Christians had done their work of telling their friends about the Festival. Outside Osaka-Jo Hall before the meeting began, a mother named Sayuri said that Christian friends had invited her and her 6-year-old son Takuto to the Festival, but Sayuri’s family is not Christian.
A few feet away, a couple named Hiroshi and Miki watched their two young daughters play near a large fountain. Miki explained that the girls attend a children’s program at a Christian church and that they heard about the Festival there. She added that she and her husband knew very little about Jesus Christ or Christian beliefs.
The morning’s theme was the joy of giving, and children heard that God gave us the greatest Gift when He sent Jesus Christ to save us. Local actors presented a brief but ambitious musical version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and Pastor Ken-Ichi Ohashi invited children and adults alike to confess their sins and commit their lives to Jesus Christ.
More than 670 came forward, including a mother and daughter who said they had found out about the Festival on the Internet. After watching “The Christmas Carol” and hearing the invitation to receive Christ, 9-year-old Azumi said to her mother, “I’d like to believe in Jesus, and I don’t want to be like that Scrooge.” Azumi accepted Christ, and her mother, who has not been attending church, rededicated her life to the Lord.
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