Friday, October 24, 2014


6 months...
I was just informed that's how long it's been since I last posted here.

Far too much has gone on in that time to even begin to try to cover it all. 
Good things. Not so good things. Sad things. Joyful things.

I have literally hundreds of pictures from my summer trip to the states. Akiyo, a 16 year old girl from our church here accompanied me for the first three weeks. We had a great time and she was welcomed and loved by all who met her. We cannot thank each one enough for the gracious hospitality she was shown.

It's always an amazing and wonderful time shared with family and friends making new memories to treasure!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Indeed! He is our risen Lord and Savior!!

This year we decided we'd try something different...sort of.
Every year we do an Easter egg hunt and sausage cookout. In the past we've always invited church members, students and their friends and family and charged a minimal fee to help cover expenses.
This year we wanted to focus more on the neighborhood surrounding our church and work to open and build relationships with those closer to the church.
 The neighborhood has a pretty nice 'mallet golf' (kind of like croquet on a much larger scale) course' along the riverside and one of our church members got permission for us to use part of it for our activity. There weren't really a lot of 'hiding' places for 1350 treat filled plastic Easter eggs! So with the help of most of our church members we sort of 'scattered' the eggs all over our section of the course in preparation for the neighborhood 'hunters'. If you look closely you'll see the colored dots all over the course.
Once the eggs were out we waited for the hunters to arrive.
Since lots of eggs were very visible it was a challenge to keep the gathering kids from beginning the hunt ahead of schedule ;-)
We had the grill and all the food ready to go for when the egg hunt and telling of the Resurrection Story was complete. A huge Thanks! to our wonderful friends at St. John's Lutheran Church in Boerne, TX. for partnering with us to cover the food costs for this event. What a blessing!
Once we thought most that were coming were there we let them go!!

 We sent them out with instructions to collect 10 eggs and then come back. I think we did this three or four times before telling them to go out and find all they could, and surprisingly they complied very well. Not really sure if the little or big 'kids' enjoyed it more :-)

 Once we thought all the regular eggs had been found we told them about the 12 Resurrection eggs that were hidden in a separate section. The youngest were sent out first and the rest by age groups.
 When all 12 had been found everyone gathered together and one by one each egg was opened to find something that represented a piece of the Resurrection story. Our Pastor shared the significance and story of each piece so that everyone could understand what - and Who - we were celebrating.

Sorry I didn't capture any shots of the food being served but I was kind of busy then...

On Easter morning this wonderful 71 year young woman (in white) was baptized in our church here. Her dear (Christian) friends of 50 years were at her side praising God for His new child. They never gave up encouraging her and praying for her salvation... in His time. Amazing grace it is!

God, Thank you for all you are and do and all you grace and bless us with.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Our loss...

Heaven's gain!
Nell Baranski, John's Mom, went to begin her eternal life of joy
 living with Jesus on Saturday, March 8, 2014
I had the privilege of knowing her as my second Mom.
Since our return to Japan in 2003 I have visited her every time I made it back to the states and our bond and friendship grew deeper and stronger with each visit shared.
In the beginning, our 'in-love' relationship had its bumps.
We made it over and through those to share a very special friendship, love and respect.
We will miss you so much!
Yet we are rejoicing with you knowing that you are now sharing the perfect life Jesus prepared just for you!
One day we'll all share that joy together.
Until then we know you'll be helping watch over us all.
Love you!

Joining the Family of God!!

On New Year's Day this year we were privileged to witness the baptism of one of our younger church members. What a blessing! Family and friends gathered to support his decision to choose Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Our small church has a 'baptismal tub' located in the floor behind the pulpit.

The pulpit is moved temporarily.
The floorboards are taken away.
Pastor steps down onto the ground beneath the floor.
The baptism candidate slowly enters the water.
It's COLD!!!!


Looking back a little

Yes, I do know that it is the 10th of March.. and I'm posting Christmas pics. I think it's always the right time to think of and share the joy we feel at Christmas!!
Besides, I'm sitting here watching it snow out my window!!!! (with my feet snuggled up to the heater)
It's been doing this off and on the past 3 or 4 days and though it isn't accumulating here - YAY!! - the area mountains are getting deeper by the minute! Of course that is great for the resorts.

Back to Christmas!
We had the annual Sunday School Christmas party at church. With only 6 children in our church we invite friends as well.
Starting off with some Christmas carols and a brief message about why we really celebrate!

Then on to some fun and games
a contest to see which group could create the best snowman using toilet paper

complete with hat, face and buttons...

this was a winner!!

Next all the kids made a little decoration to take home
Thanks to Naoko for all her time and effort to get this all together!!
Every child had a great little gift decoration to take home to Mom.

And what's a party without snacks???
Of course we give our thanks for all God's wonderful gifts first.

Even Santa showed up to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Santa was spied at several area elementary schools and other places as well during the Christmas season. He kept a pretty busy schedule passing out bibles and other goodies.
The true message of Christmas and all God offers was shared in the giving of over 1000 bibles this past Christmas!!! Thanks so very much to all who contributed to make that possible!

Santa had quite an escort on his way out

...until next year!!!