2019 Japan VBS: Last Full Day in Nagoya
We wrapped up our activities in Nagoya today! Many families attended ANF’s Sunday service held at Bunka No Ie (the cultural center). The whole auditorium was filled! Jeremy, the pastor at ANF, emphasized that ANF hopes to be a welcoming and inviting church for anyone who wants to attend. The children performed two songs that they learned during this past week. Cindy had also prepared a slide show from this week, which was a hit!
During the service, some of the team were prepping for the luau. We heated up the chili, cooked more rice, tossed salads, and reheated the chicken. Leighton, who is also from Lighthouse was in Japan with another missions team, visited and helped with the prep! Everything was readied in time!
Everyone attending seemed to enjoy the luau. We cleared out the classroom tables and put picnic sheets down on the ground so that we can accommodate more people. Thankfully we had enough food and space for everyone!
A nice thing about having a luau is the extended time we had to hang out with the parents, and also for the parents to get to know each other more. New friendships were formed, and existing friendships were deepened.
Many parents expressed that they looked forward to this all year, and that the children are also excited to attend VBS. One mom who has attended all three years told me that with each year she has enjoyed VBS more, and that she feels her relationship with other moms have deepened, and that other moms have also told her they feel more relaxed this year. The parents also mentioned how thankful they are towards Lighthouse for sending a team every year. We felt very loved as we said goodbye to everyone, as many of the moms prepared omiage (gifts) for us, or asked to exchange contact information so that we can stay in touch.
As I reflect upon this past week, I can see that events like Kids’ Summer English (VBS) is a great opportunity for the parents also to hear about our loving Father, not just the children. It’s rather like opening a crack in the door, and we pray that the Lord will continue to work powerfully, especially as faithful believers in Japan follow up and deepen the relationships that are formed. How we long to see all these people one day in eternity!
We are thankful for the partnership with the believers in Japan. They helped us so much, and VBS really would not have been able to run smoothly without their help. They gave us rides, picked up groceries, came early to set up with us every day, and stayed late to clean up with us. They were cheerful and sacrificial, and we are so encouraged by them.
Tomorrow we will be heading to the airport. Toshi and his family will leave to visit his family, and I will be flying back to LA. The rest of the team (Mark, Christina, Cindy, Jen, and Ken) will be going to Hokkaido to help put on VBS at Niseko Church.
- That the seeds planted will continue to grow. For the children to remember the lessons that were taught at VBS, and apply it to their lives. For the parents also to be saved.
- For the believers in Japan who will be continuing the work as they follow up and deepen the relationships that were formed through VBS.
- For more believers to be in Japan. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. We heard Christians here sharing that there are so many people that they want to reach out to, but they can’t do it by themselves.
- For travel mercies tomorrow.
Thank you all for your prayers!