Saturday, January 31, 2009

2 weeks

Well, a lot can happen in two weeks! Friday I went to see the progress on the church. Here is a little timeline of events in pictures...

(Okay, a little more than 2 weeks ago, but it takes us back to the beginning!) October, contemplating and dreaming about the space.

January 16th, a contract is signed to rent the room in the building.

January 22nd, construction has started. Materials have arrived, wall skeletons emerge!

January 30th, the toilet is in and the kitchen sink is waiting for installation.

January 30th, showing the spot which will most likely be the front of the sanctuary, with a glimpse into the office.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Early Saturday morning, January 24th, my grandpa went home to be with Jesus. His body showed signs of shutting down beginning on Thursday so my parents quickly went to Kansas to be with him and Grandma. The last time I saw Grandpa in 2006 while on home assignment I said goodbye. Somehow I knew that would be the last time I'd see him here on this earth. Although I'm sad I am not with my family right now, I am at peace knowing I will see Grandpa again. What a blessing that is!

Here are just a few random comments about my grandpa:
*He loved Jesus.
*He enjoyed gardening.
*He enjoyed camping in his RV.
*Helping people was something he did well.
*He was proud of his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
*He let me drive his riding lawn mower once. (After I drove it off the curb I was afraid to ask again!:)
*He believed in the healing power of aloe vera!
*He taught us how to play RummiKub.(which I don't remember how to spell!)
*He liked singing in the choir.
*He prayed for his family faithfully.
*He had a long, productive life.
*He is once again the Grandpa I knew as he talks with Jesus.

Since he's had several strokes and been living in a nursing home the past few years I don't have many recent pictures of him. I did find some of his birthday party in 2007 that my dad sent to me. So, here is Grandpa, my dad, and my cousins' children. Then, Grandma, mom, aunt, cousins, and cousins' children and grandchild.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thought for the day from Oswald

I recently read "The Prodigal God" by Timothy Keller-highly recommended-and this morning's Oswald quote goes along with the theme of the book...

Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to completely pour out our lives for Him. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Green Light!

Komyo Christian Church is going to have a place to meet! Tomorrow, Friday, January 16, we are going to sign the contract to rent a room in a building near Komyoike Station. We have been in negotiations with the owner of the building since last fall. We have tried to walk, but God kept the option alive. After negotiating a price that is much more reasonable for us than the first price offered, the proposal was taken to the JBC executive committee. They have agreed to our proposal! We are excited! Tomorrow when we sign the contract we will find out how long it will take for the remodeling and when they can start. We should be in before spring!:)

(Top picture is the front of the building. Our church will be in the room on the second floor on the left with just two kanji in the window-those kanji say 'open space' but soon will say Komyo Christian Church! On the right side is a pottery shop and workshop.)

The back entrance. This picture was taken at the beginning of January so they have the nice new year's decorations flanking the door.

Just inside the back entrance looking into the room.

Standing in front of the front window looking toward the back of the room.

The owner of the building said that they would be able to start construction on January 21 and that we would be able to use the room from February 1st! Praise God! Thank you for praying about this with us.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Year's with Yumi

On January 2nd I went with my friend Yumi and her family to her sister's house to have dinner with their families and parents. We had a yummy meal and good conversations.

When we arrived the kitchen was full with the three ladies so I was told to just sit down and chat. Somehow I ended up at the men's table talking with Dad and the two husbands. Yumi's dad did a lot of traveling for his job so we had a good time talking about all the places he has been. Yumi came and joined us at our table when it was time to eat. Later she said that she hadn't even heard some of those stories before. (Her dad claims to have told them but she wasn't listening!:)

For appetizers we had scallops and herring roe, salmon roe and cucumbers with miso, all 'fresh' as they like to say, i.e. uncooked.

Then we had a delicious grilled fish. It was pretty big so we each took a bit and passed it on.

The main dish was 'kani nabe' crab hotpot. I didn't take a picture of it because we were enjoying eating too much! There is a hotplate in the middle of the table with a big pottery dish on it filled with broth, veggies, and finally, crab legs. You just take your own chopsticks and dig in, pulling out the food that you want. It was delicious, too! I ate so much I could hardly move.

These were my chopsticks. We each got a pair with our own name written on the paper case. I guess they would usually use those chopsticks for the three days of new year's celebrations.

Before we left Yumi's parents showed me the tokonoma in the front room filled with New Year's decorations. It was hard to get a picture, I should have used panorama to get all the way to the top.

For some reason I did not take any pictures of people, I guess we were too busy eating! It was a fun evening with amazing food, even the raw stuff!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Party

I finally have a few minutes to blog again, or am taking a few minutes. At this moment every Christmas candle in my apartment is lit so I can melt them down before packing up all my Christmas candle holders. So, as I enjoy the last few minutes of Christmas in my apartment I thought I'd share about the Christmas party we had on December 23.

December 23 is the Emperor's birthday so it is a national holiday in Japan. Kongo Bible Church and Komyo Christian Church hosted a birthday party for the King of kings on that day. This is the third year I have participated in this party and once again had a wonderful time. I got to see several of my former English students and some of my current students attended, too.

Melissa shared the children's story again this year and did a great job! (She obviously has done a great job of sharing the story in her own family because Elijah knew all the answers to her questions:)

Paul and I played our instruments with the Christmas carols.

AGC sang this year again. (All the empty chairs are where the choir members were sitting!:)

After the Christmas party we had another Christmas party with the ladies from choir. We went to a nearby restaurant for chicken shabu shabu. Here are a few of us waiting for our food...

At the party we also had a Christmas trivia game with impromptu manzai act by Paul and Doug as well as a gift opening talk from Doug.
Another fun day with many opportunities to share why we celebrate Christmas.