Tuesday, January 24, 2012


WOW! Already a month into 2012! It’s been a busy month for us here as we are back in full swing with classes as well as church and volunteer activities. We’ve been fortunate so far not to have snow build up on the roads here in town. A little strange since some of the area ski resorts have reported up to double the snow they had at the same time last year! One of the elementary schools I drive to each week now has over 6 ½ feet of snow!!!! And at the top of the mountain there is just under 10 feet!! Fortunately we’ve only had frozen water trouble twice so far and John’s handy man work helped them not to last too long. Even after 8 winters it still is unnerving to get up in the mornings and see the thermometer with reading in the low to mid 30's...inside the house!! We are thankful though to have two oil/fan heaters that we can set to come on in the kitchen/bath area and the computer room so that the chill is not quite so shocking when we shower and share our morning devotional/Bible time. Since I usually get the first morning shower I'm especially grateful for the one in that area!
You know how you always hear stories about people feeling 'led' to do something? We all have those moments or feelings sometimes I think. At times we act on them and others we just sort of 'talk ourselves out of it'. Last Friday after my classes in Nozawaonsen (the above mentioned ski area) as I was heading down the mountain for home I had one of those experiences. I was about 5 minutes down when I passed a man going up...walking... with a 'mini mountain' of things strapped to his back - and it was cold! and snowing. I immediately thought 'Oh my gosh!' ...but I kept driving. The further I got, each curve I rounded, I couldn't get him out of my mind. So another couple of minutes down the road I turned around and headed back up. Mind you...my Japanese is very limited... and his English???? Still I thought if didn't go back it would be a very sad memory for me. As I approached him - watching as he slowly and with great effort took each step, trying to keep his load from getting too unbalanced and toppling him onto the icy road - I ask God to give me the right words/expressions. When I stopped next to him with the window down he looked very surprised at first (no doubt somewhat because I am not Japanese ;-} ). I asked where he was going, though I was pretty sure of his answer since I knew where the road led. When he said Nozawaonsen I told him I would be pleased to give him a ride. He gave me a huge smile, and several deep bows - a huge thing considering the load on his back! Then to my utter surprise said 'No thank you'. I offered again and he told me he had been walking for 2 weeks to get there and it was so close now that he would be just fine walking the rest of the way! He said he was enjoying the beauty. Awesome! I told him to be careful and asked God to watch over him. He thanked me again for being so kind...    I turned back around and headed back down the road. No idea who this man is or why he walked for 2 weeks in the freezing snow to go there. No idea who he gives credit to for 'the beauty' he was enjoying. No doubt that God is responsible and that He used that man to help me realize all over again how wonderful He is and how very blessed I am to be His.
And just so you know, when I started this post I had no idea I would tell this story. I haven't even told John. Not because I didn't want to. It just hadn't come up. Why? No idea... but I'm glad I shared it now. It's a good feeling. And we can always use more of those.
Prayers and blessings all around! 

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