Two weeks ago we had the privilege of attending Yokota Air Force Base's Asian bazaar. Located in the city of Fussa (in western Tokyo), the base hosts 14,000 personnel. This was our second time attending the spring bazaar, and both times have been a wonderful experience for our Nozomi staff.
We were hosted by Grace Christian Fellowship Church, and they cared for us so well! From the time they picked us up on Friday afternoon until they sent us off on Sunday, they ate with us, served with us, worshipped with us, re-arranged their schedules for us, and just spent time with us. We're incredibly thankful for this ongoing friendship, and looking forward to their next visit to Ishinomaki so the rest of our staff can experience the way this group of ladies loves and supports the Nozomi Project.
The Yokota staff were also a great encouragement to us. They had been advertising for us leading up to the event, and thanks to them our booth stayed very busy! I asked each customer if they were familiar with the Nozomi Project, and only a handful said it was their first time to hear about us.
The bazaar is a two day event, starting early Saturday morning and continuing until the evening, and then it resumes from Sunday morning until Sunday afternoon. Due to travel time and our desire to participate in worship on Sunday, we decided to only sell on Saturday. However, thanks to a very persuasive Yokota staff member (we loved your enthusiasm, Kirsten!), and thanks to our friends at Grace who completely re-arranged their schedules for the day, we were able to participate on Sunday afternoon too. This allowed us to interact with people who were not able to attend the sale on Saturday. Our staff also had the chance to share a bit of their own stories at Grace's worship service on Sunday.
We were thrilled to get to stay at the Rose Town Tea Garden for both nights of our stay. If you're ever in Ome, Tokyo, PLEASE make a visit - you won't be disappointed! The quaint little cafe is tucked in amongst lots of trees and beautiful scenery, and the company and menu are just as inviting. Steve and Edie opened up the top floor of the building for us. We loved getting to stay in their Victorian style building and sample some of their teas and handmade treats!
Our hope for these events is always centred around the Nozomi staff. While sales are important, our greatest desire is for them to have a positive experience - to have a few days away from the sights and sounds of home and be loved and cared for by friends in Japan and around the world. We believe God uses these times to heal, to transform, and to reveal Himself to the ladies in a unique way. So thank you, Grace Church, Rose Town Tea Garden, and Yokota Bazaar staff for this opportunity!
Hiromi and Yuko behind the Nozomi Project booth
Nozomi ladies with Grace ladies after setting up our booth!