Thursday, January 31, 2008

An Amazing Small World

We are over 6,000 miles away from the United States but we now have a 951 area code. That is right, your heard correctly. We have a Corona California phone area code here in Okinawa Japan. We can call the USA for free as well as people in the USA can call us for free too. As long as you have Nationwide long distance you can call us from anywhere in America and it is just like a local call. This works out great for the Bible College students to keep in touch with family back home. If you are interested in our phone number just email me and I will send it to you. Just remember one thing: here in Okinawa we are 17 hours ahead of you, please make sure that you do not call us in the middle of the night. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Devotions with Melissa

This morning Melissa gave the devotion while Daniel led in worship. The Bible College and interns are leading in the devotions this month by sharing in the Word and giving us their testamony. I remember Gershon from Germany telling me that this would be a good idea to get to know the students. So this semester, that is exactly what we are doing. Because the students are so unique, they also have unique testamonies, we want to know all about them. Please continue to pray for these wonderful people.

Tamiko heading to Germany

We are all going to miss Tamiko greatly but it is such a blessing that she is heading out to CCBC Seigen for her third semester in Bible College. We all remember her stepping out in faith last semester telling us that she wanted to go over seas and continue studying the Word but she did not have the money to go. But, God provided for her needs! God is so Good! We are blessed for our sister and know that the Lord has great things in store for her. God bless you Tamiko, study hard!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Japanese I

The students were so excited with the beginning of the Japanese I class. These guys and gals are eager to learn the language. Pastor Tim does a great job of teaching the students. We are so fortunate to have such great Nijongo (Japanese) teachers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An Official Alien

Praise the Lord! Today Andrew Neely received his Missionary Visa to stay here in Okinawa. Originally he was declined because of a small glitch in his paperwork, but we resubmitted some things again, and it was approved. He is legal to stay here for 1 year. Andrew is a real blessing here at the college and at CCGinowan. He is our worship leader and a real servant of the Lord. Please leave a congratulation comment below for him.

Tom Cotton is back!

The Aussie has returned. Tom had a great time visiting his family back in Australia. He had the opportunity to visit CCNewCastle while he was down under, and had a great time with the Calvary family over there. Well, it is a real blessing to have Tom back on Okinawa, he will begin his first semester here at the Bible College. We know that the Lord has wonderful things in store for this brother.

Let the classes begin!

Today we officially begin classes at CCBC Okinawa. Rob teaches the class "Joshua, Judges, Ruth" on Tuesdays. It is a joy and a blessing to begin teaching again here at the College. We have some new teachers this year. Joe Tipton is teaching "Men's Discipleship", Christina Duran is teaching "Women's Discipleship", and Andrew Neely "Worship". We are blessed with anointed instructors.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Introducing Frede

Fredde is here and we are blessed to have her this semester. She is a third semester student coming from the main campus in Murrieta. We are excited to see what the Lord has for her this semester. Please pray for our sister that God would lead and guide her by His Spirit.

CCBC Okinawa orientation began today!

And they are already clownin around. They had a chance to go down to Mihama and take some pictures. During orientation, we tried to familiarize them with Okinawan culture. We spent most of the morning handing out school schedules, class procedures and requirements. We are looking forward to a great semester with these students.

The guys are here!

Most of the guys are here now in Okinawa. Let me introduce them to you, starting from top, left to right. Masao, Evan, Chris, Bryce (center), Sosimo, and Nathan. These are real cool guys, everyone is looking forward to getting to know these guys. We are just waiting for Tom Cotton to arrive. He will come in Tuesday night. The rest of the guys you already know, Andrew, Daniel, and Joel. God bless you guys, may the Lord do wonderful things in your lives here in Okinawa.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hong Kong Harbor

Well, we are on our way back home to Okinawa. But these are the shots that we took on our bus back to the airport. The harbor is so large here in Hong Kong. The infrastructure in HK is amazing. So many bridges and skyscrapers. It will be good to be back home in Japan. Please continue to pray for us. All of the students have arrived for this semester and it will be a busy one. We look forward to what the Lord will continue to do in and through the students in the coming months.


Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Saying Goodbye to Aaron

We say "goodbye" to our good buddy, but we are leaving him in good hands. Tim and his family are a wonderful group of people. The way they live is simular to the way we live in Okinawa, at least at the Ruiz house. Aaron will fit in well. There is such a need for young people to do something beyond their normal boundaries, stepping out in faith for the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that the people and the especially the body of Christ will benefit greatly by this young man of God. God bless you Aaron, we love you bro. Your family in Okinawa and abroad.

Rickshaw Motorbike Races

After dinner, the boyz got to hang out together. We went to the "all night marketplace". It was a lot of fun. There was so much food, but we were not hungry because we just got done eating dinner. As you can see, there was fruit everywhere. This is the biggest mango I have ever seen (lower left picture). In the upper pictures we have Rob holding a "dragon fruit", at least this is what we call them in Okinawa. It was huge, almost as big as Rob's head. At the end of the night, it was time to go home. We decided to ride the rickshaw's. We did not know that the drivers were going to have a race. Because there were 6 of us, we had to rent 3 of them. These guys are crazy drivers, darting in and out of traffic. But to tell you the truth, it was a lot of fun. This is definitely something that I would not allow the Bible College students to do on a missions trip.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

On the streets overseas

We had the opportunity to hang out with the gang. We went for a walk, shopping and dinner. The weather has been cloudy and rainy ever since we got here, and cold. One of the best things about this place (not only the people) but there is an abundance of fruit everywhere, and it is inexpensive! Aaron and Vunder are having a great time. They really fit in well. It reminds me about Okinawa because there are so many young people around at the fellowship. They say hanging around young people keeps you young. I hope so, but I still feel old around all these youngsters. God bless you all, Pastor Tommy

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thursday night gathering

We were invited to spend some time with some brothers and sisters at a local home in the city. They are of the same calling as me back in Okinawa. There were many things that we discussed and put on the table. Check out Vunder in the center picture; he takes his tea to seriously. This was later in the night, the room was filled with people earlier.

Eating Family Style

This is just part of the group gathering for dinner. They eat family style just like we do in Okinawa. Pictured above is Betsy. This girl can cook! She whipped up everything imaginable! The food just kept coming and coming. Where we are at, food, vegtables and fruits are so inexpensive. We are so blessed with everyones servant attitude.

Acts Class Overseas

Tim, overseas, asked me if I would be able to teach his Acts class today. It was a blessing to be able to teach the students. This is a picture of one of the guys after the class. It was a real blessing, they had so questions concerning the chapters. Please continue to pray for the Work with Tim and the students overseas.

David teaching the Word

Wednesday night was the debut of David Barrios. He taught the Word for the first time at CCGinowan, and he did a great job. David said that he was blessed to be able to teach and that Natsuki did a great job at translating the message. Keep up the good work for the Lord bro, God bless you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Christina and Melissa are here

The girls arrived yesterday from California. It is a blessing to have Christina back and awesome that everyone will get to know Melissa. The Lord has great things in store for these gals and we are blessed to be a part of thier lives.

Yoshi heading back to Gunma

Everyone at CCGinowan are going to miss this great brother. We love you Yoshi, be blessed as you head back to the Mainland. May the Lord continue to lead and guide you bro. Please continue to pray for Yoshi as the Lord leads him in this new chapter in his life.

Joel Coronado is back on Island!

It is really great to have Joel back. For those of you who do not know Joel, he graduated from CCBC Murrieta last Spring and is now back on Okinawa as an intern for the college. Watch out guys, he is going to make sure the guys dorms are run ship shape. God bless you Joel, may the Lord continue to lead and guide you bro.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Naokosan's sister in Hong Kong

Not really, but we could not resist. There was such a resemblance that we asked her if we could take a picture. The lady in the store was a good sport and let Aaron take a picture with her. I guess we are missing everyone in Okinawa so much we are seeing family here in Hong Kong. God bless you all in Okinawa, keep your eyes on Jesus!

Aaron's first Bible in Asia

He was so stoked! He started reading it right away. You know Aaron, he is so gifted in languages, he starts picking things up right away. He already found out how to say his name in the new language. "Yaluun". It was a blessing for all of us.