Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Blog Post from Emma

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome guest blogger Emma Grace Harris. The following are her own words, dictated to dad about our trip, along with photos that she chose to include...

Hello, everyone! Hey, guess what I got. I got a pair of clogs. But if you
want to say them right you can call them "getas." They are Japanese
traditional kind of shoe. There is a book called "A Pair of Red Clogs." It's
about a girl who gets a pair of clogs and makes a crack in one. She doesn't
like them as much anymore. So she gets them all dirty to try to trick her
mother so that her mother will get her a new pair. But her mother asks her
to wash them just in case the dirt might come off. So she washes them and, I
forgot to tell you, that her mother also asks her to dry them off by the
bath fire. So anyway she did all that, blah, blah, blah, you're probably
getting really tired of this story. It's a really nice story maybe you'll
want to check it out at the library.

Well, anyway, here is a picture of my clogs. That is to say "geta."

On Sunday when we were at the Bromans' we went to church after eating
breakfast. The church service was kind of interesting when we were doing the
songs. But after awhile I got a little bit tired of it.

Then we had lunch at the church. Then we went outside to play. Joshua, me
and Joy Broman. Here is a picture of me playing with a girl on the

We had storytime at their school later that day. The next day we went to
their school and watched what they were doing. Mostly they were doing
different languages. I couldn't understand a word they were saying. The
older kids mostly spoke in English.

We've been on a lot of trains. And the plane took a really long and
exhausting time.

After Hiro and John Broman were all gone. We had nobody to help us order
food if we wanted to go out for restaurant. So Grandma Sato started helping
us order food. This is a picture of us eating at one of the restaurants.

Here is a picture of the Lego house that I made. It took a long time.

Bye, everyone who is reading this! You won't have much time before you'll
see me so hurry and read this!

Food and an Update on Joshua Quinn

Yesterday was low key. We stayed close to home so that Joshua Quinn could rest. His fever is all gone, and last night he ate something for the first time in almost two days. He's back to being his noisy, silly self. All that remains of his sickness is a bad cough that kept us up last night. Oh, the joys of a sharing a room!

Yesterday, while Shannon stayed back at the Mission Center with JQ, the rest of us walked about a mile to a huge shopping area. They had a kind of "food court" area with every imaginable kind of baked good and prepared food. Boy, did it look good. I took pictures of a few selections...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


We're back in Tokyo at the Mission Center where we stayed our first night when we arrived. We'll be staying here till we leave on Sunday.

Joshua Quinn is still sick. His fever came back strong yesterday before we took the bullet train from Sendai to Tokyo. Poor little guy. He threw up right as we got out of the car at the train station. He rested on my lap the whole time on the train. Right now he's resting. I keep telling him that lots of people around the world are praying for him to get better. Thank you all for your concern for him.

Today, when I woke up, my heart was restless for home. We've been so busy there hasn't been time to be homesick! But I began to think of the dear friends that we share life with at Covenant Life, and longed to see you. I also began to think of the many people who have helped to make this trip possible:

Mitzi Ash (Shannon's Mom): is taking care of our little Mary Kate so we can be here. We've gotten picture updates and news that two new teeth are coming in. Mitzi, thank you! Sorry you've had to carry "teething duty" on your own.

Katherine Reynolds: my assistant at church drove us to the airport in a van overflowing with luggage, and has posted all our updates on the blog. We're grateful for you, K!

Jeff Purswell: my fellow pastor and theological tutor seriously served me with the keynote message I gave here. I was stuck, and he helped me formulate my main points and clarify the message. Jeff, I received encouraging feedback on the message, thanks to you!

Kenneth Maresco: my executive pastor and friend was very generous and let me teach his message on parenting. I really haven't taught on parenting and so, because I knew I couldn't come up with something better, I just asked Kenneth if I could use his notes! I gave you credit Kenneth, so expect an invite to Japan real soon.

Scott and Marcia Somerville: you originally encouraged Hiro Inaba to look at my books. Thank you! And you were so gracious to spend an hour with me prepping me for the trip. The advice you gave made my messages so much more effective.

Bruce and Linda Benjamin: it was so kind of you to come to our home and talk about the trip with us. And thank you, Linda, for helping my grandmother wrap the gifts.

Carolyn Mahaney: has invested in Shannon so faithfully over the years. Shannon shared her message on wives orienting their lives to their husbands, and it greatly served the women. Carolyn, we're going to give your book to the folks here and encourage them to consider translating it into Japanese.

Covenant Life Members: thank you for praying for us on this trip, and sharing our excitement for it. Raul Pons constantly told me he was praying in the months leading up to the trip. Walbur and Miriam Marinho prayed for me and my migraines before I left. And thanks to the many who have read the blog and posted comments. We love getting to serve you!

Pastors and Wives: we are so grateful for you and for your willingness to release us to go on this trip. Grant, Kenneth and Corby in particular, thank you. I wouldn't have accepted this invitation if you hadn't had faith for it.

Brandy Hounihan: we miss you and hope you're doing okay holding down the fort! Thanks for helping with the kids in the week leading up to the trip.

If I've left anyone off, please forgive my oversight and please know how grateful we are for your friendship. We couldn't be here without the help of others.

Also, one more update. I just learned yesterday that, since last week, the registration for Saturday’s seminar here in Tokyo has climbed from 200 to 600! Praise God! Please pray that God will help me minister to the people who come, and to speak God’s word with clarity and boldness.

John 3:16 in Japanese

At MeySen School

We woke this morning to find Joshua Quinn's fever down slightly. So he's
better, but still weak and a little warm. Thank you so much for praying. We
ended up spending an extra day here in Sendai. We'll leaver later today for
Tokyo on the bullet train. Yesterday we got to wander around their school
grounds, complete with petting zoo and the most incredible playground I've
ever seen, and also watch a rehearsal for their Christmas play. We also did
some shopping in downtown Sendai. Here is Shannon's post from yesterday morning, and then some photos to follow...
We’re here in Sendai. This place is about 7 hours from where we were when we were at the conference, and about an hour north of where where we just were at the Marumori Church. I just woke up after a long Nyquil-induced sleep, so I am feeling a bit foggy today. Josh, Sono, Grandma and the kids are up and at ‘em today, so they left me a note to say they went walking. I am enjoying a cup of café latte. Every room has a hot water dispenser and, beside it, a basket with a plethora of coffee and tea options. Every other day I have the English breakfast or Earl Grey tea that I brought with me.

I can’t see anything from my window, because the glass is the kind you can’t see through, but I know that the MeySen school is right next door and, from what we saw last night, it looks pretty amazing. This is a private Japanese/English school run by the Marumori church that helps to fund their missionary work. Josh just came up to check on me and said that the kids are amazed by the playground and wishing they could use it, but it’s all wet.

A little later...

Okay, well, I’m trying guard my heart, as we just returned from watching the MeySen kindergarten Christmas program. It was very impressive and John Broman says it’s the roughest he’s seen it. Backdrops galore, costumes down to the last detail, and a gazillion songs, each with it’s own choreography. And NO teacher, repeat, NO teacher in the front mouthing and flailing her arms, reminding the children what to do. And need I mention that half of what the kids are singing is not even in their own language? I thought to myself “surely these kids have been practicing since April for this.” No, John says. Just for about 5 weeks, for an hour a day. Oh, bother!

Here are some photos from our trip to the school:

The MeySen school was founded 40 years ago. Today it has 3,800 students.

This is a view from a small portion of the playground looking back at part
of the school building. The school was designed by an architect from

Joshua Quinn and Emma in a moment of tender sibling affection...quick--take a

Here we're walking behind the school at the start of a path that leads to
the really amazing part of the playground. It's located on a beautifully
landscaped hillside.

My pictures don't do this playground justice. It literally covers the
hillside and has the longest slides I've ever seen. The silver line you see
in the background is one of them. It starts up by the red building and then
goes out of the picture on the bottom right. It goes on forever!

Here's a shot from the top of the one of the slides! John Broman told me
that they don't have as many lawyers in Japan, so they can get away with
slides like this here.

The kids walking on a raised walkway.

A shot of the Christmas play rehearsal.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some More Pics

Here are some more pictures from different moments on our trip...

A small slice of the kids choir at the last session of the conference in Hakuba.

My mom, Shannon and my grandma hamming it up at a rest stop on our way from
Hakuba to Marumori. The rest stops are so much nicer in Japan than America.
We had a great dinner. The hilarious moment came when Shannon and Emma
accidentally used the men's bathroom! I came in and they were trapped in
stall laughing their heads off.

Dinner with the Bromans.

My mom, who is Japanse but grew up the states, and John Broman, was raised in
Japan. John calls my mom a banana because she's yellow on the outside but
white on the inside. He's an egg because he's white on the outside but
yellow on the inside.

Shannon and my mom being guest teachers at an English class at the small
Marumori elementary school. All the kids of families who serve with the
ministry attend here and study English, Japanese and Chinese.

First graders in a Chinese class. They were amazing. Here they're reading
Psalm 51 in Chinese.

Joshua Quinn interrupting Joy Broman as she tries to do her math in
Japanese. The kids learn to do math in all three languages.

Emma and her friend Judith, who became fast friends.

Prayer Request

Please pray for us. Joshua Quinn just woke up with a bad fever. We've been going pretty hard, so he's worn out. Thank you.


When I was a kid, I wasn't much of a sushi eater. At my grandmother's house I would pick at the maki rolls with vegetables, but I stayed away from the raw kind. It really wasn't till I came to Japan at age 14 with a gymnastics team that I grew to love it. There was something about eating it in Japan with people who were truly enjoying themselves that turned the corner for me.

The front of the sushi house.

So on Monday night, at around 8pm Japan time, John Broman took us to his favorite sushi restaurant in Sendai (it was 6am Monday in Maryland and most of you were either still asleep, or just waking up to eat a breakfast that I'm guessing was fully cooked!) John thinks this place serves some of the best sushi anywhere. The man who owns it used to work as the buyer of fish for other sushi houses before he opened his own place. So he's an expert at picking the freshest fish.

Even Joshua Quinn ate the sashimi.
This was the totally wiped out moment when Emma was dragging and JQ was crawling under the table to rest.

Because of my headaches, I haven't had sushi for many years. I've had to stay away from soy sauce and sushi rice, which has vinegar. But last night I decided that real sushi in Japan at least once on the trip was worth a headache! So I went for it and ate everything. I loaded my little sauce dish with wasabi (the hot green radish paste) and shoy yu and went to work. It was a lot of fun. We all really enjoyed it.

A platter of sashimi that includes raw tuna, shrimp, crab, squid and clam

A platter of of incredible sushi that includes salmon roe, tuna, shrimp and scallops

My favorite was probably the tuna. I also really enjoyed the scallops, shrimp and crab. I don’t think I’ve ever done crab raw. It was very sweet. I didn’t really like the squid. A little too chewy for me. Shannon tried the Salmon roe, but her favorite is also the tuna. She also says the green tea was amazing for green tea (she prefers black teas).

Here's a list of "sushi lovers" who I know would have enjoyed this meal with me: Joe and Esther Lee, Jeff Purswell, Hannah Kim, Corby Megorden, Katherine Reynolds, Mike Thompson, Nelson Cooney and Chuck Nam.

Here’s a list of “sushi haters” who would rather die than eat any of this stuff: Dave Brewer, CJ Mahaney, Eric Simmons, basically most of the pastoral team, Brandy Hounihan, Nora Earles and Andrew Garfield.

If I inadvertently left you off either list, please post your name and designation as either a “lover” or “hater” in the comments section!

Monday, November 27, 2006


It's so encouraging to read comments from members of Covenant Life Church! We love and miss you all so much. Thank you for thinking of us and carrying us on your hearts.

After finishing the conference in Hakuba we traveled by car to the town of Marumori, where the Marumori Church ministry is based. It would be too complicated to try and explain all these saints are doing to spread the gospel, but it is staggering. They have 330 evangelists working in Japan, China, India and Burma. A man named Paul Broman came here with his brothers after WWII, learned the language, and literally began going door to door sharing the gospel. Now they send teams that hand out tracts outside schools, they broadcast the gospel on huge speakers on top of trucks (something that is legal and accepted in the Japanese culture), and post signs with Scripture references. These people are relentless in their mission to proclaim the gospel.

We worshiped with them on Sunday morning. I shared a few thoughts from a passage in 1 Corinthians, and Shannon sang a few verses of "Amazing Grace." Afterward we participated in a shared meal.

To support their work, they've started a hugely successful software company and private school. Today we visited their software company, Grape City, and their film production company. It's the biggest film studio northof Tokyo. It's so amazing. They pour all the money they make into gospel work. God has enabled them to make millions, and yet they live simply in Marumori.

Tomorrow, we'll visit their private school Mey Sen. There are 3,800 students there. Then we'll take the bullet train back to Tokyo.

Thank you for your prayers. We love you all, and look forward to being home.

In the mean time, below are some pictures from the conferences and from our time with the Broman family. Since we're having some difficulties with blogger, I'll give the captions up front, so they don't get all scattered around:

1. Me and my grandmother teaching the conference and old Japanese version of "rock, paper, scissors" that is sing-songy and fast-paced.

2.Shannon with a sweet Japanese mother that she became friends with.

3. Shannon greeting ladies after speaking. The women were really touched by her message. It was exciting to see how well attended her talk was.

4. My mom talking with a conference attendee. The women loved my mom and her teaching.

5. Shoes outside the kids classes in Hakuba.

6. The blue team during a tug of war.

7. JQ during a game time in the kids classes. During games they all wear these cool head bands to denote their teams.

8. Emma with Anna and Ayaka, two girls that befriended our family. They spent time hanging out in our room and we ate a meal with them. Anna's dad is an American so her English is very good.

9. The kids climbing the ski slope with Joy, Jane and Judith Broman. The little girl in the pink jacket the grand daughter of our distant relative.

10. Our "sayonara" picture with the Bromans in their home.

11. The kids on the playground after Sunday service at Marumori.

12. Me with Paul Broman, the man who came to Japan with $300 in his pocket over 60 years ago to proclaim the gospel.

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