Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April First Twenty-ten

I am trying hard to avoid mentioning the name this day is more popularly called lest this message be misconstrued as prank. NO, it's real and here are some facts to know why I'm serious:

It's a bit of concern because we have special events going on over the weekend. We are having a picnic or cherry blossom viewing (Jp, hanami) on Saturday (April 3rd). The following day is, of course, Easter or Resurrection Sunday. Yet, it has been forecasted that it would be rainy today and in the coming days. The weather is really acting strange lately. Have you seen snow in spring? Yes, it happened here on Monday night!?

It is good to remember though that God controls nature. We recently launched our new ministry, the Lighthouse English Cafe (LEC). This coffee ministry serves tea and of course, brewed coffee to a growing group of customers who also want to hone their English-speaking ability by chatting with foreign hosts (volunteers from our church). We also offer free program in the course of the afternoon every fourth Saturday of the month plus a surprise slice of cake or quiche prepared by our hospitable ladies. With the consecutive LEC events we held on February 27 and on March 27, the days surrounding them were really gloomy and wet. But God, in answer to the prayers of many, made the skies lit up on the day of our LEC ministry. Praise the LORD!

Did you know that we now have a FILIPINO ministry? This on and off ministry has finally taken off the ground with a monthly worship service conducted in the Filipino language (Tagalog) to cater to the growing Filipino community in Kyoto City. Currently held once a month (every 3rd Sunday) from 13:00-14:30 P.M., we meet in the main sanctuary with less than twenty people. The first meeting was last February 21st and the next one will be on April 18th. Please spread the word. A new link on our website leads to it, but it is still being developed.

By the way, I already finished preaching on the series covering the names of God. After this Holy Week, we will again consider a new series of messages. Please pray for my preparation and watch out for it!

In March, we said our sayonara (farewell) to Miki Liu, an exchange student from University of Queensland at Kyoto's University of Foreign Studies, who has since returned to Australia to graduate. We also miss Phil Jimmieson, Miki's friend who came to visit. Likewise, Mami Morioka has gone back to Australia to pursue her PhD.

There's a rhyme I've seen on my wife's pillow case some years ago when she was still my girlfriend. Somehow it stuck with me:

March winds and April showers
Bring forth May flowers.

Spring is here! God bless everyone. Happy Easter!!!