Halloween is gaining popularity in Japan, but “trick-or-treating” is not yet a common practice. However, since the American School in Japan is located in our neighborhood, our area has become famous for “trick-or-treating”. Although I don’t personally want to promote Halloween, I’m also not one to miss out on a huge evangelism opportunity!
This year, Tama Church had a “Noah’s Ark” theme for Halloween. Short-termer David McClanahan and Assistant Pastor Uryuu worked very hard to transform the outside of the church into an ark. They even got help from the grumpy old man who lives in the apartment behind us who always yells at the kids for being too noisy! Inside the church, we also decorated with an animal theme and had each of our helpers wear animal masks. All in all, we had 900 kids and approximately 400 parents participate.
This year, as the kids came through the church, they read the story of Noah’s Ark and answered questions before we gave them their goodie bags. Reading the story took a little time and we actually had a huge line outside of the church of kids waiting to come in! Each goodie bag included candy and information on the church as well as a Noah’s Ark tract, Noah’s Ark stickers and stamps for the younger ones, and a Campus Crusade for Christ manga version of the Four Spiritual Laws and Noah’s Ark pencils for the older ones, and a tract about the earthquake/tsunami disaster for the adults.
Our church is also located near the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and we have several undergraduates and foreign graduate students who come to our church. This year, along with three of our regular Korean students helping, we had six Chinese graduate students come to help – it was their first time in church! After the outreach, we had dinner together, and I explained the origins of Halloween and gave a brief gospel presentation.
Praise God for this unique opportunity and pray that the seeds that were sown will bring forth fruit!
- By Karyn Zaayenga
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