Valentine’s Special

Quite a time has passed since my last blog entry. This time, I want to tell you about our Valentine’s special.

After the vision camp, not many new things happened. I went to school; we had church on Wednesdays and Sundays, prayer night on Fridays, ministry school on some Saturdays, and on the other Saturdays, we went to do the outreach in Shimokitazawa. I also went on some tourist adventures with friends from Japan, from the language school, and also some friends from Switzerland.

Meanwhile, we also started planning and inviting the Valentine’s special, which was scheduled for February 11th. I was in charge of food, which basically meant that I should ask the church members if they could bring something to eat or drink and organize who would bring what. Luckily, the members were all very willing to help, and everyone I asked agreed to bring something. Some had their own ideas about what to bring, and some told me they would think about it or bring whatever I needed. Thus, the organizing of the food was done rather quickly and easily. A week before the event, we asked everyone if they still remembered what they were supposed to bring, and some who weren’t bringing anything yet offered to also bake or buy something. In the end, we had a lot of cakes, some cookies and chocolates, a chocolate fondue and a salty Indonesian rice-chicken snack.

On Sunday the 11th, many of us arrived early to help with the preparations, and some also had to finish their desserts. This time, I brought self-made chocolates, and Anna and I prepared a Marmorcake (with a twist). These are both things that I could make in advance, so on this Sunday I was able to help those who needed help.

We had the morning service as usual, and we quickly ate some sandwiches for lunch to have enough time to finish all the preparations.

When the guests arrived, we greeted them with a small bag with some chocolates and a bible verse inside (similar to the ones we handed out on Christmas).

We also gave everyone a separate Chocolate, where they could choose from four different flavours. As usual, we started with worshipping. After a few songs, we then had to split into groups by finding all the other people who had the same flavour of chocolate received at the beginning. We then played a little game, had to introduce ourselves and finally told the members what we thought the ideal marriage proposal looked like. We then returned to our seats and sang two more songs before Christian shared the Valentine’s message. He talked about love, relationships and marriage. He led the message towards the ultimate love of God that is beyond compare.

After the message, we returned to our groups from the beginning to share what we received from the message (before the guests arrived, we harvesters had already taken our chocolates to ensure that there were some core members in every group).

Then, it was time to set up the buffet. Everyone helped so we could build up everything quickly, and soon we prayed a blessing over the food, took some pictures, and then it was time to dig in.

Again, I tried to talk to some newcomers, especially Yukie’s friends, as she asked me to make friends with them. These friends and some other members wanted to learn English, so I had to give up on my Japanese practice and teach them English instead. At first, we tried to talk a bit, but soon, we were practising English self-introduction and how to talk about hobbies and family. Since I was occupied with these new friends, some other members took over the refilling of the buffet and the cleaning when we came towards the end. I was very grateful for their help, and my students were just as grateful that I didn’t have to run away whenever something needed to be refilled or cleaned. It was a great time, and we all felt blessed for those who came and for everyone who helped.

PS: One of Yukie’s friends is now coming to church every week, and we have a small English class after the church service. What a great motivation for him to come to church! Last week, we bought a grammar and vocabulary book, and I will create a schedule for proper English classes every week.