The holiday time is upon us, and once again we will celebrate it in a completely new and foreign way. From the U.S. to Brazil to Japan, we are sure broadening our scope of culture. Japan in general is interested in Western culture and customs, and even celebrates クリスマス (ku-ri-su-ma-su). Yes, say it fast, and you can see how it sounds like “Christmas.” The accepted celebration is taking your lover (not always your spouse, unfortunately) to Kentucky Fried Chicken for a hearty “American” celebration, exchanging gifts and who knows what else afterwards. While we may chuckle at the thought of what Christmas is to them, it is sad how few Japanese know the true meaning of Christmas.
Whether in Japan, America or Brazil, the holidays are wonderful times to host parties around the true meaning of these celebrations. And believe it or not, you can celebrate Thanksgiving without a brutal Lions vs Cowboys football game or the equally anticipated/dreaded Black Friday (which now ironically begins before you’ve digested your turkey on Thanksgiving and runs all the way through “Cyber-Monday” and beyond). We have already planned a Thanksgiving celebration for this weeks’ Wednesday cell group and three of our school-bus moms (and families) have accepted the invitation to come! In one month we will host another party for Christmas and have a wonderful opportunity to share a world-wide reason for celebration: Christ has come! So at church we are also planning a special Sunday to be able to invite our friends to celebrate Christmas with us.
Please be praying for a great time of planting Gospel seeds here in Japan. For several months, we have been building relationships in and outside of our cell group, having get-togethers, birthday parties, hiking outings and just about anything else to be able to connect with the people around us better. With a family of 5 it is a lot of work to do anything, especially when we don’t yet speak the language, but it’s the whole reason we’re here. To build relationships that will impact eternity! And we’ve been able to have some real quality time with many new people around us. Now let’s pray for there to be fruit from those relationships, even in spite of the language barrier. We thank you so much for your love and support. We are still looking at strengthening our support base, so please be in prayer for that as well. Please also keep our adjustment to our new home in your prayers, as we seek to communicate in Japanese and strive to reach-out. We couldn’t do this without you, and we know that God has big, wonderful things in store for Japan.
The girls are really adjusting well to life in Japan. They are learning Japanese and its so cute to hear them! They really enjoy school and love their teacher, which makes it much easier on Mommy. They love to go to the park and run around, especially if their friends are there. For their 5th birthday (Nov. 9) we had a couple of their friends over to sing happy birthday and eat cupcakes. We had a full house with 5 moms and 11 kids! But it was a lot of fun! Sarah loves to take a daily walk around the neighborhood and has the little old ladies on our street wrapped around her finger. Actually, everywhere we go, the girls get a lot of attention because of their blond hair, blue eyes and smiling faces. Please continue to pray that we can use those opportunities to share about Jesus and invite people to church.