Sunday, October 31, 2004

Rose with CCBC Jerusalem students

Hey everyone this is Rose Avila at the garden tomb in Jerusalem Posted by Hello
What a blessing to see Rose with the students at CCBCJ at a teaching time at the Garden tomb where Jesus Christ Resurrected. This was a larger picture but we edited it down so that you could see her smiling face. Rose has been a blessing to many of us, and she still is as she continues to serve Jesus Christ there in the Holy Land. Remember to pray for her daily as she commits her life to follow Jesus. Pray that God continues to open doors for the students there in Jerusalem as they share the love of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Jewish people.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Rick and Christy's Anniversary

Pastor Rick and Christy Posted by Hello
Hey Praise the Lord! It is Rick and Christy's 7th Anniversary. We wrote in a note about them getting away for the weekend. They had a great time. May the Lord continue to bless their marriage, as they serve Him faithfully in Okinawa Japan.

The Ruiz family picture

The Ruiz family Posted by Hello
We are totally blessed to be serving the Lord here in Okinawa Japan. Now that we are able to post pictures on our mini website, we will keep you informed with all that is going on with the Bible College and everything else on the island. May the Lord bless you as you faithfully serve Him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Typhoon NochTen gone, Classes resume

Hi family of God. Typhoon NochTen was supposed to pack us a wallop, but died down before it hit Okinawa. Instead the typhoon hit Taiwan hard, causing allot of damage and flooding. So all we experienced in Okinawa was some rain and a little wind.
So classes resumed tuesday night. Joanna began her class on Women in ministry and the ladies were totally blessed. I contnued our class on the Life of Christ. So we are back in action and these should be the last typhoons of the season. So keep us in your prayers.
God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rick and Christy celebrate their 7th Anniversary

This weekend Pastor Rick and Christy celebrated thier 7th wedding anniversary. They took off for the night staying at the Rison Seapark Hotel on the West side on the island in Okinawa. A family at the church took care of their 3 kids so they did not have to entertain anyone for the day and a half that they were gone.
Pastor Tommy and Glenn Phipps took most of the responsibilities for the Sunday morning services. But really the whole leadership at CCOkinawa worked together that the Services went smoothly while Rick was away.
Our prayer here in Okinawa is that God will continue to raise up a strong body who will be able to lead and be sent out all over Asia to spread the Goodnews of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Asa's birthday comes and goes

Hello family and friends,
On Thursday we celebrated Asa's birthday, he turned two on Tuesday the 19th of October. But we waited until Thursday to have a party. Asa invited some of his friends over the house. He invited, Damien and Sandra Velarde's daughter Hannah (3 years old) and son Micah (9 months). He also invited Glenn and Farah Phipps son Caleb (3 years old) and also son Jonah (10 months). Rick and Christy Barnett's kids came also, son Noah (5 years old) and daughter Rebecca (4 years old). The Oshiro's also came (Pastor Masaru, Keiko, Hikari and Ika). We had a great time, Joanna cooked some, rice, Yaki soba, gyoza, and stir fry, while Christy baked a wonderful cake. Sandra make Korean chicken. All in all we had a great time, and Asa was blessed. God continues to bless us with wonderful friends here in Okinawa. We look forward to what he has for us in the future.
Love, Pastor Tommy

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Typhoon Tokage leaves another on the way

Hello everyone,Tyhoon Tokage (lizard in Japanese) just left us and another one is on the way. We will probrobly be hit this Wednesday night. The Typhoon's are cool but sometimes they get in the way of your plans. But this is Okinawa and a way of life.
As some of you well know my mother has been deathly sick. But Praise the Lord she is doing fine now. I just talked to her today and she is back home and sounds great. She promised me that she would take good care of herself and eat well. But we are just soaring high over here with the great news of her now good health.
Pastor Rick is away from the church this weekend and will be staying with his wife, this week was their anniversary and they will get away for a bit. So I have the blessing of sharing the message from the Word this week for Rick. Please pray for me, I have not taught in the pulpit for over a few months and I am sure that I will get nervous.

"Another Tyhoon is coming our way"

At OCSI the quarter just ended and I finished up my Bible class for the students. I was teaching "end times prophecy" to the 11th graders and this coming week I will be teaching the Seniors the same class. It is a blast! Some are real into it and some are just trying to survive so they will not have to take the class over. They all did very well, doing their homework and testings. God bless you all, I will be sending a DVD soon to the family back at Livingwater. So if you are interested in seeing it, you can contact Pastor Jerry Simmons at the church.
Love, Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Calling for someone to serve

Hello everyone back home. We have been totally blessed out here in Okinawa and the work load has been getting larger. I believe it was Brother Yun from the book "the heavenly man" who said that" they don't pray for lighter loads in China, but for stronger backs". It was D.L. Moody who said "I would rather have 1000 men do the work of one that have one do the work of a thousand men". So as God extends our work loads I am believing that He will either raise up someone from our midst or send someone to us to help in the workload.
The school at OCSI has been a blessing and the youth are wonderful at the school, but as I serve there, I realize that what they need is a youth pastor to love on the kids and relate to them on a daily basis. I love what R.C. Chapman said about youth, he loved hanging around them and having them around because they kept him young. That is so true, being with them everyday, going to camp, planning youth events keeps you young. So I am believing that someone will come who will help in this area. (Are you that person?)
The Bible College is in full swing, but we had one set back, typhoon Togague (lizard in Japanese) came roaring in this tuesday, so we had to set the class back one week. This is another area that we need help in, someone to help organize classes, help with the CCBC booktable and serve in general for the Bible College.
So keep these things in your prayers, we will keep you posted on what comes up and available.
God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Jerusalem News flash

Praise the Lord! I just recieved an email from Mike who runs the Bible College in Jerusalem. They just returned from doing an outreach in Tel Aviv. You might remember, but we had Steven Apple from CCTelaviv come and speak at CCLivingwater a few months ago. We also had Pastor Mike from CCBC Jerusalem speak there too. Well Mike and the Bible College hooked up with Steve from Tel aviv and they did some evangelism right on the streets of Tel Aviv. They busted out the guitars and began to play. Well as a crowd of people began to gather, those who did not lead in worship began to witness to them. At the end of the night there was this guy who gave his heart to Jesus right on the streets of Tel Aviv. Awesome! That is the Lord! God is doing a great work in Israel so please continue to pray for Rosie and the Bible College there in Jerusalem and the works that are going on all over the country.
Praise the Lord! Pastor Tommy

Friday, October 15, 2004

Certificate of eligibility comes in!

Praise the Lord! Today I received from my Aunt Ayuko in Tokyo our "certificate of eligibility", this is the ok from the Japanese consulate to get our visa stay in Japan. We have been waiting for this to come in for some time, so we are blessed that it is here. Monday morning we (the whole family) needs to go into the immigration office and turn in the paperwork and we should walk out with our visa's. Hurray! Praise the Lord for that.
we have been waiting for this to come for some time

Please keep this in your prayers so when we go into the office on Monday, we will not have any problems with receiving the visas. We praise the Lord, knowing that He is undercontrol of our lives here in Okinawa.
God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Joanna Ruiz is back on Island

Praise the Lord! Joanna and Kristy Barnett arrived back on the Island last night at 9:45pm. They flew in from LA on Thai Airlines and arrived in Osaka, from Osaka they took JAL and flew straight into Okinawa. They had a wonderful trip in Cali and they want to extend their warmest thanks and love for thier great family back home at the church. They felt so loved and welcomed while they were there.
During their visit they flew up to Idaho and helped teach at the CCHagerman's women's retreat. They had a great time as some of the women from CCLivingwater met up with them there. Great news that the church in Idaho that Dion is pastoring is growing and flourishing. Idaho is such a beautiful place.
After Idaho they flew back to Cali and went to the CCPastor's wives conference in Murrieta. They had a great time as they were refreshed in the Lord and caught a new vision for the work over here in Okinawa Japan. It was great having many of our CC wives there for the conference. Anabel Smith from Watsonville, Micah Espinosa from Livingwater, Cindy Douville from Idaho, Kim Simmons from Livingwater. The family from Livingwater keeps on growing. Soon Tom Hallman will be leaving for Virginia, so we keep moving for Jesus.
Well, it is great to have Joanna back, the kids are grateful, their menu just got bigger. Before, the menu had 2 items, cereal and packaged curry (bone curry). But now it is open to the sky's the limit. Joanna is such a wonderful Japanese cook, we are looking forward to yummy meals. But in all seriousness, when your loved one is gone on a missions trip you understand that great calling that they have, and truly miss them, realizing that you are a team and God has called you to be "one". So my better half is back, and I love her so.
God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

CCBC Okinawa's first Bible Class started

Last night we had our first Bible course class offered. We had 9 students taking "Life of Christ". It was a great class, all of the students were excited after the first class. I was a little concerned that all the information, especially at an evening class would be to much, but they all hung in there, and did well. It was such a blessing to see Yumi Tomori taking classes again. She came up to me after class and was blessed that she understood much of what was said. For those of you who do not know Yumi. She was one of the first Christians that Rick and I met when we first got on Island. It is such a blessing to see her grow in the Lord. We have 3 girls and 6 guys in the class.
Joanna's class will begin next week, since she was off Island in California. She has about 10 women ready to take "Women in Ministry". So please keep her in your prayers. We believe that God wants us to prepare men and women for the ministry, and we are blessed to be a part of what God is doing in Asia.
God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Naha Matsuri

This past weekend we had the chance to go to the Naha Matsuri. Naha is the capital city in Okinawa, and a "Matsuri" is a type of festival or Japanese Carnival. This one is the biggest in the Country. Every city has one. I live in Ginowan city and they had the Ginowan Matsuri last month. All of the Matsuri's are done during the summer and fall months, so they are coming to an end. One of the last ones for the season will be at Rick Barnett's town in Yomitan so we are looking forward to that one.
At the Matsuri's the people get all dressed up. The girls wear summer Komono's called "Yukata's". They are lighter in material and not as hot to wear in the summer months. The guys wear "Jymbe's" and they are totally cool looking. Hannah, Michal, and Asa were given Yukata's and Jymbe's by their Aunt Ayuko, so the Japanese Calvary girl's got them dressed up in them. They looked so beautiful. Hikari and Ike were dressed up too and they looked awesome. I will try to upload some pictures ASAP.
In the future, we caught a vision to pass out tracks and do some music. At the Naha Matsuri, I have never seen so many people in Okinawa assembled together as one time. What an opportunity to preach the Gospel of the Goodnews of Jesus Christ.
God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Ruiz's blessed with a buggy

Hey guys, that is right, the Lord blessed us with a second car. Keith Duggan "Duggie" has this little red car that looks like a red bug. Not like a Volkswagen, but literally a bug. Some of the other missionaries have used it in the past but it needed some repair jobs done to it. I asked Duggie if we could us it and he said "sure", so we invested a few hundred dollars into it and put some elbow grease into it an "wham" it is driveable, and not that bad to look at. Praise the Lord it has sweet A/C and in Okinawa that is a must. But in all seriousness, we are totally blessed and appreciate all the love and support that we have from our wonderful Church family back in California and all over the world. We love you all, and appreciate you so much.
God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Recently back from OCSI Camp

We were totally blessed to be a part of the camps at Okinawa Christian School International. We had a host of people help from CCOkinawa. Tim Newell headed up the middle school camp the theme was "ignite the Soul" and he did a great job. This was a stretching time for Tim since this was the first time he was in charge of leading the whole camp. He was the worship leader and the guest speaker at all the sessions, but he was blessed.
At the High school end, I was able to take a host of leaders, Damien is CCO's high school leader and he taught a few of the sessions. The theme of our camp was "Survivor" so we taught on different areas such as Surviving school, surviving home, surviving relationships and so on, the sessions were great. I totally came under demonic attack at the camp, the first afternoon we arrived I became sick, after the noon session, I was throwing up and my stomach was aching. By the end of the night I had a fever and was drained physically. That night was long, but the next day I began to feel better. As the camp went on, my strength increased and by the end of the camp I was feeling almost normal. Our goal of the camp was to strengthen the believers and the Lord did a great job. We are looking forward to other retreats in the following months ahead. Okinawa has wonderful retreat centers designed for youth. In fact the facilities are free all you have to pay for is their meals and they are reasonable (Japanese food yummmmy!)

Pastor Tommy

Bible College to begin this Tuesday

We are totally blessed as the Bible College will begin this tuesday. We will begin by offering two classes this quarter. We will offer "Life of Christ" and "Women in Leadership". I will be teaching Life of Christ and Joanna will be teaching Women in leadership. Joanna will be returning this Wednesday night so her class will begin the following Tueday. But Life of Christ will begin this week.
Please keep us in your prayers, our prayer is that God will raise up people here in Okinawa to preach the Gospel all over Asia. I am so blessed to talk to other Christians and find out that they have hearts to preach the Gospel all over the world. They do not want to return back to the states but to be sent somewhere overseas.
So we love all of you and so appreciate all of your prayers.

God bless you, Pastor Tommy