- Being the third largest city in Japan, it's not the largest city in Japan. I love the friends I have in Tokyo, Japan's largest city. Hiroko has childhood friends there that I have come to love, I have new friends who are doing great work there, but I find myself grateful I don't live there. From my apartment I can ride my bike to my friend Mitt's coffee shop, to my friend Yasuo's coffee house, to CBI, to anywhere. I can ride my bike from one side of our city to the other. In some cases it's certainly not ideal, but it's possible. I can't imagine trying to do this in Osaka or Tokyo. As we try to understand our city, love our city, love and support our city, the size of our city matters. Riding my bicycle through my city, listening to praise music, singing to our God and King while praying for my city has become one of my favorite things to do here.
- 名古屋人. Nagoya-jin--Nagoya people. I've met Japanese men and women who have lived in Nagoya their whole lives. Born and bred Nagoyan. They have a fondness for this city that is a bit more difficult to find in larger cities where there are a lot of post-college transplants. As I meet people who have a love for this city I am inspired to love this city in a way that honors Christ. Just like any other place I've been, there are people who are trying to move on, to move to different places--the grass is always greener （となりのイバフはよく見える）。Simply asking how this expression is said in Japanese has led to me being able to share my views on loving the place where you live. This sentiment also echoes where we moved to Japan from, Denton, TX. God didn't put us in either of these cities by accident. As we live our lives in a way that considers others more important than ourselves, it has been a joy to talk, dream, and love Nagoya alongside her residents.
- Nagoya is central. If you look at a map of Japan, specifically 本州 (Honshu) the main island, there are three cities where things are happening. They are (in order) Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Nagoya is right in the middle of them. It's location makes these larger cities accessible, thus enabling us to partner and support our brothers and sisters in these cities.
These days I'm finding myself praying for two things specifically: a powerful movement of the Spirit in Japan, and for droves of life-long cross-cultural Jesus-exalting ambassadors of Christ to come to Japan to live, love, and proclaim Jesus. Would you pray with us?