It's been a while. Although we've both been writing in a variety of genres, including some attempts at blog posts, we have been up to our ears in a difficult situation which we can't write about on the blog... and it has been all-consuming. Thus, nearly all of this month's newsletter has been censored. (Please let us know if you would like a copy emailed to you.) Please do keep us in your prayers; we need it. Hopefully we will have many bloggable experiences in the near future, so that when things calm down, we will be able to post here again.
So, instead of copying what little of the newsletter we could post here, we would like to share some recent pictures and things we are thankful for.
At Christmas, we put together a “choir” at church, and sang John Rutter’s Nativity Carol (in Japanese translation) in 4 parts! (Celia got choked up and barely got through it.) Celia also learned, memorized, and gave her first performance of Bach’s fourth cello suite, also as part of Wakaba’s Christmas festivities. (The second performance was a private concert for Mom and Dad.)
|Private concert for Mom and Dad|
|Christmas carols at Matsu House with viols and recorder!|
|We went to 2 different Tokumitsu coffee shops! This is the downtown Sapporo store.|
|I had no time to make Osechi this year. Thankfully Mrs. Tamura did. We ate it at their house!|
|I love Hokkaido trees! (I did this on purpose...)|
|After skiing: onsen (not pictured) and meat!|
|Dad skis through the birch trees|
|Dad joins the worship team!|
Keith led communion in Japanese for the first time!
Celia preached her first sermon in Japanese (on Luke 5:17-26), wearing a kimono!
|With kimono-friends after preaching|
|Our instruments are siblings! Keith's is a guitar (Jackson), and Celia's is an ukulele (Jackie), both with red cedar tops, and back and sides made from the same maple tree in Celia's backyard!|
|The moment we realized there was a random bit of foundation right where we wanted to put the tea-hearth. Thankfully, Mr. Inoue knew what to do!|
|First tea in the tea room, for Celia's parents! (Walls and various other details still yet to be completed)|
|That glorious moment when Dad reconnected the toilet intake and we could flush again... we were all getting a little tired of carrying water from the kitchen.|
|Almost finished! We need to do the backsplash tile, and then we can actually hook up the sink. (Mirror and light fixture, not pictured here, have already been installed.)|
|Morning devotions (Celia) and sermon preparations (Keith) in the newly-completed dining room|
Love in Christ,
Celia and Keith