Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Place where God has Chosen

God has been so gracious to us. As many of you know, a few months ago we were heading towards being without a home for our church. We had searched high and low, all the while praying and seeking the Lord in His Will for the place He had for us. The theme of our time was amplified by our weekly bible study in Deuteronomy by the repeated phrase "That you may worship... that you may prosper.. that you may obey... in the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide."
Well, God in His faithfulness and perfect timing, did in deed, show us the place where He chose for us to make His name abide.
And we are grateful.

The plan at the time was that this was going to be a temporary holding place for us. There was another building that we were interested in but was not going to be available until June of this year. So, we moved in here to the Beauty School with the intentions of moving on shortly after. But God has led us to remain and stay longer. We are excited about the near future and the neighborhood God placed us in. It is very rural unlike our old spot. We are in the middle of this little village with great opportunity to shine the light of Jesus.

Proverbs says that the plans of the heart belong to men but God directs his steps. So, we are trusting that God has directed our steps in this new step of faith.

Please pray with us. The first floor of the building has become available. The owners wanted to rent to us but at a high rate. We prayed and asked for a much lower amount - more than half in fact - and guess what? They said "okay". Okay!.. Okay... that means we now will be spreading out alittle more and taking over the first floor as well. It is very exciting and there is crazy space for us to do some really fun things. The picture above is the office space which also has three other additional office spaces, plus a tatami room, kitchen, shower room. There is a large meeting room as well all on the right side.
On the left side is the open meeting area where our Planet 45 kids meet already plus three large class rooms that all connect and open up to one huge room. Needless to say, we are once again just blessed out of our flip flops at God's provision and goodness.
So with it comes ideas of a sweet fellowship area - coffee shop - bookstore - kinda - deal but we'll see what God has in store.

The owners want to sell us the building and we are praying if this is what God would have for us. Would you join us in praying for this as well?
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Friday, April 25, 2008

Men's Ministry Retreat "Building God's House"

A small group of the guys were able to get away for our men's ministry retreat. the focus of this retreat is to encourage and equip the men of Calvary that are feeling led into full time ministry.
Glenn and I taught through the book of 1 Timothy. We entitled it "Building God's House".
we were blessed as Damian led in our worship times.
we met up north at eco park. God blessed us with a beautiful weekend and we had some great time of study, fellowship, prayer, food, worship and hearing from the Lord. During one of the free times, Ken taught us how to play "bouchie ball" - we had a blast.
We met outside in the courtyard of the cabin we stayed in.
It also had a large meeting room inside where we ate and fellowshipped. This is was from one of our sessions in the morning.
during the afternoon on friday, we went to this huge fresh water lake (i did not know that okinawa had one!) and we got to kayak and have a neat time with the brothers.
what is Damian wearing??

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday Night Fellowship

Every Wednesday night we gather before bible study for a time of fellowship and sharing meals.
There is always plenty of food and it is always yummy. Normally, I don't eat before I teach but lately, the dishes have tempted me to partake.
Allen and Jaime were down from Iwakuni! We were so blessed by their visit. They fellowship at Calvary Chapel Iwakuni with Mike & Sonya. Allen is one of Mike's key guys.
With Joe's surgery (please pray for his recovery and healing), God has been blessing us by stirring others to step up and minister their gifts with the body. Recently, Crystal has been leading in worship and we are so thankful to the Lord.
Everyone says, "Check out that pink guitar!".

Okinawa Children's Ministry Festival

Recently one Saturday afternoon, we joined with many other Okinawan churches to help with an island wide Children's Festival. We were honored to be invited. God has blessed us with ministry to both English and Japanese speaking kids and adults.
There were outside and inside activities & events.
We were asked to run the outside game booths and such. Many thanks to all of those that came out to be a blessing to the body of Christ. It was a great day. No one was there to promote a church or denomination- it was about uplifting the name of Jesus Christ and reaching out the kids He loves.

Beach Baptisms

God blessed us with an incredible day to gather at the beach and worship and rejoice with those that decided to be baptized.
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.
The brothers and sisters in Christ gather around those that were baptized to pray for them and over them.
Please pray for Calvary Okinawa and the 8 folks that were baptized this day. Some say that the number "8" is significant and represents "new beginnings". It was our prayer that this day was the mark of a "new beginning" for these our precious family in Christ.
It was a great day in the Lord. An entire family came forward to be baptized. Mom & Dad went first and then baptized their children with us. One dear brother, Michael came out fully dressed in his clothes and shoes and all... Erin, a neat gal that was saved on Easter came out and has jumped in with both feet in following Jesus.
The water was amazing. The day was blessed. What a great place to make this commitment.
The beaches on Okinawa are pretty nice.

Damian visits Okinawa

We were so blessed this past Sunday as Damian Velarde was back on island to share with us the exciting new venture of faith that God is leading him and his family towards. Please pray for the Velarde's as they go to England to plant a church in the city of Exeter.
Damian encouraged us from 2 Chronicles 17 this morning.

In the afternoon, we went over to visit with Tim & Ayu.
Later that evening, Damian was invited to share at CC Ginowan's W2 bible study.