Japan Short Term Mission 2016 Update 1

(Connie Chae writing)
We’re here! Actually, we’ve been here for four days now and it has been great spending time with the members of Hatta
Nishi Christ Church. We arrived at Kansai Airport around 11am after having a four hour layover in Tokyo. We were all tired but excited to finally get to Osaka. We were met by several church members including Doi Sensei, the Kojimas and our very own Shelley and Masanobu! It was great to see familiar faces and also meet new faces for the first time.

Our first night we all had dinner with our homestay families. Janete and I are staying with Kashima San (who has visited the states several times) and she and another church member made okonomiyaki and yakisoba for us. It was quite tasty and a good time to get to know one another. It was a little difficult because of the language barrier but we still had a good time and were able to share about ourselves. On Saturday, we went bowling with a bunch of church members and their families. It was fun to meet more new faces and also have some friendly competition. Afterwards, we all went to dinner at the newest mall that opened in May (that’s where we reunited with Mister Donut). It was another good time of getting to know the Hatta Nishi church members and eating good food.

Sunday was a full day at the church. We went in early to introduce our VBS song with the children’s group and then sat in during the youth group meeting before heading into the main service. After Doi sensei finished his sermon, Sharlene and I both shared our testimonies while Yuya translated for us. After the service, we enjoyed a delicious curry lunch and got to talk with more church members. From lunch to dinner time, we were at the church playing games with the kids, helping with VBS crafts, and getting to know the church members. It was a long but good day of fellowship.

It’s Monday night here and we’ve just completed another day. Today was a work day to get everything ready before VBS begins tomorrow. We are excited to be able to share everything that has been prepared for the kids and we pray that the seeds of the gospel will be sown into their hearts.

The church members of Hatta Nishi have been great in so many ways. They’re so thoughtful and intentional in the way they’ve planned our time here and they have been serving and loving us so well. We have felt so welcomed by them and are so encouraged by their hearts for the Lord.

Tomorrow we begin our VBS! Please pray for us and the Hatta Nishi staff that we will have strength to get through the day. And also, for the kids to have receptive hearts to hear and receive the gospel.