Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Prayer Request

Well, yesterday was a rough day.

Our neighbor came running over, banging on the door: His 2 month old had stopped breathing!

They are Americans, but where we live is far from the military hospital. As Dan was at work, Debe called "911" (actually 119 in Japan) and gave directions for the ambulance.

The prognosis is not good, but God is a master physician. Would you pray for baby "S"?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Mornings

From last month Sunday mornings are now being taught in Japanese with English translation.

Pastor Tim is truly gifted in learning the language.
Here Debe is translating into English for him.

Tim, along with Trevor on Sunday nights, have really impressed upon us the need for advanced language learning.

You can only go so far discussing the weather or food. To speak to someone's heart requires a broader, deeper skill.

We hope to be able to go to language school in the future.
Until then, we are (slowly) learning what we can.

Of course, even better would be for God to call some local Okinawan men to become pastor/teachers. Keep praying for Okinawa!

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Directions

Last Sunday night was Trevor's turn to teach.

That is nothing new, I have been privileged to alternate weeks with him for a year now.

What is new, is that he is teaching all in Japanese!
(I was translating in English for him)

Photo from e3missions

Pastor Tim is doing the same on Sunday mornings.

I know that both Trevor and Tim have put a lot of effort into learning Japanese.

It is exciting to see these guys stepping out in this way.
It is also a challenge for the rest of us.

After all, this is Japan -- we need to get proficient in the local language.

I hope and pray that some day I will be able to do the same!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. --Philippians 4:13

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mom's Birthday!

Mom had a birthday a last week.

We enjoy having "Baba" around (especially the kids!).

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year's Matsuri

The New Year's holiday in Japan means that everything closes down for 3 days. No banks. No Post Office. Well, nowadays the grocery stores do stay open.

So we thought we would have to stay at home and (in the words of my Grandpa Husted) "glare at each other."
Actually we usually do a bit of cleaning and watch some movies and just relax. That was the plan until we found out about a New Year's Matsuri (festival) up in Motobu.

It was cool; for the low cost of "free" we got to:
  • see Okinawan Drumming
  • see Lion Dance
  • partake in Tea Ceremony (Okinawan style: foamy on top!)
  • make a kite

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's in Japan

New Year's is an exciting time in Japan. It is the biggest holiday for most Japanese. There is certainly a lot more customs than I ever saw.

Otoshidama, or New Year's money is the most exciting for kids. As they visit various relatives they are handed envelopes of money.
Many kids end up with 100's of dollars (well yen, anyway).

Pretty cool, eh? Except, when you are an adult it is your turn to give money.

We usually only visit one relative that we know fairly well.

Omikuji, is the fortune for the new year. Many Japanese (even Christians, unfortunately) will visit a Shinto shrine and pay to receive their fortune for the New Year. There are different categories: very good, good, so-so, bad, and very bad. The funny thing is, if you don't like the fortune you get, you can go ahead and pick another one (at a cost, of course).

There are a lot more customs and traditions related to food and games that are played. It is an interesting holiday to experience