Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What if they say "yes"?

We started looking online at real estate in the Tokorozawa area a couple of weeks ago, hoping to find a rental home before we actually return to Japan in late July.

Five years ago, we also returned to Japan in July, but didn't move into "our place" until October. The rental offerings were few, and those we applied for turned us down because we were foreigners. We ended up renting an apartment in a government corporation housing complex that had a non-discrimination clause.

Now we're looking through the listings, and one house stands out to us--because its the right size, good location, reasonable rent and its only six-years old. Its only available for 3 years--the length of this next term. We were skeptical about even asking if they would rent it, because this particular realty company usually doesn't carry homes that become available to foreigners.

Nevertheless, we contacted our mission's Japanese business manager and asked him to look into it for us. He has experience working in the real estate market in the past, so we are very thankful for his assistance. So far we've gotten bits and pieces of questions and information from the owners via the agent. We actually are surprised they haven't closed the door to us yet. Our business manager and a friend will go over to look at the house later next week and send us photographs of the interior (we've looked at it from above on google maps).

The house officially becomes available at the end of May. We would rather not draw up a contract until mid-July. The cost to establish this rental will be somewhere around $7,000 up front "key money" as a usual part of the contract. Our ministry account has been gaining ground over this year, but we still need to raise this amount in order to adequately prepare for our return.

So, what if they say "yes"?

If you are a praying person, please pray with us for God's clear direction and for the finances to cover this contractual arrangement.

If you are interested in helping with the funding, please read our blog on "The Facts" and follow the instructions toward the bottom whether giving from the US or Japan.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who knew the TSA had a sense of humor!

I consider myself a pretty experienced air traveler--and so I was surprised this weekend that I was actually complemented for having my liquids in the zip lock bag as I passed through security in Milwaukee yesterday.

I know the drill--shoes and liquids in one tray, laptop in another. Put them through the scanner in order so that I can attempt to quickly grab each one as they come through and put them away while stumbling out of the screening area.

So, as I sat down to get my back-pack re-packed while waiting for Stan who was a little behind me, I looked up and started to laugh.
This was the sign above the chairs and tables provided at the end of the screening process.

We have all probably heard of discombobulation--Here's a definition from the freedictionary.com:
tr.v. dis·com·bob·u·lat·ed, dis·com·bob·u·lat·ing, dis·com·bob·u·lates
To throw into a state of confusion

It might interest you that there is no word "combobulate" and "recombobulate" must be an invention of the Milwaukee TSA.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The End of the Trail

Stan's brother was visiting us earlier this month, and while they were in Santa Monica they came across this sign. After enjoying sections of Route 66 trivia, it was apropos to get to the end...

We're not quite at the end of our trail yet...we still have two months left before we take off across the Pacific for Japan.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Suicides over lost jobs up sharply | The Japan Times Online

Suicides over lost jobs up sharply | The Japan Times Online

We have previously reported the suicide figures for Japan. Here are the most recent statistics. Another reason to share Jesus in Japan.