Now, where was I? Oh, yes! Okinawan culture. Anyway, during my time in Tokyo, there was always a certain pace I had when I was speaking with people in Japanese. I guess I could equate it to the sound of a machine gun. Always very quick, few breaks in speaking, and all with very similar intonation. RATATATTTTATTTATATA. But here it is totally different. It is ironic that Okinawa is a small island surrounded by water, because Okinawan Japanese sounds a lot like waves to me. Slow, broken pace, with intonation going up and down. UP UP UP... UP DOWN DOWN ... DOWN UP UP... It really throws me off. And along with the pace of speech, the pace of life seems to follow a similar pattern. I very used to the go go go of Tokyo. My ministry, my time with friends, everything seemed very fast, always a ton of things to do and get done. At first it was a little challenging but at some point I came to like it. But here, things are ssssoooooooo sssslllloooooooowwwwwwwwww. It's kinda frustrating some times. I wanna be doing and running but we often are waiting and strolling. But, then again, the reason I came here was to grow. And patience is a quality that will be forced to grow here.
Oh, and please don't miss understand my description of Okinawa. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far. The students and teachers here seem like really great people. The presence of the holy spirit is very strong here and very moving. I am very much looking forward to my schooling and ministry here. I have been begun to study and learn about 1,2,3 Peter lately. In 2 Peter 1, he speaks a lot about the knowledge of God and growth. "Grace and peace be yours through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord." (1:2) "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness." (1:3) "... make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1: 5-8)
It was very convicting for me. I realized how desperately I need to grow in my knowledge of God. That my grace and peace, everything I need for life and godliness comes through this knowledge. That I desire to serve Him in this country as effectively and productively as I possibly can. So I need to run after knowing more of him and growing to be like Jesus by grace.
I truly believe that this will occur in my time here and I am so excited to see how He will change me in this time. It is so exciting!!!
Anyway, I love you all and pray that you would be blessed and that you would grow in your knowledge of Him and through it grace and peace would be yours in abundance.
Much love through Him,