Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making Dreams Come True

Happy Spot Club event 2013
(so if you haven't seen the post just below this one it was what led up to this part!!)

There was a live band that performed first on the front stage and then center ring to introduce the days' big events - wrestling!!!!!!
3 matches were on the schedule
Here they come making their way to the ring for Match #1
The crowd has grown considerably and some are hoping to get a high five or fist bump
Match #2
One team of 3
and 2 on the opposing team are in the ring...
then they call for BIG BAD JOHN!
Lots of excitement as he made his way to the ring on his Golden Stallion
 It was on!
Things went back and forth...
until the 'Tiger' called out Big Bad John.
they tossed each other a time or two
til BBJ took control...
after slinging Tiger to the mat
BBJ ascended the ropes
and started his countdown
when he got to "1"...
Tiger threw his arms up
and shouted
"Give up!!!!"
Arms raised in VICTORY!!!!
 Big Bad John & team mates, キッド臥竜 & Black みき

The Main Event!!!!
These two young men had dreamed all their lives of being in the wrestling ring.
Both of them have cerebral palsy.
One can walk on his own, the other is in a wheel chair.
When the Shinshu Pro Wrestlers heard of their dream they initially said 'no way, it's too dangerous'. But the boys persisted until they said, 'if we can make your dreams come true we'll do all we can to make it happen!'.
They spent six months volunteering their time to prepare the boys for this day!
The opposing team came from Tokyo and are members of a pro wrestlers group there. And they are deaf.
The head of the Shinshu Pro Wrestlers, the Great Mucha, teamed with the two boys vs.
the Tokyo wrestlers.
You could literally FEEL the excitement and anticipation !!
The whole crowd was in this dream-come-true experience.

It was a most emotional and inspiring thing to witness.
Their victory wowed the crowd - which had ballooned to 1500!!!!
Tears of joy flowed as they thanked the supporters for making their dreams become reality.


This was their moment!!!

And we are so blessed and thankful that we could be a part of it!!!!
God is so great!

Happy Spot Club!!!!!

It all started about three years ago when...
this wonderful young woman decided she wanted to use her life to make other people HAPPY!!!!
So take your shoes off, wiggle your toes, get comfy and enjoy the pictures.
There are
Balloon art was plentiful and SO FUN!
There were blocks for building and creating.
A monkey or two hanging around...
All sorts of aircraft
(all made from recycled plastic bottles, cassette tapes, etc.)
People came from all over...
even the North Pole!
this group of university girls made music using only household goods,
like brooms, wooden spoons, pots and pans
The event was scheduled from 10am-4pm
It was months in the making and preparation.
Set up started the day before with people from every walk of life involved and volunteering their time and talents.

Last year there were about 300 people that came to see what the "Happy Spot Club Square Annual Event" had to offer. They dreamed of having about 500 come this year.
People started trickling in just before 10am 

A few squirrels were spotted
Most everyone was anxious to get a chance to talk with Santa
the young, and the young-at-heart
Notice the 'kid' in the center of this picture?
He was smiling and waving every time he saw me lift the camera ;-)
The crowd grew bit by bit as the front stage moved from event to event
I LOVE taiko drums!!!!!
And this mixed group of all ages was GREAT!!!
The leader, center, had more energy as he performed than I could muster in a month!

This slightly more 'mature' group was pretty impressive as well.
Especially when you consider that with their physical challenges all but two could use only one hand. Bravo!
Santa made fast friends with this sweet little man.
His smile just melted me...
and this bunny was too cute not to snap a shot  
Santa's new friend from above and his entourage lit up the stage
followed by their younger counterparts
Even the cheerleaders came out !
It was a long, exhausting, inspiring and wonderful time!
Looking forward to next year!
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

God's Paintbrush!

 Even with all the wires and rooftops in between the lens and the view...

It was SO AMAZING!!!!!

Just had to share :-)

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2013 March for Jesus

March 25th was the annual March for Jesus held by the area churches in downtown Nagano City.
We had great weather for the event this year. It was sunny yet not so hot to be uncomfortable.

The group always gathers in front of Nagano Station and we have a prayer before we start out on the march around town.
There is a major renovation going on in and around the station. They started last year and expect the whole process to take about three years!

See those yellow and black banners? They've been waving all around Nagano for the past month or so. A Christian group from around Fukushima travels all over Japan evangelizing and spreading the Gospel. They stand on street corners with their banners flying, passing out gospel tracts, often with speakers proclaiming the Word.

When they heard us singing hymns they asked if they could join in our march. YAY!
They never stay for extended periods in any one place but do work hard extending the offer of Christ where ever they are.

Street corner evangelism is very uncommon in Japan but these folks don't let that stop them!

You might think that is a grand church in the background, and it's built to look like one, but it is one of many wedding halls where elaborate and expensive wedding parties are held - and almost never are Christian weddings.

This year we only had about fifty people turn out for the march. We always pray for a bigger group than before but....

Our march takes us through an area of town known as the "Gondo".
While there are all sorts of shops and businesses located here it is most known for its many drinks shops and night life.

We always walk through the 'Gondo tunnel' singing God's praises and praying that some will not only hear, but listen and be changed by what they hear.

We plant the seeds and wait for His Harvest!

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