One of the smaller shepherds trying to get his lamb to cooperate
Angels announcing good news
Then last night on the 23rd we had our Candle Service
This guy was so excited about his gift - a battery powered candle
Snack time afterwards. Cold night but warm fellowship!
There are more Christmas lights in Japan than ever. This house is on the way to church. Might not look like that much compared to some of the craziness in the US, but for Japan this is a lot!
And then today (Christmas Eve) I had an invitation to be Santa Claus at an Oyumino neighborhood preschool. They aren't Christian but the staff knew where the church was and that foreigners were there, so they stopped by to see if one would be Santa for them. The oldest with the most white hair was selected!
I got dressed in a supply room and waited for my cue.
First I went into the toddler room and two of them immediately burst into tears.
Then on into the main room where 4 or 5 other older classes were all assembled.
Only about 5% were crying in here.
They asked if I had come because I heard them singing their song to Santa earlier that day. I lied and said yes.
They asked if any kids had any questions. This boy asked how old I was. I said 62 and he said, "Whoa!"
They had prepared sacks of presents for each class and they came up by group and I handed them out. Even the ones who were crying took the presents.
Then we started over and took class pictures. Some were willing to sit in my lap!
After the presents and pictures I was given one minute to give a message from Santa. I was able to tell them the real meaning of Christmas was the birth of Jesus who came to save us from our great trouble, that he is the best present of all. They invited me back next year!