Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for?

Most people spend the majority of their time complaining about what they don't have. We ought to, especially as Christians, focus more on the many blessings that we do have. 
  • If you have a place to sleep and food to eat, then you have more than 75% of the world.
  • If you can freely worship God, you are more blessed than the 3 billion people who cannot.
  • If you for certain where you will spend eternity when you die, then remember that this life is very short. Let's not waste time complaining, but by being a blessing to others!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anyone Thirsty?

One of the, uh, joys of living in a foreign land is figuring out the language.  As we are both ministering so much at the school, we have really appreciated the grocery delivery service.  You put your order in online and for a modest fee they bring it to your door.  As we do not have a vehicle, the fee (about $3.50) is cheaper than the taxi would cost, so it makes sense.

However, in my rush to get the order in last week, I inadvertently misordered.  Instead of ordering "24 bottles of water", I ordered "24 6 packs of water."

We now have enough water for the rest of the year.

I almost feel like Jesus when He said, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me..."

(and yes, I know He was talking about Spiritual thirst).

Well, if anyone needs a drink, please do not hesitate to stop on by!

Our friends from Romania

A couple that attend our church hail from Romania.  Robert drives one of the buses for the school, while Christina is a hair dresser.  We talked her into coming over for lunch and cutting the girls hair.  We were definitely blessed by the fellowship!  And the girls were much more comfortable at home.  Thanks Christina!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chestnut Day

If you are not familiar with "Chestnut Day", well perhaps you aren't Portuguese.  It is a day to honor not only chestnuts, but "Saint Martin."  As the story/legend goes, Martin was riding along in the rain and came across a beggar getting drenched.  He gave the beggar his own tunic and rode off.  Miraculously, the sun came out.  What this has to do with chestnuts, I have no idea.

On November 11, it is Portuguese custom to remember this saint by downing large quantities of roasted chestnuts and an alcoholic beverage.  At our school celebration we of course did not have any alcohol, but we did roast chestnuts and the students sang a song in Portuguese.

Mika is wearing a traditional Portuguese outfit.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Pumpkin Prayer

We are not into celebrating Halloween.
It has become a day focused on the macabre and dwelling on darkness is not something we feel we should do.

However, we do enjoy this time of year, especially the foods.  We were pleased to find pumpkins available (they are green in Japan).  We also came across this neat "Pumpkin Prayer":

Pumpkin Carving Prayer

Dear God,
As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer:

Open my mind so I can learn about You;
(Cut the top of the pumpkin)

Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do.
(Clean out the inside)

Open my eyes so Your love I will see;
(Cut the eyes out)

I'm so sorry for turning up my nose to all you've given me.
(Cut a nose in the shape of a cross)

Open my ears so your word I will hear.
(Cut the ears)

Open my mouth so I can tell others You're near
(cut the mouth)

Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen.
(Place a candle inside and light it)

The kiddos enjoyed this a lot!