Making Memories

Good Morning,

Well, we may not have snowstorms to contend with here Down Under, but we have had some pretty wild weather this past week. Our neighbor across the street had just hooked up a massive reindeer in the front yard. Really … the thing was almost as tall as his house, and the way it was placed, it stared right over his wall and into our place. A little disconcerting, but I was NOT responsible for what happened the day before yesterday.

They call it a “Super Cell” here; one of those perfect storm combinations with everything you’d expect: hurricane strength winds, cricket ball sized hail, and enough rain to make me grateful the low-lying land behind our house is an official flood plain. It is … and it did.

We survived though, with nothing more than a truck load of tree limbs to haul away. Looking around the area, though, I thought, “Something’s missing.” Sure enough the 20-foot reindeer had learned how to fly. I believe he’s at the top of a gum tree about four houses down the street. We thought about calling the fire department … after all, don’t they get cats out of trees? But a closer look reveals that Rudolph has been pretty well shredded, so it would not be a rescue as much as a recovery.

Elsewhere, things are escalating for Christmas, with lots of special services, get togethers, singing and food. It’s been a busy day today with Tony preaching this morning, then a special Japanese Christmas gathering this afternoon. I won’t keep you too long.

But, as we continue to think about Japan, here’s an excerpt from one of our missionaries, long retired, about the REAL meaning of Christmas:

We had arrived in Fukuoka in July 1967.  I was Charlie’s new bride and had not studied Japanese yet.  It was now Christmas…my very first Christmas not to be at my home in East Texas.  We went thru the motions of the holiday but after we put our guests on the train, we returned, rather somberly, home.  Unfortunately, I began to remember all the Christmases I would now be missing and was about to start crying.   But I believe God was watching, and we heard the doorbell ring. It was one of Charlie’s high school students, Kaoru Sadamatsu.  He came in and it did not take long for him to use up his English, so I excused myself so that he and Charlie could visit. That night—my first Christmas in Japan—Kaoru became a Christian. That was indeed a special Christmas, and many more were to follow Our prayer for you and yours this Christmas is for an extra special helping of happy memories in the making. Something that will come to mind at your Christmas Futures as the best thing that could have happened.

Tony and I will be offline for a week or so, escaping to some nearby mountains we’ve yet to visit and hopefully compiling these letters I’ve been sending out about ‘God’s Faithfulness in Japan” into a book.  I’m guessing we won’t have internet, so maybe there’ll be nothing for you to read on the 30th, but don’t despair, we’ll be back in the New Year!!

Merry Christmas,

Marsha

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