Good Morning Everyone,
I hope you are all doing well and this update finds each and every one of you well. Things here are going great but are beginning to pick up quite a bit which is also great. I must warn you that I have had many problems writing this post with my sentences going off to different paragraphs and I think I got most of it put back together but please excuse any difficulty in trying to read this post.
Last Sunday, we had our curry and rice luncheon. Every fourth Sunday the church has curry and rice together for lunch which is prepared by a different person every month. After lunch a member of the church from Peru played us some music from Peru after we finished eating. After he finished playing, him and I talked for about 2 hours about different things in our lives and got to know each other better. He only knows Spanish and Japanese so I had to use what Spanish I remembered from elementary school and Japanese to speak to him which was kind of interesting but feel like we were able to communicate and understand each other for the most part. Sunday nights service turned into a larger group than normal and led into a great discussion which led to a couple of people being prayed for in wanting a stronger relationship with God. After the service was over, we also had our special service for the woman who has to work and her husband came once again. Overall, last Sunday was very special.
Monday the church had its own Bible study with two people. It was in all Japanese which I am still continuing to try to learn which ended up being more of a time where I learned a lot more useful words than being able to give anything to the Bible study. All in all, it was still a good time to fellowship.
On Tuesday I headed up to Ibaraki Christian to start trying to begin some Bible studies.
I was overwhelmed in a good way to have such a large amount of people interested in wanting to join the classes. At first, I only planned on about 2 or 3 people to join, but by the time I left on Wednesday I had 7 signed up and was informed last night 3 more people are also interested in coming as well. It is so amazing. God is doing such great things in this ministry and I hope it continues to grow. On Tuesday night, I stayed in the same town as Ibaraki Christian and went to onsen with one of my friends and back to IC on Wednesday to go to a meeting about Pac Rim students and to help with some CRASH work.Due to Pac Rim coming to IC next week, we cleaned out the house where CRASH, the relief group, keeps a lot of their supplies. By the way, I will go into detail about Onsen in another post for those of you do not know what it is. It is a public bath that you can find in many places in Japan. It is a lot better than it sounds. After finishing the CRASH work, I came back to Tomobe and had my English class with Toru which went incredibly well where talked about his desire to do ministry.
On Thursday I had my elementary class students first and then Toru and I met again and had his Bible class. To give you some information on Toru, he is an eager senior high school student wanting to do ministry. He is trying to study hard so that he can pass the TOEFL test(The test that proves your are good enough in English to take classes at university level) to go to Oklahoma Christian next year. He wants to go there to major in Bible and Ministry so that he can come back to Japan. Toru is probably the only Christian in his school and does not mind it one bit. He has a strong passion for ministry and hopefully he will pass the TOEFL soon and have enough money to go to Oklahoma Christian next year to get a Bible Degree. Please be praying that I can teach him English well enough that he can pass this test and receive enough money to go to OC next year. Japan needs ministers, and Toru would be a good man for the job.
On Friday, Marlin and I fixed the roof of the garage at the church because the typhoon had blown part of it off. After a long day at work, with work still to do, I held our first youth group activity. At one time, the church had quite a few young people but recently it has dropped significantly. We came to the church and had a devo and sang a few songs together and then went and played pool together. Toru also invited one of his friends which was really awesome. We plan on having an activity every other Friday and hope that we can grow the youth here at Tomobe church more.
On Saturday morning, Marlin and I woke back up and came back to the church to finish fixing the roof which took a few hours. After we finished, I came back home and got ready and went to a church about an hour away for an activity with some of the students I spent time with when I went to Ibaraki Christian and church with when I was an exchange student. There were also a few other people who came as well and it was another great time of fellowship and eating Korean food together.
All in all, things are starting to pick up and I am beginning to get very excited. However, I am looking forward to the plans God has in store for the future. Please be praying for the following things:
1. That Toru and I will be able to work together well enough to get him prepared to go to OC and that he will get the funds to go.
2. My Bible studies at Ibaraki Christian will be a success.
3. The Tomobe Church will find more ways to grow.
4. I am considering wanting to stay longer as a missionary rather than becoming a teacher and need to make sure that it is what I need to do. Last night I read about Abraham having a strong faith in God and was rewarded and I feel that as long as I trust in God he will provide the funds I need, however I need to make sure that I am spiritually willing and financially able to do these things.
Thank you all for the things you do. Keep praying and keeping in touch with what is going on in your lives. I love each and every one of you. May God bless you all abundantly.