Today we finished our second annual ladies’ Christmas tea. It was a joy to partner with Sanda friends and have such a special time!
We had forty-some ladies come (thanks to Erik and Eric for watching the children who came as well!) and enjoy lots and lots of homemade Christmas cookies and pastries, special Christmas decorations, Dunkin Donuts coffee, fun games and craft, and a special sharing about love and Christmas.
For the ice breaker game, we had each table dress up one of their members in a Christmas theme… pretty creative ladies!
This year, for the craft we had each lady paint their own Christmas-themed candle. There are some great artists in our midst!
I asked our friend Aya Linscott to come and share a message about Christmas. She said she wanted to “go for it” in terms of sharing about the real meaning of Christmas. As she shared, I was standing in the back, rocking a friend’s baby to sleep, and felt the Lord remind me that this is HIS word, and His Holy Spirit who is moving and working in hearts. I felt such a sense of peace, resting in the Lord just as little Jun-chan was resting in my arms.
Near the end of Aya’s sharing, she showed a four-minute video clip of a father and son that parallels the love of our Father for each of us. It was really moving. I’ve posted it at the end. Wow – what a loving father.
As we closed our time with two Christmas carols, I looked around the rooms at the table of faces of women I have had the chance to love – and who have loved me – over these seven and a half years.
I was overcome by the love of the Father for my dear friends; for me. I couldn’t sing two verses of the First Noel.
One of my visions while working here in Sanda has been to find occasions to partner with believers from other fellowships, and help break down some of the walls that exist in Japan. Even though it is small scale, it was wonderful today to have five or more different churches represented and helping out. It is hard to think of leaving! Aya prayed a blessing with me at the end of the tea for God to carry the seeds that have been sown to new depths and to give others a vision to carry on what He has been doing. I say amen….I know that my Redeemer lives; I know that He is at work in Sanda.