Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ministry Events

Enjoying the fall colors at the nearby Show Kinen Park

Ministry Events: A2 Mission & Family Camp. One of the things our family has been praying for was deeper connections with our church  and community this year.  We have seen meaningful developments on both fronts lately. To start our fall, our family went to an all mission gathering in Fukushima-ken.  (This is about 40 minutes from Fukushima city, and well outside the evacuation zone from the radiation.)  The theme was building our own and our organization took a long weekend to cross-train and dialogue about Gods work in Japan. I (Sterling) volunteered my services with the middle school mission kids, and it brought me back to my Youth Ministry time in SF and WI. Emi had a challenging time with a teething Elise, but she continues to enjoy connecting with our missionary families as head of the Missionary Care Team.

We stayed at a National Sports Ministry Center, which meant morning flag ceremonies at 7AM, and rajiotaiso - a time honored set of calastenics to iconic 50s music.  Also at the facility were university sport clubs, middle school clubs, and various groups. After the morning stretches, each of the groups would make announcements in Japanese. Geneva and the other mission kids made quick friends with the other clubs. One morning we saw Geneva do the announcements for the Sendai University Ski Club in Japanese! It seemed like just yesterday she was three and now shes in college (kind of).
Emi was amongst the final 6 of 300+ people playing
 Paper-Rock- Scissors. She and Elise WON! and then
she had to make speech in Japanese. 
Geneva doing the morning announce-
ment for the university ski club.
When it was time to leave, her new friends Misaki and Ai-chan, came and said good-bye to Geneva and her A2 friends.  The students said they didn
t realize Christians could be so much fun.  Well, it was just the beginning to a great set of surprises.

The next weekend, our church, KBC, went to the mountains for the first all-church gathering in some 15 years.  Many friends worked very hard to make this camp happen, but KBC asked Sterling to do the ice-breaker games. I think they kind of knew what they were getting into. 
Laughing with Yonai Sensei at KBC Camp.

We played “Do you want to build a snowman?” to play off the unprecedented popularity of Disney's Frozen. The game was a trick to wrap up our Japanese friends in toilet paper. Like many things, the Japanese elevated the snowman to much more than just a carrot and a smile. We had a Japanese Bride (right), a snow princess, and a Chiquita Banana snowman! We enjoyed connecting deeper with KBC.

KBC friends transform Gun-chan into a Japanese-style
 Snow Bride.

Yuri and Kaoru transform Geneva into a snow princess.

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