Hey all, Calvin here! Once again thanks for reading our blogs and praying for us, as we can really see God’s work here in Japan during our stay. I hope you’ve been enjoying reading it and having a small laugh, and we’ll continue to be keeping you updated… as long as there WIFI.
We haven’t updated yesterday because we were at the KIDS CAMP, sleeping and appreciating nature by all the MOSQUITOS EVERYWHERE! But hey it was great and it pretty much started like this:
So in the afternoon we waited for all the kids to come, trying to familiarise with them and not standing in our own group making a whole lot of NOISE! It was great so a few people turning up, including their mothers and fathers, and they weren’t shy enough to back away from our conversations. We listened to a small talk from Yamamoto-sensei to the children which talked about how God doesn’t lie, make mistakes and knows us and after praying we left to see this campsite.
The campsite was quite wide and it had a lot of facilities with it, ranging from an obstacle course to a smaller version of a golf course (weird huh? That’s not what you see everyday). There were a lot of people who came with us and there was still more to come! Turns out that the people who came to church were only primary schoolers and the junior higher schoolers (year 7 to 10) were coming afterwards! According to Hoi Yan there actually wasn’t enough tents for everyone, but praise the Lord that the Park Manager was able to lend the tents that they stopped lending since years ago! The males set up the tents and the females (including the children!) prepared the dinner. Dinner was delicious, the theme being barbeque and involved: marinated beef, yakitori (fried chicken) sticks, squid and sausages… ON A BONE. Are you salivating yet?
After dinner we played games with them, which included poison ball and octopus and tip. It was super fun and although we ended getting sweaty and getting INVADED by an army of mozzies, we were able to connect more towards the children and made them more willing to talk to us. Then came the best part: FIREWORKS!!! Technically they were just sparklers, but they were much bigger and had brighter. Each of them finished quite quickly and we all thought it ended already. Until one of the moms came and placed A BOX FULL OF FIREWORKS!!! We all grabbed a lot and played with so many sparkles that the smoke scared away all the mozzies! And then there were those gigantic fireworks, which exploded sparks upwards for a few seconds. It was like having a mini New Years Eve celebration right in front of us.
By then everyone went to his or her tents and had the children had discussion groups with their leaders. Everyone was tired and the day was almost over… but the kids weren’t satisfied with that. They called us out and went for a walk around the campsite, trying to scare each other in whatever manner they could: randomly appearing from the dark like Yamamoto-sensei, tapping their shoulder from behind like Isaac and making very loud noises like me, Calvin. Once again the walk was quite short but it was another great way for the children to get comfortable around us. The sleep was difficult from the flat ground, hot air and sweaty skin from all the running, but none of us really had a bad night.
The next morning the children had their bible study whilst the rest of us tried to catch a few more z’s. After eating bread with eggs, ham and vegetables for breakfast, we started packing up the tents and the kitchen. While we were doing this, the kids where playing on the obstacle course, which turned out to be a lot more challenging than the tiny obstacle courses in Australia. Sweating once more from the obstacle challenges, we finally headed back with a COOL welcome from the air conditioning in the car and our minds filled with the thought of being in a hot bath after this.
Returning to the church we had another talk from Yamamoto-sensei, which followed up on the previous talk. We learnt how despite our rejection to God such as “He loves us, so what?” and “I don’t believe that God is always right”, he will always love us and forgive us when we realise those mistakes. Lunch was served afterwards; with once again the delicious cold somen noodles that we can never find a rival in Australia. With the children all warmed up to us we talked and played with them and even had one particular girl, Noa, to draw people from the team in manga-style. Also Isaac showed the boys a slapping game where you have to dodge the slap, which ended up giving them lots of fun and red hands. After we prayed to finish off and let the children go home, we enjoyed our long-awaited hot bath and ate dinner at a local ramen place. CAN’T GET TIRED OF RAMEN! EVER!
Overall these two days have been a real encouragement for me, seeing how many people coming and their backgrounds. One of the boys, Eriya, was only 12 years old and despite growing into the church he already managed to pluck the courage and invite his non-Christian friend over. Also seeing how everyone worked together in preparing food and the tents really made me see how they can really provide for one another and be a family under Christ, whether this is how typical Japanese families act towards each other or not. The most regret we have is not spending enough time with the children and emphasis on inviting them over to Sunday service and next Tuesday’s “Australian Party”
So in response to little Sam’s question “How do we share the gospel if we can’t speak Japanese?”
Dav answered “We can always pray for them”. So here’s a list of things to pray for!
• Thank God for your work in this church and this society.
• Thank God for providing us in this trip
• Thank God for giving us the gift to speak Japanese in which helps us communicate to the people in this camp
• Pray for the people at the camp, whether children or adult, to come to know Christ by this event or by the attitudes of others to them
• Pray for the services tomorrow and that our presence will make a positive impact on their faith
• Pray for the team as we recover from the camp. Most of the team members had a bad night of sleep
The Best Moment:
Sam: “When I grow up, I want to be a tomato!”
Dave: “That’s not my son”
Isaac: “Hey Phillip check this photo out … hehehe”
Phillip: “You freaken stirrer”
Isn’t it amazing that even if you do not speak the language,
You can bring Jesus love and hope to them. Well done.
My heart is soooo warmed by the photo if Sam and the Japanese girl he is interacting with!!!! PTL for God’s empowering courage.
May Sam look beyond just settling to be a tomato.
Thanks for the update.
May I encourage you not to focus on ‘regrets’ but how you can embrace future opps.
Hugs to Sam and Dave.
Maddie says:’I miss you for my life.