This morning, after an onigiri and aloe yoghurt for breakfast, Hannah and I started our walk to school. At the first intersection, we saw other school children waiting at the crosswalk. Hannah started out a bit timid:
When they saw that Hannah was a little scared, they walked up and were SO friendly and welcoming to her. An instant answer to your prayers. Then the most amazing thing happened:
One of the girls came over and grabbed her hand. And held it the whole way to school and inside the school to her class:
This girl's name is Hiro-chan and they became instant friends. Another huge answer to prayer.
After staying at the school for about 20 minutes, I could tell it was time for me to go. I walked over to Hannah as she sat in her class and said, "Daddy has to leave now." She looked at me with those big brown eyes and a few tears rolled down her face. My heart ripped to pieces. I wanted to pick her up and carry her out at that moment. But I had to let go. It required child-like faith from both of us. As I left I gave one last look, blew a kiss, and gave her a thumbs up. She blew me a kiss and gave a thumbs up. And then I left.
Hannah's teacher said he would walk Hannah home with the kids from her walking group to make sure she made it back safely. Our whole family was eagerly waiting in front of our apartment complex. We saw her from a distance and the first thing we noticed was her smile. We cheered, clapped, and greeted her with huge hugs! God heard our prayers and our Hannah returned to us full of joy. As a father, it was a moment I will not soon forget. I gave her a big hug and told her how proud we are of her.
And who was by her side the whole way back? That's right none other than her new friend Hiro-Chan! And guess who lives in our same apartment on the 8th floor!
Thank you so much for praying. Your prayers were heard and felt. Hannah said the whole day was amazing and she cannot wait to go back! As her parents, we cannot tell you how grateful we are for your prayers and encouragement. We know we are not alone. You are on this journey with us. Through the good and the bad.
So after telling us all about her day, an hour after Hannah returned, I could hear kids in our 17th floor hallway. I could swear they were saying "Hannah Chan." I opened our door and saw a group of children wondering our floor trying to find our apartment. I called Hannah, she walked out, and what happened brought tears to my eyes. They saw Hannah cheered at the top of their lungs, ran to her and said HANNAH CHAN!! Hannah jumped up and down, they grabbed her and took her away.
She spent the rest of the afternoon playing with her new friends. Hannah didn't know it but her father was watching over her as she played. I prayed a prayer of gratitude and snuck a quick picture.
Thank you again so much! To each and every single one of you.
And guess who just got accepted at a Japanese kindergarten?
That's right! It's this girl!
Abigail got accepted and starts at a Japanese Christian kindergarten this week! She visited the class today and loved it! This kindergarten will be getting a full dose of Abigail Elkins! Blog post with ways to pray for Abigial coming soon.
Thank you again from the Elkins family in Nagoya!