Monday, May 21, 2012
Three day retreat in Oirase
I was able to attend a three day women's retreat with PWOC protestant women of the chapel. I never thought of my self as protestant but I guess that works. So what that means is all the Christian churches that meet in the chapels on base. It was wonderfully relaxing and uplifting. It was awesome to see other believers truly seeking God's will in their life. It was fabulous getting to know the women in our congregation better. It was awesome meeting new people. Also it was truly wonderful to have my Catholic friends (3) step up last minute and volunteer to take my children and show them a wonderful time! It is awesome when all faiths can come together and be a blessing to one another! I have to tell you everything was beautiful, the driving through the winding mountain roads decorated with trees of many colors and babbling water rushing down the streams. The sound of the wildlife and actually seeing my first wild animal in Japan. Please identify if you can. I had a few first at this retreat. I slept Japanese style on futons in a tatami room. Not a big fan, it took four futons to be comfortable enough to get any sleep. Also I got over myself and tried the Onsen. This was difficult to decide to do it mostly because your naked in front of everyone. I finally got over it when someone said you can't wear your glasses. Well I can't see but general shapes without my glasses, So if I can't see that means no one can see me right? I went with that. I started out with my big towel covering my whole body but learned that the towel was honestly in the way in the wash room. This web site gives you the basic rules of Etiquette for an Onsen http://www.onsenjapan.net/onsenbasics.php. Basically you take of shoes and leave outside the door. You come in the first room and disrobe leaving you clothes in a basket and covering the basket with your towel. Then you proceed to the wash area, first getting a stool and washing it and a basin to rinse with, next you thoroughly scrub your entire body and wash your hair then rinse. next you enter the Onsen (basically a natural hot springs, but some have jets and electricity running through them, and some have cold pools as well. You relax and enjoy! It was incredibly relaxing. God helped me also not to feel self conscience or intimidated. I really liked the idea I could not see, I think that also helped me to relax. This Onsen was very warm and had natural rocks with the water coming down from the rocks. Amazing! I also was able to take walks through the beautiful Flora. We took a ferry ride as well. Most importantly we heard the word of God. Talked about service, hospitality and surrender. We talking about prayer and fasting and solitude. It was Amazing!