August 22, 2010
It has been even hotter than usual in Japan this summer. It has been in the ’s almost everyday. Today was about degrees. We have had little rain in our area. I try to stay in my office most of the day, but I have duties outside, sometimes. It might not seem that hot to you, but our humidity is also very high, 80–90%.
Enough complaining. We had a great camp this year. We finished most of the work we had planned in work camp and the grounds were ready for the campers. The first camp was about elementary school students, and staff. There was one girl from a Christian family who wanted to be baptized, but after talking with the camp director, Ataka-san, it was decided that she should wait until next year. She is only six, but understand some, but not enough. Sadly to say, no one else in all three camps wanted to be baptized.
The second camp was the largest, at . The group from Cordova California came again and most of the classes were in English. Translation was provided for those who needed it. The team did a great job teaching. And they also helped with the camp’s needs. We built a small toilet for men and they provided most of the labor. We had finished the concrete foundation, and they built the upper part. They did many other things around camp and we really appreciate their work. All went well until the last day. As they were packing up to leave, one of the girls found a snake sitting on the window sill.
Several guys came and with many hands, the snake was apprehended. I noticed that some of the girls even helped. The snake was put in a container and taken away from camp. Thankfully, it was not a poisonous snake.
Jean and I celebrated our rd anniversary of marriage and the th of our arrival in Japan, both on August 18. We took a one day trip to Iwaki and visited an aquarium. It was very hot outside, but cool inside. We ate some good sushi, (raw fish) and enjoyed ourselves.
We came back through Hitachi City and visited Usami-san in the hospital. She has been battling cancer for more than years and is not doing well. Last week, her first grandchild was born. Please pray that God will intervene and help her. She is now very frail. We need her guidance at Tomobe church. She is a great worker and wonderful person. All the women looked up to her for leadership. Jean and some of the other ladies are stepping in to fill her place, but we need a strong Japanese lady like her.
Next week I go in for the second procedure on my heart. They must deaden some nerves to stop my heart from beating irregularly. Please pray for me. It is not such major work, but it is not fun or easy.
Jean is trying to get an appointment to see a specialist in Tokyo about her neck. First she must ask the doctor here for a recommendation. It will probably be in November before she is able to see him. Also, keep that in your prayers.
Please pray for the Tomobe church as we struggle against the tide in this city. There are so many destructive forces in Japan. We teach so many people about God, but don’t see many respond. We have many classes and many people who ask good questions, but not the right ones. “How can I become a Christian” is a most difficult question. There are several who have studied for several years and are, I think ready. But they don’t ask the right question. I have told them the answer, but they still don’t ask. Keep the Japanese people lifted before God so He will know we care.
Thank you so much for the support you give us, not only in money, but your prayers. This is the only way we can stay here. God wants us here working for Him. I believe that with all my heart.
Serving Him in Japan,
Marlin and Jean Ray