Missie Japan Nuusflits: 31 Aug. 2022

VAN REKREASIE NA RUS IN GOD

TWEE MINUUT VIDEO van ons verlof by die vakansie-oord vir sendelinge in Japan, genaamd Takayama (wat reeds sedert 1888 bestaan).  

** FOR ENGLISH ** JUST SCROLL DOWN **  

Beste Ondersteuner,
Lewe lank genoeg in Japan en bloot natuurlik absorbeer jy die Japannese kultuur van verslaggewing en dokumentasie, dus hier volg ons vakansie ‘verslag’
 
Ek is seker julle ken die gedeelte in die Bybel, “Vra en vir julle sal gegee word.” Wel, somtyds vra ons en dan raak ons effens vies of voel verontreg deur presies hoe God gee. Indien jy ons nuusbriewe reeds vir ‘n geruime tyd volg, sal jy weet dat isolasie ‘n gereelde tema is. Kombineer isolasie met baie druk op jou om te konformeer, asook om die magdom ongeskrewe reëls van hierdie unieke kultuur te verstaan, dan kan jy miskien jouself voorstel dat sendelinge in Japan dikwels soos Elia onder die bos voel – afgemat en desperaat.
 
God sien ons egter. Hy ken ons. Hy hoor ons. En miskien meer belangrik, HY IS BY ONS. In die laaste week van Julie pak ons ons kar propvol en ry 11 ure na Takayama, naby Sendai in die Tohoku area van Noord-Oos Japan. Verlof is gewoonlik ‘n stekelerige dilemma hier. Nie net is dit vir ons moeilik om ons verlof van ‘n volle 3 weke te regverdig terwyl al ons Japannese kollegas slegs een Sondag in ‘n jaar af het nie, maar die koste van verblyf is ook astronomies.
 
Maar 134 jaar gelede besluit die regering van Japan om ‘n stuk grond aan sendelinge te gee vir ‘n tydperk van 999 jaar. Dit word genoem Takayama Beach Company en gee vir sendelinge nie net bekostigbare verblyf wanneer hulle vir ‘n tydjie wil onstnap van die drukkende somershitte nie, maar ook ‘n broodnodige rusplek om saam met ander sendelinge tyd te spandeer.
 
Die huisie wat ons bevoorreg is om te gebruik en versorg, is meer as 80 jaar oud (dis redelik antiek in Japan waar huise elke 30 jaar herbou word). Hierdie somer, net soos al die vorige somers in Takayama, besluit Stéphan, met zero opleiding in konstruksie, om ‘n paar verbeteringe aan te bring aan die ‘hut-huis’ wat oorspronklik werklik meer van ‘n krot was. ‘n Sendeling onderwyser wat skoolgee by ‘n Christelike skool in Tokio, sê op ‘n dag, dat ons almal hier in Takayama voorgee dat ons prakties vaardig is, maar dit wil voorkom of voorgee, en foute maak, én om van ervare fakers hulp te vra, wel op die ou end na onverwagte sukses lei (sien die video as bewys).
 
Elke Dinsdagoggend, in bewende, stomende hitte, kom almal saam om Takayama te versorg – mans, vroue, kinders. Slote word gegrawe, gras gesny, onkruid uitgetrek, hekke geverf, siek bome afgekap. Elke Saterdagoggend ontmoet ons ‘n groep Japannese wat in die omgewing bly en maak ons die strand skoon. Sondae kom ons bymekaar vir ‘n erediens in die kapel. Entrepeneur Annlie maak rysballejtjies en toebroodjies vir ‘n Takayama partytjie en vir kinders en hul ouers op die strand, en maak genoeg geld om ‘n pragtige naaldwerk mandjie te koop. Die seuns begin om ysdrankies met verskillende strope te verkoop asook om allerande klein werkies vir mense te doen teen betaling – hulle keer terug na Kobe met meer geld as hulle ouers.

Amper daagliks is daar allerhande aktiwiteite – van georganiseerde interaksies met plaaslike Japannese vir ‘n kort staptog, ‘n groot strandbraai, ‘n toer van Takayama, tot maaltye saam met ander sendelinge en vriende. Ons kry geleenthede om ons verskillende uitdagings, wat soms verbasend dieselfde is, met mekaar te deel, en ons kan mekaar bemoedig in alledaagse worstelinge, soos die oorweldigende taak van kinders grootmaak. Hierdie interakies word afgerond met ‘n waterballon oorlog met 1800 ballonne, sandkasteel kompetisies, en strand kaskenades waar die kinders op ‘n water trampolien kan spring, en selfs (gratis!) op ‘n jet ski kan ry. En as ‘n Suid-Afrikaner wil ek graag een aktiwteit uitlig. Ons is gevra om ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse wynproe vir die volwassenes te hou, tesame met stokbrood vir die kinders. Hier kry ons toe die geleentheid om twee Suid-Afrikaanse tradisies met groot trots te kombineer – Suid-Afrikaanse wyn en Braai!
 
My persoonlike behoefte as ek aan vakansie dink is vir selfbeskerming. Dit was ‘n lang jaar van tuisskoling, gasvryheidsbediening, asook kerk en evangelisasie, meestal in ‘n Japannese omgewing met alles in Japannees. My eerste voorkeur en sterk begeerte is vir ‘n vakansie van vroegoggend draf, luilekker stap op die strand, lang gesprekke met Stéphan, en lees lees lees. Maar hierdie vakansie was meer soos iets op opkikkers, van een aktiwiteit na ‘n ander. 
 
Ek keer terug na my gebedslewe … ek dink God het wel my gebede beantwoord, al was dit op ‘n onverwagse manier. Ironies genoeg kon ek dit eers verwoord nadat ek die volgende gedeeltes oor rus gelees het, júís tydens ons verlof.

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“Sabbat is vir rus, retreat is vir refleksie, vakansie is vir rekreasie, en ‘n sabbatical is om hernu te word.” (The Sacred Enneagram deur Christopher L. Heuertz)
Asook:
Joseph Pieper – in Leisure: The Basis for Culture – definieër gemaktyd (leisure) as ‘n ontvanklike, reflekterende ingesteldheid, wat meer is as die geleentheid om te ontspan, en uitdrukking gee aan ons kapasiteit om die hele skepping volledig te geniet.
Laastens …
“Dus is rus nie die afwesigheid van werk of inspanning nie. Dit is die afwesigheid van angs en gejaagdheid.” (Teaching from Rest deur Sarah MacKenzie)——————————————————————————– 
As ek hieroor reflekteer begin ek verstaan dat ek juis rus gaan vind wanneer ek aanvaar dat alles in God se hande is en dat Hy wel in beheer is; in beheer van wat ek ook nou nodig het.
 
In hierdie era van geraas en spoed en tegnologiese wonders, kan foto’s en video’s nie net ‘n storie vinnig en duidelik vertel nie, maar ook die gehoor fassineer, miskien baie meer as net hierdie woorde hierbo? Tog, somtyds is die storie van mense en hoe God in hulle lewens werk stadiger as wat ons dink. En meer as wat jy dink, is dit nodig om te stop, te luister, te lees, om God te hoor en om te sien waarmee Hy besig is – veral hier in Japan, met min sigbare groei.  
 
Geniet vandag die kombinasie van woorde en hierdie 2-minuut video snit, om ‘n ander deel van Japan saam met ons te ervaar. (OF KLIEK NET HIERBO)
 
Ons waardeer jou omgee en gebede vir ons en vir die werk (en rus) hier.
 
Carina, namens die Van der Watts in Kobe    
GEBEDSVERSOEKE
Dank asb. die Here vir Sy sorg en leiding in:
Ons afgelope verloftyd, vol betekenisvolle ontmoetings.
Ons begin met ’n nuwe kwartaal by KRTS en ook met ons tuisonderrig. 
Bid asb. vir krag, balans en gesondheid.
Ons daaglikse werk – ek wat klasgee by die kweekskool, betrokke is by verskeie gemeentes en leraars, ekstra navorsing doen in Missiologie; 
Carina se voltydse tuisonderrig van ons 4 kinders met verskeie ander (Japannese) studies en werk  – dit verg baie energie en wysheid.
Oop deure (m.b.t. visum aansoek) en voorsiening van finansies ens. vir Tobie en Annalie De Wet wat onlangs beroep is na ‘n gemeente in RCJ Shikoku Ring – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHX5jmOsKes  



From Recreation to Rest in God 
Live long enough in Japan and absorbing Japan’s culture of reporting and documentation is a given, hence our summer report.
 
You know the passage in the Bible that states “Ask and it will be given to you”? Well, sometimes we ask and then we feel slightly upset or put-off by exactly how God has given to us. If you have been a regular follower of our newsletters or if you know anything about Japan you would know the recurrent theme of isolation. Combined with a culture that puts a lot of pressure on everyone to conform and for everyone to instantly grasped the unwritten code of conduct, you can imagine that missionaries in Japan often struggle with feelings similar to Elijah under that bush – despondency and desperation.
 
However, God sees us. He knows us. He hears us. And maybe even more important, HE IS WITH US. So in the last week of July we pack our car and we drive 11 hours to Takayama Beach Company in Sendai in the Tohoku area in northern Japan.  If you are a missionary taking a holiday is always a tricky situation. Not only is it difficult to explain the concept of being away for three weeks to colleagues who only take off one Sunday a year, but also the cost of accommodation is astronomical. 
But 134 years ago the government of Japan gave a piece of land to foreign missionaries with a lease of 999 years. The purpose of this lease was to create a place for missionaries to escape the oppressive summer heat while simultaneously having much needed fellowship with other missionaries. 
 
The cabin that we have the privilege to take care of, is more than 80 years old, and it seems that it was used as the maid quarters for richer missionaries long time ago.  So this summer, as all the previous Takayama summers before, Stephan, without prior carpentry skills, tried to make some improvements to this originally quite dilapidated cabin. 
A missionary teacher at a Christian school in Tokyo mentioned one day that we all fake our practical skills here in Takayama – and it seems that faking, and making mistakes, and asking for help from more experienced fakers eventually lead to unexpected success (please see photos for proof).
 
Every Tuesday morning, in sweltering heat, we all come together and work on the ground of Takayama – men, women, children. Ditch digging, weed-whacking, painting gates, pulling weeds, cutting down trees. Every Saturday we meet with locals from the area to do beach cleaning. On Sundays we gather for worship services. Annlie starts an entrepreneurial endeavor making riceballs and sandwiches for a party and for children and their families on the beach, earning enough money to buy a beautiful needlework basket. The boys start a shaved-ice business as well as doing odd jobs for pay, and return to Kobe with more money than their parents. 
Almost daily there are activities, ranging from organized interactions with local Japanese on a hike, a big beach BBQ event, a tour of Takayama facilities, to shared meals with fellow-missionaries and Christians. We share our different but sometimes surprisingly similar challenges on the field, and we encourage each other in every-day struggles such as parenting.  These interactions are rounded-off by water fights with 1800 water balloons, sandcastle competitions, and going to the beach to jump on a water trampoline in the ocean, as well as going on jet skis (for free) . From a South African perspective I would just like to high-light one event. We were asked to host a South African Wine-tasting event for the adults, combined with stick-bread for the kids. So for those from the Western Cape and all fellow South Africans, we combined two proud-South African traditions – South African wine and Braai! (BBQ). 
 
For me, with my personal need for self-preservation after a long year of homeschooling, ministry in hospitality and church and evangelism, usually in a Japanese environment using only Japanese, my default preference and strong desire would have been a holiday with early morning jogs, lazy walks at the beach, long talks with Stephan, and reading profusely. But this holiday was more like something on steroids – one event after another.
Coming back to my payer life…would it be presumptuous of me to say that God had indeed answered our prayers? 

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And ironically I could only verbalize (and maybe accept?) these experiences after reading the following passage about rest during our holiday at Takayama this year.
I know that Sabbath is for rest, retreats are for reflection, vacations are for recreation, and sabbatical is for renewal. (The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz )
And also…
Joseph Pieper defines leisure as a receptive attitude of mind, a contemplative attitude, and it is not only the occasion but also the capacity for steeping oneself in the whole of creation. (Leisure: The Basis for Culture by Joseph Pieper)
Finally…
Rest, then, is not the absence of work or toil. It is the absence of anxiety or frenzy…(Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie)
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And in my own reflection I am starting to understand that Rest is when I accept that everything is in God’s hands and that he is control…also of what I really need right now.
 
In this age of noise and speed and technological advances, pictures and videos can capture the moment more vividly and can captivate the audience maybe much more than these mere words…but sometimes the story of people and how God works in their lives are slower than we think…and more often than not stopping, listening, reading are necessary to hear God and to see Him at work – especially here in Japan, the mission field with few visible results. 
 
So combined with these words, please experience through this movie clip another part of Japan with us.

We appreciate your care and prayers.

Carina, on behalf of the Van der Watts in Kobe 
Our mailing address is:
Mission Japan
Kita Ku
Shobu Ga Oka 3-1-3
Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture 651-1306
Japan
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