Friday, March 03, 2017

February News(letter)?

Dear friends,

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.)

Wakaba Choir!
Private concert for Mom and Dad
We're thankful for a visit from Celia's parents over New Year's! There were many meals with friends, a Christmas carol party, work done on the house, and even a couple of ski days!

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!
Mt. Yotei
Dad skis through the birch trees
Dad joins the worship team!
Speaking of ski days, Celia went skiing with her friend, Hannah too.

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
Celia learned to play the ukulele—a handmade Christmas present from Dad! Both of us are now using our respective instruments to accompany singing at Wednesday prayer meetings.

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!
We are thankful for progress made on our house! The dining room was finished in time for entertaining at Christmas time. The floor of the tea room, which is also the guest room, was finished in time for Celia’s parents to sleep on it. Celia’s Dad made us a new sink cabinet and worked on a number of other improvements (paint, plumbing, wiring, etc.) in the bathroom. We are thankful for Celia’s Dad, and also for Mr. Inoue, who sometimes calls us to ask when he can come and work on our house.

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.)
We thank God that he has been feeding us and encouraging us through his word.

Morning devotions (Celia) and sermon preparations (Keith) in the newly-completed dining room
We thank God for all of you who pray for us. We couldn’t do this without you.

Love in Christ,
Celia and Keith

1 comment:

MJ Cossel said...

Your parents love you very much.