Shortly after the Quake/Tsunami 3-11-2011 a busload of American teachers from MeySen Academy in Sendai arrived at Misawa Air Base. Many of the teachers went to the states - most have returned. This began a relationship between the base and MeySen Academy. Michael has visited with Daniel Fanger, the Principal, several times. The goal has been to set up some home exchange programs for their students and the students on base. Wing leadership and past administrations of the schools have worked on this - but it's fairly complicated due to insurance issues and DODEA regs, etc. I do know a busload of their teachers came to the Air Show and that was another connection.
In any event, Michael wanted to visit the campus, and we decided to spend an afternoon/evening in Sendai on our way to Tokyo. When he contacted Daniel just to make sure it would be o.k. if we stopped by they arranged tours, dinner and put us up in their Guesthouse. Wow...we benefited from amazingly generous hospitality.
The history of MeySen is interesting to me. Six or Seven families met at New Tribes training over 60 years ago and were sent to Japan. They ministered in the Hachinohe, Tohoku area. Daniel is the son of one of those families. He was born about an hour outside of Misawa. He's lived in Japan all his life. His father passed away at 88 a few years ago - his mother, now 88, still lives here. Fascinating. I was encouraged to hear the stories of how they had been into every school in Tohoku...up and down the coast...on a rotation of every 5 years. The significance of this is that most all the school children in this area (70 years of age and younger) had heard the gospel during their elementary AND high school years. The schools and areas they ministered in (and still do minister in) are the very ones devastated by the earthquake. Daniel has Japanese books of the Tsunami which show old pictures of his father and friends holding Gospel crusades on the very spots destroyed....and that gave me a measure of peace...as I'd been led to believe most in these areas had never had an opportunity to hear the gospel.
Over the course of years, this group of missionaries became convinced God wanted them to work to become self-supporting. They began an English Immersion Kindergarten - MeiSen Academy (which changed to MeySen). That has grown to two HUGE campuses....3,500 students this year. God has blessed.
MeySen is a FUN place to learn. These kids study HARD and the play hard as well. Farm animals, streams, playgrounds, amazing slides.....all interspersed on the Academy grounds.
Grape Seed Inc writes software for their English curriculum which is now marketed in China, Thailand, Korea, India...as well as some schools in the States. They also take software (such as MS etc) and rewrite it for Japanese formats (of course they are paid to do this). Wine Studios makes commercials for local businesses and is also self-supporting. They now employ 800 people in this industry and invest the money from those endeavors into developing new software, providing platforms for the spreading of the Gospel.
This board shows their planned projects, the one in progress and the ones finished. I believe the blue are finished. I'm excited to try out the software they gave us.
Maruyama Campus - these are origami cranes and flowers made out of steel
Kangaroo slide begins as a roller slides, you take a bit of air, and land on a standard slide...notice these BIG slides with now covers over them....remember most their students are K3-K5.....and they follow the instructions and have never had any of their students seriously injured.
In the course of our discussions we learned many (most?) of the second and third generation of those first families are still in Japan. They still have a church - less than an hour from Fukushima.
We had been told we'd have dinner with Daniel...what a dinner it was! James and Philip (both run the English immersion programs at the two campus') joined us. I enjoyed our visits. Both were adopted by two of the original missionary families. The dinner - KOBE BEEF! I've not had beef for 6 months....though I am allowed it once a month. I couldn't resist.
Kobe cows have quite the life! Their barns are temperature controlled, they receive massages, listen to classical music and drink beer....all to produce wonderfully tender beef. If you've had "Kobe style" beef in another country it is most likely NOT Kobe Beef. ::snort::
|We noticed the Izumi Park Town is much more affluent than our Misawa area|
|Stacia loves the provided breakfast|
|Check out the TINY oven. This is standard.|
|Love the shower beside the tub....but the toilet was at the other|
end of the house!
|THIS is the way to organize a freezer!|
|Girls and I loved the furniture - Nolan thought it was a tad uncomfortable|
|Nolan is the oldest boy now....|
I'm pondering....why were we told there were "NO missionaries" in this area when there are many? Not just the MeySen families but several other churches in the area (missionaries we know personally). I wonder why the group which has been here over 60 years is no longer considered missionaries...they're obviously being blessed by God and used of God to make roads for the gospel.
It's been a wonderful stay.
Living all of life before the face of God...