Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Finding our community

We’ve been searching for our permanent housing with the help of friends and the business manager at Asian Access, Kiguchi-san.  Now granted Sterling has no idea of what living in Japan is really like.  So we had asked Kiguchi-san to get us a place for the median income of Tokyo housing that is big enough for  a family of three, close to the church, near to transportation for our travel throughout Japn, plus work space, near to the train, but not too close, close to our new church in Kokubunji (but not too close), has a south-facing porch for line-drying our clothes, has parks for Geneva, and near to a potential hospital for giving birth. Also many apartments in Japan don’t rent to foreigners or to families (or dog owners). 

Poor Kiguchi-san. It’s a good thing he’s a Christian, as he is theologically bound to forgive and help us ;-)

He worked really hard to help us especially after our troubles with some of the Japanese bureaucracy ( I won’t publish that issue, but oooffffdah), but that’s a lot of needs.

Kiguchi-san took us to two places that he and our rental agent winnowed down for us.  It is the bloom of cherry blossom season now, and when Geneva and Sterling walked out of the station we saw this entire boulevard of cherry blossom trees.   I think it’s what they call curb appeal in real estate. But WOW! Its hard to beat a full bloom of tulips and cherry blossoms on a warm spring day, with a gentle breeze.

(Kunitachi Station Sakura Trees)

We were at Kunitachi Station in western Tokyo.  We met our agent, and saw a very modest three room apartment. While there is nothing spectacular about the apartment, it fits almost all the points above. Emi saw the places the next day, and we came to the consensus to live in Kunitachi, which is a station stop with a university, music scene, and a good number of families. 

(Geneva playing at the park with sakura trees in the background)

Yes, there is a park nearby, where Geneva made a couple playground introductions (I'd say friends but they were fairly shy compared to her).  Emi is of course wondering where we are going to put all our belongings in this Tokyo-sized place – but now that we have found a place, it is beginning to feel more like the foundation of relationships is being laid. We are a 12minute walk from our church, so we can invite friends over for lunch after church (gotta save some money and not go out  to eat).

In the Bible, Jesus often sends his disciples out with instructions of what to look for. The descriptions are usually a little odd by modern standards (i.e. look for a donkey next to a colt Matthew 21 ) – but the disciples always find the exact place or item that Jesus sent them to find. So why am I surprised that even amongst the chaotic description that we gave Kiguchi-san, He has set up our place??
**PS we still don't know the gender of little baby Omi***


  1. congrats on finding an apt -- curb appeal indeed! have fun settling into your new home! :)

  2. Greetings, Sterling and Emi. Sharon just provided the link for your blog. It was great to see pictures of your LAX send-off. Sorry that I made a wrong turn on the freeway and couldn't make it. Nonetheless, you all are on our thoughts and prayers often. The cherry blossoms are a wonderful sign of the new beginning you all are experiencing. May its beauty remind us of the beauty of God's grace for all of us.

    P Jonathan