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“We love because he first loved us” 1 John 4:19. How grateful I am for God’s love and how He continues to show me love every single day. I am thankful for the ways that God helped me to share that love with others over the past Christmas season.
At the Heijo Christian church in Nara prefecture, we were able to have a Christmas card making outreach activity where a non-believing newcomer came to church for the first time and enjoyed the fellowship of Christians. The church was also encouraged as the only youth in the church (sister and brother) excitedly wanted to share their musical talents on guitar at the Christmas service and also at the denominational youth event for the first time! We are hoping that they will continue to use their gifts for the Lord as joyfully as they did this first time.
At Kongo Bible Church, the members all participated in some way during the Christmas special service, which was attended by newcomers: several children and several adults. The members took part in the lighting of the Advent candles and reading of Scripture. One of the ladies also presented the Christmas story via a picture story book. I was especially encouraged that an English student from years ago came to attend and also a new friend that I made through a ventriloquism class came to church for the first time. She wanted to see my puppet presentation and leave right away afterwards, but I encouraged her to stay for the whole service and well into the fellowship time afterwards. She was glad that she stayed and truly appreciated the warmth of the members of the church, and she also enjoyed learning the true meaning of Christmas. They all heard the gospel of Jesus and a seed was planted!
Christmas time is also a wonderful time to go out in to the community and make a difference. Some activities that I was able to participate in are: caroling at the seniors nursing home, presenting a puppet show at the local seniors community center, and singing with the Wings Gospel choir for the Christmas Live Gospel Café at Komyo Christian Church. It was a busy season, but definitely worth all the work and preparation.
I also personally enjoyed hosting my neighbors and the volunteers from the community center at my home for Christmas lunches. It was truly a blessed season for sharing the true meaning of Christmas to many people. Praise the Lord!
In the new year, God has continued to answer prayer, and I look forward to seeing how God will work in the lives of those in our churches and in the community.
Thank you for being a part of the ministry here through your prayers and your support. It truly is a privilege to be serving here on your behalf.
Blessings and thanks,