We had an AWESOME day today! A local pastor has been wanting to take us to his hometown to meet his family and see his land so we set a date and headed off this morning for a two hour drive. Sensei comes from the "kuuuntry" (a.k.a. the boon-docks, ten buck two, the middle of nowhere, etc.) It is really rare to see areas this rural for us, we are often in the city here. Oh, it felt like home for me today (if it had been flat and windy, an a lot less green that is). But the fact that their neighbors where at least 100 paces away, the roads where barely wide enough for two cars to meet, and sensei kept giving me directions in distance instead of landmarks, made me feel right at home! We LOVED it! It was a day full of lots of clean fresh air, beautiful scenery, no need to hurry, lots of good food and a good ol' hot spring bath. Talk about a GREAT day!
Sensei comes from a family of 6 brothers and sisters. We met three of his sisters today and they fed us and spoiled us rotten! We had a great time getting to know them, and eating their wonderful home cooking. There is just something about the hospitality of kuuuntry folk, you just can't beat it.
We ate lunch at Sensei's sisters house, which is on the land where he was born and raised. He took us walking up into the mountains where he used to play as a child. Showed us the natural cold spring that feeds a creek he used to play in, a small piece of land that he owns and took us down the tiny narrow road that he used to take to school as a child (by the way it took him ONE HOUR to walk to school everyday, no such thing as a school bus here!) Then we went to visit his old elementary school and Jr. High. Another sister works at a hotel where they have hot spring baths so we stopped in there and had a relaxing bath, then went to another sisters house for a "light" dinner (NOT!) I am so stuffed it feels like I just got home from Granny's house at Thanksgiving!
It was so wonderful to have such a leisurely relaxing day, but at the same time getting to know his family and sharing our lives with them was a ministry to them too. We laughed and carried on, and Hana charmed them all! We got to love on them today and fill their homes with the Spirit of Jesus peace and grace. We even sang songs to "pay for our meal" at both homes where we ate and they loved it. It was such an awesome day.
We dream of having a retreat cabin in a place like that some day. A place to escape to for a short time, that is so peaceful and beautiful! You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl (or her Texas loving Japanese husband... hahaha)
I don't often realize how much I miss the country but I guess I do. Today was so wonderful, we made Sensei promise to take us back again sometime soon!
Flowers at a local country club, breathtaking!
Just under this bridge is the origin of the natural spring Sensei used to play in.
The view from a small opening in the forest near Sensei's land (there are more mountains in the background that you can't see cause it was a little hazy)
Hana walking down the small forest road in front of the land.
That small mountain in the middle of this picture is his land.