Ah, rest. Following a rather busy holiday season, our team took a week-long break to rest and recuperate. It was wonderful to have nothing to do but relax! At any rate, we had a whole lot of fun celebrating Christmas with our Japanese friends.
During and after our monthly Old Folks’ English class, as we call it, the elderly residents seemed to have a ball rubbing my ever-growing belly. I don’t mind it at all since it makes them smile and probably brings back happy memories of their younger days.

At one of our Christmas gatherings, we acted out the Christmas story.

At another gathering, I played Maria (not too surprising).

These ladies from Onagawa had a ball building their own gingerbread houses. Lorna bought the kits at Ikea in Sendai and made the icing herself.

We had another Christmas gathering for our friends in Ishinomaki.

Since it was a potluck, everything brought something to share. It was scrumptious!
We watched a long clip from “The Nativity Story” and sang Christmas songs. It was so fun!

We also played lots of games which is something a bit unfamiliar in Japanese culture.

Playing “Hedbanz” – you have to guess what your card is by asking yes or no questions.

New Year’s Eve gathering – enjoying a nabe (hot pot) dinner
The Japanese nabe (hot pot) meals are terrific! Just throw a whole bunch of veggies and meat in a pot with a seasoning packet and enjoy.Fun playing Uno
Andy with the noisemakers

Celebrating two team members’ birthdays

Matthias and I went to Sendai for his 31st birthday. We caught the end of the Sendai Festival of Lights which was quite lovely!

We look forward with great anticipation to what God will do here in our city, Ishinomaki,  and neighboring Onagawa. A few of the things we are personally looking forward to are 1) the completion of our team trailer in Onagawa 2) deepening of relationships with people in Ishinomaki and Onagawa 3) finding housing in Onagawa or Ishinomaki (God-willing) 4)asdf 5) the arrival of our daughter in March! Happy New Year 2014!