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Stress, Gratitude, and Mr. Bugman

Keep Praying for Zack

I'm kinda bummed tonight. Zack came home having a really bad day at school, and that has affected me. My heart hurts for him, and yet I know that time will take care of it. He's very resilient, though. After having been home for a while, he seemed just fine (while I'm still not fine about it). I can tell that he's quite stressed out, though... I sense it. He has tried to voice his feelings, but it often comes out as tears or anger. He has alluded to the fact that there's SO much to remember at school, and that his "mind is full". Plus, he mentioned that the work is more difficult. Lunch time has also been a struggle... he's spilled food a couple of times already, and it's been really frustrating for him. As a mom I just want to be there to do everything for him and protect my boy, but I know that he has to learn.

On the bright side, though, it seems like he has made some friends, so that's good. Tonight I asked him to name some friends that he would like to invite over to our house next month, and he was able to tell us 3-4 friends. Thanks for praying about that! See, God is hearing your prayers, so keep them coming.

Mr. Bugman

In contrast, my heart is grateful tonight for more contact with one of our neighbors. Ellie has named him Mr. and Mrs. Bugman. He and his wife live in an apartment right across the street from us. Even though we haven't met his wife yet, we talked with Mr. Bugman when he was outside tending to his Japanese beetles. We learned all sorts of things about those critters, what they eat and where they lay their eggs. These contacts have been a very important lesson to Zack and Ellie. They're learning that showing interest in other people's lives--what THEY like and THEIR hobbies--that's how we make friends, and that's how we begin a relationship with others. The kids are learning first hand how to go about doing friendship evangelism! We told Mr. Bugman that we would like to invite them over to our house as soon as we get our shipment from the U.S. Conversations like that are what make my heart glad, and remind me of why we're here.

Japanese Kindergarten Prep

So, just to give you an idea of culture here. First of all, Ellie's teacher's name is Eriko Sensei. Her class name is Ike Gumi, which means Pond Class (other class names are Dove, River, Mountain, etc.). Zack mentioned that his "mind is full", and I feel like my mind is on overload of information as well. By Monday, I need to get the following items:

  1. A school bag measuring 16 cm high, 12 cm thick, and 22 cm wide;
  2. A sketch book carrier bag that is 45 cm wide and 32 cm tall;
  3. A bag to hold her uniform gym shirt and shorts, with a yellow tag pinned on the left shoulder sleeve, indicating the color of her class;
  4. A bag measuring 23 cm wide and 26cm tall for her indoor classroom shoes and her playground shoes. We must also purchase a black pair of shoes to go with her uniform.
  5. An obentoo box (lunch box) carrier...velcro for 3 year olds, snap for 4's, and tie strings for 5's;
  6. A handkerchief with an elastic sewn on to one corner so they can use it as a type of bib during lunch;
  7. A plastic up for a dailiy milk-drinking time, and of course, a cup holder bag.

Ellie's uniform has a round straw hat for walking to and from school (only during summer and early fall, and a darker hat for winter). She also must wear a red or white cap when they play out on the playground. When they paint or do crafts, they put on a smock over the uniform. There is a long sleeve one for the winter. Before gym class, all the kids undress in the classroom and put on their exercise shirt and shorts, so it's important to wear an undershirt and little bloomers to wear over the underwear.

I was very thankful that the other items could be purchased from the kindergarten (see picture below).

Ellie's Yochien (Kindergarten) Supplies

I've also been told that the moms line up at the gate for pick up, and we wait for announcements from the teachers regarding the day's activities. I was told by a missionary mom whose son attended the same kindergarten many years ago that one of the public announcements made to the line of moms that day was that her son bit another child on the face!! Oh my, what an announcement of the day!!! Anyway, Ellie seems very excited about her school, but in my heart I'm really nervous for her... please pray on Monday the 3rd that she experiences God's peace... and me, too!

Jeff's Posts


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 Posts


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


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Zack's Posts


Zack's column provides a variety of glimpses into what makes him tick.


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Ellie's Posts


Ellie's column is coming soon...


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Jesus said, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.'
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