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Spring in Japan is full of flowers and new life. I love watching as one tree after another, one bush after another, declares the beauty of our Creator. The hope is sometimes so evident I feel like I can touch it. However, the blossoms do not last long. They fall to the earth, making way for the green foliage that provides shade from the summer sun. Again, God provides us with ways to share his hope in a world that seems filled with darkness.
As the mimosa was just finishing and the sakura trees were just beginning to bloom, I asked one of my English students who has been studying photography to take some pictures of me. We had a lovely afternoon enjoying God’s creation – and enjoying tea time. I am thankful for creative ways God provides for not only enjoying his creation but also for sharing the hope we have in him.
As Easter approached this year, the leadership at Komyo Christian Church began to pray about how we could celebrate together. Many of you may remember that we usually have a sushi lunch together. Unfortunately, we are not quite ready to eat together in our small space. However, as we talked, we realized we wanted to find a way to worship all together rather than in our three services we have each Sunday. We were excited to find out the hall we had rented for Christmas was available on Easter Sunday. So, we invited our sister church, Kongo Bible Church, to join us in celebrating the resurrection at Izumi City Plaza – Easter at the Plaza!
Once again, we asked the youth to be part of the service. We learned a couple of children would be there, so the students prepared a children’s story, drawing the pictures and writing the story from the Bible. They also sang a song, “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.” I am grateful for these opportunities to have the students participate in leading portions of the service. I pray they will be encouraged to continue seeking Jesus as they mature and move on!
About thirty people attended the resurrection celebration! Two of my English students attended. Praise the Lord! They are part of the class I wrote about in my last newsletter. One of the students mentioned how this was the first time she had celebrated Christmas and Easter ‘for real.’
As we look to the summer and what God has planned, we know he will continue to walk with us. The Ewing family will be leaving for home assignment. The youth are hoping for an in-person summer camp. I am hoping for more times with students and friends outside of English classes and Bible studies.
Thank you for praying with us at Komyo Christian Church, with the youth, and with me as we live and serve in southern Osaka, Japan.
Soli Deo Gloria
Ibukino 3 Chome 14-9-903, Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu 594-0041 Japan
7701 S TOWNSLEY AVE #212, SIOUX FALLS, SD 57018 USA
Komyo Youtube Channel: youtube.com/channel/UCcuaqxhYlUf-DMZAuh5cZtQ