School Part 2

So I recently blogged about my observations while teaching English at a local elementary school here.  As I was there yesterday, I realized that I had only communicated a fraction of my learning experiences. So here are some more.

The first time I went to the school, it was a rainy morning.  I’d never even been inside a public school here and so I had no idea what to expect. I had tried to gather as much information as possible, but of course, people who I asked weren’t quite sure how to answer my unknowns as what I was asking was obvious to them.

Anyway, I entered through the children’s entrance instead of the teacher’s entrance.  Given that I have a white face and was clearly not where I should be must have instantly clued in the teachers that I was indeed the new English teacher.  Did I mention I didn’t have socks that day? I had no idea that I would be taking my shoes off (students/teachers wear separate indoor shoes). I had to regather my shoes and umbrella and make my way to the entrance for adults.  Thankfully the teachers who spotted me were exactly the ones I’d be working with; they were kind to point me to a locker with guest slippers.

Anyway, now that I am educated on which entrance to use and where to store my outdoor shoes, I feel at least somewhat competent.

It’s still quite a site to behold every time I go.  It’s not yet normal to me, though there are many facets of Japanese life that I’m used to that are in place here.  I guess the thing is that it’s all here: all in one place.  It’s so Japanese, I can’t help but gawk.

Everybody saying Good morning to every single person they pass.  The men dressed nicely in blazers or suits while the women are significantly less formal (I still don’t get this? The teachers I met the first morning I originally assumed were parents). Women in aprons serving green tea to me and otherwise catering to the office needs.  I’m not entirely sure what the scope of their job entails, but I’m always thankful for the warm tea.

Kids in their gym shorts in the halls that are open to the outside winter air.

The building that stands high (four stories?) as compared to long and wide two story buildings like elementary schools in my home country.

Students who come to retrieve and escort me to all other classes. The uniformity and conformity expected in responses.  The conscientiousness shown by everyone, the little ones included, for the feelings of others.

But all in all, the students are still children.  Some who are tender-hearted, some who are rambunctious, who love a good game, who enjoy laughter and light competition. Kids.

No matter where you go.


Mobilization Station

Does your heart beat for the worldwide Kingdom of God while remaining in your home country? Do you wish there were more who understood your heart’s cry or do you wish there was more you could do from home? There is—and it’s a vital role!

Become a mobilizer for the global cause of Christ. Be the one who opens eyes to the work going on around the world—be the one who causes movement to happen: people beginning to fulfill not only their local calls, but their global calls as well!

A mobilizer is a person who in essence pours the gasoline of awareness into the lawnmowers that are otherwise resting idly.  They pull the trigger and watch as the natural reactions begin to take place.  And bam: another one has been mobilized.

Here are simple ways that you can begin to awaken people’s interests to what God is doing around the world:

Share why you’ve connected with this vision to others. Your testimony about it will be a powerful influence in others’ motivation to get involved.

Share the documentary “Mission Japan: Mission Impossible?” with others. Tip: to be more influential, like, comment and interact with those who comment! Your audience and impact will grow as a result.

Host a “Japan” night (or another if you like) with food or activities from that culture—as well as updates and prayer for the people– maybe skype us in!

Sign up and read the Alvarados’ newsletters and share info with others. People often forget if the info isn’t there in front of them!

Join a Care Team and encourage others to join a care team. It’s a great way to help a missionary accomplish the work that needs to be done, all from home! It goes a long way to supporting their longevity.  Check out this essential book.

Blog about all of these experiences and watch how God uses you!

Partnership in Prayer

“The battle we face is a spiritual conflict. It must be fought and won by men and women of God who are willing to intercede for missionary families as they invade enemy territory held uncontested for centuries. Satan does not meekly give up his prey. He counterattacks fiercely in many unexpected ways. The missionary must have intercessors who stand alongside, praying on a regular and systematic basis.” – David Wang

Is a physical battle more vital than a spiritual one? Does knowing that our battle is not a physical one but rather a spiritual one make a difference in our preparation?

No, to both. While physical battles may at times be necessary, a spiritual battle is almost always necessary.  Hence we are told to pray at all times; the spirit is often willing but the flesh weak.  So our spirit gives strength to our flesh.

What needs are there in battle? Training, for one. Teamwork. Information. Tactics. If prayer is our means of fighting this spiritual battle, what is our status now?

Here are some ideas to help you as you take part in partnering in prayer to see this world transformed by the love of God:

-Challenge yourself to a prayer workout plan: start 5 minutes a day for a week, then move up to 10, and keep going as you feel the Lord leading. [Training]

-Partner up! Ask a friend to do the challenge with you. [Teamwork]

-Sign up for our monthly prayer newsletter! [Information]

-As you see “Kingdom Vision” in the Scripture (people getting saved, the sick healed, captives set free), take a moment to pray that for Japan! [Tactics]