Voices from the Field Yuri Nakano Get to know Yuri

The Joy of Hospitality

Published on February 14, 2023

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This past Christmas season, I was able to experience the joy of hospitality. A friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years unexpectedly came from overseas to visit. Though it might not have been the most convenient time for me, I knew it must have been the Lord directing the visit. We were able to have a good time of prayer together, and she left with tears of thankfulness and joy. The Covid pandemic has made me realize more deeply the value of hospitality and of meeting together. Finally, in this third year into the pandemic, we feel more comfortable to get together and to enjoy meals together. During the month of December, I had people come over to my place for Christmas lunch every week. It was so good to have fellowship this way. There is something about eating together that makes people open up and relax and enjoy each other’s company.

The Christmas season was also filled with activity. Decorating the church and making Christmas crafts to bring to the local seniors’ home was a way for the church members to serve together. Another highlight was to have the church members take part in a small Christmas program by playing piano or doing a picture-story show. The youngest (10 years old) to the oldest (over 80 years) took part!

My puppet family also got to have some action at the Kongo church kids’ program and also at the community seniors’ Christmas event. In January, I was invited to do a special program for the Oasis Church that gives out food to needy children and their families in the neighborhood. My puppets helped me explain the importance of the Bible and faith. It was a good experience to see the good rapport the church members had with these kids and their moms as they interacted with each other playing games together after the Bible time.

After the busy Christmas season, I am thankful I had some time to reflect on the past year with the Lord. I am thankful for the Scripture verse that God directed me to in Isaiah 30:15: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” My word for 2023 is TRUST. I hope to trust in the Lord for all things and not on my own plans, timing, etc. I look forward to what the Lord has in this new year! I am especially looking forward to how God will work in the lives of the many people in Japan we are trying to encourage in the Lord. Thank you for trusting in the Lord with me.

In Christ,

Yuri Nakano