This is the real story, verses all the abstract processing in the other entry.
So, Sunday was really great this week. This was partially because I was really sick this week, and so I was actually somewhat rested when Sunday came around. But it was one of those days for just being present at church.
In Japan there is a day once a year when children are brought to shrines to be blessed. Many churches have an alternative day to this where the children can get blessed. Our day was today, and we had maybe ten kids and babies in church. Everything from a month old baby nestled quietly against her mother to a missionary kid still sniffling over not being allowed candy during church.
There was also a guy at our church for the first time who I met at the youth gathering two months ago. He and Ken and I got Chinese bentos for lunch and hung out, while the kids ran around and caused fun chaos. One girl came in and gave us a crash "English" lesson. It began by asking us if she should write in Japanese or English, and I shouted out "Spanish". We had a ten section lesson of how to say "Hola" and then they dashed out again.
Apparently they are getting ready for a Christmas play which has all the elements in the making to be a wonderful time. Mostly I am excited about Jessica (the missionaries' 5 year old daughter) being Mary and Sungbong (A 30-something Korean guy at Hongo who is well loved by all the kids) being Joseph. He was informed this by Jessica's mother, and he turned to Jessica's father and said "Yoroshiku". That doesn't really translate, but in that context it probably means something like, "Please look kindly on me since I am about to marry your daughter."
The new guy at church was a good guy as well, and commented how everyone just left after the service at his other church, but he really liked being able to hang out at Hongo. He definitely got baptized into our community...we young folk were all enlisted to stuff pew cushions into covers that Etsuko accidentally shrunk while ironing. After a valiant battle we managed it. :-)
I was reminded just how much I love my church...where else can you get a 10 second "English" lesson from a seven year old Japanese girl, check in with a woman you've been praying with and talking to for months since she got evicted from her apartment and hear about the new place she's moved into, get in pew cushion cover stuffing contest which is looked on by a bunch of women making pumpkin bread, get in deep conversations about how we figure out our future and depend on God at the same time...and what it really means to depend on God anyway, and worship all in the same day?!