Saturday, January 26, 2008


Hey y'all, last night we had an amazing time at the Koinonia Cafe. High school students recently completed their college entrance exams, and I know they've been studying for YEARS to try to get a high score on it. So we at the church thought it would be a good outreach to host a li'l "job well done" party for them. We made pork cutlet curry, had snacks, and were blessed to have a couple of live bands (Believe, and Hakugaijin) as well as a new comedy duo (Taku and Toshi) in the house! The total attendance must have been around 55 or 60. I'm not sure that more than a dozen of them were 12th graders (by my count there were 10), but they all enjoyed themselves, and I know that the name of Jesus was proclaimed to a number of non-believers.

I was so blown away by a young girl (about 10 years old) who seemed to be sharing the gospel with her friends, having them turn to various Scriptures. But then later I found out they were just playing "find the Bible verse fast!" Still, it was cool.

A few of my students came out, as did my co-worker with her husband and son. I know that if we do more events like this, we will be packing the house out! Thank You, Jesus, for giving us all we need to host events like this: a place, people to prepare, bands to perform, and most of all, hearts to reach out to Your people!昨夜はコイノニアカフェでお疲れカツカレーパーティーが行われた。先週末、受験生がセンター試験を受けたため、「お疲れ様」、また、「これからも勝利があるように」を言いたくて、バンドを招き、お笑いコンビも呼んですごい盛り上がったよ!


Thursday, January 24, 2008



The Yosh, our dear brother from mainland, has left. We were so blessed to have this brother in our fellowship for so long. His last night on island, he went out for dinner with some friends, and then did "print club" (sticker-pictures). We had fun, and we will miss this stud.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Celebrate! カルバリー宜野湾2周年!

This past Sunday, Calvary Chapel Ginowan was able to celebrate its 2nd anniversary as a fellowship! God has been so faithful and generous to us. I remember when we first started, and Pastor Tom would lead worship and give the Word every Sunday, Wednesday, and every other Sunday evening! Soon after, God called Tim and Ayu to the fellowship, and through His equipping His saints, more and more of us have been involved in leadership. We now have a plethora of teachers, worship leaders, children's ministers... and of course, Calorie Chapel wouldn't have the reputation it does without God giving us some of the best cooks known to the faith! I am so blessed to be part of this community, and look forward to what God will do in the upcoming days, months, and years!

Farewells of a different sort

It is a sad season... my good friend Yoshi is leaving for Gunma in a couple of days. And my dear former student, friend, and translator Tamiko is heading to Germany to complete her third semester of Bible college. So on Saturday night, my buddy Josh opened his home and his heart and we had a fun farewell party for them. We had a lot of good BBQ and curry and bread (and more) and we all got really full.

Yoshi, I'll miss your 渋い voice! Tamiko, I'll miss how even though you're a J-girl, you're not!




Saturday, January 19, 2008

Celebrating a Year of Fun English

We gathered all the 12th grade Humanities Course students and gave them words of encouragement as they face the challenge of taking the Center Exam (College Entrance Exam in Japan) on Saturday and Sunday. My colleague, Kenney, led them in a variation of a Japanese tradition, which is kind of a group chant/clap. In this case, first they did it with one finger (because there's only one life to live), then 4 fingers (because there were 4 different classes there), and finally with their hands, because we teachers bring it all together. It was pretty cool... not sure if the video captures the atmosphere fully though.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Farewells, final?

Today was the last of my "last" classes with the 12th graders. As was the case yesterday, many students were absent, which was kind of a bummer. This is the E1 class, meaning their English ability is higher than that of the other classes. Or at least, their test scores were higher. Most of them have a decent grasp on the language, and a lot of them have even studied abroad for awhile. One guy even lived in Egypt for a few years, and considers Arabic as his second language!
Anyways, one of the funny things about this class is that a lot of the girls somehow got the impression that I have a huge crush on my colleague, Yukiko. So after a few unsuccessful denials, I just kinda gave up and went along with it. Sometimes I would say things in class and the girls would laugh because they thought I was putting the moves on Yukiko... but of course nothing could be farther from the truth. All this to say this was a really fun class. I will miss the good times we had!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another farewell

This one was sadder than the other two, for a few reasons: 1) I was really fond of this class, perhaps more than any other. They had a good balance of eager kids and laid back ones, of shy kids and outspoken ones. But the best part was that a lot of them would come to the staff room and just chat with me and Aaron and Grace. 2) A lot of students were absent today, so the picture is of us, MINUS 18 students! Almost half the class! Among the absent were the entire "Forever 17" Club (Ayuka, Asako, Yumi, Fuko), which was kind of a bummer. And of course, the ever-non-present Sakura and Asaka. This was an awesome class to teach, but the hardest part was all those Mondays that were off due to national holidays and so on. Stupid Happy Monday System.

Already Come of Age

Hey guys, this is my 100th blog post! Only someone nerdy like me keeps track of these things, but it is interesting because if you look carefully, I started my blog exactly a year ago! So it's Happy Anniversary for my blog, Happy 100th posting, AND, yesterday was Coming of Age Day in Japan. This is a day on which Japanese youngsters celebrate their becoming adults. So young men and ladies across the nation who have turned 20 in the previous year gather at their respective city hall for a ceremony. The girls dress in kimonos, the guys wear traditional yukatas (called the "happi" I think), and everyone looks sharp. It's a great chance for people to get back together with long lost junior high and high school classmates.

Anyways, I digress. I had an awesome day off with my cool Japanese friends, Yoshua, Yoshi, Kayo and Natsuki. We all "came of age" a few years back (a dozen years ago for me, in case you're keeping score at home)... but we celebrated the "day off" by going out for lunch, then watching a movie at Yoshi's place (Nada So-so- - 涙そうそう), then treking out to my place for a delicious 鍋 (nabe) dinner, and another movie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Great times by all... man I wish national holidays were even more frequent... and that Yoshi didn't have to leave for mainland so soon.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More farewells...

Well my kids are all growing up. I had my final class with the 私文 (Shibun) kids yesterday. Sadness. They were one of the hardest classes to teach, because they were so energetic... but they all have such wonderful hearts. I saw a bunch of kids really grow up over the course of the year. Especially my boy Shuhei... he really matured as the year went on, to the point where he was the most attentive kid on the final day! Good times... too bad the picture is missing almost half of the class - most of them have stopped showing up at school, and have gone to tutors instead.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Farewells already?

Even though there are 3 months remaining in the school year, I already had my final class with one group. You see, the 12th graders graduate on February 10th. And they take their College Entrance Exam on January 19th & 20th. So after that, they no longer need *sniffle* us teachers! Since next Monday is a national holiday, I will not be teaching them again. They were a small but sweet group to teach. Kazumer and his off-the-wall comments. Muneyuki the secret Samoan. Taiki the best beard-grower in the school (better than me and even our Vice-Chairman!). Yuka and her drawings and hair extensions. Manarmi (purposely stood outside the area I framed the picture in) and her Manarminess. And the rest of them. Ah, great bunch. Thanks for the memories, y'all!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It's 2008!

Calvary Chapel Ginowan gathered together as a church body on the eve of 2008, and played games until just before midnight. Then we counted down, took pictures, played games some more, cleaned up and went home. Well I'm still here, but will be home soon. It was a fun night, and while I didn't get to play games with everyone, we all had fun. I especially enjoyed playing with Nico and Alondra... they're adorable.

It's late so that's about all I have to say for now. I pray that 2008 is as blessed a year as 2007 was.