Well it has become a crazy past couple of weeks! After having such a long holiday, it was quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. However, things are starting to get on a roll again and things are really starting to pick back up. I recently started the Bible in a Year read and have been staying at it very well. I also have a goal to lose 1 kilogram a week this year which is 2.2 pounds. Pray that I can accomplish these things and can stay encouraged and not give up.
Well the 9th ended up being another holiday known as Coming of Age Day. Whenever you turn 20 in Japan, your are looked at as an adult and you have a celebration in the city you grew up in. This also means that you start paying taxes. Anyways, I also had another holiday on the 9th. Monday night, My girlfriend Cassie and I ended up going to eat dinner with her neighbors who are also English teachers.
Once Tuesday began, I went back to start my classes at Ibaraki Christian again. After my classes and the rest of the week through Friday I continued to meet with my normal students/studiers. On Friday, one of the guys I normally study with, Tamio, the one trying to figure out the meaning of life, decided not to come. I haven't had a chance to study with him lately, but I hope that he will come back soon because it seemed like he was barely beginning to be interested in what the meaning of life was.
On Friday night, we started up our youth group activities again. Last week we decided to go bowling. After having surgery on my arm this summer, it was very difficult for me to play because my arm is still very week. Overall it was a great time and Toru brought one of his friends again named Yuya. Overall I didn't do too bad with my left hand with a bowling score of 78.
On Sunday we had services as usual and a pot luck lunch. On Sunday night, I started a guitar learning class before worship services on Sunday night so that maybe more people would come to evening worship. It added a few extra people. This year I am trying Also on Sunday, I discovered that I was chosen to be an A.E.T. starting in April. An A.E.T. is an Assistant English Teacher. It has been very difficult for me to find the funds from churches to support me so I will begin my work as a vocational missionary starting in April. While I am very excited about it, I wish that could have remained being a missionary because ministry is where my heart is. However, I look forward to seeing the plans God has for me as a vocational minister starting in April as a teacher.
On Monday we had our monthly preachers luncheon. This time it was held at Tomobe Church and it lasted from about 10-2. After the preachers meeting, there was another meeting that discussed what the Church of Christ Tsunami Relief teams plans were for this year due to the fact that they are starting to run low on money as well. After that meeting finished about 5, we drove to Hitachi for a meeting to discuss what we thought of camp last December and finished that meeting about 8:30. Overall it was a day full of meetings and my brain was fried due to the amount of Japanese that was absorbed in my brain.
THIS IS THE PART YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.... On Tuesday I went to Ibaraki Christian for my typical day of English Bible studies that I have with the students. I normally always start out class with, "Tell me the best part of your week." This week, one of my students told me she was happy because she felt like she understood Christianity more after the sermon she heard on Sunday. There were just a few questions she still did not understand. After asking me the questions, the overall question she wanted to know was if this was the right time for her to become a Christian. She felt like that she didn't know enough information about the Bible. After hearing this, I immediately got my Bible and turned to the story about the Ethiopian Eunuch and had her read it in Japanese! I then told her me or the smartest Bible scholar has yet to know about everything in the Bible. After she read it and answering a few more questions, she told me that all of her questions had been answered and she had a warm feeling inside of her and that she wanted to be baptized. However, she needed to talk to her parents first. I sent her a message this morning and asked her how that was going and she said she talked to her mom, and that her mom wasn't upset about it. However, she is very scared to talk to her dad about it. Pray that this talk with her dad will go smoothly and work out. If it does, we will have some one on one Bible classes and hope she is prepared and ready enough to be baptized within the next month. Please pray that God works in this entire process and that Saki can become a Christian soon.
Yesterday we had our weekly Wednesday night Bible study. I talked about trying to find ways to be filled with God and the Holy Spirit and how it is essential for us to do so to withstand the Devil's temptation. If we are filled with the Spirit, it is contradictory to wanting to fall into the trap of sin. When Jesus was led into the desert, he was led by the Spirit and was able to keep from sinning. Therefore if we are filled with the Spirit, we can do the same thing. We each decided that one of the ways we an do this is through fasting, so we all made a commitment to fast from something we enjoy doing this week to try and be filled with the Spirit more.
Today I had a study with Setsuko. However, she only had 30 minutes so we were unable to get into a deep study about Jesus today because she needed go clean out her mom's home who passed away recently. Tonight, I will have my English class with Toru. Recently, I have been trying to help Toru also pass his TOEFL test so that he can enter Oklahoma Christian. Continue to pray for Toru and his studies so that he can pass this test. Also pray that I teach him in the right way and effective ways so that he can pass the test also.
Well that is about all this going on for now. I will be sure to give you another update on everything here in a few weeks. Once again, if you have questions please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to answer them. Thanks for your prayers and support and may God bless you all!