Back-story–The Cookies

October 18

The history behind the making of the cookies

On November 1, ViBi will be holding their 21st anniversary celebration.  (More details on that at another time. This bulletin is about cookies.)

My job (Mary Esther): the refreshments. Before and after the program, fruit, nuts, and cookies, and tea & coffee for the approximately 60 people who are expected to attend.

Nothing complicated really, pretty easy, I thought. Except I was sweating the cookies.  A trip to Costco for a tub of their cookies would not work–store bought is too impersonal.  The cookies I make are said to be too sweet, too big, and too ugly. Japanese homemade cookies are about the size of an after-dinner mint, have a gentle, delicate flavor, and much attention goes into the creation of each. The foreigners who have big ovens who I could ask also make big (and sweet and ugly) cookies.  But I couldn’t think of any Japanese friends who have an oven, and who bake and who I could ask a favor of for help in this.

Now go back with me to a few weeks ago when I attended a local church retreat where a Wheelchairs of Hope volunteer was baptized.  The church was kind enough to invite me to stay with them after the baptism, at a hot-spring resort, full of history. The room(s) I was assigned to was a 150 years old, spacious and magnificent.  (Photos above.  It was actually three rooms– one for sleeping, one for drinking tea, and one for, I don’t know, maybe looking outdoors.)  There were 4 of us in the room(s.)  Two of the ladies were old friends; one was new to me.

The new lady was delightful and we connected  well. I learned she was a baker. That’s right, she bakes breads and cookies, and in fact, the perfectly tasty beautiful cookies served that weekend were her creations.

After that weekend I asked one of the friends who stayed in the room to ask the baker lady if she would consider helping with the 140 cookies.  She did, the baker lady was delighted, and when the answer got back to me I was thrilled.

Yesterday we 3 met and talked. It’s set.  On October 29 we’ll meet at the her house to bake the cookies.

Next time you eat a cookie, please rejoice with me that God directs our steps, even when it comes to making cookies.

October 30

Aren’t they adorable?

Many of you asked to see the delicate cookies we would bake and serve at the 21st anniversary celebration for ViBi.  Here they are!  The best part of course was spending time with friends.

About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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