December in Japan
Takashimaya department store at the Nagoya Train Station put together this amazing & extremely detailed winter holiday display. It definitely brought about that "childhood wonder" that is so sought after during the holiday season.
This is the gigantic Christmas tree in downtown Kyoto. The lights were synced with music and it was this amazing musical production. The Japanese definitely know how to put on a light show!
The majority of Japanese have never heard about Jesus but they sing songs about his birth during Christmas. They sing hymns like "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night" while shopping in the mall with no clue as to the meaning behind these beautiful words. This burdens our hearts but it also encourages them because it provides a huge opportunity to share & explain the story of Jesus' birth!
New Family Christmas Traditions - Advent
Language Exchange Group- Exciting News!
Katharine & Hiroko took a chance to share the story of Jesus' birth, "the true meaning of Christmas", with the ladies in their Language Exchange group. They started off by making Christmas cookies & then Hiroko read the Nativity story to everyone in Japanese from the Jesus Storybook Bible!
The Lord really blessed this opportunity & used it to draw one of the families to our local church, Mustard Seed Christian Church! She is asking a lot of questions & is truly seeking to learn more about Jesus. Hiroko gave her a Japanese Bible & she has been reading it to her children every night! Please keep this family in your prayers!!
Building New Relationships
Katharine has been given so many opportunities to make new friends the last few months. She has been invited into their homes & treated with so much kindness & respect. Abigail's Christian kindergarten puts on a Christmas Pageant every year and Katharine was invited to participate in the parent choir performance during the pageant! During choir rehearsal Katharine learned to sing "Silent Night" and "Let It Go" (from the movie Frozen) in Japanese. Hannah & Abigail were very impressed!
After their choir practices several of the ladies would gather together for lunch & invited Katharine to join them. She is grateful for these opportunities to move out of her comfort zone & to be surrounded by women who only speak to her in Japanese.
Christmas Angel Event
Abigail's Christmas Pageant
This is Abigail's class- she is the only girl!! They performed their little performance with all their hearts- it's pretty adorable! I wish you could of heard them live but this video will have to suffice!
Receiving a care package from home is such an exciting experience! Opening a package full of goodies is such a tangible way for us to "feel" that we are thought of, cared for, supported, & loved. We have received several amazing care packages from our parents over the last 5 months as well as this "pumpkin themed" package from two lovely friends from The Village Church (pictured above).
The Denison Forum team put together an incredible package full of goodies for the kids & for us too! Each item was thoughtful & very useful for our life here in Japan! You won't find some of the "Christian" resources that they included in the package such as nativity scene stickers & Happy Birthday Jesus activity packs here in Japan so it was really exciting for us to receive these items! They also sent the kids an advent calendar & Christmas craft projects. We are incredibly grateful for their box of blessings!!
Katharine's mom also sent several boxes full of Christmas gifts for the kids- she spoiled them rotten!!! Thank you friends & family for showing us your love in such a tangible way!