Ray Report Jun 20, ’08


It is summer! Of course that has good points and bad points. It is hot, rainy, and has more bugs, but LST is here and camp is just around the corner. I also have a few days off at the end of summer. Schools are still going for another month here. They finish near the end of July.

LST (Let’s Start Talking campaign) is here and we decided this year not to send out post cards to the old readers, but try to get more new readers first. It seems like a good thing, but many of the new readers know very little English. Jean and I are taking several. Marc and Elissa are taking some, too. The first three weeks, we have two ladies from Arlington, TX. They are really good and enjoy the challenge. After them are two men from Corvallis, OR. They will stay for two weeks and we will try to make a smooth transition. With Marc and Elissa here, the preparations have been easier. They have done most of it. Only three days have past so far, so it is hard to tell anything, but all is looking well.

Elissa’s pregnancy seems to be progressing well, except that sometimes she has contractions 3 months early. If they come too many in a day, she will be put in the hospital. She does not want that, so she is resting more. The doctor told them it is a boy!! But she is bigger than the side of a barn, so I thought so. Keep them in your prayers, for a healthy and happy baby.

I went up to camp yesterday and took a friend’s backhoe to do some serious work on the road and other things that need to be done. The grass is growing and we need to do a lot of grass cutting before camp. We also have 3 other projects going. One cabin has been raised up to make a new foundation and we need to put a new floor in. Another one is being redone in one corner and new floors. We are going to build a new storeroom and that is not started, yet. Maybe some things will be done by camp time. Rainy season in our area has not been too bad so far, so that has helped. And for those of you who know about the earthquake, it was farther north and we hardly felt it. We have asked about several friends in that area, but have heard nothing so far. None of their names have come out in the dead or missing, so we are hopeful.

Two weeks ago, one of our members passed away. Katsu Okada was 91 and for several years after she placed membership at Tomobe, worked very hard and walked to church every Sunday and several times a week for other activities. None of her family is Christian as she was baptized at 71 years old, but she told them she wanted a Christian funeral. Usually the family does a Buddhist funeral even though the family member is a Christian. This time the family came to us and asked us to take care of the ceremony. It was done at a funeral home but we told them what to do and all went well. We then put her ashes in the Tomobe church tomb. The family said it was wonderful. I pray that it may have some effect on them and they will want to learn more.

Thank you for all your support. As prices rise and some foods disappear from the shelves, we really appreciate your sacrifice. Gas prices here have risen to over $5.50 a gallon. I may start using my bicycle again. I stopped riding after I was hit by a car several years ago. May God bless you all.

Serving Him in Japan,
Marlin and Jean Ray

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