Getting ready for Christmas

The remaining days of the week, from November 6th to November 12th, were relatively calm. I went on a picnic with Anna on Wednesday before we went to church together. This message was about fulfilling God’s Vision. On Thursday, we did the Bible Café again. On Friday, we went to prayer night, and on Saturday, my roommates and I went to a Korean restaurant that Yuka found before going to Shimokitazawa for our outreach. On Sunday, at church, the morning message was about the meaning of being driven by the Holy Spirit, and in the afternoon message, we were encouraged never to give up. After the afternoon service, we set up the Christmas tree and started decorating. In Japan, it is customary to start preparing and decorating for Christmas on November 1st, so our set-up on November 12th was rather late. (Still very early, in my personal opinion).

The decorated tree (we have bought some more ornaments in the meantime)
We also decorated the entire church with fairy lights.

The following week, on Monday the 13th, my Japanese classes finally began. I joined a group of six people, but four were in their last week. At this school, you can freely choose how many weeks you want to study, and after a language test, they will put you into a class that matches your level. These classes are entertaining, and all the teachers are amiable and bubbly. This makes learning much more fun. On Monday, after class, I met a new Student for a trial lesson. He wants to learn German from me with the goal of taking the B2 level test. We talked about the best approach to reach this goal, and he decided that he would like to continue the classes with me. We had classes over noon on Wednesday and Thursday, so I joined some of my classmates for lunch. On Wednesday, in church, Christian talked about rising as Sons and Daughters of God. Afterwards, we gathered to practise the song ‘Silent Night’. We have four Christmas Events planned this year: one for Students, one just for the ministry School, one for the Waseda Bible Café and one big Church event. We have a short gospel session planned for the big Church event where we will sing a medley of various Christmas songs, one of them being ‘Silent Night’. There will also be some dancing, from those who aren’t in the choir, some games and of course food. I am in the choir and responsible for the café with Yuka; I assist Llyza with the room decorations and will make the Christmas cake for the big Christmas party and the student party.

warming up our voices

This week, I was unfortunately a bit late for the Bible Café. I had a Japanese class from 11:25 to 15:50, and because the room was booked at our usual time, we had to book it for 15:30 to 17:30. Luckily, my school is somewhat close to Waseda University, so I was able to be there after about 30 minutes. I could catch the second half of Christian’s message, and after I quickly introduced myself to the newcomer, we played some games, as Zion had planned a game night.
On Friday, after school, there was a short graduation ceremony for all the students who finished their weeks at the school. I then went back home to finish my homework for ministry school. This time, we had to read both books of Thessalonians and Timothy. We also had to learn 2. Timothy 3:10-11 and Psalm 100 by heart. After practising the two Bible passages for a while, I decided to go out to one of the nearby parks to enjoy a night walk before going to prayer night. After our prayer night, we celebrated Yukie’s Birthday and shared blessings with her.
Saturday afternoon, we went to Ministry school to learn more about the books we read and finish the worship series. And then, they revealed our next homework: create a Tehillah song. (Tehillah: to sing, to laud. It’s a spontaneous new song. Singing from a melody in your heart by adding words to it.) I’m interested to see how that will go.
This Sunday’s Messages were about Spiritual Maturity in the morning and how we can press into a good future in the afternoon. Naturally, we stayed afterwards to have fun together and continued practising our Christmas songs. We were also surprised by one of the members with cake. At first, I thought it was someone’s Birthday again, but then she said she just wanted to show her gratitude to everyone by bringing cake. What a kind gesture!

Of course, we needed the right accessories for all those Christmas preparations.

When we had talked long enough and practised hard enough, we finally decided to go back home, but before that, Anna wanted to show me her favourite second-hand store nearby. We briefly went inside, and she explained to me where the best quality items for the best price were. Then we said our goodbyes, and I went home to finish my homework for language school.