There were only a few months to Christmas. After diner one night my husband and I were talking about ways we could reach out to our non-Christian Japanese contacts, when our four-year-old daughter, Emily, piped up, “I want to tell my friends at school about Jesus too.”
This wasn’t the first time she had mentioned her desire to see her friends know Jesus. But I didn’t know how to help her to share her faith, because really I was still trying to work it out myself.
We were planning to hold a Christmas party for our adult contacts, so I thought perhaps Emily could hold a Christmas party for her school friends too.
But the Japanese school refused to hand out invitations for us to the whole class, so that option was crossed off. I didn’t know any of the mothers, or the children. How could I write personal invitations to hand out to the right people?
Then, by God’s providence, I volunteered to join some mothers from Emily’s year to perform at the monthly birthday assembly in December. I had only signed up because I thought Emily, a December baby, would enjoy seeing me sing and dance on stage at her birthday-month assembly. Little did I know that I had signed up for six weeks of bi-weekly practice sessions to prepare for the big day. However, this proved to be a blessing in disguise. Over those six weeks, I came to know some of the mums and recognise their children. Therefore, I was able to invite some of Emily’s friends to her Christmas party.
To my surprise nearly every single child who received an invitation came to the party. Around 16 children and nearly as many mums came. A church member, who is a ventriloquist, brought his puppet and told the Christmas story. Afterwards, I sat down and chatted with a few mums about whether they had heard the Christmas story before. They hadn’t known that Christmas was about celebrating the birth of Jesus. I was surprised. It struck me again how great a need there is for people to share about Jesus in this nation.
I wish I could write that our little Christmas party led to someone showing more interest about Jesus. What I can say, however, is that more Japanese people heard that Christmas is about Jesus. And that is one step in the right direction.
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that those who have attended Christmas events run by churches or missionaries this year will take another step towards finding out about Jesus.
- Pray that missionaries who have poured their energies into telling about Jesus in this Christmas season will not be discouraged.
- Pray for more people to come to Japan to share about Jesus.