Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Wedding Reception!

One of my dearest students from back in the day (they're all dear though, aren't they?), Andrea Knickerbocker, became a McCarthy earlier in July. While working in China as a missionary/teacher, she met a cool guy named Rick. They got married in the States and then after their honeymoon, they came to Okinawa briefly and had a wedding reception for all Andrea's family and friends.

I was blessed to be in attendance, and got to sit with some former students (Andrea's classmates). It was great seeing Naomi, Hazel and Haruna again! The whole night was blessed, and while seeing Andrea and Rick together was cool, I probably had the most fun (as I always do) playing with Towa. (If you don't know Towa, you need to! He's a cute 2-year old boy whose laugh will get you every time!)

Anyways, I just know the Lord is going to do a lot of cool things in the lives of Andrea and Rick. Let's pray for them, shall we?

Dear Lord, thank you for Your plans, and that You brought Rick and Andrea together in a Christ-centered marriage. Protect them, keep them safe in Your hands, and continue to use them to reach the people of China. In Jesus' name, amen.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jesus Saves Many, Robbie Saves One!

Yesterday my roommate, friend, and favourite baseball player had an exhibition match at a local university. After church and our leadership meeting, we headed down to the ol' ball park to cheer him on. We knew he was just pitching the final two innings, so we knew we had time (the game started at 1pm). We got there around 2:45, and the score was already 10-2 for Enagic. But Okikoku heated up and pulled to within 4.

With the score 10-6 and two runners on base, the manager pulled a struggling pitcher to put in his ace: number 30 (well, 15 for now - his uniform is on order), Rob "Strawberry" Wunderlich! He immediately bailed his teammate out, but allowed a run in the 8th inning. Then he shut them down in the 9th with two strikeouts, and the final score left no doubt as to whom the victors were: Enagic added several runs to make it 14-7! According to the rules, this appearance by Rob is considered a save, making it his first ever as a professional baseball player! Great pitching by Rob, and great cheering by the church crew. I've never heard so much English at a Japanese baseball game, but it was cool!

Next time, why don't you join us as we cheer Rob on in his quest to join the Yokohama Bay Stars? Heheh, just kidding - I don't think Robbie's aiming that high... but wouldn't it be cool if God blessed His child with a trip to the bigs???

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me!

Every now and then I think it's OK for me to post pictures with me in them! Today is a special day, after all. It was exactly 11 years ago on this day that I first set foot in Okinawa. That's right, I have spent almost 1/3 of my life here! Hard to believe, isn't it?

I remember distinctly being picked up at the airport by a man named Takeshi Chinen. He was one of two English teachers at the junior high school where I was to work. So we took a cab (or was it a shuttle bus?) to Tomarin, where we hopped on a jet-foil and cruised up to the northern island of Ie. There, I was greeted by the Board of Education with a banner that said "Welcome Raichura Trevor". It was the first time I had seen my name inverted without a comma to show inversion! I was touched that people were actually 'there' to greet me!

Then after short introductions (I said "hajimemashite" - nice to meet you - which was my lone Japanese vocabulary, and was told that I spoke Japanese very well!), we brought my stuff to the Hilltop Hotel, where I spent the night. But before hitting the pillow that night, we went to a restaurant for dinner. My introduction to 'real' Japanese food - sashimi is all I remember, and how I couldn't eat it... and what's this green paste blob on the side of my plate?

The next day I took the ferry with Takeshi and another lady, and we went to Nago to find me a washer, a futon, a fridge, and I think that's it... but anyways, the apartment I was moving in to had nothing in it! So those first few weeks were rough... but also so filled with adventure!

I remember walking around the island the following day, stopping my journey every time a car passed me, so I could bow like a polite foreigner. I'm sure I got a lot of funny looks, but I didn't notice them. I was just so excited to be in Okinawa!

Anyways, I could go on and on about each day that I remember, but I have to get going - I have an exam tomorrow and must study! All I know is that God has blessed me so much over the past 11 years - allowing me to 'move' back to Canada twice, even though it may not have been His perfect will. He blessed me with 2 incredible years on Iejima, 4 wonderful years at Okinawa Christian School International, and the past 4 years in Ginowan City! As for where the next stop is, at this point only God knows... but hopefully I will someday soon, too!

(The picture was taken by my co-worker Teppei, who busted out his camera when I told him today was my 'anniversary'. He made two students pose with me, and we held up 'fries' to look like the number 11. Also pictured: Saki and Shizuka.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

BOB at its BEST

Last week's BOB (Brothers of Boaz) was one for the ages. I asked the boys to BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) to the festivities, so the BBQ was flaming from 6:30 until around 9! Special thanks to Jon for manning the BBQ most of the night, and Dave for cleaning it off before it all began. (Someone tell the host that it's HIS job to clean beforehand!) Everyone ate their fill, I think! There was so much enjoyment of food and fellowship that we didn't have time to get into the Word or worship!

(But tonight we did - all 5 of us who were able to attend.)

Strawberry Boy

It's Ocean Day in Japan, so on my day off I went down to Itoman's Nishizaki Park to watch my buddy Rob "the Strawberry" Wunderlich pitch for his new team, the Enagic Bluehats. They were facing their fierce rivals, the Teru Clinic Blackberries.

Since Strawberry is new to the team, his uniform wasn't ready. So he borrowed from a teammate, and was #15 for the day. (Hence the nickname... 1 in Japanese is 'ichi' and 5 is 'go' - put together it's ichigo which is the Japanese word for strawberry.)

Anyways, Rob as usual was brilliant on the mound. In 2 innings of work he struck out 4 guys, and coaxed a double play out of another hitter. Check the video below (for facebook viewers, click on the link).

I had a great time watching the game, though I did get a little sunburnt! Worth it, though!