. They have a boy Zentaro who I babysat last year and Ayako just had another boy this year, Rinnosuke. We had a lot of fun catching up again!