Friday, August 31, 2012

First Time

In August, our church, Komyo Christian Church, held our first baptism!  As we have been at this church planting thing for several years, this was huge excitement for us!  (Adding to that excitement, we will have another one in October!)

About 2 years ago H started coming to English Bible study and last fall when we started the bilingual worship service, she stared coming to that regularly, too.  She works Sundays so can't attend our afternoon service.

It was so exciting to hear her say that she believed in Jesus and wanted to be baptized!  Since her birthday is in August and it fell on a Sunday this year, she really wanted that to be her baptism day.  She also really wanted to be baptized in a river-like Jesus was.

So, we spent some time looking around the area at various rivers and finally found one deep enough!  She and Yuri and I went to check it out in July.  The river is on "Crying Dog Mountain" and we were entertained by the dog that came to beg for food from our lunches and even barked at us!

It was so encouraging that the people who come to the afternoon service wanted to join us for the baptism even though they had never met H!  They were so excited to see someone join the body of Christ.

The day was beautiful.  Although the riverbank was full of people, the spot we wanted to use which was just at the deepest point, was open.  There was enough space for us all to sit as we worshipped together and witnessed H's obedience to God through baptism.  Just as we were getting ready to leave a light rain started to fall.

God is good!  He is at work.  He continues to draw people to Himself.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jesus and Me Getaway

This August has been one of those times when none of my plans worked out.  God had other plans for my time off!

Monday, late morning, I left with my little suitcase, a cooler and my beach bag.  I arrived at a little beach in Wakayama and set up my little, borrowed tent.  I had practiced the night before in my living rooms hoping I wouldn't look like a total klutz as I set it up on the beach.  I was glad I had!  It was windy on the beach and if I hadn't known what I was doing, the thing would be stuck on the shore of Awaji Island right now!

I enjoyed some water and sandcastle time before settling into the tent (open on two sides) for some reading and journaling, thinking and praying.  It was one of the best afternoons I have had for a long time.

I got in a little more swim time before I packed up and headed about 5 more minutes down the road to my evening stop.  I stayed in a lovely little hotel at the marina in Wakayama.  When I got out of the shower after washing off the sand and such from the day, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful sunset.

As I stood at my window gawking, I noticed just below next to the pool there seemed to be an outdoor BBQ, so I put on my shoes and headed down for dinner.  It was delicious!

Just when I came back to my table with my watermelon, the dad of the family a couple of tables over came with his daughter hiding behind him to ask if I wanted to join their family for a little chat time.  So, I picked up my stuff and moved over to talk with a lovely family from Hyogo.  We had fun chatting and the girls warmed up to me, even giving me good night hugs!

I was tired so went to sleep early, which meant I woke up early, too.  So, I went out for a walk!  It was a lovely morning.

Day 2 was spent by the pool, reading, swimming, people watching, chatting with my new friends for a few minutes before they left, and getting a little sunburned-I forgot to reapply after getting out of the pool!

That evening, I went back out to the pier to watch the sunset-after enjoying some lovely gelato!  I took a ton of pictures because I have a hard time not taking pictures of God's beauty.

Day 3 was to be shopping at the outlet mall on the way home, which I did.  But, I had the added bonus of waking up to an amazing rainbow that grew to be a full rainbow right outside my window!

I loved my time away and may write about what Jesus and I talked about, maybe ;)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Seeing God at Work

Earlier this week I got to go to my friend Coco's house with two of my friends, Yuri and Shoppi.  I loved being at her house and seeing how God has been working in her family and preparing them for a new season.  They are excited about how God is going to use them and the house He has provided them.  Now is the season of waiting for the next step.  But, even in the waiting, God keeps providing and slowly opening doors!

Welcome to Coco-Doco-Cocoro!

The amazing room and cross God has prepared for His purpose.

Gospel song time!

The group of us after enjoying tea and prayer time

Coco and David

Friday, August 3, 2012

Continuing a thought

Today I bought an English newspaper because I knew there would be lots of sports news.  Much of the first page was devoted to the men's gymnastics all-round gold medal winner.

Then I turned to the second page and noticed an editorial from the Japanese paper about bullying.  It talks about how a new office has been established which specializes in bullying issues.

The office will provide information to local schools and education boards to help with probing cases of serious bullying or cases where bullying may have lead to suicide and how to prevent their recurrence.  They also believe it is important to give advice on preventing suicide.

That information was covered in about two paragraphs and the rest of the editorial talked about school boards and whether they were effective, if they were even necessary.

What about preventing bullying?  Isn't that important?  How can we help children learn that it is okay to be different from others?  How can we help children learn that each one of them is important and loved?  How can we help them learn to accept each other and celebrate their differences, as well as their similarities?

I know this is a bit redundant after the post before the last one, but reading the editorial made me wonder what the ministry thought was important, children's lives or bureaucracy.

Now I am going to go back to watching the Olympics and gazing at the moon out the window!