We received exciting news this week when our friends at TEAM Japan in Tokyo confirmed availability of a home for us in Karuizawa. This had been up in the air recently, and we had been eagerly awaiting to learn where we would live. There is a specific home within the Karuizawa Retreat Center (KRC) compound designated for the camp host, but it is scheduled for renovation next year and will not be available.
The KRC administrators have arranged for an apartment just outside the compound, about 200 yards down the road. This will give us a degree of separation from our KRC “work” in the evenings, but close enough that we can go back and forth easily throughout the day. This information is very energizing; the uncertainty of where we might live just added to the general stress level and it’s great to have this resolved.
Groceries are very expensive in Japan, other than fish, produce and baked goods. We had thought about a monthly trip to Yokota Air Base to stock up on supplies at the military commissary but this is more than 2 hours away, and very expensive by toll road (probably $50 in tolls, one-way). An alternative is to use Costco in Japan, which is “only” an hour away, features many American products, and — just like its U.S. counterpart — pretty affordable when you buy in bulk. So we will plan to do this as a way to keep our expenses down. In between Costco runs, we’ll replenish from the local grocery store in town which is a 10 to 15 minute walk along this river road.
So even though there remains some uncertainty about our path ahead, we look forward with great anticipation. We don’t clearly see each step of the way, but God promises in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We can rest peacefully in this promise.