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Happy 2009!

Mr. M invites us into his house

I think it was on the morning of January 3rd when Mrs. M came to our door. She told me that her husband was making hand-made udon (very thick noodles made of flour and salt-water), and was wondering if our whole family wanted to come over and have some at their house! Zack and I were actually on our way out, but we don't pass up opportunities like this! I immediately changed our plans in my head and accepted their invitation. We felt so very honored to be asked into their home to dine with them!

I think we've told you before that Mr. M is a retired police officer. We admire his amazing collection of bonsai trees every day. We also love listening to the squeals of Yudai, their one-year-old grandson who practically lives there. We've had the M family over to our house last year when we threw a birthday party for our landlady's granddaughter. Since then, we've greeted each other on a daily basis, and have exchanged many, many gifts back and forth for the past year and a half.

Anyway, it was an unexpected blessing to have the opportunity to get to know them better in such a personal way. Their house was really cool to see... they've lived in it for over 20 years, so it felt very Japanese and traditional. There were paintings, calligraphy, and many antique plates and bowls on display. I about choked on my noodle when he told me that the little old bowl I was slurping from was from the Edo period (1603-1868), and cost around $500. I held it with both hands after that.

Mr. M's handmade udon

The udon noodles were the best we've ever had. We ate and ate, which pleased Mr. M very much, which made us just as happy:) We had our first try at Japanese sake (rice wine). Note to self and others: if you finish your sake, the host will refill it. In cases like that, we say to ourselves, "Cheers for Jesus' sake!" (oh my goodness... I just made a funny without even trying...get it? Sake?) Okay, I'm going to bed now.

Please pray for this lovely couple (Mrs. M refused to be in the photo because she was in her apron), and for their grandson and his parents. We are grateful to have them as our neighbors!!


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Jeff's column offers a mix of reflections on leadership and fatherhood, as well as news from Asian Access.


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Nozomi's column contains reflections on motherhood, Japanese culture, and ministry.


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