This post could have come from any given two-week period, as our team is incredibly faithful in serving. But, I was struck by how blessed we are with our young church after a rough week of sickness among our entire family. Even as I write this, Miho and I are still not fully recovered, and Zoe has been home for two days from school with a cold.
After caring for a sick Allie all week, Miho finally succumbed to the cold and fever on Saturday. I had to write an email to our Ministry Leaders about canceling our planned meeting after the service. One of our leaders, hearing how Miho might stay home sick and I would be preaching with a fever, offered to come over at 7am to help load our van and drive us to the church service. We were touched by the thought and care, rather than having to ask for help. Somehow, God gave me enough strength to preach on the final message of our 1 Corinthians series, which was a heavy subject to begin with, let alone being sick; women in ministry (listen here). With Miho absent, one leader stepped up for Miho to preside. Everybody worked together and pulled off an incredible service. It is reassuring to know that the church is not completely dependent on us, but we are a team serving together.
The previous week was very moving to us. In relation to a Japanese custom, we had a Children’s Blessing Ceremony, where we prayed over our children, prayed for the parents, and prayed for our congregation to care for our children (it takes a village, right?). One leader, Julie, prepared and lead them to perform a song for everyone. Two other leaders baked 6 dozen cupcakes (and transported them on a train) for everyone, as a special treat. One person took photos. New volunteers practiced with our worship team. A Japanese man read Scripture for the first time at our service. It was beautiful seeing over two dozen people serving in various ways for our service. Setting up, tearing down, hospitality, sound, slides, praise team, interpretation, children’s ministry, ….. We feel so blessed at this team and family.
Moments like this when I am sick and forced to slow down that allow me to step back and reflect at all the many ways we should be thankful. Thank you Tokyo Life Church for truly being our partners, family, and dear friends, serving together in God’s mission for Tokyo.