It is now 5:06 a.m. in Tokyo and the sky is beginning to brighten. There is a 13 hr time difference between EST… so I am wide awake and ready to see the capital city of Japan. My final destination is Singapore where I will be joining 700 leaders from around the world for the third annual 4/14 Global Summit for child advocates. Compassion International is one of the main sponsors. I will be a part of the cohort with several others from the Middle East. I much look forward to being with them again!
I am in Tokyo because it was significantly less expensive to have a few day layover here then to fly in and out of Singapore directly. I am staying with the parents of a college friend of mine from InterVarsity days at the UofC. I am already amazed at the “small world stories” of connection with the Christian community. The woman I am staying with attended a workshop that I taught at Covenant Midwinter a couple of years ago – so we have met before… and didn’t even know it! There are many other mutual Chicago connections including dear friends from the Circle Church community (later Circle Urban Ministries) and others. I love being reminded that I am only a tiny piece in a huge community and network of followers of Christ.
Tomorrow (or today!) I am going to be exploring Tokyo. What I know about Japan is only very limited thanks to my “world history” courses… and most of it relates to Pearl Harbor, WWII, and other more recent political events. Already it is clear that there is so much to this amazing country… a richness of history and life… from the 13 million people in Tokyo proper to the 33 million people living in its suburbs. A land of gardens and gastronomical delights… I am eager for sushi!
It has also been sobering to be reminded of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that happened here on March 11th… almost six months since its occurance. Significant progress has been made in rebuilding some of the areas the most affected (hundreds of miles from Toyko) but the memory and suffering is still fresh on people’s minds… and there continues to be much work to be done. I am provoked to pray alongside of the people of Japan… particularly as I learn from them over the next few days during my short visit.