Sunday, February 19, 2006

Prayer Requests and Praise Reports

Hi everyone! This is a picture of some Okinawan instruments. The Sanshi (Okinawan Guitar) is a standard instrument in every Okinawan home. I recently read an article that states that there is one Sanshi for every two homes in Okinawa. Also, in the background you can see the Taiko drums. They are used for the Okinawan parades and folk dancing.
When you get a chance, can you please click on the audio button below and hear this weeks praise and prayer requests. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A lot of Dust

Well, as you can see in the pictures, we are working overtime in the new Javahouse. Today we joined two rooms by cutting a hole in the concrete wall. There was a window where Segmon, Rob, and Zach are standing (center pict) and we used a concrete cutter and a jackhammer (Vundernator is holding it) to get the job done. I just want to Praise the Lord for His faithfulness. The job was hard in the beginning, and Max said that we would probrobly have to jackhammer the whole wall. Well, when we cut through the sides, we just gave it a good push and it fell over! We were rejoicing, it fell and broke into 4 pieces (see the picture top right). The Lord saved us hours of hard work. Hallelujah! The building is really coming together. Pastor Tommy

Friday night at OCSI

We were invited to OCSI's talent show called "Cafe Dulce". During the evening, different people sing, do skits, drama, etc, and people came out for a good evening. Well, they asked "Red Letter Edition" (Vunder named the band) to come out and finish the evening with some praise songs, and afterwards if anyone wanted to stick around to worship the Lord. Tim Newell began with some of his rap songs, and then we led in Worship. It was a blessing to worship the Lord with the youth at OCSI.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Kids Club Ginowan City

This week Joanna had a special Kids club with a Valentine's theme. They had a great time. During their study of the Word, they finished up the 7 days of creation. The kids loved it so much they wanted to finish up their books this week. Please pray for the kids that are meeting every Wednesday night. Some of the parents sit in on the club, and most of the kids do not know the Lord yet. We are hoping that the coffeehouse will be finished in the next month or so, then we can move the adult Bible Study there, and give Joanna the run of the house. She has so many ideas for the kids to reach out to them. So please pray for them, and also that God would bring more helpers for Joanna.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's day in Okinawa

Well yesterday was Valentines day for us here in Okinawa. In the morning, Joanna cooked us all a Valentine's day breakfast and later in the evening Kayo brought this large chocolate bar for Joanna and I. People celebrate Valentine's day different here in Okinawa than in the United States. On this day, girls get gifts for the guys, and next month is White day. On white day, guys get gifts for the gals. We had a wonderful day. Click on the picture to see what we ate for breakfast.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The City of Ginowan

These are 3 different pictures of Ginowan City. Ginowan is divided into different regions. Some of the regions of Ginowan are: Mashiki(Jason lives there), Ganeko(where the Coffeehouse is), Maehara, Ojana, Ginowan(where the Ruiz's live) and on and on. There are over 87,000 people who live in Ginowan. I am amazed everytime I ride on the express way. When I pass these cities, and areas, my heart goes out, as I realize there are hundreds of thousands of people who have never heard of the Love of Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for us, that God's love will be proclaimed to all people in Okinawa. Love, Pastor Tommy

Kakuza Ridge

For those of you who did not know, some of the most intense fighting during WWII happened here in Okinawa. One of those places was Kakuza Ridge. During the intense fighting 2,000 Japanese and over 200 Maines lost their lives on this ridge. During the battle, the Americans launched an attack of 30 tanks up the hill, during the first day, they lost 22 of the 30 tanks to enemy fire. The strategy was changed and they took the hill quickly. On this ridge there is now a park and a huge monument to those who gave their lives. We visited this place and had a chance to do some metal detecting. Jason Arbogast again took us, and we found some interesting objects. There are too many to picture here, but if you look to the bottom left you see some kind of detenation device, maybe part of a mortar shell (we did not pick it up), then to the top right Zach is holding some kind of pulley or caseing. We also found shrapnel, and a sight seeing device for a rifle. While we were there looking around we ran into a man who began telling us about the area, and what the battle was like. He is 71 years old and he was 11 years old when the war began. He used to live in Urasoe city (the next city over) and has seen much heartache. While he was speaking to us talking about his city, he began to cry, there were tears coming down his face. You began to realize that the Okinawan people suffered much during the war. The loving hands of Jesus can truly heal the wounded hearts.

Western Wall at Night

Rosie Avila from Jerusalem sent me this fabulous picture of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Rosis has been serving the Lord for some time now in Israel. And I am looking forward to seeing her in March. We are taking a group from California, Okinawa and the Philippines this year. Please pray that this trip that all goes great and please keep Rosie in your prayers. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Sunday, February 12, 2006

w2 - Worship/Word

Sunday evening we gather at our house for w2 (Worship/Word), it is always a blast! We do just that, we worship the Lord and we get into His Word. This Sunday night Dan Pallman gave the message, and Natsuki translated. They both always do such a great job. I believe in my heart, that God wants to set people on fire for Him, and it will begin in the lives of the young people in Okinawa. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Sunday morning service

We had a great Sunday morning service. At 10:30am there was just a few of us gathered and then, more people showed up! We were so blessed. God brought a new family, and we were honored to share the Love of Christ with them. I am so amazed, God keeps bringing new Japanese people to Sunday morning and Wednesday night service. These wonderful people do not know Jesus as their Savior yet, but they are clearly hearing the Gospel message. As I was speaking to Jason Arbogast, it is only a matter of time, before they come to know Jesus loving salvation. Please continue to pray for this new work in Ginowan City.

Japanese Baseball

Saturday morning began training season here in Okinawa. Many professional Japanese teams come to Okinawa for spring training. Rob, Keisuke, and Trevor went out to Ginowan Convention Center and checked out the Yokohama Bay Stars. It was workout day for the team so the guys met this American pitcher who played Pro ball in the United States. They had a great time. Keisuke talked to one of the coaches and almost got Rob the opportunity to work out with the team. But, it did not pan out, maybe next time.

Friday, February 10, 2006

CCLivingwater Singles Biblestudy

Karolina Avila sent me some pictures the other day, and here is one of them. The Biblestudy group that gathers on Monday nights, had an evening together bowling. This group has been meeting in Karolina's house for a few years now, growing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for this group, that the Lord continues to lead and guide them.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This weeks prayer requests

Thank you so much for lifting us up in prayer here at e3missions. The audio blog says it all. Please click the button below to hear this weeks prayer requests. And again, thank you, thank you, for keeping us in your prayers. Love, Pastor Tommy

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Metal detecting in Okinawa

We have been planning this for over a week. Jason Arbogast (center right) has metal detecting equipment, and has been doing this in Okinawa for some time now. We asked him if he would take us on a finding mission. We headed out to some caves in Ginowan city to search for some hidden treasures. (treasures meaning old WWII artifacts) In the picture on the top left, Segmon and Rob are checking out some caves. In the caves they find some cool stuff, old bones, broken china, old bottles, but we do not take anything out. As we were metal detecting outside the caves, we found some old shrapel, it was a solid peace of brass (center picture in Rob's hand). Sad to say, Okinawa was completely bombed out during WWII. They say that so many bombs were dropped on Okinawa, it was the equivelent of 8 bombs per 3'x6' space. That is amazing. Also, there is shrapel near the caves, because almost every cave in Okinawa was bombed out, because many times, soldiers were hiding in them.On the bottom right, Rob is pointing to a cave that is partially hidden by the thick brush. To the bottom left is an interest picture. Many Okinawan's are into cultural worship beliefs. In this picture, they believe that this is a doorway or passage for the spirits to enter into the natural world and back to the spiritual. To tell you the truth, it was kind of creepy. But, greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. They burn incense and pray at this place and also at different places near the caves and any other spot that they believe is spiritual. At the top right is a place in Ginowan that is very old. In the old days, the okinawan people would come to this spring and bath and wash their clothes. There is also an old Okinawan folk tale that took place here but it would take to long to tell you. All in all, we had a great time today, hunting for old relics is a lot of fun.

Superbowl Monday!

Hey everyone! We had a blast this past Monday morning watching the Superbowl. Yes, I am correct, I said Monday morning. Because we are 17 hours ahead of those in California. The Superbowl begins at 8:30am for us. It is a big thing over here in Okinawa with the Americans on base. Most of the service men and women have the day off. So, our day began with Breakfast at Awase Golf Course at 7am (all you can eat). Then we headed off to Larry and Mona Torrez's house, and watched the game. It was a blessing, we had yakitori (Japanese chicken skewers), Pizza, Chili, Shrimp, Lumpia, chips and dips, you name it. It was a good day off.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday night at Camp Kinser

This Friday night, we were invited by Chaplain Wood, and Chaplain Keith to lead worship at their Coffee house on Camp Kinser. Every friday night, they invite the single Marines and other military families to come out for fellowship and music. So the guys came out, also Ayu and Natsuki and we played music and ministered as best we could. We had a good time. It is always a joy to go out and share the Love of Jesus Christ.

Chapel at New Life Academy

Friday morning we had a blast at New Life Academy. They invite us once a month to run the chapel at the school. The first chapel is with the Jr high and the High Schoolers, but the second chapel is with the Elementary kids (pictured above). Joanna leads the chapel for the elementary group and she does a wonderful job. Segmon helps run the games.

Late night meal

Kayo and Kumiko came over last night around 9pm and cooked everyone a traditional Japanese Okinawan meal, it is called "Okonomiaki". It is like a vegetable tempura pancake. This one was make with shrimp. It was delicious! We also invited our neighbors to come over, so Mana, Kodai, and their mom joined us. Before we knew it, it was 12am. It was a blast, but hard getting up the next morning, especially since we had to minister early at New Life Academy.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Okinawan Holiday

Tomorrow is an interesting holiday in Japan. It is called Setsubun. It is always celebrated on February the 3rd, the day before the first day of Spring. This is what they do. They throw roasted soybean from their doors or windows shouting in Japanese "devils out" and then throw soybeans inside saying "happiness in". The idea is to get rid of all the bad luck, while letting the good luck in. Why soybeans, they grow everywhere and represent fertility or magic powers, they believe that they are good weapons against evil powers. Well for us as believers, the Blood of Jesus Christ covers us from all our sins, thus making us right in God's eyes. The most effective weapon against evil powers is faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world" 1John 4:4b.

Praise Reports, Prayer Requests

There is so much to be thankful for, and so much prayer to request. We are so blessed! Today, the gas company came so we can have hot water and fuel for the stove (water heater pictured above). When he came, he stated that he would upgrade our service pipes because they are old, but we would need to pay for a new water heater. He stated the price, 55,000 yen (550.00 dollars). We asked if there was another way, he stated that he would talk to the rental office. He came back stating that the owners of the property will pay for it. Praise the Lord! He also stated that the electricians will arrive tuesday and they will make sure that all of the lights, outlets, and broken fixtures would be replaced. We are blown away.
There is a section of the roof that leaks, so we went to the local Matsumotos (like Home depot, but smaller and pricier, I do miss Home depot) and we priced fixing the roof. The problem is, that I do not read Japanese Kanji, Hiragana, or Katakana, so I don't know what to buy. Well, after spending some time there, we realized that I need some help. I prayed, Lord send us some help. Well Ayu called her mom, and asked for a reference. I called a local handyman friend Max, (Quint Betts good buddy) and he stated that he will come out Saturday and take a look, either replacing the roof or fixing it. Praise the Lord again!
God is so good! Please keep us in your prayers. Pray that the gas company, and the electrician come and fix everything that is broken. Pray for Max that God gives him the wisdom to either fix the leak or replace the broken roof. Please pray that we will be able to get a pressure washer to wash down the building this weekend and begin painting the following week. We truly appreciate all of your love and prayers, thank you so much. Love, Pastor Tommy