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Mount Fuji Conference!

September 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Actually, I lied, we’re not really AT Mt. Fuji.  But we’re “close”!

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(You can just see the tip of Mt. Fuji poking out over the mountains)

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Worship time!

July 16, 2015 Leave a comment

Have I mentioned I’ve started leading worship at the bilingual church?  Yep, me.  That’s right.  And when’s the last time I led worship in ANY shape/form/group?  Uhhhh, NEVER.

So yeah, this is NOT because I’m particularly talented in music or gifted in leading worship or have a decent singing voice (and btw, I have none of these things), oh no, but I’m leading more or less because there is LITERALLY NO ONE ELSE who can do it.

Honestly, leading worship at church is probably at the bottom of the list of ministries I expected to be involved in, beaten only by things like performing miracles and becoming a pastor.  Though, looking back, I probably should have realized this was going to happen when my completely out-of-the-blue and urgent desire to really start learning to play the guitar was immediately (like literally an hour later) followed by my teammates the Murrays gifting me with a FREE guitar that some short-termer had RANDOMLY left years ago and it JUST HAPPENED to still be sitting in their house with NO ONE else to use it so Jess, if you’re planning on getting a guitar anyway you should just use this one…

God totally gave me this guitar as a heads up, but I was way too slow to pick up on it.

God totally gave me this guitar as a heads up, but I was way too slow to pick up on it.

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Gingerbread houses!

January 16, 2013 1 comment

I know I said last year that I was crazy for doing a gingerbread house party; totally, barking mad and I would never in a thousand years do it again…

Well, maybe 1000 years is just shorter than I thought it was.  Or maybe I’m underestimating my forgetfulness.  Either way, I made gingerbread houses for my English class parties.  Again.

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Categories: Ministry Stuff, Pictures

Long time no see! And new team members!

October 15, 2012 Leave a comment

After a three-month hiatus, you’d think some sort of apology or explanation would be in line.  But in the end, it’s all just empty excuses anyway, so let’s just dive right back into life, shall we?
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce some new teammates!  Meet Alyssa, Morgan, and Madison!

Sydney, Taylor, Madison, Morgan, and Alyssa at the aquarium

During their time in the US, God has opened up a most awesome opportunity for the Murrays to adopt a sibling set of three girls.  They are now in the final stages of the adoption process, and the Oh’s and I cannot wait to meet them when they all return to Japan.

I’ve been personally really blessed by the Murrays’ story and how they’ve opened up their hearts to these little girls.  So I’ve included here a little of what the Murrays shared in their last newsletter.

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Categories: Ministry Stuff

Late Night Cookies

June 13, 2012 3 comments

My all-time recent (oxymoron?) favorite chocolate chip cookie.

Actually, I tweak this recipe a fair amount (for example, no dried cherries in Japan) but close enough.  It’s awesome.  Better yet, it freezes and bakes up again well.  So now I can have cookies whenever even if I don’t have any butter.  Like, right at this very moment.  😀

Which reminds me, prayers would be most appreciated for our team and church!  We’re having a little trouble transferring the money we collected for the new church cross.  Plus, the exchange rate has plummeted in the last month which means we’ll have rather less than we thought.  Every little point helps!!!

Categories: Daily Life, Ministry Stuff

Wow…

April 9, 2012 1 comment

An awesome weekend.

Is it possible to express in words how overwhelmed and humbled I am to be a part of God’s work here in Japan?

A beautiful Easter weekend was topped off by the opening service at the new church plant in Asaminami.  A bunch of us got together the day before to set up chairs and such, and through all the un-packaging (cuz man, Japanese people know how to wrap their chairs) I just couldn’t stop marveling at the fact that I could be here to see this new church open its doors for the first time.

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I mean, I didn’t even do anything for it (except raise a little money perhaps).

We were only expecting the core members sent from the other churches to be at Sunday service, but there were like 5 other families there!  The worship hall was like half-filled!!  Just goes to show how our faith is always too small compared to what God’s doing.

So excited for the next year!!!

Categories: Ministry Stuff

Easter Party!

April 2, 2012 1 comment

Cotton leftover from Christmas decorations.

Crayons.

Stickers.

Paas egg-dying set.

50 hard-boiled eggs.

Guess what we did for our end-of-the-year party???

A little early, but I figured it was close enough that we could do an Easter egg hunt and paint Easter eggs all the same.  Had nine adults and four kids – with me that’s 15 people in my apartment!  We were definitely hitting max capacity but we managed alright!

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Categories: Ministry Stuff, Pictures