The Karner Chronicles


Linda’s Life in Japan

Keeping up Relationships

The 2nd Monday Ladies Lunch Bunch
This is a follow-up to my last post.  Since I was no longer teaching the Friday afternoon class, I was freer to socialize with them, so I proposed that we meet every 2nd Monday.  My original idea was to sometimes have lunch, sometimes just coffee, sometimes meet at my house for a craft or game, but it has become a 2nd Monday lunch date.Yesterday was our first time at a new restaurant.  We had a wonderful time catching up from the holidays and just chatting.  There were 6 of us, including three Christians.  I took opportunities to seed the conversation now and then with the gospel, but I sense that the ones who do not yet believe are fairly hardened despite years of Bible times.  Truly conversion is a work of God and no one else!

Please pray for a work of God’s mighty Spirit in the hearts of the 2nd Monday Ladies Lunch Bunch.  Also, although I meant to meet with the whole class, they still have not told one of the members about it; I sense some tension there that I don’t understand. But I don’t want to interfere by going “over their heads” since they ran with the ball once I proposed the idea.

Finally, if any of you are thinking, “Wait a minute.  Jan 20th was not the 2nd Monday!” let me explain.  Jan 13th was “Coming of Age Day,” when the nation celebrates those who will celebrate their 20th birthday during this calendar year, which means they have reached adulthood.  “Coming of Age Day” is a Japanese holiday, and we switch our meeting whenever a holiday comes along!

Thank you for praying!!
God bless you with His love!!
Linda Karner

Originally sent as an email on 14.01.21


Filed under: Uncategorized

God supplies a worker!

Team MK family in holding pattern in Japan
Last (school) year I was teaching an English outreach class on Friday afternoons, to ladies that are long-time students and friends.  i was looking forward to continuing to teach that class, but my new school schedule precludes it.  Open House (the team’s English outreach arm) is short on teachers and I had no idea who could take the helm.Enter the team leader’s oldest daughter Sara-Beth and her family, helping out in Japan while they wait to go on to their mission field in another Asian country.  She is a delightful, joy-filled mother of four adorable kids, godly, lots of experience teaching English – I couldn’t have been more excited about someone taking over that class.

There is one lady in the class who is quite a bit younger than the rest; I call her the “trendy mom.” She identifies as a Christian but hasn’t been baptized and doesn’t come to church. Pray that the “trendy mom” and Sara-Beth could connect in a special way.  

Please also pray
1.  for good camaraderie among the class members, and
2.  the presence of God’s spirit during the Bible times.

Thank you for praying!!
God bless you with His love!!
Linda Karner

Originally sent as an email on 14.01.14

Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s back to school today!

Christmas Break is Over!
I’m sure many of you are experiencing the return to the normal schedule after the Christmas break.  The weather turned cold here in Chiba after New Year; many of our students are wearing their coats and I’ve seen interns dragging their blankets around.  Without central heat there is a lot of temperature fluctuation in the rooms as doors are opened and closed.

Here are some ways that you could pray for our school this month:

1. Please pray that during 2014 our school would continue to be infused with a sweet spirit of camaraderie, fellowship and grace.
2.  Pray that each student and teacher would enjoy increasingly deep fellowship with Jesus on a regular basis and that His grace and love would be the basis for all our interactions.
3.  The winter quarter marks the end of the school year for the Japanese track.  Pray for God’s blessing on the students and teachers as they finish up this year and look forward to the next.
4.  Pray for our school board, as they guide and direct the school.  Pray that God would speak His vision to them for CCSI, and that their work would be a joy and not a burden.

Thank you for praying!!
God bless you with His love!!
Linda Karner

Originally sent as an email 14.01.07

Filed under: Uncategorized

Happy New Year 2014!

May God bless you and keep you and your kin!!
I have been teaching full time at CCSI this year, Covenant Christian School International.  School will resume on Tuesday, January 7.  I have been down most of the last month with a very severe cold; please pray that I would heal and become stronger.  (I am very prone to bronchial infections during winters in Japan for some reason…)

Here are two more general prayer requests for the month of January:

1. Please pray for me as I teach that each class will have a clear focus; that I can sort through all that I want to impart to what is necessary and helpful to impart to the students.
2. Give thanks to God for allowing me to be a teacher at CCSI.  Pray that He continues to grow and mold me to accomplish what He has for me in this appointment.

Thank you for praying!!
God bless you with His love!!
Linda Karner

Originally sent as an email on 14.01.02

Filed under: Uncategorized

On blogging

I started this blog with really good intentions, (but we know what road they pave . . .)  It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, but lately I have been fairly regular at providing weekly updates via an email list that I maintain on MailChimp.  However I realize that there may be a small readership out there not getting those updates, so I have decided the following wrt this blog:

1.  I will post my weekly updates here

2.  I will also post other stories that I want to share

3.  I will post opinions, rants, etc. that have no place in my weekly updates.

I think it might help anyone who might be reading both lists if I use the same title for the weekly updates that I choose for the email list.  Then you will know right away if you read it or not.  Also, by posting the updates on this blog we have a kind of archive, if you will.  I am also planning to provide a link on this blog to my MailChimp list.

It will take some time to “port” all my weekly updates from MailChimp to here (I have a kind of personal archive there).  So please be patient.  I am going to start from the earliest one and then, at some point, I will only be posting one of those a week.

So, my dear readers, this is what you have to look forward to!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Found in the recycle pile

English vocabulary by a Japanese 7th grader:

burglar: a person who stil somting in the houses.

culatter: mess things

duet: two singer sing togeder.

elastic: rabber band.

respe: list of thing.

tablet: smil pill.  notebook.

widow: woman who hasben has died.


Each definition was accompanied by a small pencil drawing.  This was done on Aplil 19. 🙂


A guide to understanding:

The long “e” sound is represented in alphabetized Japanese by the letter “i.”

There is no “th” and no plural in Japanese.

And, of course, there is no “r” nor “l” and these are everlasting bug-a-boos for them.


Filed under: Uncategorized

Testimony – Mr. Shina

I’ve been decluttering, and among the clutter were some real gems – for example, the testimonies of Japanese Christians.  At the time I didn’t think about sharing them, but I want to share them now with you, one at a time, for the blessing it will be to you to see how God is at work.  This week, it’s Mr. Shina.

He and his wife were so opposed to Christianity that when they got married they only had the Shinto ceremony, not the very popular “Christian” western-style wedding.  He began taking English classes but was not interested in the Bible time at all.

In the meantime, there was a co-worker that he couldn’t stand, with whom an argument would always ensue.  When his company went on a retreat that very man was his roommate!  They argued terribly until the other man left.  Alone in the room, Mr. Shina picked up the Gideon Bible that happened to be there.  He began to read the part where Jesus healed the ear of the man who had come to arrest him.  He thought that if Jesus had such power to forgive he wanted to know more about Him.  He was now interested in the Bible.

He came to believe in God and serve Him and his infant twins were received in covenant baptism in June, 2000.

Filed under: Testimony,

A sixth and seventh Sunday

Last Sunday was my sixth, and there was yet another worship service that I had not yet attended – a monthly bi-lingual worship service in Makuhari, which used to be our northern-most church plant in Chiba prefecture.  Unfortunately, an accident that I encountered en route prevented me from getting there, so I will try again next month.

Yesterday I attended the early morning service at Oyumino Alive.  This service, which starts at 9 am is completely in Japanese.  It was a balmy day, and the sun filtering in through the curtains made for a very refreshing worship experience despite the scant attendance (9 women counting myself, and 4 men counting the pastor).  Please pray that more and more Japanese people will attend this service.

Filed under: Church Stories

My sheet music

I am sharing a house with another missionary, and looking forward to a third missionary joining us in the new year, so instead of having a house I now have a room.  I need to downsize!  One of the things I decided to part with was a box of sheet music that I have been carting around Japan for 25 years.  I went through the box and took out a few pieces that I just didn’t want to part with, and then I gave most of the flute music to a flutist who attends Oyumino Church.  I assured her that this was an “unconditional” gift (my words in Japanese) because I could imagine her responding to my offering with gifts worth much more.  This did not happen (Yeah!)

A few days later I saw her again.  She had gone through the music I gave her, and found some of it too difficult.  So she asked if it would be alright to give it to a flute teacher who goes to the church in Makuhari.  I assured her that this would be fine, and, since I am substitute teaching the English classes in Makuhari this month, I took it to her.

The next time I saw the flute teacher she told me that she had just been thinking that she needed some new music to glorify God, and that among the music she received from me were some pieces that she had wanted!  I was so happy to have been able to bless her with my stuff in this way, and I am encouraged to continue downsizing.  (This past Monday I reduced my voluminous photo collection to a box about the size of a tissue box.  Yeah me!  Thank you, Father!)

Filed under: Uncategorized

New Tongue Twister

During an English class on Saturday, one man sat scribbling in his notebook, then came up with this:  “I found three words that are the same: Obama, Bahama, Habana.”  It was a little non-sequitur, but the Bahamas had been mentioned.  We came up with the following tongue twister (to which one might somehow add “mama”): “Obama’s banana went from the Bahamas to Havana!”   (Did you think “Habana” was a typo?!? Well, they were all surprised to learn that it was not “Habana” in English . . .) 🙂

Filed under: English class stories


10.01.28 "I cannot return to America and tell my people things got too difficult for me out there, and when war comes, let them send their sons as military men. I, too, am a soldier at the front, and the church at home counts on me to stay at my post through thick and thin, in easy and difficult times." (Gilbert Schroer, missionary to Japan during WWII, explaining why he didn't return to the USA. The Schroer family was arrested by the Japanese as soon as the war started.) My heart was so challenged by this statement. Does the church today still see their missionaries so? Do I see myself so?

A 7-Day Prayer Cycle

13.01.28 Have you ever wondered how to pray daily for a missionary? A friend in the States just shared her categories with me, and I pass them along to you:
SUN - hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, meditating on the Word; prayer; obedience; fellowship; evangelism; REST
MON - family members, relationships
TUE - co-workers, team relationships
WED - contacts, friends, disciples
THU - passports, visas, shots, $, education
FRI - future in missions, prayer team
SAT - health, safety, MARGIN, loss, grief, depression, and adjustment to food, climate, time zone, language and culture
There is a lot of scope here for fleshing out your own plan based on the week or even on the month! If you have a different plan, please let me know so I can share that too!

A Glossary

CCSI: Covenant Christian School International, the MK school started by the Chiba team to educate the missionary kids on that team as well as others as space and resources allow.
E-Track: students at CCSI who study in English (1st-12th grade)
J-Track: students at CCSI who study in Japanese (1st-6th grade)
MK: Missionary Kid
Oyumino at Honda: the first church planted in Oyumino; they didn't want to change their name when they changed their location
Oyumino in Oyumino: "Oyumino Alive" - the second church plant in the original chapel

Want to call overseas?

First check:,-81,6be

(Is there a geek out there who can tell me how to make this into a link? THANkS!!)

Barefoot Gen – short book review

"Barefoot Gen" (hard 'g' - like in 'get') is a manga (comic book novel) that I picked up in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial bookstore this past September. Written by a survivor of the atomic blast, the series is a riveting read, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Japanese culture. Don't skip the preface, it will give you some valuable orientation to the manga format. Also, be warned, I said "series" because the story encompasses 10 volumes, each of which costs $14... unless your library has it! Even though each volume sort of stands on its own (I've read 2 vols. so far) it's so emotionally engaging I think you'll come to love Gen as I have, and want to follow him through the saga!

Questions I never thought to ask

13.2.1 My Japanese biology student, who spent his elementary school years in the States, asked me the correct way to write a type font "a." That's not something I learned in school; I don't even remember being introduced to type font "a" as opposed to a printed "a" (the circle-stick). I have been frustrated in the past when making flash cards for kid's English classes because so few fonts use the "circle-stick" for "a," and using the type font "a" would be like introducing a new letter of the alphabet . . . (Good ole "Comic Sans" to the rescue!)

RSS Bible Times for ESOL programs

  • The Story of Jesus in Luke – Ch. 15ff (Part 7)
    Please note that Bible time 00 – “The Setting,” is so marked only because it is also slated to be Bible Time 12 in Part 6. Make sure you cover it, it is not optional! 00 – The Setting 01 – The Lost Sheep 02 – The Lost Coin 03 – Two Sons – Lost […]
  • The Story of Jesus in Luke – Ch. 13, 14 (Part 6) has an IVP commentary on line that would provide an excellent resource for preparing to use these Bible times. A relevant part of this commentary can be found here. 00 – Reread Luke 12 01 – Repent or Perish 01 – Map 02 – A Grace Period 03 – The Sabbath Day 04 – […]
  • The Story of Jesus in Luke – Ch. 11, 12 (Part 5)
    Luke Part 5 picks up in Luke 11:5, just after the Lord’s Prayer. Bible times 1-5 complete chapter 11, and chapter 12 begins in Bible time #6. 01 – Prayer 02 – Power 03 – Blessing 04 – Something greater 05 – A most amazing dinner 06 – Fear and Worth 07 – The Unforgiven […]

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