Me working on the solution for music production. The mask is because my allergies were acting up.

Praise be to God we made it back to the Smiths house alive after our little mountain adventure last night. We arrived sometime after midnight this morning. We had our first good sleep in several weeks.

After we woke up and got ready today I decided I would help Amy Smith with her music ministry. She purchased an upright digital piano several years ago with the hopes that she would be able to use it to digitally record music. She soon found out that her technical ability was lacking and it was not as user friendly as she had hoped. Praise be to God that he has gifted me with some technology knowhow. Technology here in Japan is changing at a fast pace and missionaries here on the field struggle to keep up sometimes. Within an hour we had worked out a solution for her so that she would be able to digitally record her piano performance straight to a USB thumb drive without any devices or computers. Then she can make a music CD from the piano data file on the USB drive. She will use this to make background and accompaniment music not just for Wakaba mission but for JBBF churches around Japan.

We went to the laundromat today to dry our clothes. Some of the missionary families have dryers in their homes but don’t use them because they generate too much heat. In Japan not all of the house is air conditioned because there is no central air. Running the dryer can make parts of the house unbearable to be in.

After the laundromat we went to the local electronics store to see how much it would cost to upgrade the memory on the Smith’s laptop. We got a good idea of the cost and then walked around to check out the costs of home appliances here in Japan. Appliances here are technologically advanced compared to ours in the USA and they are pretty expensive. There are so many features and the Kanji written on all the buttons is confusing even for a missionary who has formally studied and knows Japanese. Amy says you’ll learn quickly which buttons are essential and you’ll stay away from the buttons that you don’t understand. We walked around the electronics store and saw a lot of people and a lot of very high technology. I walked away with a reinforced notion that Japanese society is changing to where they often live for material things. Several people have explained to me that Japan is beginning to value less the things that cannot be seen and valuing more the things that can be seen.

After picking up our laundry and having dinner we went to the local hot spring. Japan is in the middle of the buddhist Obon season and many people have traveled back to their hometowns to stay with family. The families often go to the hot spring when their families are in town. The parking lot for the hot spring was packed with cars. The Smiths said they have never seen so many people there. Families in Japan are very stable and many homes have three generations living there. Pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would spread throughout these homes and that they may fall before the feet of Jesus in worship!

Our relationship with the Smith family has really flourished while we have been here in Japan. The Smith family is very loving and hospitable and we feel that we have a close friendship with them and the people at their mission in Wakaba. The Smiths have been instrumental in our lives over the years as we have thought about coming to Japan as missionaries. They have helped us plan for our trip, think through adjustment issues, and offer guidance for us to come to Japan. We seem to work well together, have good rapport with one another, and our theology seems to match up well. Jenelle and I think that out of all the missionaries and places we have visited in Japan we seem to fit the best with the Smiths in Wakaba. I look forward to seeing my family and my home church next week, but I think I will also have a hard time leaving Wakaba on Tuesday. Jim and I had a good discussion at the hot spring about potential future ministry opportunities! Please pray that God would guide us in our decision making and that we would please him!