Robert & Roberta Adair

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(I wrote this last night but couldn’t post)

Today is our day off.  After a slow morning, R and I decided to go for a little walk in our town together.  We headed out at around 2p and got home around 6:45p.  Although our main purpose was to spend some time together and enjoy the slightly warmer weather (low 40s and sunny), we had some fun little interactions with people in town – grandpas, kiddos, mums, young men, and fellow gaijin (foreigners).  As I walk a fair amount but don’t necessarily have interactions like this on a consistent basis, I thought I’d write about it for posterity :)

Interaction 1: jolly grandpa who usually greets me.  I think a lot of older dudes here aren’t all that friendly, but this gent always says hi when I see him.  R said I was a little overly enthusiastic today (“Hello!  Are you healthy?!  It’s really nice outside today!!!”).  At least Jolly Gent responded in kind.

Interaction 2: one of R’s English students and his mom.  It was the first time I saw them outside of the school, and it felt sweeter, relaxed, and fun to see them by their apartment and in their space.  I enjoy naturally running into people in town as it seems people see us less as roles (“teacher”) and foreign and more as fellow townies.

Interaction 3: Three elementary school kids.  When they saw us, they excitedly asked us in English how we’re doing, what our favorite colors are, where we’re from, etc.  I guess R gets asked this from little kiddos sometimes, but I don’t usually get past “Hi!”  We walked and talked together for several minutes – and it was fun!

Interaction 4: Coffee shop friends.  The owner and his brother came to a Chinese New Year party at our house a few weeks ago.  (R went for the first time last week and got spoiled by getting to sample next month’s dessert items.)  I was a little bummed that his girlfriend wasn’t working as she was a big reason why I wanted to go, but it was still really great.  We were there for two hours and probably talked to the owner and brother for around an hour.  Oddly enough, Charlotte Church’s Joy to the World started playing (in addition to Norah Jones, rap, and other totally random music)– and Artist/Owner asked me what the title means.  (“Because God’s Son, Jesus, was sent to the world, we can all have true joy” or something like that.  Pretty forward, eh.)

[I stealthily took this picture (below) of a few books that were right next to me.  The far right one has something to do with comics but the title caught me: Kingdom Come.  I like to pray, "May Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done in Tagajo...in this cafe...in these new friends' lives...as it is in heaven.]

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Interaction 5:  Nepalese dudes.  After we left the cafe, we meandered to a nearby Indian restaurant for an early dinner…yummy.  We talked a little with the 3 Nepalese gents who work there (a chain of 4 Indian restaurants run by Nepalese workers).  These three men have been in Japan ranging from 6 months to 4 years.  When we got up to pay, the one guy asked us where we work.  I said, “Uh…we work at a church in Tagajo.”  R explained where it was, and the guy said, “I like to read the Bible.”  (What?!)  After a little more conversation and R giving this man his business card, we walked 20 or so minutes back to our home.

I don’t know if anything will come of these relationships/interactions.  I sometimes (often) get way ahead of myself and daydream (“maybe this cafe will host a cell group! maybe this whole family and apartment complex will come to Christ!  maybe we’ll do something with students at this little campus and see lots of students way more interested in Jesus than in English! maybe…”).  As for R and me, we don’t know what the future holds – even the distant future – as momentum for what we were once hopeful for has just about halted.  Yet it was really neat to wander and dream together.  It was the most hopeful I’ve felt in awhile.

Thanks for your prayers and for joining us in praying May Your Kingdom come to Tagajo (our town) and East Sendai (nearby towns) and Miyagi (our state/prefecture) and Tohoku (the northern region) and Japan and…

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