Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hanging in Hakuba

Sorry it’s been a while since our last entry. We’ve had some technical difficulties with the internet. I’m having to type on one of the hotel computers. It switches to Kanji characters every so often for no apparent reason.

We’re at the homeschool conference held in the Hakuba. It’s at a large hotel/ski resort. There’s no skiing yet, but it is snowing and the mountain is gorgeous. The people here are wonderful. The language barrier can’t hold back their warmth and kindness. God has given us a real love for them. The challenges they face to homeschool their children are real. And yet they feel called to teach their children according to the Bible. That seems to be the movement that God is raising up. Both Christian schools and home schools are seeing the importance of children being trained in a Christian worldview.

Yesterday, I spoke twice. Before my message, I was deeply moved during the time of worship. A young teenage girl led worship. They sang a Japanese version of “Shine Jesus Shine.” There’s something so incredible about hearing brothers and sisters worship the Savior in another language. You see a glimpse of the greatness of Jesus. He is loved by countless millions. It makes me long for heaven.

The first talk I gave was a keynote message based on 1 Corinthians 1 about the gospel being the power of God. I encouraged the parents to see the gospel as the foundation and motivation for home schooling and the only source of power to enable them to persevere despite opposition. I closed by communicating that the greatest gift homeschooling gave me is that it enabled my parents to teach me to love the wisdom of the cross. I communicated my gratefulness to my dad and mom for being courageous and homeschooling me at a time in America when it was very new and radical. I told the Japanese parents present that I believed that one day their children would thank them, but in the meantime I spoke on the behalf of their children and thanked them.

My mom spoke later that day and did an outstanding job talking about being a “joyful mother of children.” It was very moving to hear her exhort the mothers to enjoy the season of small ones and not begrudge the work and busyness of the time. Her words served me when Joshua Quinn woke up from 12:30am-5:00am and wanted to talk about the movie Cars! Poor little guy. Jet lag is really nailing us. Right now, both our bodies are timed to wake in the middle of the night. Hopefully we’ll adjust soon.

Emma and Joshua Quinn are enjoying the classes for children. They have jumped right in.

Well, I better run. I’m speaking twice again today. Both messages are from Sex is Not the Problem.

I’ll end with a funny story. In Tokyo, when we rode metro train we accidentally boarded a “women only” train. Ha! Boy, did I feel out of place on a train packed with women. I’m sure they didn’t appreciate the stupid American who didn’t read the sign.

By the way, I’m devastated to discover that I am short even in Japan. I had high hopes that, in this country, I’d be average height. Nope. I’m officially internationally short.

Please continue to pray for us. We will try to post more photos as soon as possible.

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