Our first few days in Japan, we have spent at Teresa's brother and sister in law's place in Chiba. (In the picture, our sister-in-law's mother is thrilled that Ian likes natto.) What a joy it has been to be with them again. Even though we have left home and family, we had family receive us on the other side. What missionaries are so blessed as us? We've also been visiting with Teresa's former home stay family in Chiba. Spending these first few days fraught with jet lag with our family and friends has been a great help to us.
So far, the transition has been going well. Both kids are having a fun time experiencing new things and both parents are sleeping-though not necessarily at night. Fun food, trains, snow, family and friends have filled our first 3 days back in Japan. Liana was in tears a few moments ago though, crying out, "I want to go home! I want to go home! I want to use the toilet there!" Japanese toilets have warm seats, lots of buttons, and running water even as it's being used- a big, scary deal to a 3 year old. Our prayer is that the Lord will help us remember that our kids are tender and need us to understand their fear of the new and unknown. Even things as benign as a toilet can be disconcerting to them (as they have been to us in the past too.) "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him."
Tomorrow we continue our trip west to Nagoya where we will look for a house, get settled, and begin to start into ministry.