Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Prayer Requests

There are several events coming up. Would you lift these up in prayer with us?

October 27: Skateboard Competition - hosted by Calvary Chapel Okinawa City, this is an outreach geared towards the youth.

October 29: Sambi Fest - "Sambi" means praise in Japanese. This will be a time of worship at Mihama/American Village (a popular shopping center).

October 31: Harvest Carnival - a safe alternative to Halloween parties -- plus a chance to get to know local Okinawans that have an interest in American culture (there will be a gospel presentation, as well)

November 3-5: Franklin Graham Crusade - tons of preparation has been put into this. Pray for God to do a mighty work on the island.

We realize that it is only through God's power that anything worthy will be accomplished, so we want to bathe everything in prayer. Please pray with us!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

An Answered Prayer

As many of you know, Debe's mom, Hiroko lives with us. She is a real blessing to us as she helps to watch Emi and assists in many things around the house.

Well last week, she had this really bad back pain. It was like someone was clenching my back with their hands. She did not mention this to any of us and she went to bed still in great pain.

Unable to sleep, she felt the only thing left to do was ask God to take the pain away. The next thing she remembers is waking up at 3:30 am, needing to use the toilet. Afraid to stand, but having no choice, she gingerly tried to stand up.

To her amazment, the pain was no more! God had answered her prayer. This was a huge faith builder for her, as she only recently became a Christian.

God was faithful to heal her of her pain, and Hiroko has been faithful to mention it to anyone who will listen!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tea Ceremony

Today we were blessed to experience Japanese Tea Ceremony. As the name implies, this is more than just a cup of Lipton.

One of the girls from church, Kayo, studied Tea Ceremony for a while and was willing to demonstrate it for the college students, as well as provide the kimonos and tea utensils.

As with many things in Japan, there is a lot of structure in Tea Ceremony. There are certain things to say, certain times to say them and certain movements to make.

It is almost like a dance or art form. Other art forms are also have a kata, or form: martial arts, flower arranging, calligraphy.

Unfortunately, some of this thinking is also in the Japanese churches. people have a mindset that "This is how church is done." This explains a lot of the ritualism in the churches. While there is nothing wrong with tradition and ritual, it is a problem when it becomes more important than following the leading of God.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Well, this weekend was the time for Tsukimi, or "moon viewing", in Japan. The first full moon in the fall (autumnal equinox) marks the official start of fall for many people.

In Japan, people say there is a rabbit on the moon. Not only that, but he is pounding mochi (rice cake)!

Many folks will have a moon viewing party or go to one of the festivals. We decided to go to Shuri Castle this year. Okinawan castles are distinct from Japanese castles. Unfortunately, they were all destroyed during WW2. Shuri castle was reconstructed, however, so it is fun to go there. It is cool at night because it is lit up and they had some Okinawan performances.

The coolest thing was, we met an old friend, Yasuo. We first met her in Hawaii 8 or 9 years ago. She remembered us and wants to get together. Hopefully she will come to church as she lives just down the road.

We came to see the moon, but God wanted us to reconnect with Yasuo. Pray that she will see her need for God in her life.