More Christmases

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a blessed holiday and an excellent start to the new year. I was pretty busy, so I’m only updating now. So we will take a quick step back to the 10th of December when we had our big church Christmas party. As you all know, we have been preparing for this for a while with singing practice, preparing gifts, buying decorations, organizing games and baking. Like every Sunday, we met early on the morning of the 10th.

I brought my cake and some materials to finish before the morning service, and others also prepared some last-minute gifts and food.

Then, we had our prayer time and service as usual. For Lunch, we just ate some bread with marmalade, as we wanted to save time with food, and we knew there would be enough food later. We then started setting up more chairs, and we even got chairs from another place, as we weren’t sure how many people would be coming, but we invited about 80.

At the entrance, we prepared a welcome desk, greeted everyone who came, asked them to write their name on a sticker, and handed out a small bag with cookies, other sweets, a Bible verse inside, and a Bingo Card.

Soon, the room became filled with many new faces and excited chatter. Yukie introduced me to a friend of hers, who is very good at speaking German, so I talked to him for a while, trying to make him feel welcome at this big event.

Like any event, we started with an icebreaker. We had to build groups of 4-6 people and then introduce ourselves with our names, where we lived and how old we were when we discovered that Santa wasn’t real. Then we started the worship session, and Christian gave a message about how Jesus brought hope to the World by being born. After the message, we didn’t split into sharing groups, as there were too many people. Still, we harvesters were tasked with asking the people we were talking to about what they had received during the message. In the meantime, we quickly put all the chairs aside and set up two tables in the middle of the room to set the food on them. We prayed quickly to bless the food, and the feast began. At the students‘ Christmas Party, I tried to talk to as many people as possible, asking them about the message, the Church, and things about their private lives, such as hobbies and preferences.

After an hour of chatting and eating, we were surprised by another magic show with even crazier, mind-blowing tricks. Then, after some more time together, we gathered everyone to start the Bingo game. There were many fun prices; everyone had great fun waiting for the right numbers and comparing their cards to their neighbours. Approximately 15 prices later, the game was over, and people slowly started returning home. We cleaned everything and said goodbye to our last guests before we gathered. We quickly discussed the event and prayed our thanks for this grand event.

Our next Christmas Party was on the 21st at the Bible Café at Waseda. We met later than usual, as the party would only begin at 19:30. The procedure was similar to all our Bible Café events. We started with worshipping, then made groups by letting everyone pull candy from a Santa Claus hat. Everyone with the same candy would make a group. We quickly introduced ourselves in our groups and then played flipping cups and tic tac toe. Basically, we had a cup on the table, and with one finger, we could flick it so that it would turn; if the cup stood, we could make a cross or circle in the tic tac toe game. If the cup tipped over, we had to try over. We were four groups, so we first played against one group, and then the two winners would play against each other to determine a final winner. After the game, Yukie shared a testimony before Christian gave his message, where he talked about the Christmas Story. We then shared what we had received with the big group, and finally, we set up some food. We chatted with the students and ate our food; Zion’s magician friend later also showed up, and naturally, he started a magic show. Unfortunately, our time in the room we rented was already over. So we quickly grabbed our things and went to a student lounge at Waseda University, where we unpacked everything again. We continued chatting and watched the entire magic show.

After another hour, the school security came to tell us that the doors would close soon, so we grabbed our things again and decided to end the event there. We all walked to the train station together, and some planned to meet again soon.

Our final Christmas event was a small, spontaneous one. On the 24th, we had Church as always. Still, in the afternoon service, we started by watching a 15-minute film about Jesus‘ birth before Christian shared his message about Jesus being born to us. After the message, we prepared more snacks than usual. So we had a final mini Christmas Party, just like the church members, on Christmas Eve. We had a great time and enjoyed this time together.