Friday, June 30, 2006
Pastor Mike, Lori, Jillian and Joshua right away got involved in ministry here on the island. On Thursday we head out to Ryukyu University and teach an english class to the Japanese students. It is a way that we can get to know the students and eventually share the Love of Jesus Christ with them. This is a minstry that is run by Campus Crusade for Christ. We assist them by teaching the english part of it. Pictured above and below are Lori, and Jullian talking with the students.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
For us this was quite incredible. In Okinawa, we have this bug called a "Semi" that comes out once a year, usually in June. The female lays its eggs in the ground and when it is full grown it digs itself out of the ground (bottom left picture - the hole) and then climbs a tree, pole, wall, and latches on to the fixture (bottom right picture). Then it pulls itself out of the original carcass and becomes this big flying bug that buzzes real loud, usually all day.(upper pictures) I have never seen one coming out of its shell (like a butterfly), but last night, Joanna and Hannah were taking Erin home from our house, and when they came home they saw this and called me. It was incredible, because usually we see the carcasses of the bugs shell, but never the process of becoming the "flying semi". Well, this is a bit of Okinawan culture. When you come to the island in June and hear all the buzzin, you know that it is an Okinawan Semi.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Saturday night a group of us went out to Mihama Justco and spent some time passing out fliers for the breakdance contest that will be held July 16th. Tim Newell has had the vision for this for many years, and Calvary Okinawa has graciously sponsored this event again this year. It was such a blessing passing out the fliers and getting to know people on the streets. One thing is for sure, people are searching for the answer to life. Be it in Newport Beach California or on the boardwalk of Okinawa Japan, people are still searching, and we have the answer, Jesus Christ! If you have the opportunity next week, please join us again at Mihama Justco at 6pm, we will be setting up some guitars, playing music, talking to people about Jesus, and passing out fliers for Rhythm Unity 6. For those of you who are not in Okinawa, please continue to pray for this outreach, as we share the Love of Jesus Christ with the people here on this island.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Pictured above is Tim Newell's good friend named Zen. Zen has been attending the church since Easter. Tonight at Wednesday evening Bible study I felt lead to have an indepth altar call as the result of teaching on Genesis 22. The portion speaks about how Abraham offered Isaac on the Altar to God. We talked about the comparison of Isaac and Jesus. At the end I gave a call to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and Zen gave his heart to the Lord. Please pray for Zen that he would grow in the grace and love of Jesus Christ. It was a genuine conversion and our hearts and prayers are that we would be able to continue to disciple him in Jesus.
After the study we celebrated Ayu's birthday, then we found out that Zen's birthday was two days ago, the 19th of June. That is my birthday! We rejoiced together. I am 42 and Zen is 24 (just switch the numbers). Again, please pray for our new brother in Christ. God bless you, Pastor Tommy
Hi everyone! It is Ayu Newell's birthday today. We were blessed to celebrate her special day after church tonight. Vunder baked her a special Koala cake filled with chocolate and coconut frosting. When you get a chance write Ayu a birthday greeting below.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Joanna and the kids arranged this last minute get together for me on Monday night. I turned 42 today, yikes! (get out the wheelchair). Joanna took me out to dinner and afterwards when I came home some of our friends were at our house. Vunder baked this incredible cake (red velvet german pecan almond cake) he is a great baker. It is always a blessing hanging out with believers. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy
This weekend we had the wonderful privilege of dedicating our first baby here at CCGinowan. Nick and Shoko Pukish have been such a blessing to our lives. Shoko is a Native Okinawan and Nick and her met a few years ago. Nick has shared with me a number of times the importance of his wife hearing the messages of Jesus love in her native language (Japanese). We feel so honored to have the opportunity to have all of our services translated by great Japanese gals (Kayo, Kaori, Natsuki and Tamiko). Without there dedication we would not be able to communicate to the Japanese people.
Nick and Shoko's new little boy is named Nicolas Kai (Kai means Ocean in Japanese) Pukish. Baby nick has two other siblings, Hannah and Kazuki. Congratulations Nick and Shoko you are truly blessed.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Congratulations Brent! We are so proud of you bro! Brent graduated from the University of Maryland with his BS degree. He has been faithfully attending college for over two years. He worked hard and a special thanks goes out to his wife Cathy as she had to endure long hours of study and taking care of little Aaron. Pictured above to your left is Brent's mother who flew in from Nebraska. She loves the ocean, so hopefully she will be able to experience Okinawa's beautiful blue waters. To your bottom left is a picture of Professor Dan Brody (soon to be Dr. Brody, he is finishing up his doctorate waiting for his final approval). Dan attends CCGinowan with us and is such a blessing, both he and his wonderful family. Well again Brent, we are so proud of you bro, Praise the Lord!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
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Hi everyone! Well, we sign the papers next week for the new building, and the rental agency says it is a done deal. So, we start moving in furniture soon, and get it ready for a July 2nd first service. Please continue to pray for us. We don't know what is in store for us, what God will do next. We are just holding on to the Lord as He takes us for a ride.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Trevor Raichura is 31 years old today, or should I say 31 years young. We had a good time after Wednesday night Biblestudy hanging out and fellowshipping. They are planning some fun stuff Saturday night and also a World Cup get together after w2 on Sunday night. When you get a chance, leave a nice Birthday greeting for the Big Birthday boy!
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
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We put up this new video on e3missions. Erin who attends CCGinowan out here in Okinawa, has been attending the church for about 1 1/2 months. She originally came from Texas, but has been studying Karate for some time now. She came to Okinawa to learn more. Many of you know that Kayo works at Lawson (a store like 7/11 in the states) she ran into Erin about 3 months ago and invited her to come and hang out with us. Well, the rest is history. Erin accepted Jesus into her heart a few weeks ago, and is growing in the Lord. We hope that you like this video, and please remember to keep Erin in your prayers. Love, Pastor Tommy
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Hello everyone! Let me introduce to you Harvey Douville. Many of you over here in Okinawa do not know Harvey, but our family has known the Douville's for over 16 years. Harvey is Dion's dad, and Dion is the Pastor at CCHagerman Valley in Idaho. We had the privelege of sending Dion to Idaho about 4 years ago. (Whew! That was a long introduction)
Well, Harvey has attended Calvary Costa Mesa's School of Ministry for the past 2 years, and has sat under Pastor Chuck Smith's teaching ministry. Harvey has recently graduated from that school. Pictured above is Harvey and his beautiful wife Elsa (I have know Elsa for over 30 years) they are being prayed for after the ceremony. Pictured above is Harvey walking down the isle with his classmates. We are so proud of you Harvey! He has attended the school for 2 years, everyday getting on the 91 freeway at 5:30am to begin study at 7:00am. This is a great accomplishment.
What is next for Harvey. I don't know, but he does have a heart for North Dakota where he came from. Please pray for our brother and his wife Elsa, as they pray for God's leading and direction in their lives. Please leave an encouraging word for both of them, as you click the comment button below. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy
Saturday, June 10, 2006
It was incredible to see all of the Pastor's that were at the Conference. This year by far was the most in attendance. I wonder where they will hold next year's because the place was at full capacity. To the lower left is Rick trying to take a picture of Pastor Chuck as he walked by (just kidding). To the lower right is Alvin Alcantara of CCWhittier, and to the right in back of Rick is Steve Fukawa who pastors CCGuam. It was such a blessing to hang out with these Pastors and just get to know eachother better and catch up on what has been happening in their lives and ministries.
The Fellowship was great! Pictured to your left is Francis from Horizon Honolulu, in the middle is Tom from Virginia, and to the right is Mike from the Philippines. It was the first time that these guys met Francis, but the body of Christ just needs an introduction to hit it off. Please keep Pastor Mike in your prayers, at the end of July he will be heading back to California. He is turning over the Church in Iloilo to his assistant Pastor Mark, and Mike will become the Missions Pastor at CCMurrieta. This will be a real year of change for both of them, they would appreciate all of your prayers.
Both of these men have been instrumental in my life. I first accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior while attending Calvary Chapel Riverside with my brother Terry. Greg Laurie was and still is the Pastor of that church, which has changed the name from CCRiverside to Harvest Christian Fellowship many years ago. Greg is always one of my favorite speakers at these conferences. To the upper left hand corner is another brother who has blessed my life, and that is Oden Fong. Many years ago when we first affiliated with Calvary Chapel, it was Oden who ran CCOF (Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowships) and he helped get us affiliated. It was great to see him again leading worship for the Lord. To the right are the guys, spending some time in prayer during the afterglow. Pastor Tommy
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Jesse and Rose have been such a blessing to us guys. They have graciously allowed us to stay with them during the Pastor's Conference. Recently God has blessed them with a new home, and have shown us such great hospitality. All of the crew at CCLivingwater have been wonderful. Rick and Travis are staying at Pastor Jerry's house, Harvey and Elsa are housing Dion and Tom Hallman, and the Berndt's housed Pastor Dylan for one night. Thank you guys so much for all of your love and support, we are truly blessed by you all. Pastor Tommy
We were blessed with the opportunity to talk with David Guzik at the Pastor's conference. Pastor David teaches at CCBC Germany and has also authored many commentaries. The Bible College at CCBC Okinawa used David's commentary on Genesis. So this picture is for all of you back in Okinawa who took the Genesis class. Go Guzik! He is really a great brother and took time to talk to us, before someone else came by and stole him away. On the upper left is Pastor Chuck Smith who being led by the Spirit of God started the Calvary Chapel movement. It has been a real blessing so far and I am so blessed with Dan, Larry, Rob, and Jesse helping out at the CCBC Okinawa ministry table. God bless you, Pastor Tommy
We are blessed to be able to have a table representing the Bible College at the conference. Many Pastor's have been stopping by and sharing their interest in what is happening in Okinawa. We have had the opportunity to speak to some of the students who are interested in attending CCBC this fall. Please keep us in your prayers that we would continue to have those "God appointments" with people. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy