Moon Tunes, a Magical Bunny and Fundraising -月の歌、魔法のウサギ、募金

On October 15, Mehhgumi the Sheep made her singing debut in Tokyo at a fundraiser for a nonprofit benefitting kids in care homes. Mehhgumi, (who is also known as “Baaa-bara”), with a bit of help from me, sang the Sesame Street classic, created by Jeff Moss, “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon.” Have a listen:

10月15日、羊のめ~ぐみは、養護施設の子供たちを応援する非営利団体の東京での募金イベントで歌手としてデビューしました。め~ぐみ(「バ~バラ」とも呼ばれる)は、私の助けを借りて、ジェフ・モスが作成したセサミストリートの名曲「I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon」を歌いました。聞いてください:

I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon

Jones, that old hound dog, had begged with his big, old puppy eyes, to be taken along to the fundraising event. He was thrilled when Elvis showed up and belted out the “Hound Dog” song. Jones danced and howled along with the music, gracing us all with doggy breath and delirious drool.


Elvis with One Happy Hound Dog

We had a marvelous time, crooning tunes and dancing like loons. I did my best to help by singing and playing the harmonica along with the John Denver classic, “Take Me Home Country Roads.” Towards the end of the evening, something very mysterious and magical happened.


For several weeks, I had been planning trips to Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka on behalf of JOEE. I would be preaching at a couple of churches and visiting orphanages with my puppets. One event that I was looking forward to attending was a birthday party for a little girl in Kobe. The theme of the party was rabbits. Did I have a large rabbit puppet that I could bring to the party to perform with? No, I did not. I had lions, cats, sheep, frogs, even an elephant. But no large rabbits. So, I was thinking hard about rabbits that night. I was wishing for a rabbit puppet. Guess what happened?


While taking a break from singing up on stage, a woman approached me and, out of the blue, asked me, “Would you like to have a rabbit puppet?” My jaw dropped in surprise. “Yes! I would love to have a rabbit puppet!” I wondered how in the world did this woman, (whom I had never met before), know that I needed a rabbit puppet. “Wait here — I’ll be back soon.” She returned with a beautiful puppet that had sat in her house, unused, for forty years. “I would be happy if you could use this puppet with JOEE.”

ステージで歌い終わって休んでいる時、ある女性が私に近づき、突然「ウサギの人形は要りませんか?」と尋ねました。びっくりして顎が外れるかと思いました。「はい!ウサギの人形が欲しいです!」 一体どうやって、今まで会ったことのないこの女性が、ウサギの人形を私が必要としていることを知っているのか不思議に思いました。「ちょっと待ってください、すぐに戻ってきます」と言って彼女は40年間未使用のまま家に置いていた美しい人形を持って来てくれました。「この人形をJOEEで使ってもらえれば嬉しいです。」

My “Thought Rabbit”

I accepted the new JOEE puppet with joy and brought it back with me to my home in Nagano. I call it my “Thought Rabbit.” And because “thought” is “kanga-e” in Japanese and because JOEE or “joey” means baby kangaroo, maybe I can call it “Kangae-roo.” It was a thought in my head and then it magically appeared and jumped into my arms.

私はJOEEの新しい人形を喜んで受け取り、長野の自宅に持ち帰りました。それを「思えるウサギ」(Thought Rabbit)と呼んでいます。そして、「thought」は日本語で「かんがえ」、JOEEまたは「joey」は赤ちゃんカンガルーを意味するので、それを「カンガエルー」とでも呼ぼうかと思いました。頭の中で考えていたことが、魔法のように現れて、私の懐に飛び込んできたのです。


We hope that good and magical things continue to happen through JOEE and that our supporters will share in our joy at helping others. Please help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 within the next couple of years by donating at the link below. This is our new Global Giving fundraiser, “JOEE to Japan!” Can you help us reach our giving goal? Here’s the link or you can click on the “Global Giving link below:

私たちは、JOEEを通じて魔法のような良いことが起こり続け、サポーターの皆様が人を助ける喜びを私たちと分かち合ってくださることを願っています。以下のリンクで寄付して、今後2年以内に50,000ドル集めるという目標を達成するのを手伝ってください。これは私たちの新しいGlobalGiving募金「JOEE to Japan!」です。募金目標を達成するのを手伝ってくれませんか?このリンクか、以下の「GlobalGiving」リンクをクリックしてください。

JOEE for Ukraine!! ウクライナのためのJOEE!!

For those of you who would like to listen in on a JOEE lesson for children in Ukraine, here’s your chance. This month, in January, 2023, please join us at 8pm, Japan Standard Time, on Monday, Jan. 16, 23 and 30 for a fun, puppet-assisted online get-together. For adults joining, please keep your video and audio muted to let more children participate. This link will go live at 8pm on those three Mondays, Japan time, which is 1pm in Ukraine. You will need the passcode to enter the session:


Passcode: rz5kz5

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