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Easter Party!

There were many "firsts" that occurred for these people today. It was the very first time for them to ever attend an Easter party. It was the very first time for them to color Easter eggs! One funny question that I got from one of the moms before the party was, "Do I peel the eggs first, and then decorate??" When the first egg was dipped in the blue dye and was pulled out for all to see, they were so excited that they actually clapped! How cute is that?


Coloring Easter Eggs


It was the very first egg hunt that these children had ever done. That, to me, was wild. Kids crowded around the huge bag of 100 filled plastic eggs, and they were touching them in wonder. There were some children in 3rd grade who were asking me, "What are IN these eggs?" It dawned on me that they really didn't know! In the States, all kids know that they are filled with candy and chocolates, of course! It was so much fun to watch them find their 5 eggs each, and to try to figure out how to open them, and to see their excitement over candy and stickers.

One of the tables at the party was a craft table with foam crosses that they were to decorate. One boy looked at the cross and asked, "What are these things?" Wow. I've worked with hundreds of American kids doing VBS and Sunday school stuff over the years, but I don't think I've ever been asked that question. It was a good reminder of why we're here in Japan.


Dad photos boys with crosses


The Most Significant "First"

Of course, the most significant FIRST for this group today was that it was the very first time for them to hear about Jesus dying on the cross, and that He came back alive, and that He is alive today! I can't begin to explain to you the honor and the thrill of actually telling a group of people this AMAZING TRUTH for the first time in their lives.

I decided to make a story board myself...they are called "kamishibai" in Japanese. You show the picture on the front and you flip them as you read, but you have the words written on the back, corresponding with each picture. The reason I decided to make my own was because I wanted to make sure that the kids and parents were explained the "why" of Easter in a way that they could understand.

In Japanese, the word "sinner" can be synonymous to the word "criminal". The word "God" is the same word that is used for the hundreds of other gods that they worship here. So you can see the importance of distinguishing the fact that we're talking about the One and Only True God, Jesus, and a clear explanation of sin. And of course, the Good News that Jesus has taken care of this problem of sin! Please pray for this precious seed that was sown in each heart, that it has fallen on good soil, and that it would be watered and GROW into faith in our Savior.


Easter Messenger


Attentive Listeners


Jesus takes our sin on Himself


Empty Tomb!!

T Family mom and daughter


Easter Party 2008 group shot


My Family

I have to tell you that even though I do all the "talking" at these events since I speak Japanese, that I cannot do this without my family. Jeff is my rock. Even amidst all the commotion of the party, I sense his support. My heart is comforted because I know he's with me in the room. Ellie once again shined her little light today. Even though this was not "her" group of friends from her kindergarten, she made an effort to sit with the girls to eat snack, and participate. And my son Zack...he touched my heart so much today. He has been sick ever since his birthday. He even missed 2 days of school. But he was a trooper and came to the party. I felt so bad because he was really congested, and didn't feel like doing much...he sat in a chair in the corner of the room. However, after I had shared the gospel using the story board, Zack came up to me and said, "Mom, I prayed for you and the kids during the story time." No wonder I felt such a sense of peace as I was reading.


Ellie with 3 new friends


Thank you, Jesus, for blessing me with such an awesome family. And thank you to all of our prayer and financial supporters back home. We love you!!

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


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Jesus said, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.'
(John 20:21 ESV)

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