Thursday, December 17, 2009

Like Angel Voices

The sound of handbells at Christmas are like angel voices announcing the birth of Christ. What an inspirational joy it was to have them as part of our Christmas celebration as a church!

Our concert on Sunday featured handbells and gospel music, with a Christmas message from Kaori and I (bilingual), and Christmas carols sandwiched between. Rather than fussing with tickets and money, we simply made the concert a charity event with all giving going toward Wheelchairs of Hope.

Altogether nearly 100 people filled the tiny rental hall. This is quite a gathering for a church in Japan! We prayed and planned through the many details needed to see the event go smoothly. There were a few glitches, but God was honored and glorified. Many unbelievers heard the Gospel message explained as simply as I could, and given an invitation to respond.

Thank you, Lord Jesus! Your next birthday celebration at Denen Grace is coming up this Sunday, 20th.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving Mouse

Thanksgiving was a little different for the Laverman family this year. While our Stateside friends enjoyed Thanksgiving turkey, we enjoyed a mouse...Mickey Mouse, that is. Kaori's folks were down from Yamagata for a week and eager to experience Tokyo Disneyland with family here. So, Kaori's brother's family and ourselves took a day off to challenge the likes of Splash Mountain and Monsters, Inc. Yes, it turns out that it truly is a small world after all.

A couple of things that caught my attention from the day:

1) It seems that Anglo features still fit best with Japanese' perceptions of modern fairy tales. I found it interesting that so many western foreigners were part of the Disney Parade. I suppose it would have been usual to see a Japanese Prince Charming...or would it? And does Mickey have to speak only English. Didn't he get any language training?

2) Japanese are known for their service-orientedness. There were many things that Kaori's father, as a blind man, could not experience in the theme park. But the way that Disney workers fast-tracked us through rides, and bent over backward to accommodate his needs was truly impressive.