Yesterday was a rather hard day.
We added another guy to our little construction crew but I can't say it made the work go any faster.
He helped for a little but when he didn't know what he should be doing instead of asking he wandered around outside taking pictures. He also informed us at lunch that he never tries new foods, so he only ate like three bites of his bento (Michael and I ate the rest of it for him). Justin was really good about it all – but that's kinda Justin for you. It really bothered me more than it should have – I think it was because in his mind this was “just another missions trip” so he was very casual about the whole thing - where as this is where my heart is, I love these people and their culture, and I love the work we are doing here and I want to do it because I want them to be able to live in their home as soon as possible.
The other rather disappointing thing was that we didn't end up finishing the house like we had hoped.
It's so close! But there were a few odd pieces of drywall that just weren't fitting right and took forever, so we still have a few left. But the home owners were really excited because we were working on the little shelf/closet in the main room. It was soon discovered that this was the shelf that the family Buddhist alter went on, and that today was the first day of some week long celebration in which the family ancestor spirits came and resided in the little box (alter). We worked twenty minutes past normal trying to finish this thing for them because they weren't going to leave until it was set up. So when all of the sheet rock in to little corner was finished we actually had to put the black box in place and clean it off for them. They then immediately put in offerings of fruit and flowers for the spirits.
It was so sad. And even earlier in the day when we had asked why they did this, if they actually believed in it really – The reply was that it's just what they do- they don't really know if it's true or not but they've been doing it for generations and they wouldn't want the spirits to do anything bad to them if they didn't do it. They are in such great darkness it breaks my heart.
Please be praying for the people of Japan as this week begins and most of the population takes part in this ritual. Pray that their eyes would be opened and that they would see the light of Christ. Please also pray for us as this will cause some spiritual warfare as the “spirits” are invited in to the homes. Pray for the safety and the spiritual strength of all of the volunteers.
And thank you, thank you so much for your prayers – they can be felt and they are needed.
There was another earthquake last night – I actually felt it this time.
So it was a fairly good sized one. My whole bed was shaking – it was kinda cool.