International Ministries

Warmest Greetings From Japan

December 1, 2003 Journal
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"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."Luke 2:10b

At this joyous time of the year, as Christians around the world, celebrate the good news, and the wonder of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, we wish you warmest greetings from Japan.We pray that the Lord will bless you in a special way this Christmas season.

I am sure that you are already busy getting ready for the Christmas.Here at the Nish Okamoto Christ Church we are also beginning our preparations.The children and adults will work together to bring the message of the coming of Christ during our Christmas worship on the 21st.We trust that through your prayers the Lord will bless each one who participates, and each one who is present to worship with us.Each year we have a Christmas Eve candle light service, which is always well attended.Usually about half are non-Christians, people from our neighborhood, who often express to us that they know Christmas is a time to be in Church.Pray with us, that this year some who visit will find the Lord who came for them also.

This past month, our area church camp, Inagawa, had a special concert.They called it, Mori no Concert, or the Concert of the Forest.Churches were invited to come and give a 10-minute musical presentation.We worked hard during October to prepare for this concert.Our group consisted of 22 members, from age 4 up to 50+.About half were children.Tomoko played the keyboard, we had electric guitar, bass guitar, electric drums and percussionist.

We put together 4 songs."Santo, Santo, Santo," a short praise song we sang acappella."Spinnin' Around", a contemporary Christian song with a rap in the middle."Angels We Have Heard on High", each group was to present one Christmas Carol.And we finished with "Dive, Dive Together", the theme song from our Vacation Bible Club this past summer written by our church organist, Mrs. Mito.We had a lot of fun and I believe brought some new perspectives to the concert.Each church that presented did a wonderful job.But we were the only group with children.We have felt that we should not simply have a ministry to children, but with children.And of course some of our choices of music, for example our rap, was also a little different than the traditional presentations.Anyway we got great reviews.

Recently we have been learning of more and more troubles that children we have contact with, are experiencing in school and just with life. Even some children that we know come from homes with loving, caring parents, are feeling lost in the shuffle of our busy modern world.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

Have Merry Christmas!

John and Tomoko Armagost
ABC-USA missionaries to Japan