Kogane church: Puppets, puppets, and more puppets!

Trip Start Mar 10, 2008
Trip End Jun 06, 2008

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Well Chris already gave a great description of our church endeavors. I guess that I might add a few things. First of all during our stay at Becky's house in Yokohama we were asked to prepare for this children's church/VBS that we just did. Most of our free time, besides the time we spend going around the city, was spent preparing for today.

I actually have never given children's story before, which actually wouldn't be that hard. I am kind of used to speaking in front of kids and sometimes at church....but in japanese....yeah different story. I mean I am fluent in japanese but the problem is that I don't really speak it with many people. Nope, I don't have many japanese friends, i have friends of every other race but japanese. The group of people I hang out with are caucasian, african american, hispanic, spainish (those people from spain), korean, chinese, vietnamese, burmese..... but yes.. no japanese. Haha! Kind of funny huh? Well the only person I ever speak japanese to is my grandma in Hawaii. Although I do watch japanese TV shows and I do read manga. You know what I noticed today? I realized that I know a lot more Kanji that I thought I would. I mean i may not know as much as other people but the manga actually helped me! haha. LOL, i do have trouble writing the kanji though ( those of you who know me know that I have horrible hand writtng to begin with no matter what language I am writing haha).

Ok so the point of that paragraph was that I was nervous. I translated a children's story from english and did it in japanese. I basically pranced around with a zebra puppet on my hand imitating a elephant, alligator, and a giraffe. It was actually a lot of fun to be able to tell a story to the kids. I felt very japanese (which is surprising cause I don't really feel japanese back at home....especially with all the filipino nurses talking to me in tagalog and being super surprised when I say I am actually japanese!) I am actually very expressive when I get into things too:) Maybe that's why kids can relate to me, i have this inner child that I can bring out to relate to the kids. Once I get over the initial embarrassment, I am pretty outgoing with kids.

Ok so after the church service we had our children's church that we have been planning for so long (the 2 weeks that we have been here). We created a puppet show with my laptop computer. It actually looks like they are real. It reminds me of kermit and those muppets. Although we are nothing like those professionals, having a video really brought them to life. We put background music and used this video to introduce our story and to sing the "hello song" with. You would have to see it to understand.

So after we did the whole introduction with the puppets, we then sang songs with the kids. We did songs with a lot of jumping and running around. One song is called "Jump, shout, and sing" and yes it involves a lot of jumping. Poor Chris was a real sport today. He was really sick and still sang and jumped around with the kids. I have a lot of respect for him. I was feeling kind of sick at first, but it's funny because as soon as I started to play with the kids and stuff, I felt better. Kids are my remedy:)

So Chris told a story with felts about the boy with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. I translated to the kids and found myself to be pretty enthusiastic. I think I start to lose my shame when I am with kids. They really loved it! Around 40 kids were all gathered around the felt board and staring and even kind of pushing forward to see us! I mean, wow.....you should have seen these kids before this. They were bouncing off the walls. The puppet video really got there attention (which we made to introduce the story) and then once we started the story they loved it.

God really is good. I was actually nervous because a lot of effort was put into preparing for today. After the story the kids all made baskets out of plates and then made paper bread and paper fish. I went around to help the kids at each table and got to help this one little kids make his fish, bread, and basket. He was around 4 years old and really cute too. He saw everyone making it and so I helped him make the basket ( I told him where to cut and held the paper and etc) Then when he finished his basket he jumped up and down! I was praising him and he was so excited!. His very own basket that he made:) And then same thing goes for the fish and bread. He was so excited. He ran to his mom saying "look look! Look what i made!" I really had fun with this little boy:)

Hm.. what I left out was the fact that Chris and I made paper fish that we decorated with glitter. We made around 84 of them. We then put English names on each fish. We put the same name on two fish for a game where we had the kids find there own name in a fishing game at the end. Those fish actually took a while to make:) In the beginning right after we sang songs and played the video of the puppets we gave each kid an english name and went around asking "what is your name?" and they have to answer there new name. They didn't speak much english but by the end they were saying it clearly and could even find there own name:) It was great. We actually took out the puppets to ask each kid what there name was. They actually responded to the puppets good because they recognized them on the Videos. You know what though? I have to give a special thanks to my dad for getting me this laptop before I left to Japan. It's a macbook and is what is making our trip so much better. God blessed us with it:) My dad was nice enough to get it for me because he knew I could use it.

Overall this trip is amazing! I am loving the kids that I meet. I am enjoying the beautiful scenery in Japan. And I am improving in my japanese skills gradually. To be honest I don't know what to expect next. We leave to seto in 5hrs. I think we may stay in one of the rooms in the church but am not quite sure yet. We are so grateful for whatever we can get though. I know that we have been pretty spoiled in Becky's house. She gave us our own room, fed us food (great cook by the way) and taught us the basics about teaching. I feel a lot more ready to teach a class. Seto here we come! You better watch out:)

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ncube83 on

gracie grace
well, i knew that all the manga would come in handy!

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