Ray Rpt – Sep ’14
I am sorry I have not written in so long. We have been very busy, and I have not taken the time to write. School just started and fall is just around the corner. It was a hot summer. Much of the summer the temperatures were in the 90’s with high humidity (90-100%). There were few typhoons that affected our area, but many down south. There was rain only one night during camp. We canceled one campfire because of lightning. It was held in the “hall.” The hall has only one wall and a dirt floor. The roof is more than 4 meters high, so a small campfire was possible for the wiener roast.
Two LST teams came, one for 6 weeks and one for 3 weeks. Both were good. It made it a long stretch for the church members trying to go to all the events, answering the telephone, and serving tea every day. One great point is that we had one baptism as the result of the advertisement. Two of our ladies talked to a man of 77 years and he came. August 22, Takeshi Nishimura was baptized and has been coming to worship since. He was coming before that, but broke his leg and had to be hospitalized for two months. He is fine now. After he got out of the hospital, he came to worship and wanted to study again. On that day, he asked if he could be baptized, so we buried him with Christ and he was resurrected to a new life. Hallelujah!! He is no relation to the other Nishimuras who are long-time members here.
We started a prayer time on Sunday mornings at 9:15 to 10:15. We have had from 4 to 9 come at this time. On Sept. 1, we also will start a new class on Monday evenings, twice a month for Christians. One of our new members, Naoe, baptized last year, is e-mailing the members and getting them to come to classes. She is on fire and a great encourager. It is a joy to see this happening!
This Sunday, there were three visitors from the English classes. There was also a lady doctor who came for the second time. Two of the English class members who came are close to becoming Christians. Please keep praying for Sanae and Masako.
Debbie Carrell has had her cancer return. I think this is the third time. Please keep Steve and Debbie in your prayers. They have been serving God as missionaries in Japan for many years. They are in Matsudo, near Tokyo.
Also, Brent and Sandy Rogers, down south in Okayama, are having problems with their eyes. They are both scheduled for eye surgery later this month.
Jean and I are doing well. Old age is upon us and we are not moving as fast as we once did. We both attended all the sessions of summer camp, this year and lived to tell about it.
Summer camp, HCC, was great this year (see photos below courtesy of Sugao Tadokoro). The first course had few campers, but the three courses had a total of about 80 attending. That was an increase over the past few years. We can handle about 150 total. This is the last year that Ataka-san will be camp director. We are looking for another director. Please keep that in your prayers, also. I will keep going for another year. After that, I will go as needed to direct construction.
Next year, the Tomobe church will be 30 years old. We are starting to talk about what we want to do. I am hoping for a new preacher by then. Yasuki Nishimura will graduate from the Japan School of Evangelism. I am hoping that he will continue to work with us here, but he is also thinking of other options. There are too many churches without preachers. There are a lot of young people, but none want to be preachers. There are so many who need to find Christ. Taking that last step is very hard for most.
Thank you all for your continued support of Jean and me. We thank God for all of you. We just celebrated 39 years in Japan. Some of you have been supporting us all that time. Thank you.
Serving Him in Japan, Marlin and Jean Ray