Welcome to Japan!

Well, here I am. After almost of year of preparation of various applications, grants, and language skills, I have arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun.  From the big cities and crowds to the awesome convenience stores and vending machines, it is everything I imagined! But there is more. Being immersed in the culture and language has demonstrated to me the subtleties of foreign culture. For instance, Hakodate, the site of my language study and homestay, is home to many ancient and wonderful Christian denominations (and some absolutely beautiful churches).



This is hardly the first thing about which one thinks when they think of Japan, and yet it is just as much a part of Japan as its other faiths, cultures, and practices. Seeing another culture from a different perspective commands a respect for the majesty of the human spirit in both its magnificence and humility.

We are blessed to live in an ordered universe in which truth penetrates falsehood like light through darkness. As such, no matter where one travels, he can always discover the truth as long as he is armed with faith. I seek the light of truth in my travels while determined to cling to that which completes me. As my faith guides me, I courageously and humbly go forth to experience the unknown. Wish me luck.

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Nicholas Gerstbauer