Author: Michael Babienco

November 2022

Staring at the review quiz, I tried to recall what the strange symbols on my screen meant. Does 大きさ mean “big” or “size”? I always get this and 大きい mixed up.

I attempted an answer: “big.” The screen turned red. I was wrong; the answer was “size.” Sigh. I would have to try again later.

Caitlyn and I are preparing as much as possible before we reach Japan so we can get started quickly with language and culture acquisition once we arrive in-country. We spend at least a few minutes every day researching and learning, and we are thankful for the many language and culture resources available online and in books.

One way that Caitlyn and I are preparing is by learning the three Japanese writing systems: ひらがな (hiragana), カタカナ (katakana), and 漢字 (kanji). Hiragana is used for Japanese words and katakana for foreign words, while kanji are Chinese characters used to represent words or ideas. Hiragana and katakana are both syllabaries, which means the characters represent syllables rather than single characters. All three can appear in a single Japanese sentence. Learning a sufficient level of kanji and vocabulary can take years, but the ability to read and communicate is worth the effort.

Unlike when we reach Japan, where we will have more time to learn upon arrival, the time to prepare for Jesus’s return is now — right now! We must spend time with Jesus daily to be ready to meet Him when He comes. Before the Japanese can prepare for His coming, they must first learn He exists. Will you join us in praying that the Japanese learn of their Savior and prepare for His soon return?