Merry Christmas from Yokohama! We've had a busy but good month, with Christmas outreach events in both Ibaraki and Kanagawa. Jeff's dad also visited Japan for the first time, and was able to finally meet Elijah in person! It was a blessed time to be able to see him again and show him our life here in Japan.
It's amazing how prevalent Christmas decorations are in Japan despite less than 1% of the population being Christian. I suppose it's not dissimilar to the commercialization of Christmas in America, but in Japan it's a bit strange to see Christmas lights and hear Christmas music all over, but to have so many people not know who the holiday is truly celebrating. When asked whose birthday we are celebrating on Christmas, it's common to hear the answer "Santa-san." But Japanese are also keen to know more about this holiday that is celebrated more and more in their country. We are thankful for this opportunity to share about Jesus!
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Updates & Praise:
It was a busy month for ministry, but praise God that our Christmas events went well! There were many answered prayers, including miraculous healing just in time for the events to start. From the kids' Christmas outreach at Saiwaicho Christ Church in Ibaraki, to the kids' and young adult Christmas outreach event at Azamino Chapel, many people came and heard about the true meaning of Christmas, and had a little fun along the way. All the glory to God!
Malia will start teaching English once a week at Mason and Kaili's school next month, and she continues to help serve in the children's ministry at church and in her role as the Team Development Facilitator with the Cross Project. She also sang on worship for the first time during the Christmas service!
Jeff continues to record the Azamino Chapel messages to post online, and is looking forward to finding new ways to connect with Japanese men and dads in the new year.
We've continued to get new and increased support--we're now short of our monthly budget by $875/month, and all but $1000 of our one-time moving expenses have been covered as well. Thank you and praise God! Please prayerfully consider if you feel called to start or increase an ongoing commitment, or make a one-time donation as part of your year-end giving.
Please pray for continued in-roads and conversations with the Japanese around us. We've been able to connect more with some local families, and some even attended our Christmas events!
Please pray for our ongoing language learning, that we would be able to gain confidence in speaking and apply what we learn in our budding ministry contexts.
Merry Christmas from the Walkers!
Christmas morning // Family silly time // Visiting Minato Mirai with Jeff's dad
Mason and Kaili performing at school // Thanksgiving celebration with teammates & friends
Kids' Christmas event in Ibaraki // Azamino Chapel Christmas event
We would love to hear from you, whether it be to share your prayer requests or to simply catch up. Please know that we think of you and pray for you often.
Thanks and blessings,
Jeff, Malia, Mason, Kaili, and Elijah