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Mr. Watanabe

Mr. Watanabe

I had to return to Sayama City in Saitama Prefecture to help my friend Jonas clean his PC from a Trojan. Sayama is just a few kilometers NW of Tokyo. This time it took me 10 rides because it took 5 just to get to the expressway interchange in Sanjo.

One lady who picked me up wanted to take me to a train station in Kamo city, but I insisted I would rather be dropped off on the highway. Sometimes the drivers think they know better than me and want to take me to places I know from experience would not be good for me. I try to reason with them, but when that doesn’t work, I usually yield to their wishes. But not if they want to take me to a train station when I don’t want to take a train!

Mr. Watanabe, a man who works in an employment agency, took me to Sanjo City from where I could get on the Kan’etsu Expressway heading toward Tokyo. As you might notice from the photo, Mr. Watanabe is a very cheerful fellow! He seemed impressed to hear all the things God has given me the skills to do. Perhaps Mr. Watanabe will continue to be a friend when I return home.

A young man who says he designs tests for junior high school children took me a considerable distance close to Yuzawa, a famous ski resort in Niigata Prefecture. I made the mistake of getting off at a rest stop just a few kilometers before Yuzawa. Normally parking areas are better than expressway entrances to hitch-hike at, but not when there are less than 10 vehicles present! I realized it would have been better to get off at Yuzawa and looked for a exit from the Parking area. It was surrounded by snow too deep to walk through and so I had to find the road that I knew the Service Area workers had to use to get to work every day. My first attempt took me down a road that went nowhere. The low road that runs parallel with the expressway was only 30 meters away but to get to it from where I stood I would have to walk through snow over my kneecaps! I knew there had to be a better way. After backtracking my steps I found it.

But though I was able to leave the expressway Service Area, I realized it was just too far to walk to Yuzawa. It would have taken me over an hour and I was at a race with the sun. Unless I catch the last ride before sunset, it gets progressively more difficult to make progress. After walking 15 minutes or so, a 21 year old lady by the name of Yuka rescued me and took me all the way to Yuzawa!

After only a few minutes wait at Yuzawa, a 38 year old truck driver picked me up and took me all the way to Akagi Kogen in Gunma! He said that I am as old as his father and he was one year old when I first came to Japan.

Now I was making progress and knew for sure I would make my destination by evening. It is quite rare for a truck driver going on the expressway to pick me up, perhaps only as much as once a year.

After that a 24 year old man from Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture took me as far as Takasaka Service Area in Saitama! It just started to get dark when I arrived.

A few minutes later a grammar school principal Higashi Matsuyama took me as far as Tokorozawa! From there it was only a 200 yen train ride to get to Sayama.

February 20, 2009:
Today was cold and rainning with even snow on the ground! This is quite rare for southern Saitama just north of tokyo. I took a train to Noda City in Chiba Prefecture just Northeast of Tokyo. My friend’s PC needed repair.

I hitch-hiked from Noda city to Chiba city in a single vehicle, a truck with two small dogs. The driver is of the Sokagakkai sect. He asked me many questions about Jesus and was impressed that his dog’s took to me so quickly. I told him that the God of Creation is a God of Love. All of His creation can understand love, not only people and animals, but even plants. It could be that even non-living materials can react to love or its absence as well.

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About James Arendt

Born in 1950 and raised in Chicago Illinois, USA.
Served in the USAF from 1970 in San Antonio, Texas, Biloxi Mississippi, Sacramento California and Asaka, Japan and honorably discharged in 1974.
Became a full time missionary for Christ and served in Russia, China and Japan for 44 years and counting.
Lives by faith in God's supply with no fixed job or income.
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