Our pastor challenged us to not just bring more people into the church, but serve the world outside the church. "Rejoice with those who are rejoicing, and mourn with those who mourn "歓ぶ人たちと共に歓び，泣く人たちと共に泣きなさい" - Romans 12:15
We've talked often about how much fun it's been connecting to our neighbors, and this has meant more than just the couple next door, or the family above us. It's incluced the neighbor who owns the cleaners down the street,who Geneva now pounds on the glass to say "Hi!" - SO maybe we have this rejoicing part down.
|He even has his own poster|
|Our local taiyakiman!|
aka: Sterling's guilty pleasure.
It means the taiyaki guy(street vendor) who knows Sterling's custom order. It also means the family across the street, the Tasaki Family. This fall, we've really become close with them. They want the girls to call them "Jiji, and Baba" as they've taken them in as their local grand daughters.
On Dec 31st, as I raced home from the hospital, I saw our neighbors the Tasakis. They regularly spoil Geneva and Elise with treats and kindness. They have taken in the girls as their own grand-daugters. It’s been a tough year for them, and we pray for them often. But ‘does that matter’? A friend, Eric Takamoto, encouraged me to REALLY pray over your neighbors. So every time we walk past their home, we pray for God’s healing in their lives.
That cold New Year’s Eve night, I saw Mr. Tasaki unloading his car. I turned around to wish him a Happy New Year! He was startled to hear a voice in the dark. I told him as best I could about Elise. He understood and knew what she had. We talked as it’s been a hard season for them, and exchanged warm wishes for next year. He asked if I’d pray - He’s never done this.Tokyo men are usually far too stoic to pray together publicly. I looked at him and asked “now?” He nodded. So I prayed for everything that we’d been praying over the last two years: Their son, their grandson, their daughter, his wife, and for our friendship. Also, that God would hear their voice, and to understand God’s voice and for Elise to be safe. My heart was pounding both with nervousness and from riding my bike. AMEN!
We looked up. There were tears in Tasaki’s eyes. With 15 minutes left in 2014 I saw how prayers matter - they are an extension of hearts connected through God. Your prayers too connect in ways that really matter to our community.
|The Tasaki's invited us over for dinner this week.|
They really love the girls
Sometimes even we ask "God do our prayers make a difference?" Yes! without a doubt!