Robert & Roberta Adair

ADAIR UPDATE

 

Stories from Robert & Roberta Adair

white cherry blossoms in front of a blue sky

Reflecting on ten years of life and ministry in Japan

Few things remind me of how much I’ve changed in the 10+ years living in Japan than sakura (Japanese cherry blossoms). I remember first-term Roberta rolling her eyes a little at the way people gushed about sakura - like they were really special or something. I remember thinking grumpily, “They are overrated and impotent. Why didn’t they plant something that actually produces fruit rather than all of this flowery nonsense?” I remember on a really rough culture stress day shaking my fist at a tree and bellowing, “You couldn’t even produce a peach, you impotent tree!” (She’s beauty and she’s grace, she’s Miss United States.)

woman hiking in foggy mountains

As much as I’ve tried to process, ponder, and pick stuff apart, I’ll simply say for now that the last seven years or so have been disorienting. I won’t go as far as to say I’ve been deconstructing, as that word is a bit loaded and a lot dramatic compared to what I’ve been doing. At the same time, I don’t want to understate the amount of disappointment, confusion, shock, anger (occasionally bordering on rage), and deep sadness I have felt toward certain branches of the stream of Christianity I’m a part of. Perhaps detangling is a better term. But I’m not wanting to go into that a ton here. Not yet anyway. 

What I am wanting to do is practice being more of a noticer—seeing people who don’t seem to be flailing around in choppy waters like me but instead are more like anchors. People like my mom: a woman who is stable and steady, who sees similar things as me, yet keeps on watering her flowers, making food for people, playing the organ at church, showing up for her friends, and volunteering at a thrift store that employs people in the penitentiary system. She keeps on making music, meals, and memories, keeps on listening to Reactionary, Big Feeling Me, and keeps on being her steady self. 

woman hiking in foggy mountains

Splat! Thunk! Splat! 

I was having a great time throwing balls of sticky bean mixture into a container. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a grownup telling me to stop playing and giggling like a goof . . . or that this much fun could be had in getting beans ready to be transformed into miso.

How did I get started with miso making? In early 2022, a friend from church invited me to join her and a few other women to make miso. Miso is squashed fermented soybeans and used in a lot of Japanese cooking—most commonly miso soup, but it’s also used in marinades, stir fries, and vegetable dips. I usually cook with the stuff sold in a plastic tub at our neighborhood drugstore, and I hadn’t before considered myself to be fancy enough to make my own.

robert adair michelle ko

For as long as I have been with Asian Access, we have been praying for more missionaries. Our team of cross-cultural workers desires to partner well with what God is doing through the church in Japan. Over 99% of Japanese people are living and dying without Christ. The harvest is plentiful, and the workers are few. Yet, despite all of our efforts to mobilize new people, our team size has remained relatively static for the last decade or two.

John Houlette pictured with 2021 winner, Rev. Nobuyuki Toyoda, pastor of New Life Christ Church in Osaka and a graduate of A3 (left) and with Dr. Akira Fujikake (right), founder of the award.

On July 22, Asian Access missionary Dr. John Houlette received the Office Fujikake Award for the Japanese version of his book, Resilience: How Japanese Pastors Can Thrive in Every Season. The award is given annually to a new book in Christian counseling by Dr. Akira Fujikake, clinical psychologist, and visiting Professor at the Seigakuin University General Research Institute.

prayer drive 2 web

In Japan, Fukushima Prefecture is arguably the region most impacted by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In addition to the earthquake damage up and down its seacoast, three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced meltdown when tsunami waters disabled their cooling systems.

Japan | Connecting through Community Outreach from SIM USA on Vimeo.

Short-term teams and interns will take part primarily in two ministries, both under the leadership of the Japanese Church. First, they will come alongside the local Church to help them host outreach events such as block parties, culture nights, pick-up sports games, dramas, and conversational English practice. These creative avenues to making community connections will leverage the unique skills and gifts of each team...{addthis off}

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