Sunday, July 31, 2005

Pastor Alvin is visiting in Okinawa

Yes folks, he is back! But not for long, he is heading to Guam. Last year, CCWhittier planted a new work in Guam. So he is heading back there to encourage Steve Fukawa and family. On this visit back, Pastor Rick and Steve Gaines will be joining Alvin as well as the other brothers who came with him. So please keep them in your prayers as they travel to spread the Gospel oversees.

Baptisms at CCOkinawa

This Sunday we were blessed to participate in the Baptism service at CCOkinawa. April Grafton is pictured between Pastor Rick and Glenn Phipps. It was a total blessing to see all the people who were baptized. This is the first year that there were more young people baptized than adults. The day was wonderful, not too hot, just sunny weather.

Interesting Okinawan Culture

I had the opportunity to experience some interesting Okinawan Culture the other day. Let me explain. When someone builds a house, first of all, they will invite an Okinawan Priest to come and bless the land. During this ceremony, the owners of the land are required to host a party for all of the workers and supervisors of the building process. It can be quite expensive with lots of Sashimi (raw fish), Sushi, and drinks. Well, once the building process begins, the wife of the owner is expected to bring tea on fridays at the end of the day for the workers. Half way through the building project the owners are expected to host another pary for friends, family, and workers. Again, there is Sashimi (raw fish), Sushi, plenty of beer (Orion) and Sake. Everyone eats, drinks, talks and laughs. I was invited, along with my family to this event. We arrived home in the evening, and our neighbors invited us to come. To turn them down could have been extremely rude, so we went. It was interesting, we sat outside on tarps, they came and gave us a large plate of Sashimi (we just came back from dinner so we were not hungry). It was funny because the men kept trying to give me beer and sake. I do not know how many times I had to graciously turn them down, and tell them that I do not drink. (The temptation for Cisco would have been to great). We did have a good time. We were sitting outside, the night was beautiful, the weather was hot, but comfortable. The Okinawan men were not drunk, but close to it, and they spent much time, talking to me and telling me stories. (one of their sisters knew a little english and she translated). I was thinking to myself "Jesus would have been here, sharing His love with them" He was known for doing things like this (Mark 2:16-17). We stayed for awhile and then, we had to get back home. It is also customary for the owners to host one more party like this, at the completion of the home. Wow! To build a home in Okinawa cost around 300,000 dollars, I don't know how much of that cost is just hosting the parties. All in all, it was a great experience for our family. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This week prayer requests for e3missions

Hi Everyone! Thanks for checking into the e3missions website again. Please click below to check out our prayer requests for this week. Thank you again for all your prayers, we totally need them. Lately, we have been feeling the enemy really working behind the scenes to try to disrupt God's ministry with the Ruiz's. So please keep us in your prayers, your prayers for us are priceless. Pastor Tommy
this is an audio post - click to play

VBS at Megumi Baptist Church

This week Joanna is heading up the VBS at a Baptist church in Ginowan city. Megumi Church approached Pastor Rick and asked him for help reaching out to the kids in their neighborhood and he graciously offered whatever they needed. It is a three day event, and we are looking forward to the Lord doing a great work.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A Miracle of God!

Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ! We are so blessed! For the past month, we have been praying fervently for Joanna. She will be flying to American Samoa to speak at the Women's retreat at Calvary Chapel Samoa. Well, there were no tickets available and she was on a waiting list. For the past weeks, I have been searching for alternate flights. They were either booked up, or totally out of our price range. But then, God came through! I called today our travel agent, and she said that one ticket came available. Praise the Lord! This is from God. There has been nothing available, I mean nothing! God is incredible! Please pray for Joanna, Monique Salazar, and Rebecca Gawryl. Monique and Rebecca will be flying from California, and I know that God is doing to use all these girls in an incredible way. God has a purpose for them there in Samoa, and we are totally honored that God has chosen to use them in this special way.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Team leaves back to California

Hey everyone, thank you again for all the love and support for the team from CCLivingwater. They were such a blessing to us here in Okinawa. To see the work in the lives of these youth was exciting. We look forward with anticipation on what the Lord will do with them next. Click below to hear an audio message from Pastor Tommy.
this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Flash! e3missions has audio clips

We are blessed with this new way that we are able to stay in contact with you. When you get a chance, please click onto the icon below and hear a message from Pastor Tommy
this is an audio post - click to play

Expo Park with Ie Island in the background

The team visited Expo park and had a great time walking around. In the background you can see Ie Island. The only way to get there is by boat. It is a beautiful Island, you can bike to the top of the mountain. (Can you see it, it looks like a cone) The day was beautiful, not too hot, and the humidity level was down. A great day to site see. Posted by Picasa

At the Dolphin tank in Expo Park

A cool and relaxing place in Expo Park. Cool, because it is airconditioned, relaxing, because Dolphins have a way of making you feel melo. The pict says it all.Posted by Picasa

Pineapple Park in Nago City

On our adventure Northward, we stopped at the famous Pineapple Park in Nago City. At one time, Okinawa was one of the top producers of pineapples, but then another island took over that spot. Do you know which Island I am talking about? If you say Hawaii you are right. Dole began mass producing the fruit, so Okinawa began using pineapples in different ways. One way is through wine, Pineapple wine. Another way is through sweets and cookies. People from Mainland Japan make sure that they bring home a box of Okinawa cookies, made either of Sugar cane or Pineapples. Another reason to visit the Pineapple Park, as you shop, you are able to sample all of the products. So we ate, cookies, dried fruits, juices, and you guessed it, all the Pineapple we could eat. Yummy!!!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Our final meal together at the Ruiz's

I cannot believe it. The team leaves this Sunday, and we have had such a blast. A summer to remember. I cannot begin to thank all of the people who have lovingly supplied, supported, and blessed the team with meals, food, vehicles, and love. A shout out to Pastor Rick for planning and supporting the team that came out from CCLivingwater. Thanks a lot bro! And thank you again congregation from CCOkinawa, without your love and kindness, the team would be much thinner, but they are going home heavy, Spiritually and physically, just ask Israel, Sosimo, and Mario. Well, we love you guys, and continue to pray for the team, they have 2 full days left, and they will be busy ones. Pray that the vision and fire in their hearts will not fade away, but burn brighter as the days, and months go on. Posted by Picasa Pastor Tommy

Future Helo Pilots for Jesus

The guys were able to sit in the Helicopters at Futenma Marine Corps Base, and strike a pose for the camera. These guys were blessed to visit the base, and they took a lot of pictures. If you want to see them, please click onto by Picasa .

The team in front of the Cobra Helicopter

This is a cool pict of the group. They have a need for speed, but they kept their feet on the ground. The team was able to climb on and into all types of Helos on the base. We were so blessed with this upfront and personal tour. Posted by Picasa

The flight Simulator

The team was given the opportunity to enter the flight simulator for the helicopters in Okinawa. We spent 2 hours as each team member was given the chance to take off, fly, and land the helicopter. I was getting a little airsick, especially as Mario was the only person on the team to crash the 15 million dollar helicopter. Praise the Lord it was just in the simulator, because he does not have enough money to pay for even one of the tires. If you want to see more picts please click onto Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

For all you surf fans!

Typhoon Haitang has departed our shores and left some beautiful surf behind. Two days before and two days afterwards the surf is great on Okinawa. Down south in Itoman the surf was double overhead, it blew us away. It looked like North shore in Hawaii, but the surf was so dangerous it was closed out. So, the team leaves this Sunday, and they have been such a blessing, it is going to be sad to see them leave. Please continue to pray for them as they prepare to leave back to Cali, and continue their service to the Lord at CCLivingwater. Posted by Picasa Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hold onto your hats, Segmon cut his do!

Can you believe it? Segmon cut off his fro. It was just too hot in Okinawa, and he wanted to return back to Cali in style? How many of you remember when we were in Samoa and we made Pastor Cisco cut off his Mullet Well, I guess this is payback for Pastor Cisco. Please continue to pray for the team as they finish off their last week in Okinawa. May God bless the team for their time of sacrifice and love.Posted by Picasa Pastor Tommy

Monday, July 18, 2005

Gabe mixin hardcore for Jesus Christ

Everyone was blessed as Gabe used "skills" that God gave him for mixin. The whole night flowed great, as Gabe kept the music flowin. Posted by Picasa

Rhythm Unity breakdance festival 2005

It was a year in planning, and it was all worth it. It was a blessing to see the work that God was doing in and through all of the people who were involved with the whole event. Tim Newell did a great job at MC and hosting the event. Gabe Castaneda did a fabulous job at the turn tables. God is so awesome, we were totally blessed. Posted by Picasa

Over 300 people attended the Breakdance festival

The place was packed! The workers arrived at 12:30pm and left at 10:00pm. It was a long night, but well worth it. There were so many things to give God the Glory for, I will just name a few. First, Gabe gave his testamony and it was awesome. Tim Newell preached the Word and 3 people gave their hearts to the Lord. Christians were sharing the Gospel with people all over the auditorium. God is so great, and He gets all the glory.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Chatan Matsuri (Festival)

Last weekend we had the opportunity to attend one of the cities festivals. It was a lot of fun. There were Okinawan dancers, drummers, and lots of food, and games. We were here on the field enjoying the night. It was hot, but there was a nice ocean breeze that cooled us off. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 15, 2005

Okinawa's first Typhoon of the season: Typhoon Haitang

Well it looks like the team from Cali will experience a Typhoon after all. In the words of Israel Dominguez "I was hoping we would see one", well, it is on its way. It is expected to hit us Monday, but not directly, it is headed more towards Taiwan, but we will still feel the effects. So, keep us in your prayers, we will try to keep Jamie inside so Typhoon Haitang does not carry her away. Posted by Picasa Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Hallman's are Virginia Bound!

Tom and Jeanne, we want to say that we Love you and will miss you, but are so excited what the Lord is doing and will be doing in your lives. Sorry that we did not put up a picture of your whole family but I was not able to get a good one. CCLivingwater had a wonderful going away party for the Hallman's and we here in Okinawa were bummed out that we were not able to be a part of it. May the Lord bless you all, as you venture out in Faith for Jesus Christ.Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Last of the Cali Crew has arrived in Okinawa

Yes, it is true, Gabe has arrived safely in Okinawa. It is a blessing that he is here. He arrived Sunday afternoon, just in time to join us for our outreach in Mihama. The whole team had a blast at the outreach. Well, Gabe has arrived at the right time to help in preparation for the Rythym Unity Breakdance outreach coming this Sunday the 17th. Pray for the whole team, as we will be ministering to the breakdancers on the Island. Please especially pray for Tim Newell as he has been preparing for this event for almost a whole year. May the Lord continue to give Tim vision as he reaches out to this group of people here in Okinawa. Posted by Picasa Pastor Tommy

McDonald's Boys

During the outreach at Mihama, the guys got hungry. They got down! Can two guys, actually eat all the food! Posted by Picasa

Outreach at Mihama

Sunday evening was a blessing. We went down to Mihama (outdoor street mall) and did an outreach to the community. We passed out fliers and invited people to the Rythym Unity Breakdance Festival next week. The team as well as the body from CCOkinawa had a great time.Posted by Picasa

The Okinawan Warriors

The guys sporting their Karate moves, as well as their Jymbe's (Okinawan summer wear). They got all dressed up for the Matsuri (Okinawan Festival) and went down to Chatan town, where the festival was held. They guys had a blast. Posted by Picasa

Beautiful Girls

The girls also went to the Matsuri, and they loved it. Many Okinawan and Japanese girls get all dressed up for the event.Posted by Picasa