Well, I guess I should update my blog! I've been informed that it has been a while since I posted anything new. I guess time got away from me in December. Then I got a lovely stomach thing on New Year's day which put me down for the count. So, now I am back into the routine, as much as my life has routine, and thought I'd drag out my pictures and thoughts from December to get you up to speed. So, here it goes....
I had a little Christmas tea time in my apartment with two ladies from my building. I may have mentioned them before. One lady lived in the US with her family for several years and comes to my English class when she can. The other lady lived in China for several years, lives on my floor and helps me with understanding what I should be doing and when here in the building. Also, her daughter who is a university student comes to my place for English class about once a week. These two ladies understand what it is like to try to live in a foreign country, what it is like to try to communicate in a foreign language, and how to speak so that I can understand them! We had a lovely afternoon chatting and decorating Christmas cookies.
At church we had two movie nights and a Kids' Christmas Party one weekend. We had a lot of fun watching movies, playing games, singing songs, and eating more cookies than we've had all year. One unplanned game at the party was, "How many children can Paul put on his back?"!
The month wasn't all work and no play. I did go to Universal Studios Japan (USJ) for a day with a friend. We recently reconnected when I ran into her mother at a local restaurant. A couple of years ago I went with them and a couple other people from our English class to USJ during the Christmas holiday festivities. That was a pretty entertaining day! Anyway, this time it was just Atsumi and me-we rode the roller coaster 3 times! That is my kind of day at an amusement park. USJ obviously has some sort of arrangement with Sanrio because there is a Hello Kitty store.
On the 23rd the Kongo church held their annual Christmas party. This year they invited Kensaku Higashi and his wife to share the music and message. I got to share the kids' story. Many of their English students attended, which was fun for me since I have also taught them! It was a great day of fellowship and music. After that party, I zipped home and jumped on my bike and pedaled down the road to a friends' church for their Christmas concert where some of my friends from AGC were singing in a group called "Now and Ever." A full day of music and fun!
On Christmas eve we had a lovely candlelight service at church, singing carols and reading the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible. What a joy to celebrate our Savior's birth here in Japan. Every year we are allowed to share the true meaning of Christmas with more people. God gives such grace as He pours out His love. I look forward to the plans He has for 2011! I am so thankful for His faithfulness which gives me such hope for the future.