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Day 8 Recap – Sometimes Words Are Not Enough

Today has been a fun-filled and emotional day! We left Kyoto by subway and train to head to the Doshisha University Retreat Center. The purpose of our time at the retreat center was to have special one-on-one and fun time with some of the university students in the gospel choir, Joyful Joyful. We had already began relationships with some from last year’s trip and we met many others over the last week here in Japan.

We began our time at the retreat center just having fun with one another by singing familiar songs together. We listened to some of our Japanese friends join with our band to rock out to Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and even The Beatles! We broke into small groups to have workshops with the singers and instrumentalists and then it was off to dinner. After dinner we had a special service where Pastor Yasunori spoke to the university students.

Sometimes words are not enough to describe experiences we’ve had. Tonight was one of those times! As I sat in this service, I was moved to tears. We had just finished singing “I Will Give Thanks” in Japanese and went to be seated for a testimony to be given. As I went to my seat, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of thankfulness that God chose us, the Christ Church Choir, to be his voice in that moment! This is my third trip to Japan and I have come to know and love these precious people and just to be one small part of it is so humbling!

Our friend, Masashi, gave his testimony about how and why he became a Christian. His words were so beautiful and moving. He was moved by the people of Christ Church and their kindness toward him here in Japan and during his visit to Nashville last October.

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Sometimes the things that we think are small or insignificant make the greatest impact!

Masashi could not believe the welcome he received in Nashville, especially at his host home! The meals prepared for him, notes given to him, words of encouragement and prayers said in his presence all played a significant role in his coming to Christ. God used Misachi in a mighty way through his testimony tonight! Pastor Yasunori gave a message about what it means to sing gospel music. He gave this message in Japanese, but even with the language barrier, you could sense the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He invited us to pray with our Japanese friends, most of whom are not Christians, and what a sweet time of prayer we had! Many tears were shed, and I believe that God opened every single one of their hearts tonight and they felt His presence as we just prayed together and loved on one another!

We only have one more day to spend with our friends here in Japan, and I will be soaking in every moment! Every time I leave Japan, a little piece of me stays with them. These sweet people are precious to me, and I am honored to be here and serve on this team!

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
-Romans 11:36

 

-Shelly Justice