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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas -- Christmas Program 2011

Thank you so much for praying for this ministry today.  God answered in several ways.  Humanly we would think maybe today wasn't much of a special day. Why, because only 12 came to the program. Maybe the least we have had in a few years, BUT we know that EXACTLY who the Lord wanted here today were here.  That included the mayor of Teshio, the past mayor and  his wife,  Mr. & Mrs. Sato (substitute grandparents for our children who haven't been to a program in years), one grade school student with her mom who is a teacher, one jr. high boy who came on his own!, the new ALT from Enbetsu (where Christopher taught last year), Mrs. Kuwata who has attended almost every program we have ever had, the past vice-mayor's wife, and Miss Tsuzuki who comes on Sunday evenings for English Bible study.  Vicki, Mrs. Sonoda and myself made up the last 3.  Miss Tsuzuki came about 10:30 so she could help us with various preparation which was such a help.  Mrs. Sonoda has faithfully added the extra time of practice to her busy schedule and did a wonderful job of reading the Scriptures throughout the program.  The 9 journeys of Christmas were clearly presented in narration (Ken), song (the 3 of us in various ways), and Scripture reading (Mrs. Sonoda).  It began with the journey of the angel to visit Mary and ended with the journey each and every person on this earth will ever make: the choice of heaven via the cross or punishment in hell.  We know that the Word of God will continue to work in these people's hearts and in His time fruit shall come forth.  For that we daily labor and continue in love for these dear people.  We will have follow-up with Miss Tsuzuki specifically this coming Sunday evening so pray that she might make this SO important choice to follow Christ. Several others of our believers wanted to be here and sent items to be used during the tea time, but they had to work.
And the final praise is that He answered your prayers to hold back the blizzard!! The storm started about 2 hours after everyone had gone home!! God is so good to us!!
We know we also asked you to pray for our trip to Asahikawa for the next check-up on Ken's stone 'friends'!  Praise the Lord for safety in traveling on slick winter roads and for the opportunity to hand out some Christmas tracts as well as some cookie goodies.  The stones that they broke up to be discharged in this last surgery are still being discharged but there is one larger piece that jumped back into a 'hiding' space during the surgery.  It was too far away to be able to be reached by the surgical instruments.  So for this next month (until January 19th), Ken will be drinking even more water and trying his best to get all the loose pieces out and see if the larger piece can move on it's own to a place they can possibly do the out-patient shock wave treatment.  The Dr. will be looking into that possibility if the circumstances are right when we go back.  So the adventure of the traveling stones continues.  We continue to trust the Lord for His timing in getting all this repaired.  We are thankful, though, that seemed to be no new stones so that is a blessing.
We pray that your Christmas time of travels and with family is also a blessing and that the gift of Jesus Christ is truly the main reason for your gatherings and fellowship together!  We so appreciate each and every one of you!!
Merry Christmas and God's blessing to you in the coming year of 2012--even so come Lord Jesus!!

Picture posted below--

Serving Christ together,
Ken & Vicki Mansell

 Package preparation for our guests
 Miss Tsuzuki wanted to come early and help
Then we needed to cut and fix plates of the 4 kinds of 
chiffon cakes for tea time that Vicki made
 Each of the 9 journeys had a large plackard like this one!
the backlighting of the poster really added to the reality feel of it.
Mrs. Sonoda did the Bible reading passages from the seat behind her
and Ken's was to the left of where he was standing.
 Playing the taishogoto with a CD harmony added
Ken's mini-sermons at each journey

Tea Time after the program
(Past mayor and present mayor next to Ken)
Miss Tsuzuki is such a joy to teach and work with.
We pray for her salvation soon.

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