The Summer is coming to and end soon,but the days are still very hot.
One of my theme for this year is to “enjoy the seasons that God has made”.
I realized that the year has gone by so quickly and that I have been spending my time without really thinking about it, even though God created the seasons.
☑️ Eat lots of summer vegetables and fruits.
☑️ Go to sunflower field
☑️Have a picnic at night
☑️ watch fireworks
☑️ have guests over for dinner, etc….
I had a very productive summer. Thank you God!
I will take a late summer vacation in September. I am also thankful that I have been given time off.
I am now making a list of things I want to do in the fall.
Fall is the season of sweet potatoes, and many places will have sweet potato sweets and drinks. Mont Blanc, Tsukimi burgers! I would like to taste Chinese tea. I want to go see silver grass too!
Hi~! I’m Hoshimi Kanari, GiFT core group leader. I’d like to report on GiFT fellowship in the Kanto area of Japan and the Summer Celebration event held in July.
GiFT (Growing in Fellowship Tokyo) is a gathering for returnees and returnee Christians in the Kanto area. I joined as a core group member of GiFT in 2021, and it’s my hope that GiFT will be additional place for everyone to enjoy each other and be filled with God’s love. GIFT is also where we can pass on blessings of this fellowship and the joy of serving onto the next generation. Many of those who attended a Christian church outside of Japan, encounter Jesus, and are saved, are often college students. I hope GiFT can be a place where the next generation of returnees and returnee Christians can rest when they return to the Kanto area and be encouraged in their faith life in Japan.
GiFT plans events every two months in the 2023 fiscal year. Up till last year, we held online events due to COVID19, but from this year hold in-person events entirely; a game night in May and Summer Celebration in July and are planning a picnic in September. (Saturday, September 9 from 5:00 p.m. at Yoyogi Park). We try to get together regularly with fellow returnees to share memories of life overseas, testimonies of our God experiences, and the difficulties of life in Japan, while praying and encouraging one another. Some people experience reverse culture shock after returning to Japan. I hope that we can experience together in the Japanese church the good things we experienced in churches overseas. For this purpose, please come to GiFT events! We’re also always looking for core members! If you have a heart for returnees and returnee Christians, why don’t you join us and serve at GiFT?
【Report on Summer Celebration】
On Saturday, July 29, 2023, Summer Celebration was held at the Ochanomizu Christian Center 8th floor Chapel. Summer Celebration is the largest of GiFT’s events. This year’s theme was “OUR HOME – The Kingdom of God here”. When we come home to Japan, sometimes feeling troubled and conflicted by the difficulty and rigidity of life in Japan, family and friends who don’t understand our faith, cultural differences in the Japanese church, and we sometimes feel as if “Japan is not the place for me”. However, the God who touched and met us overseas is also here in Japan. The Kingdom of God which we experienced overseas can also be experienced here in Japan. It makes sense that God has a plan to send us, whom He loves, to Japan. Therefore, let us pray and walk together so that this place where we are now will become OUR HOME and the Kingdom will spread in this land! We have chosen this theme with the hope that it will encourage you to do so. We welcomed Pastor Seiya Majima of New Hope Tokyo was our guest speaker, and he reminded us that God is indeed here in Japan, and that we should decide to love our neighbors! In a testimony, Makoto Miyashita shared how God led him to come to Japan from Australia, where he’d lived for 18 years, by various twists and turns, but also with God’s protection and provision. Makito Kawata, one of the early members of GiFT, led the worship time, and we were grateful to share heartfelt praise with him, including praise songs in English. In the latter half of the meeting, we divided into small groups to reflect on message and to pray for one another, sharing our own struggles and concerns. It was a good time of fellowship among returnees from the same countries and regions, and we thank God for that. I sincerely hope that the Kingdom of God will spread in Japan, starting with those who participated in the Summer Celebration this time.
Hello, I’m writing this testimony as I received a scholarship to attend GRC23.
I’m grateful to have been able to participate in GRC as a singer in the worship team. Initially, I thought it’d be a little hard, even so God protected me from practice to performance, and I enjoyed it.
I joined a small group of worship leaders during lunchtimes and was able to share my challenges in life with group members I had only known for a few days, God gave me a bond with them through the worship team.
I realized that I’m still immature as a worship leader, and I’d like to grow as a worship leader in Japan, where there are few worship leaders.
Also, during the breakout sessions, I heard that adults are the ones who need to recite scripture. I recalled that when a few years ago, I went to the funeral of my Christian great-grandmother, a friend said that my great-grandmother had always taught me the Word of God when I was depressed and showered me with the Word of God. I recalled how much I respected my great-grandmother. At this conference, I decided to start one recited scripture a month.
GRC made me appreciate once again the connections I have with people, including those I had unexpected connections with, those I hadn’t seen in a long time, and those who share common aspirations. I’m really glad I went!