Monday, July 31, 2006

Future missionaries to Austria.

Praise the Lord! Many of you know Tamiko Murakami and Jen Fortin. They both attend Pastor Rick's Church in Okinawa City. Recently they were accepted to travel overseas with "A Vison for Life", a Calvary Chapel missions discipleship trip. They will be leaving in the beginning of September and will return back to Okinawa in December. Please pray for these young gals that they will hear from the Lord and come back with "a vison for life". Please leave them an encouraging comment below. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Joe Tipton is here!

Let me introduce to you a good brother in the Lord, Joe Tipton. Joe originally comes from Santa Ana California. He has been attending the School of Ministry at Costa Mesa for two years and is a recent graduate. We are blessed to have him here in Okinawa, Joe will be serving in Ministry out here, helping with the Bible College and the new Church plant in Ginowan city.

w2 - Sunday night

We had a great study tonight as Dan Pallmann gave the Word Sunday night. While I was gone in California, Pastor Tim, Dan, Vunder, and Trevor did excellent jobs teaching the Word. We are back in the swing of things, serving the Lord is such a blessing.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Heading back to Okinawa

Ah, heading back to Okinawa. We love our family in California and Virginia. But now it's time to get back to the place where God has called us. There's a lot of work to do, and get ready for the students that will be arriving next month. But, in His timing it will all get done. This morning I had the time to go for a run. As I was running, meditating on all that God did on this trip, the Lord reminded me that He was leading and guiding us the whole way. That is real comforting as you realize there is so much to do, and did you do it all. Pictured above is the flag of Ginowan, the city where we live. There are about 90,000 people who live in our city, and they need to hear of the Love of Jesus. Pictured below is the beach where we had our last baptism. God bless you all, and thank you for all of your love and service. Thank you Harvey and Elsa for allowing us to stay with you. Harvey, you make the best food in the world. Pastor Tom and Jeanne, thank you for opening your hearts and home to us in Virginia. God is doing a great work. Pastor Jerry and Cisco, you guys are the best. Your love and friendship are priceless. Thank you church family at CCLivingwater. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Torres family in California

As soon as Larry arrived in Corona, we settled the family in, and he knocked out! Larry and family have been driving for 3 days, coming in from the state of Washington. They stopped and spent the night on the way down, and finally arrived here. They will be in Corona for a few days, and then will continue their travels to North Carolina. Please continue to pray for the Torres', God has good things in store for them, but we will sure miss them in Okinawa.

Tuesday morning Pastoral Training

On Tuesday mornings Pastor Raul has a Bible Study for Pastor's at his Church in Diamond Bar California. I had the opportunity to head out there and hear Raul's teaching. Pastor Raul just returned from his "Somebody Loves You Crusade" in New Zealand. He came back excited in what the Lord did at the crusade, and what God is doing in the New Zealand Pastor's. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cactus in California

This is real interesting. In Okinawa, we have cactus and it gives out a certain type of fruit. They call them dragon fruit (upper center, left, right, pictures). It is similar to the cactus in California. The cactus in Cali give out a similar fruit, but in spanish we call it "thuna". In english they call them "cactus apples". In my fathers back yard he has a lot of cactus growing and as you can see in the bottom 5 pictures there are a lot of "thuna" on them. The middle picture is what a thuna begins to look like before they get ripe. When it is time to eat them, they get deep red, and are real tasty, like dragon fruit. Also, hispanics like to eat cactus. If you look at the upper left picture, you see a pict of a young cactus. They will cut that piece off, scrape the thorns off, chop it up in small cubes, and fry it, often with eggs and onions. They say it is real tasty, I really do not like it, but my dad likes them a lot. As you can see, all the thuna will be ripening soon, so if you are in the area of Norco, stop by my dad's house and ask him for a few. He cannot eat them all by himself. Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sites at Washington D.C.

We left Williamsburg at 3:30am in the morning to get to Regan National Airport for our early flight. We were amazed, about 5am the traffic going into DC was heavy, but the Lord blessed us and we arrived early. As we were close to the airport, we began to see the Washington Monument (bottom left) and realized that we were close to all the National sites. So we drove off the freeway and began to sightsee. It was awesome because it was so early no one was around and we were able to stop right in front of many of the monuments. Pictured to the bottom right is the White House, and in the center picture is the Lincoln Monument. To the upper right is the Jefferson Memorial and on the top center is the Pentagon. We took that picture from the freeway. We were so blessed. There was so much ministry to do, we were not able to sightsee as much as we liked, but God opened the doors for us and we were blessed. We could not have asked for a better time. So early in the morning, no one was on these streets and we were able to make u-turns and park anywhere we desired. God is so good. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Monday, July 24, 2006

Pastor Tommy and Joanna heading back to Cali

Tonight (early Monday morning) we are heading back to California. The trip to Williamsburg was such a blessing and the time raced by. Zach and Hannah will be staying back in Virginia for the remainder of the missions trip. Rosie Avila (from Israel) arrives Monday evening to help with the team, and her close friend Jean Marie will be there too (Many of you know Jean Marie, she is such a blessing).
We were so blessed and privileged to help this week with the work that God is doing through the Hallman's in Virginia. The people of the church were so wonderful as we were able to hang out with them and get to know them. Dave and Lonnie are doing good out here and so are their children. Please continue to pray for the church body here in Virginia, that the church would continue to grow in the grace and knowlege of the Lord.
Please pray for us, as we fly out of Regan National Airport in DC. Hopefully you are following the war that is happening in Lebanon. You might know that the US are flying out the Americans who are in that area. And with that, they are bumping off people from their flights to get people home. Pray that we would be able to get back to Cali soon. There is much that we need to do before we fly out of California on thursday morning to get back to Okinawa on Friday. We love you all, and we love all our church family here in Williamsburg. May Jesus lead and guide us as we follow Him daily. Love, Pastor Tommy

Sunday morning Service

Sunday morning CCWilliamsburg rents a library auditiorium in the main city. It is really a blessing. The Library has a state of the art meeting area, and the children's rooms are next door. Pictured below on the left is George Sedota who gave the morning devotion for the leaders who come early. To the upper left is Pastor Tommy who gave to morning message. Please continue to pray for the new church plant in Williamsburg, it is off and running for the Lord.

Sunday evening outreach

Sunday evening we were at CCNewport News doing a joint event with their youth group. CCWilliamsburg and CCNewport News joined together for testamonies, food and we watched the movie "At the end of the spear". It was a real blessing. If you look at the center picture you see Jon Horne (CCLivingwater's youth pastor) he is standing under the banner of the youth group at CCNN. It looks pretty cool. At the upper right hand side picture is Tony Clark the Pastor of CCNewport News. He is a great guy with an interesting testamony. Pastor Tony recieved Jesus in his heart while he was serving as a Marine in Okinawa Japan, so Okinawa has a special place in his heart. Also, Tony was baptized on the west side of the island on the South China Sea. He is a great brother, with a great group of kids at his church.

Sunday afternoon Skate outreach

Sunday after church, we were invited to a Christian Skate shop to do an outreach for the youth. The people who own the shop have a skatepark connected to it. Sunday afternoons are free skates, all you have to do is listen to a message and then you are allowed to skate for free. Daniel Sedota (center picture) taught the Word that afternoon and he did a great job. The skate shop is pretty sweet (bottom left) it is filled to the brim with everything you need. The owner really hooked us up. He gave the whole team 50% off of everything we wanted to buy. Many of the team members bought t-shirts, sandals and boardshorts. We were totally blessed.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sorry Segmon, Britney wins

photo by Hannah This is a real fro bro! This is Britney's new hair style for the day, and she puts Segmon to shame. Britney has been a missionary in Williamsburg since January "06", and this is what happens to you when you serve under Pastor Tom Hallman, just kidding. Please continue to pray for our sister, as she continues to serve the Lord in Virginia.

Men's breakfast in Williamsburg

This morning we had breakfast with the men of the church at CCWilliamsburg. I had the privilege of leading in worship and sharing in the Word. For some, you might remember David Witherby. He is pictured in the center right next to Pastor Tom. Dave used to live in California, but recently moved out to Virginia. Please pray for our buddy, that the Lord will lead and guide him in his job situation. In Cali he was a police officer, but God has other things in store for him. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

George and Able in Williamsburg

There here! Safe and sound. George and Abel arrived safely from California last night. They are sharp and ready to rock. It is a blessing to see Abel, I did not think that I would be able to see him on this trip to the States. These guys are such a blessing, and we are going to have a wonderful time together.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Youth groups at Virginia Beach

We had such a great time at the beach. The surf was definitely up because there was a storm somewhere off the east coast. During our time with the other youth groups, we had the opportunity to have a few devotions. Pictured in the center is Patrick Harrison. He gave the first afternoon devotion and it was awesome. He had five points to his message. I thought that he would have been nervous, but he is a natural. Pictured to the bottom right is Pastor Tom Hallman and Pastor Thomas who is pastoring CCVirginia Beach. He is a great brother is Jesus. All in all, the day went fast, but we had the greatest time.

Morning devotions with Hannah

Friday morning before we head out to the beach, Hannah gave us the devotion to begin our day. She did such a good job, we were all very much edified. We will be heading out to Virginia Beach to meet with the youth group from CCNewport News and CCVirginia Beach.