3 year old Hana, the bug catcher
Mitsuki leads the singing at camp
“John sensei, do you want to help me catch bugs?” The question came from 3-year-old Hana. We had just finished breakfast at junior-senior high camp. Her parents are pastors and were leaders at the camp. Can I be honest with you? My heart really wasn’t into starting the day by catching bugs. However I said, “Okay, let’s go find some bugs!” The truth is I am not a great bug hunter, they usually find me before I find them. All I could find were ants. However, Hana found some pillbugs and put them in her bug cage, telling anyone who would stop to look that they were “cute”.
Except for butterflies, it has been a long time since I thought bugs were cute. It seems that children have a special way of seeing God’s creation. Is it possible that as we get older we miss some of the wonder and beauty that the Lord has given to us? Maybe our hearts and heads get full of so many other things that it is hard to see the beauty, wonder and hope that the Lord would like us to see in and for this world.
At junior-senior high camp, I talked to M again this year. Remember a couple years ago at camp, he told me his family was a mess. He has dropped out of high school, but is doing pretty well. He works for a well know Chinese restaurant chain, and aspires to be manager of an outlet by the time he is 25. I think he will too. He works 50 hours a week, but put in his request for time off for camp several weeks ahead. He was in my small group so we had time to talk again this year. By the way, Tomoko was in charge of the kitchen,and she enlisted his help in cooking one of the meals that included a Chinese dish, gyoza. It turned out to be one of the highlight meals of the camp.
I think spending time with the children and youth helps me stay young. In addition, I have no doubt that the time and love invested in the lives of children and youth is an important investment in the Kingdom of God. We have been here long enough to see children grow to young adults. College-age leaders at camp were junior high campers a few years ago. I am thinking of Erika, Miki, and Mitsuki as I write; three college leaders at the junior-senior high camp. To hear their testimonies and see them put their faith into action has been one of our richest rewards. You can be proud of these young people just as if they were from your church.
A Report on your Investment
This has been your investment. Your prayers and your support are changing lives and building the kingdom of God here in Japan.
Please remember the World Mission Offering this fall. It is an investment with rich rewards.
Thank you for your support and prayer.
Prayer Points• Pray for the youth of Japan.
• Praise for Miki, Erika and Mitsuki and the beautiful faith they shared as leaders as camp.
• Pray for Tomoko as she travels to Sweden as interpreter for a group of handicapped people from the Baptist churches here.
THANK YOU! You are the ones who sent us, and the reason we can be here.
Grace and Peace,
MPT Website: www.armagostjapan.org