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Party Update!

Valentine Party Update

Valentine group photo

THANK YOU so much for praying! It was really cool to know that we were covered in prayer all across the ocean and the time zone:) The Valentine party was a great success. There were 8 moms and 14 kids who came... the snacks were yummy, the game was fun, the craft went well, and Jesus was shared!! For those of you who just want the "bottom line," there you go. For others of you who want details, details, read on. . . :)

So because i knew that there would be no way we could do this in our home, God gave me the idea of renting the Matsukawa Place, which is a building right next to CAJ. It's a combination of apartment/guest house/various Christian ministry offices, with a couple of rooms downstairs that are available for rent. And it just happened to be wide-open for rent on Feb. 15th!

The party was from 3pm-5pm on Friday, so Ellie and her friends played at school until party time, and they all rode on their bikes to Matsukawa place together. Thanks to Jeff for being dad of the century! He stayed at Ellie's school for about an hour and a half, surrounded by Japanese moms, of course, and led the way on the bike with 8 moms following behind him... it looked like a parade. :)

When they arrived, they immediately got busy on their Valentine connect-the-dots coloring page.

Valentine coloring page

Then they had some snacks.


Then I jumped right in to the story of St. Valentine. There was a very "evangelical" version of this story at Family Christian Bookstore that a church friend kindly purchased for us in California, and my mom in Georgia translated the story into Japanese. It was very exciting because I was able to end the story time by saying something like this..."From now on, every time you celebrate Valentine's day, you can think of Valentinus. But even more important, I want you to remember the name of Jesus. There is only ONE TRUE God, and He has a Name. And his name is Jesus. And I wan you to know that He loves each and every one of you. He knows you by name..." They listened intently. The moms did, too. Pray that they will THINK about what they have heard. Pray that God will begin an amazing work in the mom's lives! Pray that someone will come to me with questions!! Pray that the kids will never forget that there is a God who actually knows them and loves them.

Nozomi reading story


listening to story


St. Valentine's story time

During the story time, I had the kids repeat the name of Jesus outloud. "Iesu sama," they all said in unison. Afterwards Jeff pointed out the fact that it was probably the very first time in their lives that they had spoken the name of Jesus. How cool is that?!

Then they all were dismissed to various tables around the room... they decorated their own cupcakes (they had never used frosting and sprinkles before), and they made wreaths with hearts and a big flower in the middle.

decorating cupcakes


Making Valentine wreath

We also played the game of 4 Corners... it became quite a serious competition to see who could win extra candy. Then at the end, each child sat on the floor while we gave out Scripture cards and candy from each of us... one from me, Jeff, Zack, and Ellie. One candy had John 3:16 on the package, so I was able to read it out of the Japanese Bible.

After everything was done, I was struck by the fact that this was not my doing. God used my family and YOU to make it happen... Jeff went to a bunch of stores a zillion times while he was in California to purchase all the heart-paper goods... a church friend purchased the Scripture cards, candy, and book... my mom who translated... Ellie enjoying everything with her friends... Zack who was bored silly at first, but then really got into playing 4 Corners and made everyone laugh, and showed a great example by giving his hard earned candy to Elllie, and vacuumed the entire room afterwards... my husband who took care of Ellie at school, led the way to the party, and was my support during the entire time... and YOU who give generously and pray.

How FUN is this, people?!

Jeff's Posts


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


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Nozomi's Posts


Nozomi's column contains reflections on motherhood, Japanese culture, and ministry.


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Zack's Posts


Zack's column provides a variety of glimpses into what makes him tick.


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Ellie's Posts


Ellie's vlog column is coming soon...


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