Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally...an English sermon!

The small Baptist Church in Kuji was founded by a missionary from its sister city, good ol' Franklin, Ind. The church sits on a hill, overlooking Kuji.

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. :)

4 comments:

Lauren said...

Daaayna,
I commend you for going to church even when though you do not understand what they are saying. I do not know too many people that would do that. That really shows that you are a true Christan and I admire you for that!
Love you!

Ashley said...

I think that it is great that you go to church even though you may not always understand it. It's also cool that this week they gave an english sermon. I love your blog! Keep it up!!!

Valda said...

Hey Dana,
Rick and I enjoy reading your blogs (I read them to Rick) and are learning so much about Japan via your wit and humor. Keep up the good writing.
I commend you for going to church even though you don't always understand the language. Just being in God's house brings inner strength and peace.
Blessings, Rick and Valda

The Princess said...

Girlfriend! I had no idea you had been attending Japanese sermons up to this point, hehe. I can't imagine how you managed to do that. But I'm glad you found a church which delivers English sermon, just like I found Bible Study Foundation in Bloomington, just 5 minutes from my house!