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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

ER visit & Mt. Takao...Here in TOKYO!

Hello friends!

So I went MIA for two days- the first day, because I was flying and the airport in Guam had terrible wi-fi. The second, because I landed myself in the ER! My first ambulance ride ever...how exciting!

I arrived here Monday morning after a long night with little sleep- maybe an hour. I sat next to a lovely woman from New Zealand on the plane- a successful architect. Plane rides are the most fantastic setting for sharing life stories. I've always been excited about adventures in the sky, not only because of the marvelous views of creation and cities below, but because of the fascinating people one can meet! I seem to sit next to the most wonderful people (most of the time...I have a few experiences I try to block out!) My New Zealander friend, Annette, and I talked about life's joys and pain, and I'm so glad we met! 

Jason Capp met me at the Tokyo airport and we took the trains back to where he and his lovely wife Rachael live with their adorable toddler son. The trains are quite an adventure...so long! It took us over 2 1/2 hours I believe. I started feeling funny at the end of our last train ride- I stood up to stretch because my legs felt strange. I guess 8 plane rides in 15 days made me a little cramped, and going from exercising many times a week to limited physical activity shocked my body a little...

Well, we got to their apartment and relaxed. They fed me, I got to chat withJason  and Rachael and get to know them a little better-wonderful people with huge hearts! I kept feeling dizzy and a little numbness in my limbs, but I tried to ignore it and just drink water. I took a brief nap in the evening, and when I woke, I sat up and all my symptoms had increased greatly. Pain & numbness in my limbs, weakness all over my body, and strained breathing. Rachael took one look at me and said, "You don't look good! I think we need to go to the hospital!" I agreed as I crawled on the floor and lay there, trying to do bicycle kicks to keep my legs moving, in case it was a blood clot...

I was a little scared, no lie. I had wifi reception, so I could text my family and ask for prayers. It was early back home, like 6am, but my parents got my text and my family all prayed. I had so much peace the whole time- Psalm 57 was my prayer as the ambulance came. They put me on a stretcher and Rachael went with me to the hospital. I had to keep smiling and trying to laugh so as to not get myself worked up and worried. I was so disoriented...
Thank God, Rachael's sweet neighbor, Mariko, came over and helped interpret for communication with the ambulance medical personnel, and she babysat Logan while we were gone. I was quite proud of Rachael, interpreting in the hospital and staying calm! I felt so badly for her- here this crazy singer from Delaware comes to stay with them for a few days, and she has to go with the girl
to the ER! They did a CT scan and other vital tests to check for a blood clot, and again, thank God- everything was clear. I got to see images of my brain, how cool!
Because of language, it's hard to know exactly what the diagnosis was. (It felt like a movie, staring up from the hospital bed with Japanese doctors speaking a language I don't know)!

It seems like the multiple flights with so many elevation changes and not much movement caused blood to not be flowing well in my limbs, causing dizziness, numbness etc. I'm on some medication and vitamins, and today I feel fantastic!

I'm so very grateful! I have to say, the Japanese  medical system is so efficient and I was extremely impressed! If I had to have an emergency room visit, this is the country I'd like to have it in! 

Here's the passage from Psalm 57, which gave me such peace and confidence while in the hospital. I can't tell you how much the Word was life to me during every minute. Meditating upon the Word of God, and praying it out loud gave peace to my body and soul like nothing else.

"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me...My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens..."

We came back late at night to hang out with Mariko, her beautiful kids, the Capps, and two Japanese students from the BEST group! It was good to be around kids, eat tacos, and laugh!
Today was a gift! This morning we had a beautiful Bible Study of Colossians- Rachael led it for the girls who are part of the summer mission team through Navigators. Anna, Elizabeth, and I read through it with her and we had an amazing time of prayer and discussion- some verses and truth stood out to us that penetrated deeply into our hearts. It was really beautiful to connect at such a deep heart level after just meeting these women! They were so welcoming to me as the "newbie".
So the Capps are full time missionaries here on Tokyo, building amazing friendships with the students and people in the city...They have Bible studies and live life with the Japanese in such a way that shares the love of Christ on a daily basis. The summer team consists of 7 students from California, Colorado, and New Jersey- all involved in Navigators.  
This afternoon I had the chance to hike Mt. Takao! This isn't Mt. Fuji, but it sure is exquisite in its views and a delightful little trek to the top! I was so pleased, because I had the chance to really connect and get to know many of the Japanese and American students, with wonderful one-on-one conversations as we hiked for a few hours. I honestly have fallen in love with this group in just one day, and I know already that I will be sad to leave on Thursday. I am so grateful that God has given me this opportunity to be in Japan! I look forward to spending tomorrow with them all! Each person here has been so kind, open, and welcoming. I see how the relationships built by those involved in the BEST group are something treasured. It is a beautiful thing to witness how God is touching lives through the process of community and shared experiences and life together. This is a whole different type of mission than in the Philippines, but just as important and just as close to the heartbeat of Jesus!

Sushi for dinner was a fun treat...it goes around and around like a merry-go-round on a conveyor belt, and you pay for the ones you pick. It hit the spot after hiking!!

Goodnight! Time to rest my voice for tomorrow's concert!

Love, 
Caitlin