I've been anticipating it for a while.
More than once, I have gone to church thinking that the sermon would be in English. And every single time, it's been in Japanese.
But this past Sunday, I finally heard an English message! It was given by Kevin -- a native of Texas, who has lived in Kuji for 17 years. (As a side note, Kevin and his wife have two precious little kids, and I told them -- as in the parents --that I would be more than happy to baby-sit any time. I really miss baby-sitting.)
Anyway...Kevin read from Colossians 1 and talked about the supremacy of Jesus. Verses 21-23: "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel."
So this is the first sermon in over two months that I have actually understood, which is pretty exciting. :) Usually during the sermon, I read my own (English!) Bible and study/reflect on the text.
Besides being a place where I worship God each week, going to church provides a great opportunity to practice reading Japanese. The hymns are written in hiragana, so I can practice reading..err..singing...the characters.
Many of the hymns that we sing have familiar tunes, but I don't always know the lyrics in English. However, a couple of weeks ago, we sung "How Great Thou Art," which is one of my very favorites, and I could sing it in English. I'm trying to memorize "The Old Rugged Cross," another personal favorite, in Japanese. That's a work in progress.
But even though I can't understand everything at church, I enjoy the fellowship. Just knowing that I'm surrounded by Japanese believers is a comforting thought. :)