Relay Races

We had quite a weekend… it was sort of like a crazy relay race in which we were barely able to get the baton into the next hand without dropping it, all the while trying to care well for the little foster baby entrusted to our care.  (Thankfully we didn’t drop him…)

Saturday was Owen’s first elementary school undokai, or sports festival.  It is a BIG deal!  We had friends watch little Y-kun, while we went and enjoyed watching Owen and the rest of his classmates run in races, participate in a traditional Japanese folk dance, and delight in the events of the day.

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photo_2Yesterday, Owen’s best friend (center above) was diagnosed with the new influenza.  Please pray for him and his family… We are keeping our eyes on our kids, too, as it has started going around our school.  Influenza continues to be big news in Japan — the second child (a first grader) just died yesterday from this illness in a nearby prefecture.  Here are two grandparents cheering at the sports festival, prepared to fight the flu:

IMG_3665That afternoon I went with baby Y. to a fun baby shower for a special little friend in Kobe, Joshua K.  Joshua was adopted by his parents, friends with Asian Access, two months ago.  He is an absolute delight, and it was so much fun to celebrate him.  I had worked the night before on a cake in Joshua’s honor (at one point I was decorating it with Y. in a baby carrier around my front so he wouldn’t cry and I could get the project done before the sun came up!:) )

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On Sunday after house church we had a ladies’ tea here for the women who had hosted the August team that came to Sanda.  It was great to “treat” them to an American-style tea and share stories of their homestays and relationships and learn how we can do things better as we host teams.

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It was God’s amazing gift to have our friend Megumi come for the five-day long weekend that we had.  She helped in a million-and-one-ways, even taking night shifts feeding baby Y.  Despite a pretty crazy weekend, we are fairly refreshed heading back into our schedules.  Thanks, Megumi, for taking the baton and being such an amazing part of our family.

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I was greatly encouraged last week by a verse that reminded me of the lofty — scary — exhilarating position of our daily lives.  It is now written on our kitchen chalkboard:

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. (2 Cor 2:14)

Here it is in the Message version:

In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.

Even on those weekends that feel like each day is its own sports festival, the promise to us who walk with Him is that God will lead us as one “perpetual victory parade.”  An aroma redolent with life — what a wonderful confidence He gives us in the midst of our every day lives, even the fullest of days.

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