Living Abroad: Good and Perfect Gifts
You know how we have jokes in America about lawyers and blondes and all those kinds of… jokes? Well, I found out today that Japan doesn’t have any jokes about lawyers.
See, it’s these kinds of things that are good to find out! Sometimes humor just does not translate into other languages and cultures.
Just like between Vicente and I… we realized that in Spanish, “yo momma” jokes (A: You’re slow! B: Your mom’s slow!) are actually “yo grandma” jokes. It’s just one of those things where the wall paper doesn’t line up. We each grimace no matter how we try to adjust those kinds of jokes.
On that note though, we’ve been talking about getting a TV here in Japan. I actually prefer NOT having a TV…but in this case, we both feel like it would give us much more practice with Japanese and that we could learn a lot from their news and TV programs. Not the crazy game shows they’re known for, just regular sitcoms or educational shows. The way they express themselves in different situations and interact with others will show us things we might not pick up on being in the moment with people.
When I lived in Mexico, my roommate had a TV. She was primarily the one who operated it since it was on her side of the room, but I learned a lot by observing what was going on and asking questions. My Spanish definitely improved as I learned to keep up with a quicker pace of speaking. Watching dramas unfold gave me a great opportunity to really pick out things I hadn’t seen in the previous year living in Mexico.
So we’ve been thinking about that for here. We’d been going back and forth and were going to look at prices to see if it was actually an affordable option. Turns out it’s not really a cheap option! HA! They’re about twice the price of TVs in America (just taking a brief look at Target prices).
However, the Lord knew we were talking about it and that our heart was really to understand the Japanese more and not for selfish gain. We mentioned our consideration when hosting some visiting pastors for breakfast last week. We found out a couple days later that the Lord had kindly led one of them to help provide a TV for our family.
We were stunned! Honestly, we were talking about learning culture (that was the point) and the TV thing was mentioned in passing, and bam!
I kept thinking about that all week. Wow- that must be the Lord. God is so good!
Every good and perfect gift is from the Father. Lord, please bless this generous giver and may we produce so much in response to this wonderful gift.
by Janine Alvarado, missionary to Japan