Monday, January 18, 2016

Two Days and the Sunrise

A day of ministry and a day of Sabbath.

Our winter youth gathering last week was amazing!  I loved being part of it and watching the students praising, learning, and fellowshipping.

Chita youth leading the first worship song.
They were followed by the Inokoishi youth leading the next song.

This year the gathering was held in Matsusaka.  The church is next to an adult care center.  After a morning of being reminded of God's love for us, singing praises and having awesome fellowship, we practiced a couple of hymns and talked about what we'd like to learn from these amazing people.

Welcome JBC Youth!

There was an awesome sign to greet us in the room where everyone was waiting.  As we sang "Amazing Grace" and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," several people joined in the singing.  Then we had a time of question and answer with the residents.  We wanted to learn from their life experiences.

The students, and even the adults, were challenged and surprised by the stories of childhood before, during, and after the war.  Or, more precisely, the lack of childhood.  After many questions from our side, one lady decided it was time to ask the students a question!  She asked them about their education.  Several replied that they do not like school or studying, but that they will try harder.

Students at the care center

As a leader, it was wonderful to watch the day unfold, seeing God's fingerprints and guidance at every turn.  Our prayers and persistence are reaping fruit.  Most importantly, God is being glorified!

Since our gathering happened on Monday, Tuesday became my Sabbath.  I was thankful there were no other plans that day.

It was my first winter beach day.  My usual parking lot was closed but there is a park and community center right next to the beach so I parked in that lot and explored the park a bit.

A sculpture in the park surrounded by beautiful trees and plants

Winter colors

God's creation is amazing.  I walked through the park and then down to the end of the sea wall, both places I had not been yet.  It was basically a sunny day, but it was cold and windy!  (Not South Dakota cold, though!)

I know, I look like I am dressed for Alaska winter.
Amazing how the hood made all the difference in keeping me warm!
Where I sat to talk with God,rather than out on the open beach in the wind.

I finished the day at the tea shop in the shopping mall I pass on the way home.  I did, also, pick up some shells, of course.  I found some really beautiful ones when I stopped to bend down and look...

Stopping to pick up shells

Tea and reading time

This has gotten pretty long.  If you have stuck around this long, here are some recent pictures of the sunrise.

1 comment:

Carrie Schlafmann said...

Beautiful sunrise photos! And I LOVE your beach photos -- I am missing the beach a lot and would certainly brave the cold like you if I had the chance :)
Got your lovely letter a couple days ago - thank you! I have not been the pen pal I want to be lately, but perhaps the new year will motivate me!