by Nick Mason in Japan
At first, we thought COVID would go away quickly and we buckled down to do renovations in the yellow house that God blessed us with in March. A perfect way to spend social distancing time. However, the renovations ended, but the social distancing continued. But we were itching to get the newly renovated “Joy Centre” in use.
As the summer came around, people seemed emotionally off due to how long the virus was lasting. As we prayed, we felt led to put on a small concert, something for people to look forward to and bring a little joy into their lives. We thought about how we could have a concert while keeping everyone safe from the virus: hand sanitizers, masks, limited attendance (15), and open windows. My teammate Matt knew of a Christian piano and vocal group called Wings that consists of a married couple; the husband plays the piano as they both sing. They were excited to help us make this event happen.
With a plan in motion, we started advertising, flyers in the mailboxes of houses nearby and we invited some of our friends and acquaintances. A few elderly ladies from the neighbourhood said they would come; one invited a friend, and one brought her son. Ultimately, we had such a great response that we had to politely ask one of our friends not to come, since we passed our limit of 15 people.
The concert went well. The audience seemed to forget about the virus for a moment and relaxed while enjoying the beautiful music. A mixture of established Christian songs and Wings’ own original pieces, prepared people’s hearts for a short message by Matt.
At the end of the concert, we put out an optional survey. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Some even indicated an interest in Christianity. Within a few days, we bumped into some of the neighbours who attended the concert and they seemed genuinely grateful for having been invited. So far, follow-up with those who indicated interest in Christianity has not gone as smoothly as we had hoped. We are praying that God will give us good opportunities to meet up with and share with them. Overall, this was a great way to introduce who we are and what we do, to the community around us.