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Spring Celebration Party

...muffin-cup flowers to welcome spring, and had a great time decorating their own umbrellas!! I just purchased a bunch of small clear umbrellas at the 100 yen store, and had them decorate from the inside using foam stickers and permanent markers. They turned out so cute! Jessica taught them some English, and they played games and sang songs. Megumi shared a Bible story in Japanese. They children fell in love with them, and they all had a great time.

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the dividing wall, the adults were also having a lot of fun:) I figured that we could do some "icebreaker questions" to help Dorrie and Takeshi get to know our friends that we have grown to love so dearly. We answered questions like, "What is the strangest thing you've ever eaten? What's the worst thing you did as a kid? If you had a time machine, where and when would you go?, etc." Yes, the ice was broken, and we had a great time laughing at some of the answers! We also played a quick game. For you Japanese people out there, you know the children's song, "Musunde Hiraite". I had everyone stand up and sing it out loud...except they had to sing WITHOUT saying "te" or "de". Try it...it's pretty difficult! If you sang either one of those sounds by accident, you had to sit down. I was so impressed with my friend Madoka who was the last one standing!

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Finally it was time for Takeshi and Dorrie to speak. They did not disappoint!! With Takeshi's humor, his down-to-earth way of speaking, and practical examples from their own marriage, Jeff and I felt that it was a wonderful way to add another layer of sharing how knowing Jesus Christ can make a difference. I loved how he explained about the dangers of "assumptions" in marriage communication, as well as the dangers of "keeping score". He also pointed out the importance of knowing each other's "love languages". My heart smiled when I saw an aha-moment from one of the men...a light bulb came on when he realized how knowing his wife's love language would be very "benri" (a word for convenient, helpful, useful)!! It was wonderful to watch the men in the room listening so intently. They ended the time by passing out papers with a bible verse from Colossians regarding forgiving one another as the Lord forgave us. I was blessed to hear Takeshi pray in Japanese at the end. (I always get very excited when my friends can "listen in" to conversations to Jesus, spoken in Japanese.)

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At the end, Jeff came up with a great idea. We announced to them that they have a homework assignment. They must schedule a date, drop off their kids at our house, and go out for as long as they'd like!! :) For many of them, this is a brand new concept of going out with their spouse. They jokingly asked, "After we drop off the kids at your place, do we go out to separate places for the day?!" So I made it clear that they must go to the SAME location together.

Our prayer is that these couples will find much joy in their marriage relationships... but most of all that they would find Jesus, and that He would be the Head of each household.

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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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