Friday, August 26, 2011

Vacation Day

This post will have nothing to do with work, because I am writing about the vacation day we took.

Another missionary kid came to stay with the Kaufmans for about a week, which was a lot of fun. But she did have to return to her family who were staying in a town by a lake on the other side of the mountain. It was decided that we were going to take her back, then spend the rest of the day with her family there in Nojiri. And so one gray morning we loaded the van and took off. It was a stunning two hour drive. The mountains and farmlands stretching out on all sides took my breath away. It was one of the most enjoyable trips I've ever taken.

We arrived at the cabins and decided to swim in the lake before the approaching typhoon hit. So I borrowed a swimsuit and we went down to the water. I don't want to spend forever gushing about the scenery, but the sky was such a perfect mixture of blue and white. The mountains surrounding us were a vivid green that contrasted with the clear, clear water. I am not sure I have ever seen natural beauty to rival that day.

We all took turns attempting to wind surf, at which only two of us were successful. But it was fun to try, and fun to be in the water again. After a picnic lunch Abby, Essie, Caroline, Amos and I walked to the high jump. The high jump is in an isolated area and rests at the end of a concrete dock that is half submerged in the lake. The tower you climb up and jump off of was old and rickety, but still safe enough to use.

I had never jumped off of something so high before. I remember looking down at my toes, so far above the water. It had looked like a shorter distance from afar. But then that moment after you jump, before you hit the water, is a mixture of terror and bliss. Sailing through the nothingness, anticipating the cool water that closes over you completely.

We all spent some lovely hours jumping and talking out there on the dock. Across a curve in the lake there was a choir singing, and their voices drifted across the water in a surreal fashion. There were dozens of dragonflies flashing in the sunlight as they flitted across the lake. Everything about the day was vivid and intense, and remains one of my favorite memories of the trip. Everything from the strong sun to the musical screech of the Japanese cicadas—I loved it all.

No typhoon came that day. It was clear the whole time, so we all managed to get a good sunburn. We finished the day with an excellent meal at a restaurant where you catch your own fish and they cook it for you. The drive back through the dark was spent trying not to touch my roasted skin and staring out at the moon.

God really used that vacation day to refresh my spirits and prepare me with the energy I needed for the rest of my trip. He is so good. =)

In Him,


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seed Planters

At long last, an entry! Sorry about the wait. I decided to talk a bit about my adventures passing out Manga Messiah and tracts. I did a lot of it, and it comprised the greater part of my work there. So here it goes.

Manga Messiah= comic book done in the Japanese story that tells the story of Jesus and salvation

Most people who know me will agree that I am not the most out-going person in the world. Therefore, passing out mangas/tracts was quite the stretch for me. We set up our little table on the edge of church property and waited for people to pass. Because our corner was right across from the famous tennis courts, a lot of traffic went by us. I know very little Japanese, so I couldn't get myself to say anything or go out of my way to hand things out at first. But with prayer I gained courage and I learned how to say some simple, essential phrases in Japanese to help me get that literature out there. If you ever want to know how to say, “this is a present from the church, go ahead and take one!” in Japanese, just ask me. It is now engrained.

I found myself questioning the worth of what we were doing several times, although it is embarrassing to admit. “How can just one book or just one tract make a difference in these people's lives?” I thought. But one thing I learned is that we as humans cannot limit the Holy Spirit. If God wants to use those mangas in their lives, He will, no matter what we think. As we stood on that corner, we were seed planters. I learned to pray that those little seeds would find water and sunshine so that they could grow beyond mere seeds.

I think that if you tried to do the same thing in America, you'd have a little more difficulty. Japanese people are utterly polite, so they would not be rude or bellicose toward you even if they disagreed religiously. They might not take what you are passing out, but they are always gentle about refusing it. The missionaries also told me that Japanese aren't as likely to throw it away later, either. God really has used those simple tracts to make an impact. We cannot underestimate Him.

I met a lot of interesting people during those many hours I spent on the street. Learning how to communicate with someone who can speak little or none of your language is exciting and challenging all at once. I met a guitar-playing fortune teller one day who told me that he wasn't a Christian, but he loves Jesus. Then there was the Westerner with beer in one hand and a skateboard in the other who came from California, but had no clue where he was headed next in life. I met Japanese pastors, interested seekers, and young Christians with their dogs. I have to say that probably my favorite people to give a manga to were the little kids, whose eyes lit up as they took the free book.

All in all it was a very good experience for me, and I pray often for those little seeds we planted. I hope that I don't forget the faces of all those people I met.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

More to Come

I apologize for not keeping this blog better updated! I am home now, but I plan on doing several catch up posts to talk about my last few weeks in Japan. So just so you all know, more is coming. I just need to find the time to sit down and write it. Thank you for your patience!


Saturday, July 16, 2011


Sorry that I haven't updated in awhile. I haven't exactly been busy, but my time has been quite nicely filled by this and that.

One of the main things that filled up my time yesterday was a festival. This festival was put on by the church and Bible school as an outreach to the community. They distributed ads for it all over and drew in as many random people in as could be. There was free food and drink, games, music from the praise band, and conversations with Christians.

I helped out at a drink/game booth, and managed to get by with very little Japanese. It was really fun to see those little kids get so much joy out of something so simple. It was a long, tiring day out in the heat. But I believe it was completely worth it. I believe that God used it to plant a few seeds in the hearts of the Japanese people who came. And isn't it amazing to be able to loudly sing praises to God out in the open where so many people can hear you?

It was nice to be around the Bible school students and all the cool people involved with the church. They are all very neat people, and helped me not to feel too out of place. I might never see these people ever again—an interesting thought.

So anyway. It was a good day, and a long day. I hope that any seeds that were planted will get enough water and sunshine to grow. Pray for these people that the church is reaching out to.

Here are a few pictures. The rest will go up on Facebook eventually.


In Him,


Friday, July 8, 2011

Dare We?

I felt like it was time I did a serious post that reflects some of the thoughts I have been having over the course of this trip. Everyone expects these kinds of adventures to spark some sort of deeper thought, so I wanted to share a bit of mine with you. If you don't like this kind of post, that's fine.

One thing I have learned about the human race is that as a general rule we don't like change. Even good change can cause us to struggle. In different seasons of life we may react better or worse to change, but we are always going to have difficulties with it at some point.

I have also learned that often we not only don't want our scenery or situation to change--we don't want what is inside us to change either. I, for one, fight against what God is trying to do inside me all the time. I don't want to give up my bad habits. I am scared to change.

Now it boils down to my point.

Dare we willingly walk into a situation we know will have to change us? Dare we face the risk of everything moving around inside our hearts without ever being able to go back to the way we were before?

As hard as it is, I will be honest. I was a little scared to go to Japan all by myself. Not really because of the language barrier or the travel or being alone. It was largely fear of change. I knew I would have to go to Japan, then go back to Texas a slightly different person.

I am not saying this to praise how brave I am. No, it is the opposite. I have been weak and scared. But here is what I have been learning:
We truly can do the impossible if we are following God. We can dare to change, and to be changed. We can even dare to change those around us with His help. We can do nothing alone, and everything with Him. Even though I have struggled, He has been helping my stubborn heart change.

I am not going to walk through the doors of my house as the exact same person I was when I left it. A strange thought, but I believe that at last I am starting to think that it is a nice thought. Through God the change can be good, and it can change our lives for the better, I think.

So just some food for thought. Dare we walk down a path we know will change us, all for the glory of our Lord? It will be hard, but not impossible, and it will be worthwhile. That is what I believe anyway.

Thanks for bearing with me. God bless each and everyone of you--I truly mean that.

In Him,
Mercy M. Burklin

Update from the Mountains

(Hopefully no one is tired of my updates yet!)

It is so beautiful in Karuizawa! I'll just start with that.

Going from Tokyo to a smallish mountain town is a bit strange, but it is a refreshing sort of change. The bus trip up here was so lovely. I couldn't sleep at all because everything was so interesting and stunning! God truly has made a lovely world. He is so creative. I loved getting to see farmlands and small little towns.

Up in Karuizawa I am staying in a cabin with the Kaufmans. The area we are in is called Team Center (Team is a mission organization), and it is a very shady, secluded place. But if you walk just a little bit you enter the town. So you get the mountainy, treeish place with rustic cabins and missionaries, then you get quaint, touristy town full of history. A lot of the history of this place was founded on the work and influence of missionaries. It's fascinating! One of the churches here is one-hundred years old.

People come up here to get a break from the bustling city life. Also, they come to escape the heat. It is nice and cool up here! So basically Karuizawa is a vacation spot, and a great place to meet people and share the gospel.

The Kaufmans just made a huge move, so they are understandably feeling worn out and unprepared. So my work here will be less steady. I'll get to do plenty of relaxing, while still helping them transition and whatever else they may need me to do. Tomorrow we are going to pass out Manga Messiah to all the people coming up for the weekend. I am working on learning more Japanese so I can be more effective.

That is all the news for now. To sum up:

Karuizawa is as beautiful as they say. I don't really know what all I will be doing here. And the Kaufmans are a wonderful family.

If you have any questions, please ask! I may not always write as clearly as I should, or I don't explain things enough.

In Christ,

Mercy Burklin

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wrapping Up

I am sorry that I haven't posted here in awhile. I have either been busy or suffering from writer's block. This won't be a post with any specific story or theme—it will just be me talking in general about my time here in Tokyo in light of my transfer to Karuizawa tomorrow.

Well, we almost almost got everything done in the SSS office. It will now be ready for when school starts up! I have done so many different tasks that I never got bored. I loved the quiet of the office and the being able to occupy my hands and mind. But most of all I enjoyed working with Mrs. Epley and getting to help her out in what way I could.

That seems to be a big theme of my trip, actually—the people I've met. It's funny. I came here to try and do my best to bless the missionaries here in some way, but they are the ones who have blessed me a hundredfold.

The people here are busy. Very busy. It is not easy to be a missionary in Japan, nor is it easy to just be a Christian. But despite that, everyone found time to be so kind to me. For the most part they even remembered my name without being reminded.

Whether it was at MCC (the church I went to here), or CAJ, or at the Epleys home, or just randomly on the streets, I met so many incredible, incredible people. I am going to miss them when I leave Tokyo, even though I look forward to meeting all the people up in Karuizawa.

I also got to do more plain fun things than I expected. I went to an amusement park with a Japanese friend, did Karaoke (which is way better than in America, for the record), ate daifku, went shopping, saw the overwhelming sights of Tokyo, and on and on. I cannot believe how blessed I have been on this trip. And I honestly love the work I get to do as much as the play.

If you can, say a prayer for the amazing missionaries in Japan. They need all the encouragement and empowerment they can get, for the harvest is ripe but the workers comparatively few. I heard a Japanese man say “God is in Japan.” I believe it is true.

I have three more weeks in Japan. I can't wait to go home and share my experiences with everyone, though I know I will miss being here quite a lot. Thank you all for your prayers and support! I am excited about what I will get to do (even though I have no clue what I will be doing yet) in Karuizawa. Look forward to some pictures and updates!

(I have uploaded all five weeks worth of pictures on Facebook now, if anyone is interested!)

To God be the glory, great things He has done. =)

In Him,


Monday, June 27, 2011

Daily Life

Greetings! I decided that I'd like to show you all what an average day of working at CAJ in the School Support Services office looked like, roughly. Our tasks vary widely, so each day looks a bit different—but I can at least give you a general idea.

Welcome to SSS!

Today, our job was organizing the SSS library. This required a lot of shifting, throwing away, sorting and shelving books that had recently been returned. It is a more involved, lengthy job than you might think.

Of course, one can't work on a rainy, gray day without a cup of coffee.

Lunch break! Some very tasty noodles.

And then it is back to work for a few hours.

It ended up being a bigger mess than we thought, so we stayed far later than usual today. With so much bending down, crouching, standing and shifting, I brought back some brand new soreness to enjoy.

Here are the two projects we have completed so far:

Tapes to CD. The SSS library had tons of audio books on cassette tape, but since no one really uses those anymore, they needed to be put onto CD. There were about two hundred of them in all, and I did the last hundred or so.

Then there is the Curriculum Cupboard that looked like this before we started:

Pretty much chaos. After a two day make-over, this is what it looks like now!

Hopefully the library will look that much better soon, as will the supplies and closets we have yet to sort. I hope you enjoyed getting a little look into a general day of my work at the office with Mrs. Epley. Thanks!

~ Mercy

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I have not posted very much lately because I have been quite busy. We have been working hard in the office, as well as at home. Guests keep coming in and out, and my hostess gave me a few days off for some sight-seeing. I thought that it would be fun to say a few things about the places I've been to now.

Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum, Koganei Park

It is a bit hard to describe this museum that lies in the middle of a large park. Basically, it is many real, full-sized houses preserved and maintained throughout decades of Japanese history. There were houses a hundred years old, or fifty years old. It was a very good history lesson to walk through those houses with much of the original decor and utilities. There were some houses that had belonged to rich men, and a few more middle-classed. My favorite houses to explore were probably the farm houses, though they were the most simple. The thatched roofs were absolutely incredible! In one of these houses, we were invite to sit upon the floor and drink Sakura Tea.
The whole day was a great experience, and I really enjoyed the whole thing. If you are every in Tokyo, you should go there.


When people hear the word Tokyo, what they picture will probably look much more like Ikebukuro than where I am staying in the much slower area of Higashi-Kurume. Ikebukuro is a commercial and entertainment district of Tokyo. It is large, and filled with towering buildings and flashy advertisements. There is more shopping than one human alone could desire, and more restaurants than I thought it possible to cram into just one block. It was a lot of fun to go through the stores and see what they were selling--some of it was very normal, American-type merchandise, and some of it was very much Japanese. Although my feet were very unhappy by the end of the trip, I was quite glad I got to go.


"Harajuku is the common name for the area around Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo, Japan." - Wikipedia
The area is similar to Ikebukuro in that it is filled with shops, cafes and teeming crowds of people. But the style here is different, and quite distinct. Teenagers dressed in all sorts of styles and fashions like to gather on a particular bridge to hang out, and you see plenty of colourful characters up and down the streets. Connected to Harajuku is Meji Shrine, and Yoyogi park. While I enjoyed the craziness of Harajuku, and fighting the thick, massive crowds was fun, I thought that Yoyogi park was my favorite. It is a place where families and friends go to hang out and do things that they enjoy doing on their one day off of the week. The park has trees, grass and gardens with fountains and benches. People get together to practice a shared skill among them, or to play games and instruments. It was very fun to see so much creativity of so many varying kinds. Though I am not sure what the Elvis/old-timey greaser impersonators were doing there besides having fun.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Mitaka is another fairly large, popular section of Tokyo. But we went mostly for the sake of going to the famous Ghibli museum. The museum itself is bordered by a very nice park that is yet another wonderful place to go if you want trees, grass and open air. We had a very enjoyable time wandering across the pathways in the shade. The museum was set up like a very large house creatively and beautifully built. There was stained glass with scenes from Ghibli movies, and rooms that mimicked what rooms in the film studio might look like. It was a very neat place, and it was so much fun to explore. My favorite spot was the garden on top of the roof, with a life-sized replica of a robot from one of the movies. Although the gift shop was over-priced, it was fun to browse through it. If you like Ghibli movies and Miyazaki, it is a worthwhile visit to make while in Tokyo.

There you have it! Those are the main, big places I've been to. Each place was unique and fun, and I wish I had more time here to explore more of them. I will hopefully be posting more pictures soon, so look forward to seeing them on Facebook. Now that my friend Anna (who got to go with me to the last two places) is gone, our work at the office will resume full blast. I enjoyed all the sights and sounds of Tokyo, but I also look forward to settling back into the usual schedule.

In Him,

(Picture update!
Sorry about those sloppy links. Not sure how to make them look nicer)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Yesterday was Father's Day, as hopefully most of you remembered. I am hundreds of miles away from my father, but I did get to speak to him on the phone which was very nice.

At church here in Japan they made sure to recognize the holiday. All the small children in Sunday school put together little packets to present to all the fathers in the church. Every father went to the front of the church, and the eager little kids presented them each with a little gift.

It was adorable, and I couldn't stop myself from smiling at all those tiny hands placing something in the larger, more experienced ones of their daddies.

But then it struck me that the world was lacking one father that we had celebrated for the past eighty-two years. My Opa was not here on earth with us to celebrate the holiday for the first time in my life. Honestly, tears filled my eyes at the remembrance.

Something really struck me about the tiny hands and their gifts. I think that Opa looked a little like those children when he first arrived Home. I think that perhaps he felt like a small child, giving his life and his faith to his Father in Heaven. And those hands that made him, and were pierced for him, accepted the gift with love that cannot be imagined.

Opa is with the Father of all for this Father's Day. It seemed, to me, to be a very beautiful thought. Fathers are very important, and I know that personally my father has been very influential in my life. I cannot wait to go Home and meet my earthly fathers, but most of all, the Heavenly one who calls us Home to Him.

We miss you, Opa, but are rejoicing that you are safely in God's arms after a life well-lived.

(Sorry, this really had nothing to do with Japan)

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I have just recently observed a pretty neat sequence of events in my time here, so I thought that I would relate it.

Many of you heard that one day last week my computer suddenly shut off and wouldn't turn back on again. I discovered that it was quite over-heated. It would turn back on again eventually, but I would have to get a fan if I wanted to keep using it. It would heat up very, very fast which endangers the computer and the files quite a bit.


I am very fond of my computer, and it really has been quite useful while I have been here. I did not foresee this need, so I was hesitant about going and buying a fan board which I knew wouldn't be cheap.

Next event...
In what may seem an unrelated note, the other night I ended up volunteering to work as a baby-sitter during the CAJ staff banquet. It was a good night, though tiring. And to my surprise we were paid afterwards for our help.

Mrs. Epley and I ventured to the electronics store last night and found exactly what I needed. But the really neat part was that I could pay for it with exactly the amount I'd been unexpectedly paid for the other night.

Despite this unexpected need, it was filled almost right away. Financial bothers can be very large bothers. But God is good at ordering our lives far more perfectly than we can.

I now have a fan, a happy computer and a very grateful heart. I thought this little tale would bring a little glory to the God who takes care of the small and big things.

In Him,

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I decided that it would be fun to give you all five facts that you may not know about Japan. So here it goes!

1. Driving in Japan is a lot different. Only the main roads have street names, so most of the navigation has to be done by memory. Also, Japanese always back into parking spaces rather than pulling into them. They consider it safer to do it this way.

2. If you are eating with chopsticks, it is very rude to stick them into the bowl straight up. This is only done at funerals. Instead, just lay them on top of the bowl.

3. If someone offers you a gift or a favor, you should politely refuse it. When they offer it again, refuse it again. If it is offered a third time, then you may take it.

4. The number 4 is the cause of fear and suspicion in Japan. Quite often, stores won't even build a fourth floor or sell things in fours.

5. At 5:30 (unless it is in the Winter when it becomes 4:30), every elementary school plays a tune that can be heard across the whole area that alerts all kids, wherever they are, that they need to go home now. So instead of the parents giving the kids a time to return, the tune that plays loudly from their schools tell them whether or not they are at the school.

I hope that has been at least vaguely interesting for you all! If you would like to hear more random facts, let me know.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


A very short update to let you guys know that a few of the pictures are up on Facebook. Here is a link to the album:!/media/set/?set=a.1940415643815.107203.1645150250

Part 2:

=) Mercy

Friday, June 3, 2011


I decided that I like short titles, just so everyone knows.

Yesterday was a very busy day in which I was on my feet almost the whole time. Mrs. Epley and I walked to the school, which is probably a mile and a half away.
On our way to the school, we passed this little old man who said to us as we went by, "You are so tall!"
It made us laugh. I had never considered myself tall before coming here.
I spent the morning in the office shelving books in the library and trying to organize it all. It was a fun job and good practice for my future job as a librarian. We ate lunch at a very tasty Chinese place, I guess.

After that I got to go help out in the Kindergarten room. It was very loud, very fun chaos. So many cute, mischievous little children, most of whom spoke English as a second language.

This one little boy ran up to me and said, "Wow, you are really really tall! How old are you?" When I told him, he replied, "Wow! You are taller than my dad and he's thirty-four!"

So apparently I am considered tall here.

~ ~ ~

This morning there was nothing we had to do, so Mrs. Epley took me on a nice long walk to explore a beautiful bamboo grove. It was so lovely--all shaded and carpeted with the leaves. The shoots were thicker than my arm, and towered above and made a mosaic out of the sky.

I don't mean to tell another story in a trite manner, trying to be all cute and relevant. But there was this older gentleman at the grove who really amazed me.

He might have had a stroke, for it appeared that one half of his body didn't work. His leg was stiff and in a brace, and his arm unable to move. But with his cane and so much determination, that old man was slowly going up and down the steep, uneven steps and across muddy, uneven ground. How amazing it is when we see someone who defies limits and strives to break expectations. I hope that I can follow his example--again, not trying to be cute and spiritual. But really, the simple things in my life are the ones that are often most amazing. And it is by no means a simple thing for a human being to overcome so many odds.

The rest of day will be slow like the rest of it, which is fine with me after the hustle and bustle of yesterday. I got to eat my first rice ball, as well as a chocopan (a pastry). I am so glad not to be a picky eater.

Blessings to you all!

In Him,

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I figured that it was time for a better update on what I have actually been doing, so here it goes.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I go to the school (Christian Academy Japan, grades K-12) with Mrs. Epley to work with her in the School Support Services office. I have been doing lots of odd jobs that are time consuming for the very busy workers there to do, so in that way I hope I can take a bit a small load off of their shoulders.

On Tuesday I helped Mrs. Epley tutor some young boys in English. I worked with the ten year old, while she worked with the twelve year old. In that way we were able to maximize the time that the kids were here. I enjoyed working with them very, very much. They reminded me of my own younger siblings, and I always enjoy helping people to learn when I am able to.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are much slower here, but today I did help with some cleaning around the house. I was able to visit a bit with a friend of Mrs. Epley's who was a very sweet Japanese lady. It has been a rainy, chilly day which I find to be quite enjoyable and a welcome change from Texas weather.

I think that my favorite little event of this trip so far happened this afternoon. I was on a walk alone in the rain getting really wet. I hadn't realized the rain was that hard, even though I don't mind the wetness too much. I was walking down a very narrow street when a car stopped beside me, and an older lady held out an umbrella to me through the window.

"For you," she said.

I was stunned for a moment, but took the umbrella and thanked her politely in Japanese. She drove away saying, "Take care."

That act of kindness struck me as so beautiful in its simplicity. I used that umbrella proudly all the way home, and I will always truly treasure it.

Even though it has not been very long since I got here, I have already felt the slight difficulty of being a stranger in a foreign land. People sometimes look at me funny for my obviously American appearance/manners, and I feel kind of awkward and intimidated. But that lady who gave me the umbrella made me suddenly feel a lot more welcome here, and it really warmed my heart, as cliche as it is to say so. I am going to bring that umbrella home and cherish the memories attached to it.

Well, there is not a whole lot to say besides that I ate a delicious meal of yakisoba tonight--with chopsticks and everything. I am taking plenty of pictures and hoping to post some of them soon.

Thank you all for your kindness and support toward me and this trip! It is all much appreciated.

In Him,

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Made It

Well, I am in Japan. Right now I am at the school where my hostess works, and she is in a meeting so I took this chance to use the wireless here to update you all.

There are always so many details one can talk about when traveling, and I have now found that especially true when it comes to overseas travel. I am not very fond of eight hour flights, but everything went so smoothly and on time that I cannot complain. I enjoyed my four hour layover in Hawaii very much even though it was just at the airport. It was a very nice place, and I have resolved to go there when I can actually spend time in that lovely state.

On the plane from Hawaii to Japan, I was one of six Westerners and the only blonde person. It was a bit intimidating once I arrived at the airport, but even though they lost my luggage and I had to retrieve it, things turned out just fine. Mrs. Epley and I took a monorail, two trains and a taxi to reach their home which we arrived at rather late at night.

So far I must say that I love being here. My hosts are wonderful, the country seems pretty amazing, and the weather is much better than in Texas. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I could not have made it here without you all, but most especially without God. He is good, and I am so thankful.

That is all for now. I do not know how much internet I will be using while I am here, but you are sure to hear from me somewhat frequently.

From Japan with love,

Monday, May 23, 2011

First Post

In less than a week I will be in Japan. It is a strange thought, but an exceptionally exciting one also.

I will try to update this blog as much as I can during the summer with stories, updates and maybe some pictures. For the first post, I'll just set down some basic information about the trip.

My departure date: May 28'th
Return date: July 28'th
I will be gone for two months exactly.

Where I will be:
Tokyo—one month
Toyama—two weeks
Karuizawa—two weeks

Who I will be with:
In Tokyo I will be with Russ and Flossie Epley
For the rest of the trip I will be with Joe and Sallie Kaufman

What I will be doing:
In Tokyo I will be helping Mrs. Epley at the office where she works to help homeschoolers in Japan. In the office there are a lot of supplies that need to be organized/sorted, so I will help with that. There are a lot of other things they would like help with that I have not been informed about yet, but it sounds like I'll keep busy.

In Toyama I will be helping the Kaufmans move to another island, which is a big job so they'd like an extra hand. Then I will be going with them to the mountain town Karuizawa to do some evangelistic work.

There you have it! I praise the Lord for His amazing provision so far. I pray that my trip will bring glory to the God who cannot be stopped, silenced or overthrown by hurricanes, earthquakes or nuclear reactors.

Thank you, everyone reading, for your interest and support of my trip.

In Christ,
Mercy Burklin