BBQ at Tamagawa River

After around three weeks in Switzerland, I returned to Tokyo with my parents joining me. The first week we spent in Tokyo, sightseeing, taking long walks in parks, and, of course, meeting the church members and attending various events. On Sunday, April 28th, we didn’t attend church like usual. Instead, we went to the Tamagawa River and held service outdoors. But before we went to the river, some other members went to church to prepare some food, such as rice balls, cutting corn and other vegetables, and marinating meat. When we finished, the other members waited for Naomi and Christian to bring the car to transport all the food and materials while I went to meet my parents and eat a quick breakfast with them. After breakfast, we took a train and walked for about 20 minutes to get to the location.

There, we met some church members who were already there and waited for Christian and Naomi to arrive with all the things. When they arrived, we helped carry everything to our location and started setting up for church. At 11, we started the service like always, with some worship, and the Christian shared a message, drawing inspiration from water and rivers, as we were sitting next to one. We then sat in small groups and shared what we had received, and we talked and enjoyed the good weather.

At this point, my parents and I realized how glad we were to have eaten a good breakfast, as we were told that the BBQ would only be after the afternoon service and not for lunch. So we waited for the afternoon service to start while new people arrived to join us for the second celebration. Again, we started with worship, and Christian shared a message similar to the one from the morning. Then, the BBQ finally began. We all joined to set up the grill, prepare all the food, and then distribute the food while trying to talk to the newcomers and visitors. We all enjoyed cooking, playing around and talking. The weather was also perfect.

There was an overwhelming amount of food, and when some of us thought we were ending, someone brought a new food to put on the grill. Towards the end, they even started frying noodles (Yakisoba) on the BBQ grill, much to the surprise of my parents and me.

When the sun started to set, and everyone was full to the brim, we finally ended the BBQ party. Some visitors had already left, and the remaining ones gathered in a circle. We prayed a final blessing before cleaning everything and then disbanding. It was a great afternoon full of blessings, joy and a lot of food, and many people could be touched by the presence of God.