Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy Anniversary! Three years in Okinawa




Time has literally flown by. We can hardly believe it, three years in Okinawa. It was July 31st 2004 that our family arrived on Varig Airlines into Naha Airport. We are blessed and honored that the Lord has allowed us to minister to all the different people here in Okinawa. We have a deep love for the people and the country here in Asia. May the Lord continue to give us fruitful ministry as we devote our time and love here on the island. There are so many people we want to thank here in Okinawa who have shown so much love and support to our family in so many ways, thank you all so much. We want to thank all of our church family back in the States who have also shown so much love and support. May the Lord give us all fruitful ministry wherever in the World the Lord has us serving. God bless you all, the Ruiz Family

Naha Samurai coach: Nakagomi

This is Vunder's baseball coach, Nakagomisan. He was a professional baseball player for the Hanshin Tigers in Mainland Japan. Also, Nakagomi was on the team that won the World Series of Baseball in Taiwan. It is kind of cool, Nakagomisan is Vunder's personal pitching coach. In the words of the Great Nakagomi "We will make Vunder, stronger, faster, bigger, he will be the 6 million dollar Vunder!"Just kidding bro. We are blessed for Rob, next week he will be playing in his first Tournament here in Okinawa. Please pray that Rob will do a great job on the mound. Please leave an encouraging word for Rob below.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A special blessing

The Orpilla's left island a few months ago, and before they left they donated their van to the ministry here in Ginowan city. It is such a blessing. Our other van is dying so this blessing was so timely. The Orpilla's are military dependants so when they left the island we had to change the license plates from Military to Japanese. This cost over a thousand dollars, but still it is such a blessing. Two days ago our other van broke down, the alternator died. But the next day, this van was ready. God's timing is so perfect! Thank you Lord for your many blessings.

It's Dragon Fruit Time

This is a delicious but expensive fruit in Okinawa. It comes from the same family of the Cactus Apple or the Atuna (spanish) in North America. Let me explain. In California we grow the mexican cactus. Once a year on the top of the cactus grows this sweet red prickly fruit. You cut it off and eat it. It kind of tastes like a Kiwi fruit from Australia. Well here in Okinawa they grow and we call them "Dragon Fruit" because they look like flames that are growing out of the sides (double click on the photos). Satsukosan grows them in her back yard, so she brought some and let us eat them after service. They are cho oishi! (really delicious). When you come to Okinawa, we will let you try some to eat.

Happy Birthday Debe!

Sunday was Debe Pallmann's Birthday, so we celebrated Sunday night at W2 (Worship/Word). It is always a blessing to celebrate with a big piece of cake. Lately after the study we have been making some blended ice coffee drinks and they have been oishi (delicious)! When you get a chance, please leave Debe a birthay greeting below. Just click on the comment button and leave a nice message. Happy Birthday Debe!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kimberly heads back to California

It was such a blast having Kim with us for these past two weeks. For some of you who don't know Kimberly (far right) she is the sister of Christina (far left). Kim was committed to stay with us for a short time, while Christina will be with us for about another 6 weeks. It is a blessing to have these short term missionaries staying with us here in Okinawa. Kim did a great job of fellowshipping with the Okinawan people as well as helping tremendously with the thrift store. Thanks a lot girl, may the Lord continue to lead and guide your every step. Agape, Pastor Tommy

Hakugaijin Practice

Sunday afternoon the band will be ministering at an outreach concert here in Okinawa. They will be playing their hiphop, rap, worship style music for the people in our surrounding cities. These guys sound really good and the Lord is using them in a powerful way. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for this cool event.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Okinawan Watermelon Game

In Okinawa families will take watermelon's to the beach and play a fun game. In our Mexican heritage we will get a "pinata" and blindfold the person and give them a bat and allow them to break the pinata. Well the Okinawan's do the same but with the watermelon. It is really fun! Same game, but different country.

The Greenroyd's head back to California

It was such a blast with the Greenroyd's here in Okinawa. It is a bummer that they have to leave so soon. But before they head back to Cali, they are staying a few days with Pastor Travis is Tokorzawa, Mainland Japan. They will have fun seeing the sights in Tokyo. Thanks again, Pastor John, Tom and Cece for serving the Lord through the great messages that you gave us. May the Lord continue to lead, guide and direct your whole families. God bless you, your family at CCGinowan.

FM 21 76.8 Radio

photos by Vunder

Rob and Pastor Tim were co-hosts of Radio FM 21 on Monday nights from 10pm to 11pm. They allow them to play Christian music at this time. Tim tries to put upbeat Christian music for the younger generation. We are praying that the Lord would open more doors for these guys to start using it to proclaim the Gospel to a younger Okinawan Japanese crowd.

Urasoe Matsuri

photos by Vunder

Pastor Tim and Zach Ruiz were invited to perform at the Urasoe Matsuri (Festival) last weekend in Urasoe City. Tim did some rappin as Zach Beat-boxed. They were a big hit that day. Pastor Tim did all of his own Christian Rappin. It was a real blessing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ladies Tea

Picture by Ayu Newell Sorry, we were not able to get many pictures for you of the Women's Tea this Thursday night. But from what us guys heard, it was awesome! CeCe Greenroyd did a wonderful job teaching the women that night. Many ladies came and were blessed by great tea and the Word. Thank you again CeCe for being used by the Lord tonight, may the Lord continue to use you back in the city of Los Alamitos in California.

Last night of the Mini-Conference

Thank you Pastor John and Tom for blessing the Okinawan people with your teachings from the Lord. The people were so blessed as we were encouraged to study the Bible. Thank you again Natsuki for your wonderful translation into Japanese. The Lord spoke many encouraging words to my heart which I shared with you about your giftings from God. All in all, we were so blessed as we were encouraged how to "Study the Bible".

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Foster chapel singer - Mara Owens

Building of the worship team begins on Foster Chapel. There are a few other people who were at our practice, but Mara sang on the Worship team this weekend. She did a great job! She has a beautiful voice. It is a blessing to hear the encouraging words as the chapel begins taking new shape as Pastor Owens takes over as the head Chaplain at Foster Chapel. Please continue to pray as the Lord does a new work on Camp Foster.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The guys are back!

Everybody missed these guys so much. Josh (left) and Nate (right) have been gone for 7 weeks training in Australia. These guys are such a blessing and they have such a heart for the Okinawan Japanese people. We are so blessed that they had a great time down under. But now they are back in Okinawa, ready to serve the Lord and the body of Christ.

First night - How to Study the Bible

It was a real blessing to gather together on a Friday night and learn how to study the Bible. The first night was an introduction as well as our first step; Observation. Pastor John and Tom did a great job, and let us not forget the fabulous job that Natsuki did at translating into Japanese. Everyone who was there were totally blessed. And we are looking forward to tomorrow night as we begin night two at 7pm. Also, Tom Greenroyd's birthday was yesterday so Hannah baked a tasty cake. Happy Birthday Tom! If you are in the area of Okinawa, please come and join us as we learn "How to study the Bible"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Da boyz went Fishing!

Tuesday was Pastor John's Birthday and Thursday was Tom Greenroyd's. So they went on a chartered boat with Capt. Billy. They went south to Itoman Village and fished towards the mouth of the floating dragon. They caught over 40 fish! They had a great time in the Lord. Click on the pictures to see the big catch.

Saying bye to kazue

These are some of Rob's former students. They all came to the Koinoina Cafe after Bible Study on Wednesday night. Rob asked them to come since Kazue (the girl in the middle with the striped shirt) will be moving to Conneticut for a 1 year homestay. Last night was a blessing at the Bible Study. An Okinawa gal who has been coming for weeks, accepted the Lord into her heart last night. Pastor Tim was talking to her after she responded to the message to recieve Jesus into her heart. It was such a blessing to see God move in such an incredible way. Praise the Lord!

Cakes and lots of Cakes

This lady was fast! She is the cake decorator at the Ube factory in Yomitan Village. She was so quick with the frosting. We took the Greenroyd's out for an adventure and went into this shop. You can taste test all kinds of sweets, and buy delicious cakes like the ones pictured above. This lady was so nice to pose for us Gaijin (foreigners) when we knocked on the window.

Sweet potato time!

Okinawa is known for two crops that it produces, sugarcane and sweet potato. An old Okinawan legend goes as follow; a typhoon came through Okinawa and destroyed the sugar cane. The people were going to starve that winter, except a young man came from China with a strange vegetable, it was a sweet potato. He convinced to Okinawan people to plant the new vegetable, and wallah! The people did not starve. There is a statue dedicated to the guy located at the Kadena Marina in Kadena city. Well there are many ways to prepare sweet potato. You can boil it, make ice cream out of it (yummmmy) or you can even package it as a delicious candy like the above. We went to Yomitan Village and visited the Ube candy company, and taste tested lots of sweets. The above picture is the factory in Yomitan Village.