So we had a really busy and really fun week. Keith and I had the opportunity to team-teach the “Bible Blast” station at Vacation Bible School at a local military base. We took on characters for the week–Keith was a very nerdy, goofy scientist and I was his British, and slightly stoic counterpart. It was a good combination! We had so much fun making the Bible Stories come alive for these kids. The kids got to “experience” Bible stories, from being quarantined from leprosy to being drenched in a makeshift boat to walking on water to moving the sin of the believing man on Calvary to Jesus’ cross, and even to seeing the Holy Spirit come at Pentecost and being able to suddenly understand someone who was previously speaking an unknown tongue. I have thought for years that I’m too nervous or impatient or something to be effective at childrens’ ministry, but something happened in me this week. I can’t explain it quite yet. There were even a few times when we saw tears in a few kids’ eyes–some of them really got it this week. And so many of them made decisions for Christ this week for the first time. It was truly touching and humbling to be a part of!
Our own sweet children also had the chance to be part of this VBS, and they had so much fun. Claire, especially, really gained some special insight into what happened back at Calvary. She brought me this picture today, and explained it to me. Just a few things that she said that touched my heart–she colored Jesus’ head red because of the crown of thorns they made him wear, there is a heart on one of the other crosses to signify the guilty man who believed in Jesus that day and went to heaven with him, there is a sad face on the heart of the man standing next the cross standing for the great sin in his heart, the sad people around the cross are Claire, Adam, me, and our sweet new family member Konomi, and finally–the thing that got me the most—I asked her why there is a giant sad face on the hill with the big tears. She said that on that day the whole earth was sad. Be still my heart. I am continually so moved by our kids, watching their hearts unfold to Him, and watching Him win them over. It’s an amazing thing to see.
This next part is not a complaint, but rather a heartfelt prayer request: One of the hardest things about ministering in a foreign country, specifically this one, is that there just isn’t currently in place anything to offer children at church. Not just our church, but ANY Japanese church. It’s really hard to see our kids sort of bored at church, when we’ve seen them so alive and responsive to worship in other scenarios. PLEASE pray for us that God will give us the wisdom, and the favor with our church leadership, and the time and energy to do something about this. Not just for the sake of our own kids, but for the other children at church, and for the future of Japan, we are really feeling an urgency to get something amazing and innovative up and going for these kids. Our biggest obstacles are cultural and linguistic, perhaps, but that CAN’T stop this from happening. There just has to be a way to move on this. Would you please pray with us and for us about this? Thank you friends!