Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brendan!

Happy belated 1st Birthday to my nephew!
I loved watching you dig into that chocolate birthday cake! Looks like your sisters have taught you well. I look forward to seeing you in person next summer! Perhaps by then you will be able to say "Hockey" just like your Auntie Lisa is teaching you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gingerbread - for a limited time only

This time of year - call it autumn or call it fall - there are certain flavors and sights that make me think we've entered into a new season. As a teacher, school starting is a big indicator that fall is here. But for me with an extra long summer break due to the move and construction of the school it felt like summer was really long. Now that school has started I feel like Autumn has arrived! (I'm lovin' it by the way!- the teaching, the children, the challenge, the purpose!)

In Japan foods come and go with the seasons. For a limited time certain flavors are available and if you see it on the store shelf you grab it because it may not be there next time you visit. Right now foods made with sweet potato and chestnuts or Maroon (as their called here) are in season. But I find myself craving snicker doodles and pumpkin pie (unfortunately I don't have pumpkin pie filling in the house!). BUT I just happened to have 4 containers of molasses on hand (and to think I didn't buy any of them!) So I was excited to discover a seasonal recipe using molasses in a new cookbook I received and I decided to try it! You can find the recipe online by clicking here.

This week at school 2 teachers are celebrating birthdays. So I'm using this week's staff meeting as an opportunity to bake treats to celebrate them. I've made 2 versions of the Dark and Moist Gingerbread recipe - one is the original recipe with mild molasses. The other is a variation made with the dark molasses and added cheesecake pockets. (see below) It is an easy recipe to make (assuming you have the ingredients) -and now my kitchen smells fabulous! We'll see if the staff gives it a thumbs up at the meeting tomorrow. It will only be available for a limited time so if you're coming to the staff meeting come early!

Recipe Variation
Before starting the gingerbread, beat together 1 large egg, 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Set aside. Make the gingerbread batter, but pour only half into the pan. Drop spoonfuls of the cheese mixture over the batter. Then cover with the remaining gingerbread mix. Bake as directed. The cake may need another few minutes in the oven.

*Side note - if you have recipes you like that use molasses please send them my way. However, due to a traumatic experience making gingerbread men/cookies in high school I refuse to make cutout cookies with the molasses.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


While I'm starting the adventure of school year with my 1st and 2nd grades . . .

Go explore the world!
What? Can't afford a round the world flight?
Ok, just make a few clicks and crisscross the globe through visiting the blogs of a few friends I follow. See how many times you can circle the globe! And if there isn't a new post up on my blog tomorrow - perhaps one of those listed blow have a new post. Fasten your seat belts!

Japan -

Shan - ministering in Osaka (currently in the states on home assignment)

Andrea - Ministering in Kyoto

Amberly - ministering in Amagasaki

Tim & Susan - Transferring from Hokkaido to Tokyo - via home assignment in USA

Austria - The Hunters

Russia - The Goldmans

Senagal - The Martins

Thailand - The Millars (Kenny was a study abroad student at Bethel when I worked there. Now he & his wife lead a study abroad program!)

Portugal - Otto & Yumi (my Japanese roommate from my study abroad days)

New Zealand - The Flammers and Hutchison. (LOVE their church marketing posters!)

Haiti - the Livesays (warning: tell it like it is style, oozing with sarcasm and stellar photos may have you addicted before you know it!)

Sudan - Matt (another warning: descriptions so gripping you may feel like you need to check for land minds next time you step out of the house)

USA - Natalie & Steve - ministering at one of my supporting churches in Northern MN

USA - Brooke - ministering through photography!

Do you have a blog? I'd love to hear more about it! Send me your link!
Do you follow a blog you'd like to recommend? Please leave a comment!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So many boxes so little time

Construction at school is done!

Moving day was yesterday. (moved boxes from the Assembly Hall to the classrooms)

Today was a day of unpacking boxes at Kansai Christian school.

Staff was there unpacking the boxes, while the Jr. High and High school students worked with the principal to clear out the rest of the Hall (The place were the boxes and much furniture was stored). There were 16 tons of boxes/furniture when we started yesterday and by the end of the day today the Hall looked A-mazing!! The floors were sparkling! And not a box in that room! (I can't wait to show you the photos when I figure out this download issue.)

I worked steady from 9 to 5pm in my room and by 5pm it still has over 20 boxes to be unpacked. (started with well over 50!) Problem is I'm out of bookshelves and there is no closet. Tomorrow is a cleaning day so more students and parents of students will come to help with the rest of the unpacking and do cleaning.

As a teacher, I'm not used to being less than 36 hours before school starts and have nothing on the wall. I feel VERY blessed to have so many books and resources that have been left at the school through the efforts and donations of previous teachers but I'm also realizing how much I miss the "Resource closet" that was once in the room I taught in.

My room in the new site is bigger but has much less storage. I am thinking that tomorrow will be a day filled with a bit of chaos. Ok - lets talk reality - a LOT of chaos. I'm praying that God will give the students, the moms and I the grace to handle what doesn't get done. And the wisdom to know how to best spend our time and use our space tomorrow.

I have great expectations for Thursday's start of the day -I'll have 6 students this year 2 new students and 4 students who were in 1st grade last year. Plus, I am super glad that academic classes don't start until Monday - I don't think I've opened the boxes with textbooks yet! (Thursday & Friday have large group assemblies and orientation).

So while I'm jumping into the start of the new school year, I'll prepost some blog entries for you while I'm away from the computer.

Japan Congress on Evangelism

I would like you to pray for a very important event in Japan this month. The Fifth Congress on Evangelism will be held in Sapporo from September 21-24. About 2,000 leaders and workers from all over Japan (and the world) will gather to receive God’s vision, pray and coordinate efforts to see Japanese reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We hope and pray that it will radically affect the nation and the Rengo (Japanese Baptist Church Association) for new approaches, zeal, and vision for evangelism. My co-worker, John, will be attending this congress, he trains leaders through the Church Planting Institute in Japan . Besides praying for the overall congress there are a few specific requests he had for prayer . . .

  • Nearly all of the Rengo pastors will be in attendance. Pray that God would give these our partners new visions and dreams for evangelism and outreach.

  • JEMA (Japan Evangelical Missionary Association) will be having a workshop on different efforts in evangelism. Several of our CPI (Church Planting Institute) colleagues will be sharing during that time. Ask God to stimulate his people with innovative ideas.

  • CPI will have part of a booth to promote our efforts in encouraging and training for church planting. We will be encouraging people to attend our national conference in November. Ask God to help us be servants for those that attend.

Here are a couple more I'd like to add.
  • Saoshiro Sensei who is a leader of another Mission group in Japan and a Japanese gentleman who I met in Seattle, WA at a Reaching Japanese for Christ (RJC) conference. He is also leading two seminars.

  • Fukui Sensei, pastor of a Tamagawa Christian Church, is leading a couple of siminars. I met him originally in Minnesota as he was working on Graduate work at Bethel Seminary. He also was an interim pastor at Yurigaoka Baptist Church near Tokyo when I attended there.

  • Andrea, a missionary in Kyoto who happens to be my friend & blogging buddy . Is also at the Conference. Pray for her and others there for an outpouring of God's spirit on those in attendance ant that it would overflow to others when they return home.

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Every Morning

God's mercies are new every morning -
But sometimes they are more recognizable in the form of . . .
  • Grace to calmly interact with a frustrating situation in a new culture
  • despite the stares of people waiting at the bus stop across the street.
  • A new friend and her husband who didn't hesitate to help answer my call for help when I had car troubles
  • at 6:40 AM
  • on a national holiday
  • even if it took 2 hours to solve the car problems
  • A baker who stepped out of his shop (apron still in place) to help jump my car.
  • A high school student who graciously postponed a 7am breakfast to the same time the next day, three days before school starts!
  • A friend in another city who replies to a text message about car trouble at 7:30am with "I'm praying!"
  • A service station that had the exact battery I needed for my car
  • for only 9,450 yen
  • and installed it in less than 15 minutes.
  • For getting to school only 45 minutes late for Move-in day, but feeling blessed regardless of the rocky start.
Photos: Cosmos, taken near Mt. Tateshina, Japan

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Happy Birthday to my adorable niece!

Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating your birth!

Whether playing in the park or sledding in the backyard . . .
you fill each moment with joy!Hugs, kisses and tickles from your Auntie Lori!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The View from Here

In May, the view, from my living room window looking at the rice paddies, looked like these photos. A flooded field with barely any rice plants showing. The lilies were in bloom and frogs were very active then. Now (for photos see yesterdays post) in September - the rice is at least knee high, the field is much drier and the cosmos are in bloom (sorry no cosmos photo yet).

The View to Here

My house (pictured above with the futons airing out on the balcony) is surrounded by rice paddies and I am getting this crazy thrill out of watching the rice grow. Each stage is new to me provides my curiosity something ponder and question. I think harvest time is just around the corner - I hope I'm around to see it happen!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More than just Coffee

All summer long text messages have been going back and forth between a Japanese lady and myself. We had never met, but a mutual friend encouraged us to get together. Our schedules never quite matched up until today. Today, a day before teacher orientation starts for me, we had coffee together at her house, while her adorable 2 1/2 year old daughter ate snacks and played with blocks. But it quickly became more than just coffee.

As is typical with many first meetings, it was a bit awkward. Not only did we have the "What should we talk about?" question but we had the "What language should we use?" question. She lived in London for 2 years and has beautiful English - so we spoke in 'Japlish'. If she asked a question in Japanese I tried to answer in Japanese, if she asked in English, I responded in English. When either of us got stuck in one language we'd switch to the other.

And what a conversation! How many times do you get to answer the question - "Why did you come to Japan?", "How is Judaism and Christianity different?" and "If you talked to a Jew would you want them to change their mind [and become Christian]?" in the same conversation!

We talked about religion. She attended a Christian college, so has studied the Bible a little. She says she is happy in life and doesn't claim a religion but sometimes wonders about faith when a family member gets sick. She also says in Japan a person doesn't just have one faith - Her parent's took her to a Shinto shrine at her birth, she was married in a Church/chapel and expects her funeral to be Buddhist.

We talked about food. I like to cook and she likes to do dishes - so it looks like we may have some future fun in the kitchen!

We talked about work, hobbies, family and travels.
Then we talked about when we should meet again - We settled on Saturday for lunch - Pizza is on the menu. And her parents will also be coming. I'm looking forward to meeting again, praying that the Holy Spirit will work in her heart, and praying for wisdom to answer her many questions!

Day 5, 6, & 7 with visitors

Change of plans
Day 5 Sunday - We woke up to find Sharon's son's temperature was high. So we stayed home. Church members and friends showered us with love offering to help if translation at a clinic was needed. They brought over some apple juice in kids juice drink boxes and a cool gel pad that had adhesive on one side to attach to the child's forehead. The Little Guy liked the apple juice but could not figure out why we wanted to but this huge sticker on his forehead!
Sharon and I used the Little Guy's nap time to tackle the job of hemming some curtains in the dinning room.

Day 6 - Monday
This day the fever had risen a bit more but the Little Guy's appetite was still evident and although he took 3 naps he eventually showed some interest in toys. The medication, a cool bath and lots of prayers seemed to be bringing the fever down a bit by the evening.

During the morning Sharon got to skype with her husband and the Little Guy was excited to see his Daddy! We also got to connect on the phone with another of our college roommates who lives in Minnesota and enjoyed our time together even if it was just through phone lines!

Sharon stayed home with the Little Guy this afternoon while I ventured out to the school to interview a potential new student. The interview was a GREAT reminder of why I love my job, the potential for Gospel influence is huge! It was also fun to see progress on the construction as the flooring had been put in the classroom where I'll be teaching.

For dinner, I introduced Sharon to Mos Burger - a Japanese fast food place. we ordered the Chicken Teriyaki burger and the Chicken Teriyaki Rice burger to go. The bun on the rice burger is made out of rice and is really delicious!

After the Little Guy went to bed, we finished hemming some curtains in the dinning room. It seems to me that this is a much easier job to do with 2 people (more fun too!)! The curtains, from IKEA, are all sold one length and then the buyer can hem them to what ever length fits the windows. Although this required a little work on my part - considering all the curtain rods in my house are at a different height I'm glad I had the option of hemming them.

Day 7 - Tuesday
The Little Guy woke up after 12 hours of sleep, with us cheering as we realized his temperature was back to 98.6 F! We bid a happy farewell to the fever and hope it won't reapear during the transit home. I would have posted this earlier but the morning consisted of printing out directions to the airport (different airport than where they flew in), packing the suitcases, loading the car, and skyping with Sharon's husband.

We left for the airport and enjoyed a smooth ride on the toll roads to the Itami Airport. After checking in we had lunch together and the Little Guy filled his stomach with food before they proceed through the security check point.. From Osaka, they fly back to Tokyo, then make one stop in the States before they head toward their final destination of Mississippi. We're hoping and praying for safe travels and some good rest along the way.

The house seems VERY empty without my friends here. Good-byes are always hard - but I'm SO thankful to have a friend who encourages me in the task God has for me to do here and is willing to travel thousands of miles with a small child, endure the tortures of jet lag and come visit me. I'm also thankful for the chance to hang out with the Little Guy to know him in his toddler years, giggle as he discovers his "mirror friend", enjoy some Japanese children's books with him and watch his mom love on him as she trains him up in the way of the Lord.
- Sharon - I will never eat mixed veggies again with out being able to think of your love for him! Press on, Girlfriend! & Strong work, Little Guy!

Up Next
The pace is about to change around here.
Tomorrow is my last day of summer break. I plan to have coffee with a new Japanese friend and play Volleyball in the afternoon and then attempt to cross off whatever is left on the "to do before school starts" list.
Thursday - Teacher Orientation Meetings at school starts. I'm looking forward to being reunited with staff members who have traveled to 3 different continents over the break.

For now I think I'll go enjoy one of the Butterfinger candy bars Sharon brought me. =0)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Change of plans

Due to Sharon's little guy waking up with a fever we've changed plans and are staying home for the day hoping temps return to normal. We'd appreciate your prayers for his health. Thankfully Sharon is a doctor and came prepared with Children's Tylenol and other necessities. Also some friends from church stopped by with information of who to call if we need to go to the clinic and offered to go with to translate for us. We're in good hands. But Lord willing we would like to avoid a visit to the clinic on this vacation.

(Sorry Mormor - I'm guessing this post will NOT be your favorite!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 3 & 4 with visitors

Day 3 - Friday
We did some laundry, hung it out to dry (How very "green" of us!) Relaxed at the house and then got in the car to go to Heguri. (Took 39 minutes for the route I tried that day).

In Heguri we saw Kansai Christian School, where I teach 1st & 2nd grade.
Lots of construction has been going on this summer and I really enjoyed not only showing Sharon where I'll be teaching but actually getting to go inside and see my future classroom. (The doors were locked on previous trips.) There is progress - but lights, flooring, outlets, and wall covering are still needed. We're praying for safety & efficiency for the construction crew who are set to finish the 20th of September. Prayers are also for energy and efficiency for the staff and helpers who are going to have just 3 days to unpack all the boxes and get set for the first day of school the 24th. There will be a lot of work to do BUT it is shaping up to be a beautiful building.
I can't wait to see all my students!

After our school tour we picked up Elaine - a missionary co-worker who's on the KCS school board and was at school for a school board meeting. We returned to my house for dinner. Sharon got to hear multiple - "this is Japan" stories of what its like to be a missionary in Japan.

Day 4 - Saturday
Day started with a 7am walk to "Horn" the local bakery to by breakfast. The store is about the size of a walk-in closet (In fact Sharon and I and the stroller could not all fit in the store at the same time) - but the bread is made on location and SO yummy! I enjoyed a Japanese coversation with the friendly baker as I picked out the bread. I learned the backery is 30 years old! Definately need to make this place a regular stop on my walks just for the language interaction potential!

After breakfast Elaine, Sharon, the Little Guy and I walked to the train station and rode to Kyoto. The train lulled the Little Guy to sleep for 40 minutes. At Kyoto we bought bus passes and road to Heian Jingu. We explored this old Shinto Shrine and even saw 2 cultural events while there - a Japanese bride & groom in traditional dress posing for photos, and a newborn and family on the baby's first visit to the shrine. Sharon's Little Guy was more thrilled with the rocks which covered the grounds than the photo opportunities his mother saw.

We found a yakitori obento place for lunch and enjoyed some traditional Japanese food before shopping at the Handicraft Center where Sharon and Elaine did some shopping. I hung out with the Little Guy where he was entertained by testing all the toys for sale, flirting with the sales clerks (blond children are rare here and considered "Kawaii" /cute!) and when that got boring we found a mirror which provided a fun playmate for him.

By the time we left for the Little Guy to go home and take a nap it was pouring rain outside. We got a shuttle bus back to the station then went by train back to my house. It was a fun adventure and some of us got all our Christmas shopping done, one of us only took a 20 minute nap yet still had a cheerful attitude.

At home after dinner and putting the Little Guy to bed, we gave Sharon some "Jet Lag Therapy". I needed to make Chocolate Chip cookies for a church potluck tomorrow and decided if Sharon did the mixing she might actually stay awake past 9pm. It worked! And she was up to 9:30 - despite The Little Guy's early morning wake-up call.

Day 5 - Sunday
Hasn't happened yet - but here's the plan -
Drop off Elaine at the train station at 6:25am so she can head to Hamamatsu. Then S, LG & I go to church at 11am. It' s the 20th Anniversary of the church so there will be much praise and worship and prayer going on! The church is in need of a pastor (they've been searching for one for almost 10 years!) And the current interim pastor will finish in less than a year!
After the service we'll fellowship with a potluck lunch. We plan to visit another Japanese family's home for the evening meal. They have 2 young children so I anticipate it will be a fun interaction for all of us.

Our busy schedule has prohibited working on fixing the photo problem so please be patient for photos. Thanks!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 1 & 2 with visitors

Yesterday was my friend Sharon's first full day in country and we relaxed. Taking walks around the neighborhood and enjoying time at home trying to get over jet lag. The little guy ate Japanese white peaches and LOVED them. (He's got good taste!) It's so fun to have an 18 month old in the house - his laugh is contagious! Even tried to teach him how to dance today - the butt boogie! Cookie (the dog) and the little guy get along famously - we smile watching them bark at each other. Actually the little guy does all the barking. =0)

Out on the Town
Sleep schedules are not yet on track but today we got to skype with Sharon's husband and then went out on the town. We visited Nara Koen - encountering some really rude deer that tried biting both Sharon and I when we weren't quick enough with the deer senbei (rice crackers). The Little Guy didn't seem to mind the deer at all and tried to pet the polite (non-biting) ones. After taking photos of Todaiji - the world heritage site we went to lunch at "The Terminal at Silk Road". It's basically a restaurant that serves food (curry rice & noodle dishes) while you sit at a counter watching model trains go on this huge train track. The little guy seemed to really enjoy the experience and the food. (Kids meal was served in a plastic bullet train plate). This kid is his Grandpa's grandkid!

We came home for the afternoon nap and then went out this evening to explore a 100 yen shop and the grocery store. Sharon seemed to enjoy shopping at the 100 yen shop while the Little Guy and I had some quality time hunging out in the children's book section of the 100 yen store reading some short stories. The grocery store provided some insight into the Japanese diet - LOTS of fish, miso, curry and an aisle of seaweed but only a tiny section of breakfast cereal, tiny bags of powdered sugar and chocolate chips. And the dry ice machine at the super market- definately got a thumbs up from Sharon on it's own blog entry. So I'll need to explain more later.

Although I got some fun photos from today I'm sorry I can't post them yet- downloading them has been a bit of a challenge.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The plane has landed

Sharon & the little guy have made it through 25 1/2 hours in transit and arrived safely to Kansai International Airport. I took a path I had not yet driven, following directions that were more complicated than they needed to be and was thrilled to arrive at the airport before the plane landed. It was a great sight to see Sharon walk out of customs and the little guy in a stroller was quite the drowsy trooper. I drove on a different route home and arrived without trouble. They are now tucked into bed - or actually the futons. And I'm calling a night too.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The futons have been aired out.
The house is clean. (Well, almost)
The car seat is in the car.
Directions to the airport ready.
New recipes to try on the list.

I've been blessed by many visitors over the summer but this week my first visitors from the states are coming. My 8th and 9th overnight guests for the summer are due to arrive Tuesday night, my friend, Sharon, and her 18month old son.

Taking a trip down memory lane . . .

Sharon & I at her wedding 2003 ^Sharon & I at our Stillwater girl's weekend out 2007 just before I moved to Japan

This isn't her first trip to Japan - she visited me in 1999 when I lived in Tokyo - but I've haven't seen her for 22 months so this will be my first chance to see her in her role as mom and get to interact with her son in person (We've already interacted on skype calls.) - I'm praying for travel blessings as making the flight over the ocean with a small child will be an adventure in itself!

Sharon -Perhaps this will be come a tradition, a visit to Japan every 10 years??
Such a joy to be able to share the Japan side of me with you
and to hang out with you and the little man for a week! God is so good!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Details

A few of my favorite details at my host family's mountain home.
Bird Door knocker^
Tiles in the genkan (entry)^
Fabulous use of square glass windows, viewed from the first floor entry^
Viewed looking down from 2nd floor stairway ^
Use of vases and flowers (This is in the toilet room window)^
Use of wood & amazing built-in shelves ^
(in the living room looking toward the office) The Deck ^

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Big Picture

After years of planning my host father, who just retired from being a Professor of Architecture, designed, constructed and is now thoroughly enjoying his mountain home. Near Mt. Tateshina -in Nagano Ken. This home is tucked into the side of the mountain, close enough to a small village to be convenient, near enough to a ski slope to provide entertainment, yet far enough away from the city lights for some peace & quiet. Not to mention AMAZING star gazing on clear nights!

Following the order of photos you'll be walking 360 degrees around the home.Come back tomorrow to see some of the details.

Mr. Kimura, Thank you for sharing you home with me!
What a joy to see your dream become a reality!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sesame Street speaks Japanese

Well, Japan has had it's election and will soon have a new Prime Minister, School is back in session for most Japanese schools and I'm writing some reports for churches and catching up on correspondence. So while I'm online I decided to multitask - and upload some videos.

On a visit to Universal Studios Japan this summer I saw a performance by Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie & Bert, and some friends. They were doing a parade and talking about eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables everyday. They call out a color and then identify the fruit or vegetable that you can eat of that color.

The crowd of kids seemed to enjoy it and I did too since I could understand most of their Japanese. So if you've got kids gather them near the computer and enjoy some Japanese song and dance from some familiar friends.

Rainbow of flavors


Dancing in the Street

Ernie & Bert get their groove on


Carpe Aeternitatem: Seize Eternity

If you are planting for a year, plant grain.

If you are planting for a decade, plant trees.

If you are planting for a century, plant people.

Chinese proverb.

School starts for us Sept. 24. Summer has been longer than normal due to the construction on the school building over the past few months. It's now September and I feel like I should be in the classroom putting bulletin boards up and welcoming students back to school. But I still have 3 more weeks of summer. One week from today, my friend Sharon's visits from the states. She's bringing her 18 month old son Will with her. Which just makes my heart leap with joy! YEAH, God! After their visit I'll be diving into KCS staff training and teaching responsibilities.

Since coming back from my Tateshina/Tokyo vacation I've been reading lots of books to get my mind set for the school year. (Actually this whole summer has been filled with reading books.)

The one I'd like to highlight today is "Mentoring Millennials: Shaping the Next Generation" by Dr. Daniel Egeler. As a teacher, I love the impact and influence this position allows me with youth. Its a huge responsiblity and blessing! Reading this book has me fired up about the new school year and praying for "Mentor's eyes" - the ability to see potential in a person and the willingness to assume short-term risk by investing in their life.

The author - who I've met at ACSI conferences in the states and Hong Kong is a Third Culture Kid (TCK) from Africa and worked at an International Christian School (Alliance Academy) in Ecuador before taking a position with the Association of Christian Schools International. This book is filled with stories about the positive impact of mentoring, not just the next generation, but the next generation of TCKs. I appreciated his Biblical insights as well as cross-cultural insights - but think it would also be very applicable for those people stateside who want to pour into the lives of youth around them, as well. I encourage you to read the book and be inspired to go plant people!

"Carpe Aeternitatem: Seize Eternity - Why Settle for Just a Day?"

Above Photo: My Japanese host mom, host brother and nephew planting lavender while investing time in relationship at their mountain home.