Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Check out Micah's hair! Just like his papa.
We are excited to have them back and to hear all that God had spoken to their hearts. Everyone missed you gals. Welcome home!
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!
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.
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.
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...
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 http://www.jessmattandersen.blogspot.com/
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".
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.
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.
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.
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?