Beginning Somewhere

Helloo friends!

This blog will largely replace the email “postcard”s I used to send out monthly, then quarterly, then annually… this format should be a little easier to manage. 🙂

A little background (which I guess ought to be posted on an about me page somewhere): I’m an artist by trade, not a writer, really. This blog is the continuation of a literary hobby out of a necessity to stay in touch with everyone as I travel to Japan in March.

My brother and mom and I took Japanese together when I was in high school. We took it just for fun, really, because Mom found us some great curriculum for free and because we had inherited her love of languages. I got to take it for three years before I graduated and went to college (for an art degree that didn’t actually involve foreign language studies at all.) Aside for the occasional odd conversation with foreign students and for speaking secret messages to Mom and to my brother, it seemed my Japanese studies had been kinda pointless ()^_^.  Then, three years ago, while in grad school I got the opportunity to go on a missions trip to Japan for six weeks.

BJU's 2012 Mission Team Group Photo

BJU’s 2012 Japan Mission Team group photograph from right before we left.

It was a phenomenal experience! I won’t tell about it here other than to mention a few of the parts that tie directly into the current circumstances. One of the last places we visited on that trip was Iruma, Japan, where we did some camp-ground construction, singing, chalk talks, and cultural presentations. The missionary couple who lives there are John and Becky Knox. It turned out I had actually first met them a decade earlier! When I was first studying Japanese, John and Becky Knox had come to our church and given a presentation on Japan. We lost touch after a while back then, so it was a really neat reunion. I’ve been emailing back and forth with Becky ever since returning to the States. This past summer, I was complaining to my mother about how all of the non-art jobs I had taken on in my home town were fizzling out and I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do. Was God sending me some sort of indication that I should just do art commissions and design work full-time? Was I supposed to move somewhere else? Mom was really patient and let me whine for a little bit. 😛 Then I flipped open my computer and checked my email to find that the Knoxes had invited me to come and live and work with their mission in Japan for 15 months. Turns out, they need to return to the States for a while and don’t want to lose their English students. Talk about good timing! Seriously, all of the timing and prep for this trip has had the hand of God on it. In future posts, I hope that will become apparent and not just seem like holy-talk, cliche, or hyperbole.

So, TLDR: I’m a freelance artist with a love of languages who will be house-sitting and ESL teaching in Iruma, Japan, starting in March 2015.

And this is where I’ll post about the adventure 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Chari

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