Retreat to the Mountains
After a 3 month blitz of moving countries, finding and furnishing a home, giving birth to a baby and acquainting ourselves with life in a different culture; we we’re exhausted. So the prospect of getting away for a while to enjoy the abundant nature of Japan was much desired.
We were able to borrow a van from some old friends in Tokyo and headed off for a weekend of relaxation. We headed off to the mountains of Gunma prefecture (群馬県) to an area called Minakami (上水) which is well known for it’s many onsen or hot springs and also where the Japan Bible Home is located. Our friend Kaori also came with us. It was a special trip because I first met her and Megumi 10 years ago at a different bible camp in the mountains of Japan so in a small way it was an anniversary celebration of our friendship.
Minakami is a small mountain town located along the Tone River. The camp is about 45 mins up the mountain from the town so we were well out of reach from the city life we left behind in Tokyo. If fact we couldn’t even get cell service at the camp. This made for a somewhat forced break from the comforts of home and a chance to focus inwardly.
We spent most of our time relaxing and taking in the scenery but we did have several planned times together as a church body to pray and worship together. On Sunday morning we gathered together in the camp’s chapel to spend some time together discussing the biblical meaning of rest and why is so important for us to develop rhythms of rest in our own lives. That evening we gathered again and took some time to share with one another struggles we had concerning rest and other issues in our lives and spent time praying for one another.
We had 3 familes join our church plant this summer so this was our first chance to really spend time together. One weekend is not enough time to really get to know each other but it was a great start. As we develop our relationships with one another I pray that God will unify us together as the body of Christ so that we may serve him together on mission in Tokyo.
We headed back to Tokyo on Monday taking the slow way back to get in a little more sightseeing. The ride home provided us with a good chance to catch up with Kaori. We arrived home to cool weather welcoming us to autumn in Tokyo. The end of the year is just around the corner. We are praying that we would end the year well and prepare ourselves for the work ahead in the new year.