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Ellie's Last Day of Kindergarten

"Ellie, you have done an amazing job in shining your light for Jesus in your classroom! And you know what, we've only just begun!! We have been able to tell your friends about the True God through some Bible stories. Those are "seeds" that have been planted in their hearts. We can pray that those seeds would grow. Maybe when your friends are older, they will remember, and become believers one day! We will keep praying for your friends..."

Do pray with us that these beautiful children and their families would come to know their Creator God who KNOWS them, FORGIVES them, and LOVES them unconditionally!

 

Ellie's last time on the jungle gym

 

 

End of Semester Party

Now remember that this is not the end of the school year for the Japanese students. It is only the end of the semester, with a full year ahead of them after a one month summer vacation. This means that Ellie is leaving her Japanese school 8 months early, and will be starting 1st grade at Christian Academy in Japan on August 25th.

Her friends were very, very sad to see her go, but we promised that we would continue to have play-dates and parties! The 2 classes threw a wonderful party for the couple of us who are leaving, as well as to end the semester with a bang. Thanks to the room moms, and thanks to Teresa, the Games Extraordinaire, the kids and moms had a BLAST!! Teresa had us mooing and quacking to find our animal groups, running with our kids to find an open spot in a circle, and best of all, had us playing "Ellie Bingo" using our family photos as the game board! What an amazingly creative idea! Thank you, Teresa, for all your hard work, and for making this party so very special for Ellie and the family.

 

Ellie Bingo

 

End of semester party

 

Three little pigs

 

Letter from the Teacher 

After we returned home, we looked through the very special "Book of Memories" that the teachers and classmates put together for Ellie. My eyes welled up with tears as I read the heartwarming letter written by Keiko sensei, Ellie's teacher. I won't translate the whole thing, but here are some parts of the letter that show how our loving Lord has heard Ellie's nightly prayers to be a "light in my classroom":

"Dear Ellie,

You never forgot to be kind to others, and you were cheerful and bright when you spoke. The children from both classes all liked you! When you saw that someone was having problems, you would talk to them or offer help. Thank you for your kindness. There are so many Kindergartens here in Higashi Kurume. But I was very glad that you came to this one. And you made so many friends here! I think it is wonderful that god protected you from getting sick or hurt, and that you were able to come to school happy and healthy! Please don't forget these many memories. Keep spreading your brightness and kindness to others, wherever you go. I'm sure there will be many new friends waiting for you. I am SO HAPPY that I got to meet you.

Take care."

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Jeff's column offers a mix of reflections on leadership and fatherhood, as well as news from Asian Access.

 

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