Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Natsumi's last day

This past Sunday was Natsumi's last Sunday with us (for a while). She works as a translator for the Okinawan government and they are sending her to school in Tokyo for the next year. She has been such a great help here serving the Lord in interpreting the messages from time to time into Japanese for our services as well as serving in the Jr. High and helping to lead the Japanese Ladies study. We are going to miss her, but we're excited for her and know that God has great things waiting. Some of the gals gathered around to pray for her and wish her well after service. Natsumi's the 3rd one from the left, first row.

Tinter's New House!

Check out the Tinter's new house! After several "closed doors", God opened a big one to their new home in Oregon! We are so blessed for them! Kevin & Bekah were with us for 3 years and will always be a very special part of our Calvary Okinawa family. Plus! The Tinter's are expecting their first baby next spring! Yippee! We miss you tons and love you.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Glenn teaches the Word

These photos are from earlier in the month. I was at the hospital all week with Kristy and we had Glenn teach. He did a great job encouraging the body from Acts 2:42 and led us in a time of communion. God has gifted Glenn in teaching. Glenn, his wife Farah and their family are such a huge blessing to all of us here. Please pray for them as they continue to serve Jesus here on Okinawa.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Buddhist Monk comes knocking

We had an unusual visitor at our door on Monday. A Buddhist Monk came by asking for donations. "Silver and gold, have I none, but in the name of Jesus of Nazareth..." I tried to engage in conversation with him but he politely declined. He allowed me to take a picture of him (check out his sandals). It was a real reminder for us to pray and continue to share the true hope and love of Jesus Christ to the Okinawans.

This is from Wikipedia: 84% of Japanese people profess to believe both Shinto (the indigenous religion of Japan) and Buddhism. Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism from China have significantly influenced Japanese beliefs and mythology. Religion in Japan tends to be syncretic in nature, and this results in a variety of practices such as parents and children celebrating Shinto rituals, students praying before exams, couples holding a wedding at a Christian church and funerals being held at Buddhist temples. A minority (0.7%) profess to Christianity and other religions (4.7%) like shamanism, Islam, and Hinduism. Since the mid-19th century, numerous religious sects (shinshūkyō) have emerged.

Calvary Okinawa Women's Dinner

The Women's ministry hosted a dinner fellowship at the Macaroni Grill this past week. It was so neat to see the response of the church as 75 ladies gathered together for a great time in the Lord, for fellowship, fun, for good food and guest speaker Miyako Shavers encouraged the ladies in living in faith. The women will be starting a new study in the book of Esther this Friday.

Nehemiah turns 3

Nehemiah turned 3 yrs old yesterday. He's been so "hammy" lately (gets this from his mom)- he just cracks us up. The funniest is that we were praying for Baby Ben and getting him ready to be the "big brother" - we'd ask him, "Are you ready for Benjamin to come?" His response- "Who's Benjamin?"
Nehemiah sends a "shout out" to all his friends and the 3 other horsemen - Jonah, Christian & Micah.

Big News! Big Ben!

Whachya! (as Cisco would say) God totally blessed us with our 4th child! We have been so humbled by everyone's love and support- thank you all for your love for us! "Big Ben" (Benjamin Andrew) was the attention getter at the hospital weighing in at 4538 grams (1o lbs.). Sumo wrestler recruiters were there giving me their business cards for the little guy - just joking. Seriously, he's a great baby and the kids are so excited.

Gen & Tamiko

Don't forget to pray for Tamiko and Gen. They left Okinawa two weeks ago for Austria! They have joined the Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe's "Vision for Life" program. Please pray for them as they grow in and serve the Lord for the next 3 months! We miss you both very much! Look at silly Vanessa in the back - you too funny.

Bekah turns 6!

August 22nd, we celebrated Rebekah's 6 yr. birthday. She has grown up so fast. God has truly blessed us with a great daughter who loves to worship and to color and to read her bible. Happy Birthday Bekah!

Velarde Rummage Sale II

Here David and Yasutomo try to squeeze a few extra bucks out of a gal... just kidding... David's been practicing his Nihongo and looks to Yasutomo to make sure he said the right thing.

While all the boys worked hard, the girls just sat around. Just kidding again. Sandra and Liz take a much deserved break from all the action.We were able to hold another rummage sale for the Velarde Family as they continue to prepare for Italy. Thank you everyone for your donations and time to help. The Velarde's will be moving to Italy at the beginning of next year as missionaries. Please pray for Damian as he transitions out of the Navy and for the whole family. They will remain in Okinawa with us through December, then we'll be sending them out to in faith to great things for a great God.

Luke Steven Gaines is born!

Look how cute! Baby Luke Steven (Ricky) Gaines was born last month to proud papa Steve and mama, Tiffany and big brother, Christian. The Gaines family is very special to us and God has blessed the church with a great Jr. High ministry leader. Pray for Steve as he feels the call of God into the mission field and full time ministry. If you feel led, you can write a little note to say "congrats".

The Herrera's depart

The Herrera Family moved this month. We will miss them very much but also we know that God has great things in store for our dear brother and his wonderful family. We had a going away potluck for them and in all the excitement, I didn't get a picture of their family. The Salcido's are enjoying the good food we got to share. Please visit the Herrera blogspot by clicking the link on the right. God bless you Herrera's!

Okinawa Franklin Graham Festival Youth BBQ

All through September, the OFGF folks are hosting Christian Life & Witness classes in conjunction with the Festival taking place in November. On Monday nights, the class has a youth emphasis. Since we serve as the Youth Chair, we hosted a BBQ for all the students for the first night. It was great! Thank you Matt, Yasutomo and Glenn for cooking! Please pray for the students' participation in the upcoming Festival!

Rebekah's first day of first grade

It was Rebekah's first day of 1st grade (end of August- sorry for the late posting). This is her second year at OCSI. It's so weird to think when we first arrived on Okinawa, Rebekah was only a few months old. She's getting so big now.

VBS 2006 was AWESOME!

We had a blast this year with our Arctic Edge VBS. Thank you to everyone who selflessly gave of their time, talents, and treasure to make this a success for God's kids! Thank you again to the CC Iwakuni team that came down to participate and help out. We will be posting more pictures on our church site picture album. Check for the photo album link in a few days!