Ray Report Apr 19 ’09

April 19, 2009


April in Japan is wonderful. But so was March in the USA. Many beautiful flowers were in bloom. In Texas, the bluebonnets were spectacular. My brother took us out of Houston about an hour and we saw fields and fields covered in the blue flowers. Along with them were Indian Paintbrushes. In California, we saw orange poppies and other flowers covering the mountains around Los Angeles. In Springville, CA we saw redbuds in full bloom. In Rancho Cordova CA, we saw the peach and pear trees. It was a great time to travel, unusually warm with little rain and lots of blue skies.

We returned to Japan to see the cherry trees in full bloom. The tree at church bloomed all at once so it did not last long, but it was great. Saturday it was at its best, but still gorgeous on Sunday when we ate out under the tree. The petals started falling and ended up in the food, but it was enjoyable and not too cool. As it was Resurrection Day, we went to Tomobe’s grave. This was the first year that someone was in it. Our sister Okada died at 91 last year. None of her relatives are Christians, so we were especially happy that they joined us there. We hope that some of them will want to know more. We remember the dead and think of the empty tomb of Jesus.

In the States, we saw many people, but we are sorry that we couldn’t see you all. We had a good time in Memphis, Houston, Arlington, Los Angeles, Springville, and Rancho Cordova. We visited several churches in each area and enjoyed great fellowship. This was a very fast trip as we had only 5 weeks. We saw most of our family. Jean’s aunt celebrated her 101st birthday. Ken and his wife, Ai are doing fine. Jean’s sister, Sandy and family are also fine. Mike, Sandy’s husband, lost his job due to the economic situation, but was able to move to another department in his company that he likes much better, so all is well. My brother, Robert is retired and so is my sister’s husband. Retirement, what is that? My job has no age limit, so I will continue until I die or can’t speak. But I love teaching others about Christ.

We came back to Japan and had a few days to get relocated, body wise. Then we started preparing for the new school year which starts in April. Our classes are going now, so we are busy everyday. Spring Camp is just two weeks away, so we have also been preparing for that. We are building one new cabin this year, so much preparation is needed. I must take building materials up the mountain. This is no easy task as rocks in the mountain road are sharp and poke into the tires. One flat last week cost me precious time. Of course the truck was overloaded. The flowers at the campsite are looking good.

On April 29, we’ll have the All Ibaraki Meeting. About 200 Christians will meet together and enjoy singing and hearing brother Uzawa bring us the lesson. The fellowship is great.

I spoke this morning about being quiet and listening to God. I think that most of don’t hear God because we are always too busy. We live in a noisy world and don’t take time to stop and listen. When I was on the ship in the Navy, I had much time to sit in my bunk and read His word and listen to Him. This is when I felt Him calling me to Japan as a missionary. I need to have that time again. Sometimes I go to camp and sit by the creek and listen. I can feel His presence. I don’t take enough time, so He probably does not have enough time to speak. God is wonderful, so let’s listen to Him. Thanks to all of you for helping us to be here in Japan. God is with us in the Tomobe church and I know His Word will not come back to Him empty.

Serving Him in Japan,

Marlin and Jean Ray

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