We just finished 3 days of orientation in Japan. Orientation is probably being a bit generous, in actuality we collapse in Tokyo for a couple days after flying around the world while the staff here in Japan encourages us, gently instructs, and slowly gets us rolling on the Island. I forgot how overwhelming it is to be here. Crippled by illiteracy, poor language skills, and bad manners it's hard to think we can make any type of impact over here. The staff describes the situation using a football field analogy. If the goal line was salvation, most Americans would be around the 50 yard line or so, familiar with the Bible, the idea of one God, living near a church etc. The Japanese are probably at about the 2 yard line...with 98 yards to go, churches are hard to find, there is no general familiarity with the Bible, and even the idea of one God hasn't been a serious consideration. I mean, to me, it doesn't really sound like they're on the 2 yard line; It sounds more like they don't know we're playing football. There's a lot of work to be done, and patience to be had.
And it starts tonight with a welcome to Shizuoka dinner with the students. Be praying!