"Friday" Means Food, Fun, and Fellowship

by Jody Godoy '05

It's a Friday night, and while some students can't wait to get off campus, a classroom near APU's Marshburn Memorial Library is full of music, laughter, and the smells of homemade food. The people, who have come from APU, Citrus College, and the San Gabriel Valley area, have gathered for the Friday Night Japanese Fellowship in Multi Media 6.

Before the fellowship gets underway, there is an informal conversation English class for international students run by students from APU. The fellowship begins with a potluck featuring all kinds of food, from Japanese to Chinese to Italian. After the potluck comes a game, and then worship. Each week, a guest speaker gives his or her testimony. The last activity of the night is conversation in small groups, which allows attendees to meet new people and get to know one another.

The Japanese fellowship held at APU is actually one of three groups that are offshoots of a fellowship originally started 10 years ago. According to Kentaro Ogawa, a graduate student in APU's Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program and one of the leaders of the fellowship, the gathering serves as a fellowship for local Christians as well as an outreach.

Building connections is a major part of the fellowship, which brings students from Citrus College and APU together, and allows people from different countries to share their cultures. Naomi Oechsle '06 described Japanese fellowship as a "great opportunity" to be exposed to another culture and meet people from a different country. But that’s not the only reason she comes: "The people are really nice and I love just hanging out with them!"

Friday Night starts at 7:30 p.m. in MM6. For more information, please contact Kentaro Ogawa at [email protected].