Friday, December 15, 2006

Then we had the BEST club Christmas party. Mary and Tomo organized the whole thing. It was AMAZING. Merry Christmas BEST CLUB! We had a fun party December 15th with amazing food, three speakers, and some new games. Abby was my helper in the kitchen. While Mary was emceeing I kept sneaking back and forth to the kitchen to get everything ready. It was fun. Although Abby and I did some testing of the dessert while we were alone in the kitchen. :) ha ha
I gave my first speech in Japanese. I wrote it and then Yuri, a student in BEST and my friend, translated it for me. He wrote it out about a month ago and I've been practicing ever since. I was INCREDIBLY nervous~ I do not like to give speeches, even in English, but everyone seemed to understand me, by God's grace alone, I am sure.
Everyone enjoyed talking and eating together.
Mary really wanted to do gingerbread houses and even though graham crackers and frosting are two things NOT easy to find in Japan and they were our main ingredients, she held her ground. We went ahead and got everything and she was AMAZING putting it together.

The gingerbread houses were judged by Abbie and Josiah.
The winners were "Mommy" (Jin) and Kie (picked by Josiah)
Abbie chose Yuri and Dan's gingerbread house.
We had two speeches; the first one was given by Himeji, a Christian student from Utsunomiya BEST club. He talked about his personal story and how he became a Christian.
The second speech was given by Tomo; staff from Utsunomiya BEST club. He talked about Santa Claus's history and how it ties into the gospel. (Saint Nicholas) Sorry if these are a little sketchy on the speech content... they were in Japanese.
Afterwards we moved outside to exchange gifts and say goodbye. Dan, an exchange student from U-Nebraska Lincoln, is leaving this Monday. Everyone is sad as for the past three months he has been able to join our B.E.S.T. events. Dan will graduate this Spring with a degree in international studies and then will serve the United States with the Marines for four years. We are so proud of him and wish him the very BEST at what God has for him next. PLEASE come visit us again, Dan.
Here the students are giving him a farewell gift. Dan bonded with the downtown guys a lot.

BEST club guys (minus Yuri who had to catch his train)

The BEST club girls
My friends from downtown Tokyo.

Mikkun, Ty, Masashi, and Mamoru

Sooo.... Dan's leaving and all the girls are sad. Ha ha!!
It was a great party. THANK YOU MARY who organized the WHOLE thing. Thank you Tomo and Himeji for coming to speak to our BEST club.

It's been one year for me, exactly, here in Japan. Crazy business.
Well, one Christmas party done... two to go. Ha ha!!


Christy said...

Aw! Everyone looks so happy!...and cold!
Merry Christmas, BEST Club!

Emily Christensen said...

Hee Hee...I loved your comment about Sari Cowger and I! She really has become one of my favorite people in Phoenix and what a gift that she is there! I love your BEST Christmas Party photos! I just got to spend a week at a conference with Sarah you know her too? Anyway - shouldn't we like know eachother or something? It seems we have a plethera of mutual friends. (Plethera...I love that word!)


Joanna Kay said...

Yes, Emily, we do indeed have a PLETHORA of friends. And I do indeed know the beautiful Sarah Gemill. I am missing her much lately as it was just last year she was coaching me on arriving and meeting with me at the midterm retreat. She is a breath of fresh air. :)
I love having friends from everywhere. What a blessing from the Lord. How is AZ? This is your second year? Right?
Well, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, Em.

Christy, i love you and miss you. come back to japan.