Rev. Hajime's Breakfast Message

We are so grateful to have such a wonderful breakfast today. Sumire and I appreciate for this opportunity..
Many people said to us, "Welcome back. おかえりなさい!(Okaerinasai)"
We are so happy that we have loved ones waiting for us in the U.S.!
When someone says, “おかえりなさい!Welcome back!”,
we respond, “ただいま(tadaima) I’m home!”
We have deeply felt the warmth of coming home and we really appreciate for your welcome and we praise God.
I think you remember that one of the reasons I returned to Japan was to take care of my elderly parents. Everyone has asked me, "How are your parents?"
I will share about my parents.
I will share about my parents.
My father's dementia is getting worse day by day. Now, he doesn't recognize me or my mother at all. However, what I am grateful for is that when I returned to Japan a year and a half ago, he still recognized me, and we were able to have good conversations and we spent wonderful time.
I went and saw the cherry blossoms in full bloom and we had a party.
It was sad to leave Wesley, but it was a great joy to be able to spend those times with my parents. My parents are now living in a very good care facility and feel safe. I am also grateful that I was able to support my parents along with my two sisters.
Now I am serving at Itami Church, which has about 60 people in attendance at every Sunday services. Last Christmas, we had over 100 people attend the Christmas service. I am the only pastor at the church. There is also a kindergarten next to the church, so I have very busy days.
The ministry in Japan is doing well.
Churches in Japan are a little closed-minded and do not have much connection with the local community. Here at Wesley, I learned about the way churches connect with the local community and contribute to the community. My experience at Wesley has been very useful.
Last year, I started a new outreach program. It is a free "tutoring program" twice a month. It's similar to the activities at Grant Elementary School. This is a program that opens our church facility for children who cannot go to expensive after school tutoring programs. With this local outreach we are hoping to become a church that is even more open to the community.
Now, we are looking forward to having members of Wesley Church visit our church on April 6th.
Our church’s women's group is so exited. They are asking each other “what to have for lunch” or “Let’s bake cakes for dessert!” They are preparing with much excitement.
Also, even if you are unable to join in the trip, we would always welcome you to travel to the Kansai area of Japan. Unfortunately, there are not many famous places in Itami. The only thing it is famous for is ”Japanese SAKE”. However, there are many wonderful places in nearby Osaka and Kobe. Please let us know when you come to Japan! Our family will always welcome you.
My wife Tomoe is also doing well and enjoys part-time work as a physical therapy assistant.
She sends her best wishes to everyone.
My son, Koh is in the 7th grade. He is a junior high school student in Japan. He has made friends at school and enjoys the tennis club. His strength is that he can speak English and he is working hard to study English.
It was my daughter Sumire who had the most challenging time after we came back to Japan. But she always prays to God to make things better and she took the entrance examination to her new high school two weeks ago and successfully passed.
There were some difficult times adjusting when we went back to Japan, but I would like to say that “God is always good”. Thank you for your prayers and support. We also will continue to pray for all of you.
Thank you very much for being here today.