Ray Report Jan 26 ’09


It is snowing outside now. The flakes are big and beautiful, but it is too warm to show up on the ground. Maybe that is good, but I like snow. That is probably because I have never lived in a place where it snows all the time. Winter is so dull with all the leaves gone and the snow gives light.

Since the beginning of the year, the church has been quite busy. As always, we had a prayer meeting on New Year’s Eve. We start at 11:30 and pray until all have prayed. We finish about 1 or 2 AM. Then we go home and sleep.

On New Year’s Day, we drove to Tokyo to visit Yumiko Hara. She was the first person I baptized in Japan, Nov. 15th 1975. We visited her parents many times during this season, but they are both gone now. Time goes by fast! The highlight of our visit (for us, anyway) was a Bible study with her husband, Senri. Also, Ken and Ai took them to worship when they visited L.A. last fall. Please pray for him.

On the 4th, we started planning our new year. The members will try to get some of the other members to join in the work. Hallelujah!! Since we don’t have elders, we have committees to plan the work. Some of the committees don’t meet regularly so they decided to set up times for each committee to meet. We have 5 committees, worship, fellowship, evangelism, education and youth. Most of them have worked well, but a couple have to be prodded. The committee plans the activities and presents them to the church at a monthly meeting. The church makes the final OK or changes.

Our verse for this year is really a part of a verse, because they said it is too long for the poster. Romans 8:28, “God works for the good of those who love Him“. I am using all of chapter 8 to preach from this month and on Feb. 8th, we will have a meeting devoted to this verse. On the 28th-29th, we will have another Prayer Marathon with this theme. If anyone is interested in helping in the Prayer Marathon, tell me when you can pray during this period. We start at 5:00 AM Fri. and go to 5:00 AM Sat. California time (2 hours later in TX and TN). Let me know which 30 minute timeslot(s) you want and I’ll put you on the schedule. If you want us to pray about anything special, please let us know by Feb. 20 so we can give the list to everyone on Sun. Anything submitted later will only be sent to members who have e-mail.

Our LST team for this year is going to be 2 men and 2 women from Harding University. We started with a team from Harding 10 years ago. Please keep them in your prayers as well as the readers here in Japan.

Jean and I are planning to go to the States in March of this year. The church members here think that is the best time for them to do without us. It is not really the best time of year to be there, but we will make the best of it. I will send you a schedule in a few days when we get it made out. If you know of anywhere we can speak, please let us know.

We thank you so very much for sending us to Japan. We are going on our 34th year here. There have been about 50 baptisms. I wish I could say that all are still faithful, but that is not true. The biggest part are and we have hopes of others returning someday. We have taught over 1500 people in Tomobe. The biggest part are not Christians, but they have heard, at least a little. We will continue to work here as long as God sees fit. Your support makes this possible and again, we thank you.

Serving Him in Japan
Marlin and Jean Ray  marlinr@lapis.plala.jp

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