Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Barnett Family grows

We were taking a family picture for the Velarde's going away scrapbook and Micah & Hannah joined in! Over the past 3 years, we have all become family in Christ with the Velarde's. We love you and will miss you much.
Check out Micah's hair! Just like his papa.

Tamiko & Gen have returned!

Gen and Tamiko are back! They returned this week from 3+ months in Austria, serving at the "Vision for Life" Calvary Chapel Bible College Austria campus.
We are excited to have them back and to hear all that God had spoken to their hearts. Everyone missed you gals. Welcome home!

Mens Retreat @ Okuma

At the end of last week, a group of guys from the church went up to the north part of the island, to Okuma. It was an awesome time in the Lord. We had a men's retreat called "Into the Deep" based upon Luke 5 where Jesus tells Peter to "launch out into the deep". God ministered to all our hearts in personal and powerful ways - it was just awesome. For the boys who missed out - don't fret, we're gonna do it again soon!

Homeless Outreach

The Sunday following Thanksgiving, we got together at the church and made meals for the homeless in our city. I was so blessed that so many came out to give a helping hand. When Paul began his ministry, the church leaders told him to remember the poor...

A solid group of folks came out Sunday afternoon just to help with preparations.

Here, Yasutomo serves the Lord by rubbing seasoning salt on the turkey that we deep fried for our outreach. It was Yasutomo's first time. He said it was "foul".

We divided our group in two. One group went to a park in a part of the city called Goya, the others stayed in the park near Kadena Gate 2. The Goya park had many drunk and passed out homeless. There we met this boy named Kazuki. He is 6 years old. Please pray for Kazuki and his father, who is on the left. We will be returning to the park with food and items on Dec. 17th.
Okinawa is considered the poorest of the prefectures of Japan, with the greatest percentage of unemployment. It is our heart to reach out in the love of Jesus Christ in a practical way. We will be returning to provide meals, clothes, blankets and as the Lord leads, even medical assistance. Please pray with us for these the poorest of the lost.

Thanksgiving Outreach w/ Hansen Christian Center

Each year, we have a "Day After Thanksgiving" outreach to the single missionaries and service members on Okinawa. This year, we partnered with Mike & Lisa Thompson, who are serving as Directors of the Hansen Christian Center hospitality house. Mike & Lisa are a part of our Calvary family and are a giant blessing to all of us.
The HCC is located on the northern end of the island, just minutes outside Camp Hansen. They minister to mostly single and younger Marines stationed there. We joined forces to cook dinner and have a great time of outreach to their community.

Turkey Bowl 06

This year's Turkey Bowl was all it was "cracked up" to be! Pastor Rick's team "Scarlet Thread" demolished Glenn's team "Romans". Glenn's team won last year by a narrow margin and Glenn had held the coveted trophy for the last year. It was given to its rightful owner this year as God granted victory to the righteous team.
This year's excitement also pitted Ginowan City vs. Okinawa City. Alas, the college boys plus Glenn were just no match for the well oiled machinery of Okinawa City- perhaps next year fellas. Maybe Shannon should have played.
This year's MVP choice was a difficult decision. Most would agree that Greg was the overall best... quarterback, reciever and rusher... but the award goes to Steve Gaines who in a marvelous leap of faith snatched himself an interception right before Voonder knocked him to the ground and cracked his ribs. Steve is doing well. He reports that he counts it a blessing to suffer for Christ's sake, even on the grid iron... by the way... it was flag football...

Andersen Family has grown!

Please welcome Ella Svea Andersen. She was born November 17th, almost an hour after midnight. Matt and Jess are just glowing these days. Look at the proud papa! We are so excited for the Andersen's. To see more pix of the family, please check out their blog at


A few Sunday's ago, the entire church was blessed by our Youth. They led in worship, ushered, did the parking (they even offered to valet park cars :) ) and did announcements. It was a tremendous blessing to see how God has been working in the lives of His young people.
Please pray for our Jr. High ministry "Tsunami" and our High School "TC-1".

Calvary Iwakuni & Mike Silva Ordaination

After Sunday service, the church had a potluck fellowship. The food was great and the fellowship best! It was just wonderful to see what God has been doing there.
On Saturday morning, the men got together for a bible study breakfast. Damian shared from Micah with the guys. We were all encouraged in the Word. There is a solid group of guys there and we were blessed to meet them all.

As the church has grown, seating now extends into the tatami room. Most of the youth hung out in there.
The biggest blessing came when we were able to pray for and ordain Mike Silva as Pastor. Mike and his family have been in Iwakuni for over a year. The church plant celebrated it's one year anniversary this same day! Great things God has done! Mike was already their pastor, we were just affirming what God has established. God bless you Mike and Silva family.

Tokorozawa Conference

In November, a group of us went up to mainland Japan for a Pastor's/Leaders' Conference that CC Tokorawa hosted. It was a great time with everyone there. We got to hear about the neat things that God is doing in Japan as a whole. Pastor Bill Stonebraker from Honolulu came out to minister the Word of God to us.

Here's our group picture.
Here is Damian, Pastor Bill and I. Each morning we would stop at Starbucks Coffee and get our fix. Pastor Bill's such a down to earth guy. We were so blessed not only by his teaching but just hanging out with us.

On Day 2, the gals had a special time and the boys stayed at the meeting room. Joe McIlhenney was able to come out again this year. He is a great brother who is on fire and loves Jesus.

Pictured here is Masaru and Travis. Masaru is such a clown. We miss him here at Calvary Okinawa so much but all were blessed to hear of the great things God is doing in Naha. Please continue to pray for all the Calvary Chapels in Japan.

Okinawa Franklin Graham Festival

On November 3, 4, and 5th, Franklin Graham came to Okinawa for a Evangelistic Festival. It has been nearly a year of planning and hard work - but it finally came down to these 3 nights! God blessed the entire thing from weather to providing parking, helpers and just the awesome experience of seeing hundreds come to Jesus. It was great.

Pictured here is the International Committee. It was a true honor and blessing to get to work along side so many of the other pastors here on Okinawa. Some have been ministering for over 20 years here. God brought a neat group together and I was humbled to be a part.

The estimated attendance each night of the Festival was about 6000 people. Over the 3 days with the children's events, nearly 2000 people came forward to make a commitment for Christ. Please continue to pray for Okinawa.
Look! Marre and Kumiko Ishii from Committed Fellowship Tokyo came down to perform each night at the festival. They did a great job along with so many other gifted artists... also our very own Tim Newell performed too... check out pix at Tom's blog.

The man. Justin Peterson. Justin had one of those "Back Stage Passes" because he, along with a good handful of guys from church worked the security for Franklin Graham. Here he is coming to get me because I snuck in to take a picture. Where's Franklin?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Light the Night" Harvest Carnival

Okay... trying to update the blogger with all the stuff that's happened lately...
The church held it's annual "Harvest Carnival - Light the Night" Halloween alternative, and it was a huge blessing from God. It was raining the whole morning and then, God stopped it, just for the kids! Our vision and heart's desire was to be not only an inreach to our own kids but an outreach to our Okinawan neighbors- and God brought many Okinawan kids out with their families! Thank you to everyone who made the night a success!