For most missionaries in Japan, Christmas can be a very intense season of busyness and excitement. Our team is no exception, and I am so thankful for all the wonderful ways God has opened doors for our team to share the joy and wonder of Christmas with the people of Ishinomaki and Onagawa.

First off, our team was invited to help with setting up a Christmas light display in Onagawa. Although I thought the final result was pretty stunning, we were told that the pre-tsunami display was seven times as bigger and grander. I was very impressed with the hard work and dedication of the many Japanese volunteers who worked in the freezing cold weather.
Pulling the pieces out of the boxes

Andy and Lorna with Megumi working on gigantic handmade wreaths

The final result – a pageant of lights in the heart of a disaster zone!

Lorna, Chami, and Katherine in one of their handmade wreaths

Teammate Chami playing Christmas songs at the opening lights ceremony

Post-ceremony meal at our friend Miki’s tiny cafe

We enjoyed a mix of Japanese and western foods – fried chicken, pasta salad, fries, chicken salad on crackers, crab rice, and tonjiru soup!

This past Saturday we partnered with the Ishinomaki Christian Center to hold a Christmas event for the people of Watanoha. Our friend Jonathan, who is practically a professional singer, wowed the crowd with Christmas hits!

This is a photo of the event before all the guests arrived – sorry I don’t have a photo of all the smiling faces!

Decorations and bundt cake

Me looking goofy during Jonathan’s mini-concert

Christmas lunch!

Volunteers serving the meal

In coming week, our team is planning several Christmas tea times and parties – it’s surely going to be a great week of proclaiming the story of Christmas to those who have never heard. What an honor and privilege!