Church Archives

December 4, 2006

More hotel pics, Shioda church business meeting

Well, it is Monday morning and we stayed at the hotel last night. It was nice to see the friendly smiles of the staff again! Before our room got messed up I took a picture last night--also one of our breakfast. I am not sure what Flat Stanley thinks about Japanese food--he just keeps smiling! The server of our breakfast sure thought he was cute! I think he might like it so well here in Japan, that he won't want to go back to Logan's class! We'll see!




We had our annual business meeting at church yesterday. How interesting to see--we all just sat around the table and decided things like collections, sunday school teachers, trustees, etc. The only 3 brothers were elected (again!) for one year terms as trustees, Akihiro will help Bro. Toru with Sunday school. This makes him song leader, trustee, and song leader! The biggest discussions, though, centered around how our church handles funerals for the members/faithful friends and the possibility of remodelling/rebuidling of our church. Interestingly enough, sometimes the family and neighbors of these believers are so strong that there is a Buddhist funeral for them. We are prayerfully and carefully trying to figure out how to approach this situation. We would appreciate your prayers in both of these matters!

February 4, 2007

An advantage of small churches

In the last 2 weeks, I have sang Happy Birthday twice at church lunch--once in Tokyo for one of the Sunday school children and today in Shioda for 5 year old Koshin! Little Koshin was especially cute, because when we started to sing, he became very shy and started crying and hid his face in his older brother's shirt, resulting in an abrupt stop to the singing! He settled down, though, and became more agreeable to the whole thing once he got the present Akihiro gave him--Japanese snacks! Anyway, I had to smile, because I don't remember singing happy birthday in church ever before! Happy Birthday is a song that is sung the same way in both Japan and America--English!!! Hallelujah!

February 11, 2007

Church, etc.

Tonight as I write my blog, I have a different feeling. I just got done reading a blog by Lisa Gerber, one of our church members who has leukemia and has just been given a short time to live. Her thoughts have a heavenly perspective that makes any thing down here on earth seem pretty pale. Those of you who are interested can find her blog at Anyway, here's a few earthly things from this side of the world....

Church today was a little smaller than last week--just 9 adults and 2 children. 3 friends and 6 members. Akihiro had the morning bible lesson as well as assuming the role of sound man and song leader. He was the only brother there as Toru-san, the other brother was in Sunday School! Anyway, we had a blessed day. Akihiro does a little English afterwards, so I can get something out of the lesson. Otherwise, I read the scripture and write a few thoughts down about it. Sometimes I write down some words that I hear recurring and ask Akihiro later what they mean, but this requires listening very carefully to the Japanese. After two hours, my brain is so tired of listening to Japanese and filtering through the words I know and those I don'!. Finally, the Japanese letters are getting a little bit more familiar, so I can sing with a little more confidence--even though I don't know what I am singing! Thankfully, though, most of the songs are familiar to me! We have the Zion's Harp which has been translated and then two other songbooks that have many of the familiar hymns. For lunch, we usually have bread,cheese, fruit, green tea, and maybe some sweets or other things, too! I serve lunch one time a month! At lunch, I usually try out my Japanese on some of the elderly people there. It usually doesn't come out right and then they try to correct me in Japanese--oh, dear, it is a humbling and frustrating experience! I get so impatient to know this language! I know I like to talk, but I didn't realize how much "not talking" would affect me! Be careful when you pray you would be "slow to speak"--you might just end up in a foreign country! Everyone pitches in and cleans up the dishes and dining room. Oh, yeah, did you know that we wear slippers in church--truly Japanese!

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