Monday, May 02, 2016

My neighborhood call to prayer...

Every town in Japan has speaker systems that are in place for emergency broadcasts like tsunami warnings or other announcements... and they play music every day. :) Our town plays music at 7 am, 12 noon, and 5 pm every day.  At first, it's a little annoying, but then you get used to it.  It's funny how quickly things that are different, weird, special, or unique just become a normal part of our routine.  I love our neighborhood.  The houses are close together, but it's not too loud, it's nice for taking walks, it's very close to my favorite vegetable stand and convenience store, and our neighbors are incredibly nice.  But we don't know our neighbors very well.  Most are Japanese families, and because none of us have yards, we only see each other when we are walking to the store or if we happen to walk out the door at the same time.  I want to get to know my neighbors better.  But none of them speak English, and the conversations are pretty short when we're depending on my Japanese. ;)
So life goes on... we're busy with church responsibilities, school volunteering, Bible studies, swim lessons, meetings, etc., etc.  And before you know it, a few years have gone by, and I still don't know my neighbors very well. But I want to... and that's why I'm so thankful about the music that plays at 7 am each morning.  You see, each town plays a different song at the different times throughout the day.  Our town plays 'Greensleeves' at 7 am, or you might know it as 'What Child is This?'.  And every morning, it's my reminder to pray for my neighbors.  Because I want to get to know them more, but more importantly, I want them to know Jesus.  So I pray that God will give us opportunities to talk, and I pray that God will surround them with Christian friends who can show them His love and tell them about the life He offers in a way they can understand.  I want them to know that "This, this is Christ the King..." Our 7 am song has become like a spiritual discipline for me... a normal part of life, but a reminder to pause and pray. :)

(Please excuse the shaky video and low sound quality, but if you turn up the volume, you can hear our neighborhood morning song.)

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