Okay, the reason that I never got around to blogging about the XD Core last year (despite the major event it was in my life!) is because I was sure that everyone else would, and post the exact same photos with the same captions. Boring, right?
Well, I haven’t seen many posts go up of the Core on this side of the world (albeit it has been several months now…), so I thought to post some on that, even though it is history. Being back in Japan last month refreshed my memories of all the wonderful things the Lord did do in our lives there, so if you were a fellow XDer there as well, maybe this post could do the same for you! I hope I won’t be making a habit of posting outdated material though…yikes!
Here’s to warm and fuzzy feelings, Windy! Ha ha!
We’re gonna start with a photo from the plane, September 17, 2007. This is us – “pre-Core”… ha ha.
I remember that before the XD Core, I had never even thought of visiting Japan. And when I heard we might be combining our two regions, I was like, “…Umm…” Ha ha ha… not that bad, but similar. That all got thrown out the window, thank the Lord, with our arrival there, and seeing the space that we had to live in. I had had the idea that everyone lived and worked in very very small spaces, where you had to duck under every door, and be groped on every train. Even though those things do sometimes happen, ha ha, for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found to be a wonderfully beautiful country with beautiful people and a beautiful, rich culture.
Almost everything was different than I had imagined: The Family, the HCS Home, the language, the young people, the food, the weather, the music, the trains(!) and much more.
Here are some examples of just such things that I loved and will remember about Japan:
Here we are eating breakfast – which was carrot cake – with chopsticks! (Wasn’t so keen on that part…)
This is a Japanese beach:
This is an over-populated volleyball game on a Japanese beach:
Some adorable Japanese children:
One of the cutest little men alive: Fuzzbucket!
A Japanese game of extreme combat, using slippers:
The HCS Kitchen. And the bathtub they call a wok:
Our pre-built classroom:
Toilet paper provisioning:
Safety measures against whooping cough:
Some Japanese boys with their Japanese hair styles:
I have no idea what I’m doing there… It looks like I may be blowing the Mrs. a kiss…?
The lovely HCS Home:
Our blessed beach bonfire and Priya’s classic reaction to the camera:
A sexy XDer, doing heavy-duty lifting for our BBQ, while 5-months pregnant:
Lunch at the HCS:
Lunch on the gym bleachers:
Gene-Kun taking his responsibility of inspirationalist very seriously:
A Japanese Baskin Robbins:
A photo we took just for Matt. Your very own store!
Japanese laundry lines. Whatever you’ve heard, it’s all true!
Steve McNair, and Taka:
Some ravishing Japanese beauties in kimono. Heh…
Hindi dancing to “Mehehboob Mere”:
Holy Ghost Sample at Yoyogi Park:
Two very non-Japanese people being extra friendly to each other:
Definite highlight of the XD Core: Get-outs!
I found this video on the Photo CD, ha ha:
Finally made a basket…ha ha!
Being encouraged to “bond, bond, bond!” every day was difficult to do at first, with people we hardly knew, and weren’t allowed to hug. Ha! But once the spirit started working on us, and the Word was being pumped into us by the truckload, I dare say that I’ve formed some close friendships during that short time that are stronger than ones I’ve cultivated over years.
I wish I could say more and give due appreciation to every aspect of the Program and everything we were able to partake of and learn, but the element of surprise and discovery be on the side of future XD Cores, and to spoil it all would be a waste. I couldn’t aptly describe it all in words anyways.
God bless the dear staff who labored day and night to bring us the full XD experience. There was nothing quite like our XD Core, and try as we might, I doubt there will ever be a duplicate. A huge (belated) “THANK YOU!” shout goes out to all those who made it possible. You are so many, and will certainly receive rewards 100-fold in Heaven! No doubt you’ll have most of mine!
Thank the Lord, especially, for His insight, foresight, and miracles, without which, nothing would have been possible! You’re amazing, Jesus!
We also met some very very sweet people at the Bayside Home after the Core was over, who took three of us into their tiny house and fed us starving creatures and put up with all of our raging ACTON ways! Life in Japan is certainly not easy, and these guys are troopers! God bless them! We will never forget them. Ever.
There are too many things to be thankful for from the time of the Core, far too many to list here. But the Lord knows, and you know. Thank you for being a part of it with me. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. I love you.