Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Nagano Bible Church held their traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
For tha past few years we have been blessed to have Canta Ciara, the local chorus group that John used to sing with, join us on Christmas Eve and bless us with a wonderful musical presentation.

Mr. Fukushima, always prepares a wonderful program with background information on each song they sing. Though they are a small group, their voices come together in a beautiful mix and they are a true pleasure to listen to.

Part of our tiny yet talented church choir also sang for us with an elementary school boy handling the drums, his Dad on electric bass and vocals, two ladies singing and John at the piano. 

There were forty-four people in attendance.
Two families of John's English students came, two of Ian's friends and a young man from Indonesia who recently joined our Sunday afternoon service.
Many of them are not yet Christians so it was great to have them join us.

Several people, including Zack,
had speaking parts in the telling of the Christmas Story.
This, of course, was all done in Japanese.

It was a special blessing for John and me to have Zack there to share the evening with us!
(Ian was on a bus heading back but an accident on the route they were taking slowed them considerably. Thankfully the bus was not involved.)
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa came to Nagano to celebrate Jesus' Birthday!!!

Yes! That Jolly Ol' Elf made his way to Nagano and was seen all around our area helping to spread the joy and message of the Reason we celebrate CHRISTmas!!!!

He was spotted many times near Nagano Station...
 Meeting folks as they walked along the roads making  their way to the next stop.

Passing out gifts of God's Message and praying that lives will be changed for Him

Getting warm hugs from some...

Often being gazed at with looks of joy by passersby that normally notice very little as they make their way through the crowds

Santa visited area schools and greeted hundreds of children!

Some of their expressions were priceless!

Many of the teachers were just as - or some, perhaps more! - excited to get a big Santa hug.

The smiles and laughter and the questions about what Christmas really is were great.

Santa Claus was even seen in the hallways spreading Christmas joy!

Sometimes the older students were more excited than the younger ones... 

The Jolly man also showed up at Nagano Bible Church's Kid Christmas to help celebrate Jesus' birthday!

...and he was spotted as the Nagano area church members were out in front of the station singing Christmas carols

Then we heard the sounds of Santa and the joyful squeals of children in our neighborhood...

as he went from house to house...

Finally we got a peek of Santa Claus as he passed by our humble abode...

as he wished all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year before he disappeared until next Christmas!

*This Christmas season Santa (with a little help from an 'elf' and a lot from a couple of dear contributors) was able to hand out 450 Gideon New Testament English/Japanese Bibles! God is Great!!!!!!

Posted by Picasa