Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Koza Music Town - コザ・ミュージック・タウン

Koza Music Town, Okinawa (AP) – The Word is the Werrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd! Sunday night, literally dozens (two, I think) gathered at Koza Music Town to listen to a concert event that will echo around the island for years. Hakugaijin (White Foreigner / Persecuted Person) did a couple of sets, and all the way from California, the Soap Box Poetz did their thing, and the night ended with a joint effort. Buffa (SBP) joined Tim (HG) on the stage for a song that got the crowd out of their seats.

Although the turnout was not as great as we might have expected, the Word still went out, and people heard the Good News. I do not

know for sure, but it seems to me that a couple of young ladies might have accepted Christ into their hearts. Praise the Lord! It doesn’t matter if only 5 people come… when people come to know Jesus, it’s worth all the effort!


Bye-bye, Tsuken House!

Welcome to the new “Josh House”! By the way, Josh can be pluralized and still be “Josh.” In this case, the new “Josh House” is singular, that is, he lives on his own. He was living with another Josh, thereby making it the “Josh (plural) House”. Anyways, the Tsuken House is no longer a “Josh House” but the Ginoza House IS a “Josh House”! It’s exciting and a much better place for Josh to be at, but of course for me it is indeed sad that my good buddy is no longer a 5-minute walk from my home. It’s now a 30-minute drive. This means less hanging out… but Sunday night he invited me and Cotton and Abraham over for a curry dinner. MmmmMmmmMmmm it was GOOD! As much as I am bummed that there’s no “Josh House” in the neighborhood anymore, I’m excited about the next 5 months of good times at the new “Josh House” (address blurred for privacy reasons).

The Perfect Move - The Videos

The Soap Box Poetz hit the stage to end things strong

My former student, Hadji, taking the Popping Championship!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rhythm Unity 7 - The Perfect Move

金曜日の夕方に第7回のリズム・ユニティーを行った。たくさんのブレークダンサーやポッパーが参加しててみんなの才能に感動しました。そして、ソープ・ボックス・ポエッツ(カリフォルニアからわざわざ来てくれたヒップホップグループ)が何曲か演奏してくれて盛り上がりました。ティム牧師が熱いメッセージを語ってくれて何人かがイエスキリストを救い主として初めて受け入れて最高な一日だった。ティム牧師は元々ブレークダンサーなので、その人たちにいつも心を配ってくれている。今週末に3つのイベントを通して、神様に用いられてたくさんの人々に福音を述べ伝えることができました。神様に感謝します! On Friday evening, Calvary Chapel hosted the 7th Rhythm Unity Breakdancing Contest. There were a lot of breakdancers and poppers out, and I was blown away by their skills. One of my former students was among the winners in the popping contest. There were performances by Hakugaijin and Soap Box Poetz (a hip-hop outfit that came all the way out from California to reach out to the youth of Okinawa), and Pastor Tim shared the gospel in front of the whole crowd. It was a very passionate message, and there were a number of people who accepted Christ as their savior for the first time. Through Pastor Tim (who was once a break-dancer himself), many people got to hear about Jesus Christ this weekend. Thank the Lord for the work He’s doing through Tim and so many others at Calvary Chapel Ginowan.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wow! 10 Years! 10周年おめでとう!


Can it be? It's been 10 years since I first arrived in Okinawa. It feels like just yesterday, and yet it seems like forever ago. I feel like I've changed a lot, and yet I'm still the same person. I know one thing for sure: God's been GOOD to me these 10 years! I'm hoping that the next 10 years of my life measure up to these, and I'm sure they will, so long as God is at the forefront of what I say and do!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What can YOU get for $20???

What a blessing.. yesterday I couldn't get on base with my buddy Josh, so I walked Gate 2 Street, and ran into the father of some former students. He showed me wedding pictures, talked about how my school had "brain-washed" his kid into Christianity, and so on... but then when I asked him about the hockey jerseys he had, he told me he'd sell me one for $20. Unbelievable! These would be about $100 in Canada, but I guess since they're made in Korea they're a lot cheaper. Here's the result of my shopping:

Not bad, eh?

Monday, July 14, 2008

2 years in a row...

Another year, another heartbreak. Okisho, the defending champions of high school baseball, will not be able to defend their title in the summer national tournament. Yesterday was the Okinawa Prefecture finals matchup, and unfortunately when I got to the game (late because of heavy traffic), I was greeted by this scoreboard. (In case you can’t read it, Urasho – our mortal enemies – were winning 5-0 in the 5th.)

After a rough beginning, however, Okisho’s team started to show some grit and comeback power by mounting a serious threat in the 6th inning: bases loaded and only 1 out! But sadly, it ended in a double play, and the score remained 5-0. Then came the 7th, and an even better chance to score runs: bases loaded with no outs! Unfortunately, our batter grounded into a 1-2-5 double play (for non-baseball nerds, this means they got our guy out at home and third), meaning no runs and now 2 outs with runners at first and second. A much lower chance of scoring. And yet we put up one run that inning, and another in the 8th, but alas, it was too little, too late. Higashihama and the boys played so well, but could not make up the 5 runs scored against them in the 1st inning.

It rained in the 9th inning (a reflection of our hearts’ condition?), cooling things down and putting a ‘damper’ on the day. But overall, I’m glad I went, and I’m still proud to say I work at Okisho, and I still believe we have the best baseball team in Okinawa, if not the whole nation. We just let too many chances slip away yesterday.



Monday, July 7, 2008

To e-bay, or not to e-bay...

Today after our long staff meeting, I got a pleasant surprise: Okisho President Masajiro Nashiro signed one baseball for each staff member. Not just any baseball, though, but an official "Koshien 2008 Spring Tournament" baseball! So mine has two important signatures on it (his son, the vice-president, Masaichiro Nashiro also signed), the school's name, my name, and all the "official baseball" stuff that collector balls have on them. Check it out, it's sweeeeeeet! The only question is this: How much could I get for it on e-bay? One more question: If I removed my name, would the value increase or decrease???



Leaving already?

My dear friend and co-worker Grace graced us with her presence for almost a year at Okisho, but the time has already come for her to leave. Actually, she's still here for another 3 weeks or so, but Sayaka (2nd from the right) is going to the States for a few weeks to chaperone our exchange program, so we had the farewell party early. Let me say a few things about Grace.

She likes pockets and trees. She must never wear glasses ever again. She sings the awesome song from ELF where Buddy meets his father and the father thinks he's some telegram. She loves The Princess Bride and has been "reading" my book now for about 3 months. She made fun of me in front of many students back in the day when we used to team teach together. And last but not least... I'm going to miss her.

Thanks, Grace, for all the awesome times, for listening to me vent about my less-than-successful classes, and for giving your all, even on days when no one knew what was going on. I wish you all the best in the States. Do not forget about us, let us know how things are going, and one more thing: "Would it be okay if I called you the 'crowning beauty' of everything?"