Ray Report – Aug ’11

Hi,

It is very warm here and the government has asked us all to conserve electricity.  We are to turn our air conditioners to 84 degrees.  When the humidity is in the 90% area, it is hard to turn it up that high.  It may rain today, so that will help some.  I heard it was 109 in the Dallas area.  Hang in there.

I hope this finds you all well.  Jean and I are fine, but are tired.  We finally have a few days to take care of things around home, such as cleaning the house, cutting grass and etc.  On Aug. 12th and 13th there is a Summer Retreat.  Dwight and Josephine Albright will come and then spend the night at our house.  Dwight will preach at Tomobe on Sunday.  Camp will begin for the last course on the 22nd, much later than usual.  Our schedule is really messed up because the schools were closed by the earthquake for a couple of weeks.  I hope things will get back to normal someday.

Right now, we are balancing preaching, camp and the relief work.

In September, the School of Life will start again, adding to the confusion.  We have been blessed with some members of the church here who are really working to help.

We need your prayers for us spiritually, as we struggle with all the problems here.  We also need your prayers about our finances.  As you know, the $ has gone to under 80 Yen to the dollar and many prices here have rising 30% to 50% in the past few months.  Because of the radiation, dairies in the affected area have been not allowed to sell milk or cows for meat.  Much rice was not planted and typhoons came and destroyed much rice in other areas.  Many fruits and vegetables can’t be sold.  That means higher prices.  This was already an expensive country and it is getting worse.  Gasoline is priced at about $7.40 a gallon.  One dollar only buys about 76 yen.  When we came to Japan in 1975, it was 300 yen per dollar.

This newsletter I started at the beginning of August.  I know that was a long time ago, but I will try to finish it and bring you up to date.

We had a good camp this year.  Smaller, of course, as many of our leaders, workers and campers were in the Tohoku region helping the earthquake and tsunami victims.  It is also important for us to continue to focus on helping all of Japan find Christ.  It rained a lot during the beginning of camp as a typhoon came through.  We still had a good time and some good Bible time.

After camp we had the Ibaraki area church retreat in Tsukuba this year.  It was a good time of refreshing our souls.  Good fellowship and good Bible lessons.  Again, many people were working in the earthquake area and could not come, but we enjoyed the time together with those there.

Dwight and Josephine Albright came to Tomobe for a short stay.  It is always enjoyable to have them come.  They had come down with a virus or something they brought back from Cambodia.  They were getting better by the time they came to Tomobe, so didn’t leave us with anything bad.  We had a good time with them.

In September, Jared Scism came to work with Tomobe for a few months.  He had planned to start teaching in the public schools next April.  After a few weeks here, he decided to try to continue being a missionary here in Tomobe!  He is still working on this idea, so keep him in your prayers.  We could sure use him here.

Tooru is still planning to go to Oklahoma Christian to study and come back to Tomobe and preach.  I will write an article to send out to you about him.  He is writing a “why I want to study in the US” paper and I will include that.  He seems to be a very dedicated Christian young man.  He will graduate from high school in March.

My heart is working fine.  I still have some times when it starts acting up, especially if I forget my medicine.  But the arrhythmia usually stops after a while.  The doctor said that it will not kill me, whatever that means.  Jean’s problems have also taken a back seat to the work here.  If you are busy, things don’t cause us so many problems.

Our son, Ken just turned 32.  He and his wife are fine in California.  He is like me in that he keeps a car going until it is impossible.  Either his car or his wife’s car are always being rebuilt.  My car went out last month.  We had only 225,000 km on it.

That is about 140,000 miles.  Some of that was on the road to camp.

Anyway, to repair it would cost $2000 to $4000 and we would still have a 13 year old car.  We decided to buy a 3 year old Toyota van.  None of the newer cars have diesel engines.  We had to settle for a gasoline engine, so our gas bill will go up.  We had been saving since we bought our last car, so we could buy it.  Now we must start saving again.

We really appreciate your help in supporting us.  Keep praying for us and know we are working for God.  Pray that more and more Japanese accept Jesus as their savior.

Thanks again.

Serving Him in Japan,

Marlin and Jean Ray