Ray Report Aug 25, ’08
Wow! It has been a long time. LST, then camp was a very busy time. A lot of other things happened, too. We are fine. It has been very warm here in Japan. A couple of times at camp, I thought I would die, it was so hot. Working out in the sun was very energy-draining.
LST, “Let’s Start Talking”, worked out very well. We enjoyed both groups. There were only two on each team, for a total of 5 weeks, so our numbers were down. We had more new students, so more contacts, now. Not many came to worship, but we won’t know how many will continue in the School of Life (our regular English and Bible classes), until classes start again next month.
Camp was great. A few more workers came to work camp and many things were accomplished. Two cabins were rebuilt and by the end of the last camp, a new storage room was finished. My co-worker, Ataka-san fell from the roof and hit flat on the concrete floor. The doctor said it was a miracle that he did not have any broken bones, but he is still HURTING. A group from the Cordova Church in Sacramento California came to help with camp. This was their 4th or 5th year. We had better group of students for them to teach this year. They have been developing the teaching program for camp and we have it translated it into Japanese and make workbooks. When they are here, we use a one on one teaching situation for most of the classes. Small children and non-English speakers still have group classes. There was very little rain during camp this year for which we were very thankful.
Elissa, our co-worker is still pregnant. Her mother, and Marc’s, are coming on Tuesday and we hope the baby will come soon after that. She has been ready for a while. All seems to be going well.
Usami-san is still fighting cancer. Please keep her in your prayers. She spent 2 months at a special hospital taking intravenous vitamin “C” treatments, but it seems to have done nothing. Surgery, as well as a year of Chemotherapy, were also unsuccessful. She will come home this week.
I have been keeping in touch with Yumiko Hara, the first person I baptized in Japan. This year, November 15th, will be 33 years. She worked hard for Christ for several years, but then married a non-Christian. She moved to the southern part of Japan for several years and I introduced her to a missionary there. She continued to follow for a little while. When she returned to the Tokyo area, she decided that she did not need the church. We kept in touch over the years and recently she had decided to go back to worshipping God. I introduced her to the Tachikawa church and talked to the preacher there. She started going and has been really enjoying it again, even though the church building is an hour by train from her house. Earlier this month, there was an Ibaraki Christian retreat for 3 days. She attended with some of the Tachikawa members. She seems to be so excited about going. I pray that she will continue to go and be faithful.
I am thankful for being in Japan and working with the Japanese people. Sometimes it is hard to continue with such great odds against Christians. But it is great to see some of our fellow Christians work through the odds and stand up for Christ all their lives. We had a Thai girl come to Japan and talk to the Japanese Christians about this. The Thai church is still young and most members are young in age. In Japan, we have many older Christians and recently we have more younger Christians. In the Tomobe church of 35 members we have from babies to about 80 years old. The girl from Thailand said that she wished to see some older Christians in Thailand; some people they can look up to and say, “I want to be like that.” I pray that the young people in Japan will think the same way.
Thank you for all your prayers, e-mails, letters and support that you give us. We can be here because of you. Thank you.
Serving Him in Japan,
Marlin and Jean Ray
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