Ray Report – July 15 ’10

We just finished LST (Let’s Start Talking) for this year [see some pictures here].  We had two teams come with four days in between.  Both teams did a great job.  You usually can’t judge a team soon after they leave, but we had many good comments about each group.  The teams were totally different as one was from a church and the other from Harding University.

The first team consisted of the preacher at Bellevue church in Washington state and three of the members.  Some had studied a little Japanese and one even lived here for a year and a half.  The readers felt a little more comfortable with this knowledge.  It was a very focused team and did a good job teaching the readers

The second team was much younger, all about 19 years old.  They had some experience teaching LST or Friends Speak, like LST, at their home congregations.  They knew no Japanese.  Some readers dropped out before they met them.  This group tried to learn as much Japanese as they could while they were here.  They won the hearts of those who came.  As this group was only 3 members, the few that dropped made it better, timewise.  Most of them still come to the School of Life, our year-round English and Bible classes.

July 7th was the Tomobe church’s 25th anniversary.  On Sunday the 4th, we had the preacher from Omika church come and preach.  We had a potluck/birthday party and enjoyed ourselves.  There were seven visitors who came from the School of Life and LST and the husband of one of our members.  Two former members also came.  I pray they come back often.

Camp is coming up soon, so we have been preparing for that.  Sato san, a member of Hitachi church, and I went up Saturday and put down the first level floor in the new cabin.  To our surprise, we found a couple of mice making a nest on the foundation of this floor.  There are still some holes that need to be stopped up.  On each side of the door is a space between the door and the concrete foundation.  Work camp starts next week and camp the week after.

Jean’s neck problem is a little better.  She will wait until after camp to go to a specialist in Tokyo.  I will go to the doctor next week to see about going into the hospital for another procedure on my heart.  If I have it, it will be on August 26.  The medicine seems to be working, but I don’t want to take it indefinitely.  For the second procedure, he said maybe 90% sure it will take care of the problem.  I hope so.

As times are getting hard for the working man and woman, some Japanese begin to look for answers.  Our Adult English classes are growing, but many are coming to learn more about the Bible.  The questions are getting deeper, but it is still hard for them to throw away their old ideas about religion.  The idea of only one God, that ancestors do not control our lives is foreign to them.  I tell them you can be a Japanese and not follow Buddhism or Shintoism.  If they could just add Jesus to their thinking, it would be OK.  I tell them they cannot!  Because our God is a jealous God and allows only Himself to be worshipped. Pray for the Japanese to find the one and only God.