Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Aaron Meigide turns 19

Can you believe it! Aaron turned 19 today. For dinner, Joanna made us sushi and also some Korean wraps. We had a good dinner, then the finale, Hannah baked a cake. On top of the cake are Japanese Koala bears filled with chocolate, yummy! We all know that Aaron likes to each sweets, he tried to be humble by making others eat first, but we know this dudes heart, we made him jump right in. Please leave a nice birthday greeting by clicking the comment button below. God bless you Aaron and Happy Birthday!

He is Legal

No longer an illegal alien, Rob Voonder has a Visa to stay here on Okinawa for 3 years. Yes you heard it, 3 years! This is amazing! Most people only get a first time missionary visa for 1 year, and God blessed him with an extra two. He really had to go through the ringer, there were many trips back to the immigration office, submitting new paperwork back and forth, but it is well worth it now. Also, Rob is the first missionary from California commissioned through CCGinowan, this should make it easier for others to get visa's through the church. We are totally blessed for him. Please continue to pray for Rob as he serves the Lord here in Okinawa. Rob was originally sent from CCLivingwater under the Leadership of Pastor Jerry.

Sashimi galore!

We were at Kokusai Dori (Kokusai street) in downtown Naha. This fish market is Island famous. You can pick out your fish here and then take it upstairs and they will cook it for you. Look at all the seafood! The lobsters were gigantic as well as the shellfish. But check out all the sashimi! I was good and yasui (cheap, inexpensive) This place is a seafood lovers paradise.

Forever Delica Van!

For the past three months Pastor Rick has allowed us to use the Delica van to drive the students all over Okinawa. The van has been such a blessing for many years to many different missionaries. This is the van that never dies, it keeps going and going and going (just like the Torrent Surf Van in Cali). Misty was in charge of this van, and never mind the few dents she gave in the side, plus one wall in Ginowan city. Again, we are so appreciative for Pastor Rick allowing us to use this van, thanks Rick, we love you bro! God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Memorial Peace Park

We had the most beautiful day in Okinawa today. The air was cool, and the sun was warm. We headed down south to Memorial Peace Park. It is here that the Battle for Okinawa ended. The Japanese forces made their last stand here. I was a sad place. It was here that many Japanese people committed suicide as they jumped from these cliffs. (bottom left picture of Aaron and the cliffs) Also here is where they built a memorial wall with all of the soldiers who lost their life during the war, Japanese, Okinawan, Americans, and British. (upper left picture) Today it is a beautiful park where you can reflect on peace and learn what happened during the war.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Preacha, Teacha

At w2 Sunday night, Trevor did an incredible job of teaching the Word. He encouraged us out of Numbers 21:4-9. The portion of Scripture was about Moses and how he lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness. He taught us also from John chapter 3, how Jesus was lifted up, and how all men would be drawn unto Him. Please pray that we would be able to record these messages. These guys are really anointed and we would be blessed to have them recorded for future listening.

Can you believe it - First Year Anniversary!

Wow! Time sure flies when you are having fun. Tim and Ayu celebrated their First Year Anniversary Sunday! After attending church, they took off for a fun getaway. They took a ferry to one of the neighboring islands. They did not have any reservations or anything. They just took off in faith. When you get a chance, please leave an anniversary greeting below, but clicking on the comment button. God bless you Tim and Ayu, we love you both!

Sunday morning Worship

It is a blessing to have the band at CCGinowan. These guys are really coming together. Pictured above from left to right is; Haley, Hide, Pastor Tim, Zach, Mark and Voonder. These guys (and gal) are a real blessing. Keep on rockin for Christ guys.

Outreach at Mihama

Thanksgiving weekend, the guys headed out to Mihama and played some music, and shared the Gospel with people who came by. The picture above is Hideyuki. He is a wonderful brother who attends church with us at CCGinowan. He is such a blessing to many of us. Another cool thing, is that he loves to surf. He drives out to Suicides and surfs the break there. Please continue to pray for Hide (He-de) the Lord has special things in store for his life.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Celebration

What a celebration! It was such a blessing gathering together with the family at CCGinowan and all the family and friends that joined with us. We had so much food! We had a Japanese American Celebration, that means we had Turkey and Yakisoba. Dan Pallmann led us in some games, Mark Davis read us the President's Thanksgiving address. And in the end we were able to present to Gospel Message to the people who were gathered. For many people, this was the first time that they were ever at a Thanksgiving Celebration. We are so blessed that God has allowed us to share His love with the Japanese Okinawan people here. Please continue to pray for us as we outreach in different ways. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Video invitation!

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Hi everyone! We put up a new video inviting students who are interested in attending CCBC Okinawa this spring. We took all of the students up to Ie Island for a fun day, and made this video. We hope that you like it. Please continue to pray for the new semester that will be starting January 29th. Pray for the students that will attend, as well as what the Lord would want to do in and through us . Also, if you are interested in attending this semester, email me at tommyruizjr@hotmail.com God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Dan!

Monday was Dan Pallmann's Birthday. He turned the big 40, but he is still a young guy. We celebrated his special day at the Wednesday night service at the Koinonia Cafe. Dan said that when you get this old you no longer put candles on your cake. He is a real joker. God bless you Dan, you are such a blessing to all of our lives.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Long's in Motobu

We were so blessed. After our trip to Ie island, we arrived back into Motobu port about 4:30pm. Brent met us at the port and invited us to have dinner at his house. Let me introduce you to Brent and Kyoumi: They have lived up north near the city of Nago for about 5 years. They felt the leading of the Lord to go back to Motobu where Kyoumi (pronounced Ki-yo-mi) grew up. They are there in the city and they have a house church near Nago city. They have two beautiful daughters (pictured upper left). We have been praying for a work to start up north in Okinawa for now 5 years and it is such a blessing to hook up with our brother, and see that work beginning. We followed Brent up to his house, and we were greeted by his wonderful family and a great Tonkatsu curry dinner. It was ichiban! (number one) The whole team was so blessed. She fed over 21 of us. What a great blessing. Please continue to pray for Brent and Kyoumi, as they faithfully serve the Lord up north in the city of Motobu. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

On the Ferry

The boat ride to Iejima took only 25 minutes. Everyone took time to just relax. Some people took a nap, while others traveled around the boat and just looked around. The front of the boat was the funnest. The wind was blowing and it was refreshing. (look at Mark Star's hair, it is getting so long, center picture). Okinawa is so beautiful, it was such a blessing just to get out and see the land.

Trip to Iejima (Ie Island)

Monday the Bible College Students all took a trip to Ie Island. We had a great time. We traveled up to Motobu port, and there caught a ferry that took us over to the island. OCSI let us borrow their bus, and we are so grateful for the blessing. We packed a lunch and headed out for a day trip.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

w2 - Worship/Word

W2 is back in action. It was such a blessing to sit back and spend some time just worshipping the Lord together with the Body of Christ. Pastor Tim and the band do such a good job leading us in Worship. Dan Pallmann taught the Word and he did a good job like always. Afterwards the fellowship was sweet. We always have late nights at the Koinonia Cafe, I think that we got home about 11:30pm that night.

Friday, November 17, 2006

P2 - Prayer/Praise

On Friday nights, the Bible College students are divided into different groups. One group heads to CCOkinawa to help in their youth group, another group goes to CCGinowan and assists Vunder in that Youth group, and the last group has the night off to either relax or spend time in prayer at the Ruiz's house. Every Friday night we open our house up for dinner and afterwards we worship the Lord and pray for the different needs on the island. There is another group that is not pictured, they are in the kitchen area to the right, and the kids are upstairs so they don't cause any disturbances (Asa). It feels so right, spending time, with the body of Christ in prayer.

Three quarters offically over

Today marks that 3/4 of the semester is over. The time is flying by. It seems like last week we were just beginning the semester. We took the team to Nakagusuku beach for a time of devotions and reflection with the Lord. God really spoke to us all, we were totally blessed. Please continue to pray for the students, many of them will be returning to Murrieta to complete their last semester. Each one of these students have a calling of the Lord in their lives, please continue to pray for them, that the Lord will use them all in a wonderful way. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pastor's Conference at Tokorozawa

November 12th - 15th, Tim, Ayu, Joanna and I had the opportunity to head out to mainland Japan, and attend the Pastor's conference which Travis Takamiya hosts for us each year. It was in the city of Tokorozawa which in on the outskirts of Tokyo. Pastor Bill Stonebraker was the main speaker, and he did such a wonderful job. It was such a blessing hanging out with all of the Pastor's in Japan. Just getting to know each other better and fellowshipping was worth it all. Please continue to pray for all of the Pastor's in Japan and the work that God has called us all to do for Him. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Friday, November 10, 2006

Food Video from Korea

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Hi everyone! We put up this short video on some of the food that we were eating in Korea. We really had a great time, and we thank all of our brothers and sisters in South Korea for all of their love and kindness towards us all. What would a trip be to another country if we did not put up some food video. I like to eat, the students like to eat, everyone likes to eat, we hope that you like this video. Double click on the video above.
God bless you, Pastor Tommy

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The flight home

This guy can chow down. Next to Mark Starr, Aaron eats the most sweets out of all the Bible College students. On our flight home, Asiana airlines gave us a wonderful brunch. They also gave us these sweet cakes, not everyone wanted theirs, so they gave them to Aaron. Don't worry mom, he did not eat them all, but he sure would have like to.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ministering to Korean Students

In the evening we were invited to minister to the students that Pastor Mike Loudermilk teaches in a nearby city. It is located about 1/2 hour drive from Cheonon. We arrived, led in some worship, and the Bible College students were able to share in devotions with the students. After the study, we jumped back into our van for our 3 1/2 hour ride back to Incheon, where our youth hostel hotel is located. It was a long day, but well worth it all. God bless you, Pastor Tommy

A Mountain Visit

Pastor Victor of the SOM (upper right pict) took us out to the hills of Cheonon, to see the largest bronze stature of budda that is in Korea. As we marveled at its size, he reminded us that this is really an idol, and an abomination to God. Many climb these large stairs to offer worship to this image that is forbidden to do in Scripture. As you gaze at this large statue you begin to thank God that we do not worship a god made by the hands of men, but the Creator of the universe, who cannot be contained by even the heavens. Praise God we worship a living God, and not an image made of brass, or stone, or any other kinds of metals.

Gathering at the School of Ministry Korea

Wednesday afternoon we took a three hour drive and went down to the SOM in Cheonon city. When we arrived we had a wonderful lunch together. We had bibimbop. A favorite among the Korean's and many who visit Korea. Pictured above to the right are the students of SOM and also a familiar face, Andy Keller (top right in the suit) he is back from Germany, and still serving at the school here in Cheonon. It was a great afternoon.