In scripture, the mustard seed is said to be the smallest seed that bears the largest garden plant. Today, our team planted 29 seeds of hope, love and faith in the hearts of 28 children and one young mother. We trust these seeds will grow in the hearts and lives into a huge "plant" of salvation!
The day started very early with a departure time of 5:30 a.m. as we took a local train and then the bullet train north of Tokyo to the lovely village of Kitakata. Upon arrival at the Faith Love Kindergarten, we were met with astonishing hospitality in the form of lovely slippers to wear inside the school, homemade sweet breads, huge luscious grapes, piping hot coffee and some extra special sweet treats that sent us running to the nearest market upon our return to Tokyo! The staff met us with bright smiles, bows of respect and lots of cameras to capture Teeny Tykes and Tunes in action!
As we entered the main gathering room, the children practiced their English with "hello" "it's nice to meet you" and the most beautiful smiles you can imagine. And I can assure you, their English was better than our Japanese! (Keishi and Andrea Kasuya aside:-) After marching, movement and fun songs, the children sat in a circle for Bible Story time about Jesus Calming a Storm. The team emphasized Jesus is our hope in a storm because he loves us so much and Jesus loves us so much because God loved us first. The children were quiet as mice and you could hear a pin drop in the room, but we could sense the Holy Spirit in that place.
We left the children with two key words from our verses of the day: TRUST and HOPE.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
My hope is in You.
As a reminder of our visit, we left a small painted, wooden block with the word "HOPE". We closed our time together by teaching the children's hymn "God is So Good" in Japanese. Mustard seeds are small, but over time, they will grow.