Since we've been in Japan, we've been attending Satsunae Lighthouse Church. Our church is about 10 years old, and it was started by OMF missionaries. It is still pastored by foreign missionaries (Tony and Pat Schmidt), but most of the other leaders are Japanese. Right now the church is in the beginning stages of preparation to call a Japanese pastor. One of the first steps was to become a part of JECA (which I believe stands for "Japanese Evangelical Church Association"... but don't quote me on that).
The church is small, but it feels big because it's so lively. There are children everywhere. I'm finally starting to figure out which children belong to which parents. It's taken quite a while since no one seems to sit together with their families in the church service or during lunch. We meet in what used to be a large house. Tony and Pat live on the second floor.
Today we helped lead worship. Keith played the piano and I played cello. Kaori-san planned the service and sang. Maybe we will lead singing someday too, but for now it's nice to play the cello, because then I don't have to worry about text! Singing is great language practice, though.
Every Sunday after church we eat lunch together. On the first Sunday of the month, there's a potluck. My contribution (lentil and bean stew/chili/whatever) is in the red pot in the foreground. Today there was also a birthday cake for Keith and four other people. (We couldn't escape entirely from food now, could we?)
Please pray for our church:
- As I mentioned, we are making preparations to call a Japanese pastor.
- We are starting an Alpha course in 2 weeks (October 18). Please pray that this class would be a blessing to the neighborhood... and that it would be well attended by people who are curious about Christianity and eagerly seeking God.
- Our pastors (Tony and Pat) are currently on vacation in Vancouver! Please pray for their safe travels and for those who are taking care of things in their absence.