Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Birthday and a Farewell


Yesterday was just another day in Okinawa - hot, sunny, another farewell party, another birthday party! Oh wait, that makes it better than an ordinary day! The sad part was that a friend is leaving the island. That's reality when you've got friends in the military. Paul is a man with great zeal for the Lord, and will be missed. He's heading to the New Mexico area, I think. But the good news of the night is that Ally's having a birthday on Monday!

There were a lot of people there from a lot of different networks, so the party was so much fun. Chris and Julie (sorry, no picture) hosted on their roof, and the food was incredible! People brought all their best cooking, and we all gained a few pounds together.

Paul, we will miss you, man! Ally, have another birthday soon! That was an awesome party, thanks for organizing it!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Return of the "BFF" (?)


Just when you think she's gone forever... Melissa comes back for a visit! Since she left just over a year ago, she went back to the States, then to England, then back home and has spent the past three months in Osaka. Anyways, her visa is up and so she is returning to the States one more time. Who knows where the Lord is going to lead her next? Melissa is probably THE most talkative person I know! She NEVER stops! One of the things she told me was "you can't handle me..." and she's right. She's TOO MUCH! Anyways, we had some good talks but now it is time for us to say goodbye. One of the other things she said was, "Are you going to miss me?" This is a question I really don't like, because I would rather spontaneously tell someone I miss them, rather than being asked and having the answer pried out of me. So anyways, Melissa... will I miss you? We'll let time decide. You'll know if I miss you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I miss the OCSI days!

Tonight I got to have dinner with 2 of my former students from (dare I say it?) my favourite class that I have ever taught! What made them so special? Maybe it was that I taught them as freshmen and as seniors. Maybe it was that many of them were, like me, born in the year of the rabbit (one cycle behind me, mind you). Maybe it was that they were "my class" in my final year at OCSI, which culminated with my 30th birthday. Or maybe it was just that the class was filled with amazing students, like Sharon and Hiromu! I can still remember each student in the class so well, and wish them all the best in whatever it is they are doing!

Sharon and Hiromu and I got to catch up on what has been going on in each other's lives... Sharon is working full-time at her church, and is growing more deeply in love with the Lord. Hiromu got to translate for the astronauts that are living in the international space station! How cool is THAT? I told them that we need to do dinner more often, so hopefully we will get together again sometime soon! And maybe more from the c/o 2005 will join, too! I know for sure that a few more are on island!

Monday, June 15, 2009

BOB, meet Pizza!


今晩のBOBでは、フードフェローシップがメインだった。←ごめん、いつも英語から打つので、カタカナ多すぎだね(笑) 食事や交わりを中心にボブを行った。普段は7時半スタートですが、今日は食事があったので、早めに来るようにみんなに言った。少しずつ、空腹な男性が寄ってきた。少しずつピザを作って、焼いて美味しく食べた。

その後は賛美に入って、御言葉を開きました。また交わりをして10時ぐらいに終わりました。長い一日だったけど本当に充実した祝福された日でした。神様に感謝します!

Tonight was the first "monthly" food fellowship night. Our bro Kevin blessed us with a lot of pizza ingredients, so Sunday I started to make pizza dough, and then today after work I cut up all the necessary ingredients. I was so "worried" (too strong a word, but you get it) about whether or not I would have enough stuff... you just never know, because there might be 10 guys or there might be 25! They might be famished or they might have already eaten when they get here!

But God is good - there was even some left over! (No leftover dough, but I can remedy that in about 1.5 hours, if needed!) We made 6 huge pizzas, I think, most of them loaded with a healthy combination of meat and veggies. Abraham won the award for heaviest pizza (see the pic where I'm pulling one out of the oven), and little Tokito and little Jun won the award for best food consumed to body weight ratio.

After food we got into worship and Word - Joshua 1:1-9 and 3:5 (read it - it's awesome!), and then back into more food. The guys left around 10pm, but Eder and Rob stayed to help me clean up. It was a long day but a blessed one. Oh, and my buddies Kazuki (not pictured), Simon and Yoshua blessed me with a sweet tie and tie clip! Thanks, my brothers!

I got what I wanted! (Part 2)

Sunday night was a continuation of what has been an amazing weekend for me. After church, Iza said, "Close your eyes!" And when I opened them, I got...

An awesome beanie! Interesting - I remember seeing her mom Irma's cool beanie back in like January, and I jokingly said that I wish I had one that cool. Well lo and behold, 5 months later I have one on my head! It's my favourite colours, too! Thanks Iza!

Then the lights went out and everyone broke into song. So I got to blow out the candles and everyone had delicious cake! My "mom" out here bought it, and she also gave me a cool shirt! (I sound like a kid, don't I?) Then a bunch of other friends gave me a cool set of stuff - two mugs, a thermos, and some vitamin drinks! It's amazing - everything I got was what I sorta needed or secretly wanted. And the coolest part is that it was all given with hearts of love!

Finally, my night ended with a call from my dad, and he had my nephew on his lap - so I got to talk to 2 of my favourite guys from Canada!

Praise the Lord for awesome days... He is truly good!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I got what I wanted!

A lot of people asked me this year, "What do you want for your birthday?" My answer: "LOVE!" I didn't mean it in any weird way or anything. I just wanted to be with loved ones. Are there any material possessions that will make me as happy as the company of good friends? MAYBE a Nintendo Wii, but other than that, NO! Just kidding.

So last night, I had a bunch of people over for desserts/snacks and a movie. I can't believe how many people came over. The living room(s) were full and people were even just hanging out in the kitchen! I have to say "thank you" to everyone who came to enjoy a good evening. I can't name everyone because I will likely forget someone in the process and that's not cool. Just know that I love you all, too!

Then today after church, a bunch of us went out for lunch. It wasn't a cheap lunch, either, but a lot of people were willing to sacrifice and came to eat with me. This time I can name everyone, because I have photographic evidence! And here they are:


Izak, Aogu and Tokito


Paul, Dan, Taro and Masashi


Andrew, Melody, Natsuki and Kayo


Christina, Lisa


Yuki, Melissa, Sakura, Towa and Nozomi


Rob, Kevin and Tom

Thanks so much for giving me what I wanted on my birthday, everyone! Brotherly love!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Niku at Night

この前にサイモン兄弟に「カルバリー沖縄の方にデカイステーキもらったけど金曜日に一緒に食べない?」と聞かれた。もちろん学校の勉強しなくてはならないと思ったけど、心は燃えても、肉体は弱い!と聖書の書いたとおりだ。なので、サイモン、一輝と3人で肉食をしました!本当に分厚いステーキを久しぶりに食べて最高だった!神様、あの素晴らしいプレゼントをありがとう!この家も与えてくださった感謝します!これからもあなたの御国のために、あなたの栄光のために使いたいです!

肉が食べたいと言うなら、欲しいだけ肉を食べることができる。申命記12章20節



Tonight God blessed me with the company of good friends and good food. On Tuesday, Simon brought over a couple of fat steaks, which I "marinaded" for a good few hours before we prepared them today. Simon came over and made fried rice, and Kazuki joined us for a feast that was fit for MEN! I am so blessed to have this house, you know? God has given me a chance to welcome people over for fellowship, food, and just a chance to pray with each other and bond as brothers. Jun came over afterwards, and chilled with us as we talked about what God's doing in our lives. Then we prayed and the guys left. As we were eating, a verse I had recently read came to mind: "When the LORD your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you, and you crave meat and say, 'I would like some meat,' then you may eat as much of it as you want." Deuteronomy 12:20. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Name that Vehicle!

Well last week I said farewell to the old car. It had "character" but there were parts of his character that drove me nuts! Don't shut down when I hit the brakes hard! It causes the power steering to fail, which is dangerous! Don't get all wet on the inside when it rains! I don't like floors that squish with moisture! Don't make a mold factory of your trunk! I have stuff in there that I want to USE! Anyways, other than those quirks, he was fun. But it was time for something new. And here it is! Which of these cars is mine?



You guessed right - the one that I'm leaning up against (see picture below). I'm not sure what my pose means... maybe "YES! I'm driving in style AT LAST! Thank You, Lord!" It's a 2003 Toyota ist (also called the Scion in North America). It runs, looks and feels NEW! The interior's black but hopefully it won't be TOO hot in the summer. (The other car in the picture, by the way, belongs to my roommate, Rob.) Someone asked me if I had named the new car, and I said, "No, not yet. But I know one thing... it's a girl!" I plan on treating it real good... no rough treatment like the Pulsar got! So... anyone got ideas for a name?

3年半、平成4年式のニッサン・パルサーが僕と付き合ってくれたことを感謝します。けど、やっぱり色んな問題点があって、抹消することを決めた。急にブレーキを踏んだらエンジンが切ったり、雨の時、床がビショビショになったり、トランクにカビがひどくなったり、困っていました。けど、神様の導きでこの素晴らしい車が与えられた。(まぁ、無料ではなかったけど、すべての良いものは主から来るよね!)とにかく、新車は平成15年式のトヨタ・イストです。内外超キレイで運転すると気持ちイイ!皆さんもいつか乗ってみませんか?それから、車に名前を付けたいからそれも考えてね!前の車は男だったけどこのキレイな車は女性ですよ!

Friday, June 5, 2009

ConGRADulations!



It's hard to believe, but the bunch of loud, annoying kids (that I loved, mind you) who were in my 7th grade class 5 years ago are now done with high school! I went to OCSI last night and saw them on center stage... they were a small graduating class (only 17, can you believe it?) but each of them had a strong personality. Kind of makes me think of my class from last year... small but eclectic!

Well, out of the 17, I think only 7 of them were around when I taught them... but it was awesome seeing them! Paula, Nikhita, Hatsune, Ayumu, Brandon, Ryo, Earl... congratulations! You made it through high school, and probably with fewer detentions than you got back in 7th grade! I'm proud of you all! And also, somewhere out there, the rest of that 7th grade class - Natanael, Megumi, Arthur, Stacia, Cherry (oh right, she's at Okisho!), Brenna, Connor, wait... who am I forgetting? Anyways, forgive my failing memory - I think I can use "age" as my excuse now! That and having taught hundreds of students over the past decade! But yeah, if I see you I'll definitely remember you and we'll catch up on old times!

God bless you all as you go out into the whole world. Make disciples everywhere you go. And stay strong in the One Who saved you!

"My seniors"

Last night I attended OCSI's 27th graduation ceremony. I expected to see at least two people from the Class of 05 (the senior class that I advised in my final year at the school) - one had a younger brother graduating, the other got a ride with me to the ceremony. But to my surprise, there were two more in attendance! (Maybe more, but I'm pretty sure it was just 4 of them.) Anyways, I couldn't pass up the photo op.

(L to R: Stephen, Tamiko, Hiromu, Sean)

Man I love the Class of 05! If any of you see this, you BETTER get in touch with me if/when you come to Oki!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy Birthday! (in place of e3)

Last night we had our second meeting of the Brothers of Boaz - BOB. Three first-timers came, including 2 Japanese guys and a married guy! We had a great time of worship, led by former (and soon to be again?) pro baseball player Rob Wunderlich.

video

Then we got into the Word - looking at the importance of us having an undivided heart for the Lord. Finally we broke off into groups and prayed for each other. Some guys went into another room, some went outside to the lawn, and some went up on the roof. God's using the whole house! It's awesome! Then we gathered in/around the kitchen for food and fellowship.

And since it was Eder's birthday, we made him a cake and MAN was it good! We mixed cake and cookie dough and baked it - if you don't mind cavities in your teeth afterwards, it's AMAZING! God is so good - the guys (Rob, Eder, Nate) came over early and helped prepare. Eder stayed over and is about to leave for somewhere - work, I think. It was a blessed time. Happy birthday, Eder!