I went snowboarding with friends from church last weekend. Last time I went I was 13, so that experience+80's rental gear+borrowed fly-like goggles+100 yen beanie probably made for some pretty good entertainment for others on the slopes. My favorite parts were the ski lift rides and the hot spring baths afterwards. Just like there's typical American camp food, potluck food, there's typical ski/snow food here: curry, tonkatsu, omelet rice, and ramen.
On our way home we stopped in Nagano prefecture at St. Cousair Winery and Chapel, owned by one of the girls from church's uncle. Their jams and spreads are sold in many stores in Tokyo.
Smoked Deer marinated in St. Cousair Winery Red Wine with Chevre Cheese, Pumpkin Squash Fried Gnocchi, in Honey, Sherry Vinegar and Red Currant Sauce
The location was beautiful, and the food was excellent, but what stuck with me most was a woman's story who works there.
Fidea Kobayashi moved to Japan from Tanzania after meeting her Japanese husband. She, with her sister and mom, started an orphanage site that supports, educates, and provides a home and community for orphans in Tanzania. They put their money together and bought the land, and are slowly building it up. The proceeds from one of the lines of jam from St. Cousair goes to support the organization. This is their website:
She knew that we were Christians since we were church friends, and she told us about how it is her life dream to see this complete. She talked about how her motivation comes from when God will ask her what she did for Him, and she wants to have an answer. Reading her Bible, going to church, praying, even though those are good things, a lot of that was for herself rather than for God. Her passion for these children and not caring to spend her money and life on herself was inspiring! What an example of love, dedication, and selfless giving. I forget too quickly that everything I have and can do are from God and as much as I like to think I have control over these things, I really don't! I'm grateful for that reminder through Fidea.
I would write more but I'm beyond tired with a migraine so I need to get some sleep! Work has been going late this week, getting home at 9 and 10, but I still enjoy it a lot. I feel in over my head interpreting between international clients and Japanese developers, meeting with executives, giving input that could positively or negatively affect the growth of these companies...but it has been the best way to learn about the business world and Japanese customs. This weekend so far has been visiting my grandma, looking for a phone for her, and family-related errands which is a whole boatload of things to think about and figure out. I hope to rest some time tomorrow!
It's not always easy to say the least, with so many new things, but this is what keeps me going:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, and Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)