Ray Report – Mar 28 ’13


I hope this finds you all well and enjoying this spring.  I know some of you are still having winter.  It is quite cool here, but the cherry trees are blooming in Tomobe.  The tree at the church building is about 50% in bloom, but today it is raining.

We are both doing well.  Of course, we are getting older and are not moving as fast as we used to.  It takes a lot longer to do things.  I went to the hospital last month and took some sleeping test to see how well I sleep.  The doctor told me this week that the results are not good.  The average person wakes up about 5 times a night, but I stopped breathing and woke up 66 times.  She put me on a breathing machine and I have used it 2 nights.  The first night was not so good.  It is uncomfortable.  But the second night, I slept well.  At least that is what I think.  I didn’t know I woke up 66 times either.  I hope I improve over the next few days.  Please pray that I can get things worked out that I will be able to continue to work.  There are just so many people who don’t know Christ in this country.

The church here is doing well.  We are still teaching Naoe and she is coming to worship almost every Sunday.  Mr. Ono got married this month and brought his wife to church for the first time.  She is not a Christian.  Please pray that she will find Christ.  We had a Valentine party for the LST people with about 25 attending.  We played games and exchanged chocolate.  We needed a fellowship and it was close to 2/14 so we used that theme.

On the 31st, we will have a Resurrection Day worship and afterward a picnic.  I hope it doesn’t rain and the cherry trees will still be in bloom.  We will also go to the Tomobe church tomb and remember those who have gone on before us.

In May, we will have a 3-week LST team coming from Oklahoma Christian.  The 3 members are all friends of Toru.  Toru is now majoring in Music.  I am not giving up on him becoming a preacher, but he wants to use music to convey his thoughts to those around him.  Keep him in your prayers.

Yasuki is still studying at the School of Evangelism in Japan.  He has finished one year.  He is working part-time studying the Bible.  He preaches sometimes and helps me in other ways.  His mother is also a great helper here.  They have been here almost from the beginning.  She was soon baptized.  We still have some strong members here who are working hard.  It is just a hard place to work, but not impossible.  We have baptized more than 30 here in Tomobe.  A few have been lost, but the majority are continuing here or other places where they moved.  Keep this church in your prayers.

I have not gone back up to Iwaki in a while.  I am in contact with the water company that we are helping.  I will send some more money this week to put water in the hands of people who need it.  One of the schools has started to pay for the water themselves.  Two other schools have asked for help.  It will be many years before that area is back to normal.  Still, no one can enter the area near the nuclear power plants.  The CRASH relief group is working only on follow-up counseling, which is badly needed.  But that, also takes a little more Japanese and time than I possess.  I hope to go up soon and talk with some Christians in that area to get an idea of how we can further help on a part-time basis.  There are several churches in this area, working there on this basis.  The area around Sendai and Ishinomaki are too far away to go and come back in one day.

Again, I want to thank you for having a part in the teaching of the Japanese people.  It is such a blessing to see some who have progressed so far away from idolatry, who have nothing to do them.  I know it is a burden on many of you who have continued to provide for our support.  I truly thank you.  God is love.  God is good.

Serving Him in Japan,

Marlin and Jean Ray