Summer Recap with Pictures!

One of those times not fully understanding the Japanese language class is a problem – On the last day of class before our 3 week summer vacation we both understood the teacher explaining that we would have a language placement test on our first day back.  After spending the last three weeks anxiously anticipating this exam- studying, meeting with my tutor, and most of all just worry about the test we returned to school today to discover we didn’t have to TAKE the test today but just REGISTER for the test….which we will take…in December! Well at least we were motivated to keep up our language study during our break!

Other than worrying about this placement test our break was filled with enjoying our first Japanese summer. August is known in Japan for being incredibly hot and having a lot of holidays and festivals. 

We had lots of opportunities to spend time with the missionary kids living right in our city. One high school student was even able to spend a whole week at our house before heading off to boarding school. 

Brooks with the Sink boys – enjoying dinner after a hot day at the Nagoya Zoo.
Ayumi (youth director from Nisshin church), Wendy, Riva and Sarah (MKs from MTW’s Nisshin team right outside Nagoya) – watching the Domatsuri Dance Festival which is the largest dance festival in the world!

We were also able to escape the Nagoya heat for a long weekend and enjoyed travelling to other cities in Japan with some missionary friends and families.

Lake Nojiri – where many missionaries are able to spend some of their vacation time each year relaxing and enjoying fellowship together (this is a tradition dating back to Brooks’ grandparents, who used to spend their summers here when Brooks’ dad was a child!)
On the way home we made a brief stop to see Matsumoto Castle. This castle still has it’s original keep dating back to 1504!
Bear also enjoyed his break from city life in the mountains of Lake Nojiri and did great on the 3 hour train ride there!

August was also slow for CBI – There were no classes at the seminary and most students (who hang out in the cafe) were home for their summer vacation. We took the opportunity to close the cafe for business and work on some renovations. The cafe now has new hardwood floors and a chalkboard wall. It will also soon have a permanent section for babies and toddlers. 


Our friend Yukako (a seminary student here and cafe worker) and her father took us to our first Nagoya Dragon’s baseball game. We are so excited to be back in a city with a professional baseball team!

It was also Wendy’s first baseball game (even though she’s lived here for whole life!) Here she is with Yukako and Ando-san (Yukako’s dad).
At the Dragons games not only do you stand every time your team is up to bat but all of the fans have chants memorized specifically for each player. We tried to catch on as much as possible.

This month during our break from Japanese class we were able to teach an English class for nursing students at a local university. We loved getting to know the students and hearing about their passions and desire to better Japan’s medical system. Please pray that these relationships can continue that the class is over – we would love for them to come to events at the Heart and Soul Cafe! 


Also in August we were able to celebrate Brooks’ 27th birthday! Making Brooks’ traditional birthday “dumpcake” was slightly more complicated this year trying to use Japanese ingredients but we were mostly successful and enjoyed celebrating Brooks’ life with our good friends and teammates. 


5 thoughts on “Summer Recap with Pictures!

  1. Looks like you had a great summer. I am so glad you had an opportunity to go to Nojiri—the place your grand parents (and us) loved so much.
    I was impressed with the new look at the coffee shop! Good job.
    And to be able to spend some times with the MKs in the Nagoya area. I am sure the Sinks appreciate you both very much!
    School must be starting up soon, and I pray you have a great session learning along with all the other students in your class.

    Thanks for the pictures and for your commitment to Japan!

  2. It really seems like this is becoming home for y’all…we pray and hope that is true.

    We miss you two so much and are so honored to be in it with you.

    Your Friends,
    Jonathan and Leah

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