Our good friend at Calvary Chapels Okinawa and Ginowan is moving on to his next post. Joe has served in the military for over 20 years, but tomorrow he is leaving on a jet plane with his wife Tami, and heading to beautiful Hawaii to serve at Calvary Chapel Honolulu.
Joe served as worship leader at Calvary Chapel Okinawa for a period, but because he needed surgery on both his shoulders, he was unable to play guitar for awhile. Still, Joe worshiped the Lord with all his heart. I know we shouldn't be looking at (or focusing on) others when we're worshiping, but man, Joe looked like an angel as he lifted up God's name. That is the picture I will always have of Joe in my mind.
So yesterday at church, we had a potluck in his honor. He said a few words, both explaining his situation and exhorting us to continue always to follow God. Ichino did a great job of translating. Then we had a special cake made for the occasion by Liz. It was a blessed afternoon.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Yesterday I did something daring - I let my students buzz my head! Shimoji brought his clippers, taught Mutsuki and Atsuko how to use it, and left. Wait... TAUGHT them how to use it? So... they've never done this before? Oh man, I'm in TROUBLE! As I sit there nervously, in the sun, with a plastic bag over my upper half, I'm sweating and wondering if it's the heat or the fact that two rookie 17-year old girls will be determining the fate of my hair!
Well, it turned out alright. Yukky helped them out towards the end, and as a result, I'm back to having ultra-short, but evenly buzzed, hair. Thanks girls! Let's do this again sometime! But next time, you'll have had experience already doing it!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Well, she's not my student, technically, and she's not from France (she didn't even study in France) but anyways... this is Leimi. She was at Okisho when I first started here, but then soon went off to Belgium for a year to study French. When she came back, would you know it, she was FLUENT. So now whenever we see each other, we make sure we speak almost exclusively in French - since we're both worried about losing the language, and we don't have much more than just each other with whom to converse "en français." So it's awesome - Leimi, il faut qu'on continue à se parler en français, n'est-ce-pas?
On Monday, I went to Teen Challenge Japan. Teen Challenge is a program which finds its roots in New York City, and was founded by David Wilkerson, who is well-known as a Christian evangelist who reached out to gang members in NYC in the 1950s and 1960s. Anyways, TCJ has a program which not only helps people overcome their addictions, but purposes to change their lives so that they live their lives for Jesus Christ. Currently TCJ has one intern and three students. They attend our Sunday night church service, and occasionally come on Sunday mornings and Wednesdays, too. It has been such a blessing getting to know these guys. Simon is a graduate of the program who is now an intern, coaching/teaching/encouraging/disciplining the current students. Tetsuya, Masaki, and Jintoku are the three current students, each having been there for a different amount of time. Each of them is growing in the Lord, and it's a blessing to see the way God is changing them! The students made an awesome dinner (as they do every night, I'm told), and Simon and I went out to Lawson to get ice cream after. Great day!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
While I was back in Canada, I looked through some old albums, and I found a few interesting pictures. There were a lot to choose from, but I decided to go with just the basics - my baby pictures. It is interesting to see how people change over the years, and yet how they do not change at all in some ways. In which picture do you think I look the most like I do now? Which picture looks the least like me? Post a comment and let me know what you think!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
On Thursday evening, I suddenly had a little problem with my car. The brake lights would not turn off! It was weird but I didn't know what to do. No it's not weird that I didn't know what to do, as I have absolutely no car smarts, but it's weird that the brake lights stayed on. So I called Vunder, who gave me as much advice as he could over the phone. I was able to follow his instructions, and with Simon's help, I found the problem. But I couldn't fix it. So we phoned Ryota, who came to the rescue! Awesome, thanks Ryota! He fixed the problem in about 20 minutes, and we ate a good BBQ meal. This coming thanks to another friend, Josh, who gave me one of his two BBQs when he moved out of the Ginowan area. Since then I have been BBQing as much as possible, and it's such an amazing blessing. God has given me good friends.
The great, 'Mighty' (in fantasy sports only) Dan Pallmann showed us that he's got a gifting not only in teaching the Word, but doing so in Japanese! It was awesome to hear him sharing the Word in a language that I am not sure I'd heard him speak more than 10 words in prior to this! But it was great! And his faithful wife, Debe, translated wonderfully into English for him. Good work, guys! By the way, that service (Wednesday, August 27) marks the end of the Koinonia Cafe as we knew it in Ganeko. It's still around, still in Ginowan, but now is in Akamichi. You need to check it out, the building is amazing, but the Spirit that fills it is far greater!