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Halloween Party 2009 Photos!

halloween-party'08-58Time to Gather

We LOVED re-connecting with our Nadeshiko Yochien (Ellie's former kindergarten) friends, as well as making connections between our various groups! Large parties like this is the perfect time for our friends to meet one another. We feel so blessed to have so many people to love.

Enjoy the photos!

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In case you are interested, here is the English version of the Pumpkin Gospel that was shared during the party. There were pictures to look at for each numbered page. The Japanese version is slightly different, but the basic message is the same:

1) Halloween is a fun day for children in America! They dress up in costumes like black cats, angels, princesses, ladybugs, and other fun things. When it gets dark, the children will go outside with a large bag, and knock on the neighbors’ door and say “trick or treat!” That’s what you say to get lots and lots of candy!

Another fun thing to do at Halloween is to pick out a large, orange, shiny pumpkin, and carve it. Place a candle inside, and the light shines through the face for everyone to see.

Did you know that you can learn a lot about Jesus using the pumpkin? You can learn what He can do for you because He loves you so much. But first, you have to imagine that YOU are a pumpkin. Yes, you are a round, orange pumpkin…

2) What do you see when you cut around your stem, open it, and look inside? Oh my, you are full of yucky, slimy, smelly junk! This is called sin. The Bible tells us that every person is born with sin. You might say, “Hey! I’m not a criminal! I’ve never stolen anything before, or killed anyone! I try to do good things, so I’m not a bad person!”

You see, sin is not only doing bad things like breaking the law. It also includes things like thinking mean things about others. Complaining to your mom and dad. Fighting with your sister or brother because you always think you’re right. Or simply not believing that Jesus is the One and only true God. Now you can understand that we are all full of yucky sin inside.

3) The Bible says that Jesus can scoop out all that slimy, smelly sin out of you! He loves you so much, that He died on the cross for you, and 3 days later, came back alive to show you that He is God who has power over sin and death.

Because Jesus is alive today, you can talk to Him, and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Jesus is the only one who can make your insides all clean.

4) Look at the big, happy smile on your pumpkin face! That is the look of JOY! You will have true joy on the inside, because you know you have been forgiven. You will have joy because you know you are loved by Jesus.

5) The warm, bright candle inside of you shows that Jesus is living in you. Everyone will know that He is there because of the joy and love that shines through your face!

6) So enjoy your Halloween with costumes and candy on October 31st. But every time you see a smiling pumpkin, may you never, ever forget what you learned today. That Jesus can clean out your sin when you ask, that He will give you joy, and that He will come and fill you with love…love that will shine out to share with others.

Jesus is waiting for every boy and girl pumpkin (and the big pumpkins) in this room…

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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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