So, I had my first Major Bicycle Mishap today. I was going shopping with 2 friends, Yumi and Asaka. We are all part of the Catering Ministry, and we had to buy food for a ladies’ fellowship tomorrow. I was bringing up the rear, and I could tell my bike was not riding like it should. I could feel every little bump in my spine. But, not wanting to cause problems, I decided to bear with it until we got to the store. It turned out that the rear tire on my bike had gone completely flat and wasn’t even really around the rim anymore. Our first step was to call a local bike shop and ask them to come out and fix it. Yumi called, but they said we would have to bring the bike in. “OK,” I thought. “I can do this.” Really, I didn’t expect my friends to come with me. I figured they could go on ahead and do the shopping while I went and got my bike fixed. But of course they never even thought of letting me go on my own. They even offered to push my disabled bike while I walked with one of theirs! But I was determined to do at least something on my own. So we started out, me lifting the back end of my bike so the rim wouldn’t suffer any more damage. Of course, we didn’t get very far. That bike is heavy! Finally, Yumi rode on ahead to a friends house and brought him back with her. He couldn’t fix the tire there, so he carried my bike to his house while I walked with his. Then Oka-san, my host mother, came walking by and she offered to go to the store and buy a new inner tube for me. So while they were taking care of the bike, Yumi, Asaka and I went a did our food shopping (I borrowed Yumi’s friend’s bike). Then later, Yumi rode back with me and I swapped bikes. All is well again.

You know, I knew very little of what was going on because I didn’t understand most of what they were saying. I felt a little helpless, but I was ready at any moment to be left on my own to take care of the problem myself. I have no idea what I would have done, of course. I didn’t know where the nearest bike shop was. It would have taken me 3 times as long to get there even if I had known. I am so grateful for my friends here and the body of Christ!