Our train train ride to Iwatsuki today provided a moving cultural experience. At one stop, we had to get off the train, cross the platform up and above and down the other side to get to the train on the other set of tracks. Going up the stairs with hundreds of bobbing, black-headed Japanese was a moving experience. There was no talking - just the clomping of feet as everyone raced up the steps to catch the next train. In the sea of heads, ours probably stood out like beacons in the night!
We then raced up the next set of steps... this time, against the tide. Now we found ourselves looking head on at another group of hundreds of dear people, racing down the stairs to meet their next train. It was a visual reminder that sometimes it takes going against the tide to fulfil God's command to take the Gospel to the corners of the earth; and sometimes we have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone to ensure that all have the opportunity to see the Light and love of Jesus Christ.
After an hour and a half, we reached our destination - a Bible Conference in the city of Iwatsuki. It was held in a tiny church which also houses a Bible Institute. This was also the day for their graduation ceremony. Two young women had devoted 2-3 years of their life to study the Word and learn more of God's way for their lives. They shared their testimonies and sang a beautiful duet before they received their diploma. It was a treat to be with them on their special day.
We also got to tour a famous doll factory. Evan, Mariah, and Elsbeth were with us today, but we went our separate ways this evening. We plan to connect with them again late this month. Thank you for praying for us.