Saturday, September 23, 2006

A New Era in the De La Cour Household

After years of going to theater practices and performances, music concerts and voice recitals with our daughters, we have just entered the world of Soccer. John and Joseph are playing middle school soccer at the Christian Academy in Japan. John, pictured wearing the blue uniform in these first two photos, was the first to go out for sixth grade soccer.
The school has all sixth grade children on the "C" or "D" teams and rotates them through both teams so all get playing time and experience. Only one other international school in the area has "C" and "D" teams--so they will be playing the same kids every Saturday for the next two months. Notice the soccer field...It is all gravel--bounded on one side by a train line, on another side by houses, and the other two sides are school facilities. Most kids in Japan never play on grass. One of our friends children is in the US this year, and has finally gotten to play on a grass field...He is also their number one "striker" which is a great way to get to be known as a new student in a school!
Joseph was a little slower to get signed up for the team, but decided kind of last minute to join. Today was his first game. Both boys have done well, and seem to have a good sense of position and strategy. I am convinced that it all has to do with us staying up until 3 or 4 A.M. watching World Cup soccer this past June...

Another new event this week occurred when we bought the boys cell phones. They were some of the last of their class mates to get phones, and although they had pestered us regularly, were surprised when we actually picked them up. There has been a different tone in the house since they got phones--almost like they are now really convinced we consider them our children. We're still sorting some of that out--but they apparently felt like they were second class family members since they were the only ones without phones. One interesting benefit of them having phones--we can figure out where they are because their phones have a GPS feature. We've already used it once...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ladies' Brunch and ALPHA Introduction

Today we held the kick off Ladies' Brunch at ICCS for the new ALPHA course that we will begin next Wednesday morning. We had around 30 women join us for a menu of quiche, home made breads, salad, and coffee and tea. We had women from our church, from English Bible Studies, and neighborhood friends join us.

Following the meal we showed the introductory video with Nicky Gumbel speaking on Jesus being "The Way, The Truth, and the Life." ALPHA Japan had the videos translated by a respected company and we were all very impressed at how the Japanese speaking guests responded to the talk. One of the illustrations in this talk refers to how a Japanese woman once told Nicky that its like they have two stomachs--one they can eat all the meat, bread, vegetables, etc, and not feel full. The other is for rice--and that is the one that when filled satisfies their hunger. The speaker went on to say that Jesus would have probably said "I am the rice of life" had he been speaking directly to a Japanese person. I was sitting in the back watching heads nod at that one. Following the video talk, Mrs. S, who will be our Japanese discussion group leader, gave a clear presentation of how ALPHA works, who it is for, and what her own experience had been at ALPHA this past spring. We handed out registration forms, and got back at least 10. We are anticipating a group of about 15 ladies next week. We will have both and English and Japanese discussion groups.

A brunch needs a menu, and we decided a week ago that we would have quiche. I took it upon myself to make them all... That goes in the notebook of what NOT to do next time! I was duly scolded by a couple of the ladies for not sharing the responsibility and the joy of cooking! I know who to delegate this to next time...
On Friday evening the men will come together for their first ALPHA session. It will possibly be a smaller group, but we are excited to be having others take leadership responsibilities this time. Stan is making the main dish for their meal--Lasagna! Let us know if you want to reserve a space.