Before January draws to a close, we wanted to write about the wonderful Japanese tradition of exchanging New Year cards. I don’t know if other Asian countries do this or not, but we’ve come to love January 1st, when special postal workers are all hired to make the rounds and deliver nengajo, or New Year postcards. We love to sit and read through the colorful stack of cards that we receive from our Japanese friends, most with a family photo printed on them.
Every year there is an animal assigned to that year, coinciding with the Chinese zodiacal calendar. This year is the year of the rat, so most cards, if you look closely, have a picture of a rodent of some kind on the front (somehow I can’t see this going over big on Christmas cards in the U.S…).
There were two cards that really touched me. They are both from women who are currently studying English with me on Thursdays. This one is from my friend Yuriko, who was our first neighbor friend to begin studying English. She writes, “You color my life! Thank you for giving me special chance.”
Recently she has been wrestling with the truths of Jesus. This week she gave a ride to a Japanese Christian friend in the class and asked her many questions about God answering prayer.
A new mom friend from Owen’s kindergarten wrote on her card to us, “This year I am thankful for Jesus and for Sue.” She had just finished studying about Jesus in our Christmas English Bible class. Pray that we (Eric and I and our partnership with our Japanese church members) have wisdom in sharing with Keiko and the other 3 women in our afternoon class who are interested in Jesus…pray that He can truly color their lives…