I was in Japan preparing to serve for a year as a short term missionary teaching conversational English. As I went outside this evening, the oppressive humidity reminded me of my time in Japan. I arrived in August 1986. Wow, that was 30 years ago!
|Families & Children in Japan|
I think that the pictures I'm showing are from our New Year's celebration or an evangelism seminar held at the church where I was teaching.
|Every get together included a group picture|
I was particularly close with one family the Aizawa family who had three young girls trying to have a boy. Sons are very important for a Japanese family. Every few weeks, they invited me to join them for family activities.
|Putting the Aizawa girls to bed|
One of my advanced students was also a student of the Japanese tea ceremony. It is a very precise and beautiful ceremony. I was blessed by being invited to a semi-private demonstration. (My student is on the right.)
I was given an album to keep my photos in. It was a traditional wedding album. But for me my memories from that year were just as precious.
Kazuko Yoneda created this picture of an iris for me as a going away present. One of these days I need to frame it. She was a wonderful artist.
|"Iris" created by Kazuko Yoneda|
They called me Nakahara Taeko 中原 多惠子. (They told me just Field was not a Japanese family name. It was either middle of the field or big field and I went with middle.) I was able to choose my first name. When I was a teenager, I looked up my name in a name book. It said the meaning was "full of grace" which in Japanese was Taeko.
Another close friend of mine was Masahiro Tanaka. He was the oldest boy in his family. He was near the age of settling down and getting married. God blessed him by introducing him to a wonderful Christian woman at the last church Bible camp that I attended before leaving Japan. They eventually married.
|Tanaka-san and Nakahara-san|