“Friends who enrich My Life”

Hey, guys, it’s Pan de Mike 🍳

Today, we continue our series, “Blessing in the Pandemic”! 🙌

I’m interviewing folks about how God blessed them in the pandemic 😁

Today, I’m interviewing Akane, a girl who always puts a smile on everyone’s faces.

I can’t wait to hear what she talks about! 😆🙏

Alrighty! Let’s get this show on the road!!!!

🍳Pan de Mike
👩🏻Akane

🍳Okay, question time! First question!!!
How was life before the pandemic and how did it change after?

👩🏻Right. I enjoyed hanging with friends before the pandemic,
but through this season, I’ve started to think how I can make those times even better!

Meeting up with friends was hard during the stay at home period.
More than anything else, I wanted to see other people! :joy:

I realized that meeting people face to face should be not taken for granted,
and that I should be thankful to have friends who I wanted to meet so badly.

So, after the short stay at home period,
I actively reached out to both close friends and friends I hadn’t really talked to,as well.
Now I have the chance to spend time with them!

I was so happy meeting them.
And I thought to myself, rather than just enjoying our time, could I offer something to them?

And as I thought about those things, when it was time to go home, they often said “I don’t wanna go home yet!” “I had a great time! Invite me out again!” I was so happy. ☺️

🍳Wonderful how, in the pandemic,
you were able to think of others, what you can give them and how you can make your time together better,
rather than feeling alone and isolated. 😳 👏

Did ya have any tough times, Akane?

👩🏻The toughest part was being unable to visit my parents back home.

I’m April, the grandfather I loved passed away,
but because we were asked to isolate ourselves, I couldn’t visit him in the hospital and couldn’t join the funeral.

It’s so tough to lose loved ones. It took time for my heart to recover.

🍳I bet! It’s really sad losing such precious family members.
How’d you overcome that?

👩🏻I talked with my friends about my grandfather and we prayed together for God to heal my heart. 

It strengthened my heart, God’s word encouraged me, and thanks to the friends who helped lift my heavy heart, I started to have hope again. ☺️

When he was hospitalized,
I had the chance to tell him, “My friends and I are believing through prayer that you’ll be healed!”

My grandfather passed away, but I heard that he wore a peaceful smile in his casket. I took that as God moving, safely making a way for my grandfather into heaven.

🍳You have awesome friends who faced that hard time with you!
I’m sure your grandfather is happy in heaven for what you did!!!

👩🏻:Thanks! I’m happy for that. ☺️

🍳Akane, you managed to not only have great relationships with friends, but family, too! I should follow after you!

Okay, next question. Did ya feel God’s blessings during the pandemic?!

👩🏻He gave me friends who helped me grow! 

During that time, I was worried about relationships, work, finances and other parts of my life.

 But, they listened honestly, stood by me, and encouraged me with calls and messages even though we couldn’t meet.
They told me when I was wrong and led me down the right way…
He blessed me with friends who I could always depend on.

Of course I’m thankful to every one of my friends,
but I’m especially thankful to God, whose plan included meeting such amazing people!

🍳It’s a real blessing to have such wonderful friends!
And what a woman you are, Akane!
You’re able to see how important your friends are!!

👩🏻I’m happy to hear that! Thanks!!
Also, God used my friends to bless me with a new job!

Ive been working as an after school teacher since October!

🍳W-w-what! You got a new job even amidst this pandemic? Congrats! 🎉

That’s a bold new step!

👩🏻That’s right. Before I worked in retail.
It was fun talking to people, being able to thank them face to face, and it was fulfilling work.

But, there was no room for advancement and I had reservations about continuing the job.
God’s word spoke to me during that time.

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 6:11 NIV

As I thought about what I really wanted out of life, just like this scripture,
I was sensitive to God’s voice and thought “I want to God to be happy with me!”
What could I do for God, who had done so much for me in the pandemic? 

🍳I gotcha. You really love God!

👩🏻Yeah! ☺️ Because He changed my life so much!

As I thought to myself “I wish I’d known God earlier” the thought occurred to me,
“I want to share God’s love and how wonderful life is to children!”

I remembered then how my friend, who was also an after school teacher, had hoped in and worked for children’s future, and thought that I wanted to work here, too!

I’m thankful to the friend who inspired me to work here; I’m glad to be able to work together for the future of the children!!

🍳That’s a beautiful vision. Share those thoughts with the next generation!

👩🏻Thanks!
When the children go through tough times,
I hope they remember my words and deeds and feel that they are loved by God. :blush:

🍳You’re sowing seeds for the next generation!!!
Alrighty, last question. Can you offer some encouragement for others struggling in this pandemic?

👩🏻What I want to encourage people to do most, is look for something to be thankful for!
Your loved ones, their health, having food on the table, having a body that can enjoy that delicious food.

Lovely weather, being able to hang out without needing an umbrella!
Even small things like that are okay. 🌼

No matter what your situation is, be thankful for what’s around you, who’s around you; be aware of the moment given to you. Focus on that and be thankful. ☺️
Even if you haven’t done anything particularly special, there are things that uplift the heart, good things; and it’s all from God. If you direct your eyes to that, every day looks more wonderful!

🍳So it’s not what you lack or don’t have enough of, but being thankful for what is already in your life!
I bet that beautiful heart of yours attracted the amazing people around you!

Did that encourage you, guys? We’ve got more to come in this series! Stay tune
See you again soon!

Thanks for reading the blog y’all! I’ll be waiting for your likes and comments!!
Before I say goodbye, I wanna introduce to you Lifehouse Church Osaka.I usually appear in their programs!

—–Every Sunday—–

9: 30-10: 30 English Service

10: 40-11: 20 Kid’s Program

* I appear about once a month in this kid’s program from 10:40!

11: 30-12: 30 Bilingual Service

15: 00-16: 00 Japanese Service

* I’m usually the emcee for the Japanese Service so please check it out!

You can watch it live from YouTube and Facebook or from the archive!

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Check out my Instagram here.👍

If you wanna know about my church Lifehouse Osaka, click here.👍

If you wanna know about Language Exchange which is supported by my church, click here.👍

If you wanna know about the Youth’s Program, click here.👍

If you wanna know about the Kid’s Program, click here.👍

Your presence is so important to me!!!

Love and Peace by Pande Mike