running through the last few days

It feels like this summer has flown by, just like every other person says. But it's been so blessed with many opportunities and relationships. Let me run you through the highlights from the past couple days.
Last Monday: VBS day 1/ Jesus reigns over nature
*Over 30 kids attended today. We were so excited! Look at all those cute little shoes. And for over half of them, it was their first time here.
Tuesday: VBS day 2/ Jesus reigns over satan
*Onodasan translated for us. Being a grandma who teaches her grandchildren English we were all impressed with how well communicated with the kids. They loved her!
Wednesday: VBS day 3/ Jesus reigns over sin
*Most kids here in Japan hear about Christmas and celebrate it but have no idea about why. Today we shared the Christmas story and attempted a little skit with costumes. It was pure chaos but they seemed to love it. 
*Interesting-Most kids that do hear about the 3 wise men actually call them the 3 kings. "We three kings" would be an awesome song here.
Thursday: VBS day 4/ Jesus reigns over disease
*Akihiro Ito (a minister from the shioda congregation) led a new adult bible class in the sanctuary. It was well received from many of the parents and several friends that have been involved in a monthly "fujinkai" (ladies meeting) in the past. Even though he had a tough job of bringing together all 5 days topics into 2 hours, he did well. 
*Onoda-san, Hiroko, and Abby all were able to share their testimonies as well. Several women teared up and seemed to connect with the deep memories shared. We gave a bible to each adult that attended. Please pray for a yearning to get into the word deeply. 
*Anna coordinated a lunch for all the adults who came to the class along with their kids after VBS. The women really seemed to enjoy chatting.
Friday: VBS day 5/ Jesus reigns over death
*6 children earned perfect attendance! We gave the "Jesus Bible Storybook" in Japanese to each child who attended along with a candy bag to those with perfect attendance. They loved getting a new stamp each day.
*Abby and Ella packed up afterwards getting ready to go to Makoto and Anna's for dinner before heading to the airport by bus.

Fun memories:

Sipping capuccino with a fabulous bird's eye view of Tokyo
Conveyor belt sushi experience with Marie, Hiroko, and Evan
Last moments with the Mika, Ayana, and Airi (a daughter of Akemi, a friend of Anna's)
Seeing off Abby and Ella! See you in a couple days! I headed over to my dad's hospital late tonight so I could spend as much time as possible with him before my flight tomorrow evening.
 A beautiful letter from the church people and friends from VBS.
It's always hard to see the sunset in Japan either because of mountains or surrounding buildings, this has been one of my favorites so far. Who cares it was from a plane?
I arrived safely to Chicago yesterday afternoon and got home (Thanks Blake and Gala!) last night. 
Favorite memory from the trip back home: at customs in Chicago: 
"Did you get hurt in Japan, maam?" 
"No, why?" 
"You have two black eyes." 
"Sorry sir, I didn't sleep on the plan and haven't put on any makeup." 
 I burst out laughing so hard on my way to the baggage claim.