First semester at Hongo Student Center

Posted on August 30, 2011 by Global Mission Support

John Hoyle is as an instructor of English as a foreign language in Japan. To support John or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to

John and Haruko Hoyle

John and Haruko Hoyle

My first semester as an English conversation instructor at Hongo Student Center has flown by, lending credence to the old adage about the correlation between the rapid passage of time and enjoyment! Indeed, with the warm welcome I received from the center’s staff and students, it would have been impossible to feel anything other than a sense of pleasure. As the Psalmist writes: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Hongo Student Center excels in making the newcomer feel welcome.  In the few short months I have been there, I have not only been blessed to be on the receiving end of their warm and caring outreach to the stranger in their midst but also have been privileged to be a part of the center’s mission of  outreach and fellowship.

The Hongo Student Center Fellowship Retreat took place in June in Nagano Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo.  Nagano Prefecture is known for the beauty of its mountains, called “the Japanese Alps,” and was host to the 1998 Winter Olympics. Students, teachers and staff enjoyed walks in the woods, a visit to a nearby hot springs and a cook-out. There was also time for reflection, Bible study and worship. I came away from the weekend with my spiritual, emotional and physical batteries recharged!

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.