Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Getting to visit the faithful folks at Oak Road Christian Church in Silver Springs was a real treat. Not only did they present us with a wonderful faith promise offering, but we were also blessed to see two people immersed into Christ, one of which was Pastor Jesse's son. Shouts go out to Celesta (daughter of a longtime missionary to Japan), Jesse and Bobbi, Helen, Andrea, Eric and Carrie, Teri, and especially Pat and Jim for inviting us. Thank you for helping us get one step closer to reaching Japan!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Pastor Bob Miller invited us to speak during evening worship at First Christian Church of Homosassa. Following a medley of Christmas carols, we talked about bringing salvation to the land of the rising sun. Thirteen families will be remembering our mission in prayer. We're so thankful for the love offering they took up on our behalf and we look forward to sharing the blessings of this ministry with them long into the future. Praises to Bob and Lynn, Carol, Elvin, Levi and Mary, and the Church family for their strong faith in our LORD!
We shared our call to serve overseas with the good people of Brooksville Christian Church. Not only did they welcome us with warm embraces, but they've committed to supporting God's work in Japan financially and prayerfully. Because of their faithfulness in sharing Christ around the globe, we're 1% closer to departure! Shouts go out to Ray, Corine, Pastor Mike, Earl, Marcie, Gary, and Justin and many others who visited with us after service. Over 24 families have enlisted as prayer warriors on our behalf. Praise the LORD!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Young men of the samurai class, the only ones outside the nobility and the priesthood who were educated, were attracted to the missionaries through their desire to secure foreign learning, and many of them, pushing beyond their first objective, became in time earnest Christians and coworkers with the missionaries in propagating the Gospel. For these young men classes and small private schools were opened in Kanagawa and Tokyo, and it was not long until even the government sent students to be taught by the missionaries.
Source: Fruits of Christian Mission in Japan
Photo : Shimooka Renjo
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
When the [first Protestant] missionaries in Kanagawa succeeded in securing a teacher to help them in the study of the language, they found that he was a government spy. To avoid complications with foreign 'governments, the authorities appointed guards to protect the "foreigners," and warned them not to go about the streets without escorts, lest harm befall them from armed samurai they might meet. There were two things the missionaries in the early years had to do in order to secure any progress in their work, namely, to win the confidence of the people, and to gain a knowledge of the language. Neither task was easy, but with patience, perseverance and uniform kindness, they won out.
source: Fruits of Christian Mission in Japan
Saturday, December 6, 2008
As we've been discovering, Japan is a shame-based society. The implications of that, compared with guilt-based countries in the West, is the recipe for fruitful evangelism must be carefully kneaded before consumption.
Since the 1940s, anthropologists have distinguished between shame-cultures and guilt-cultures. People who belong to the latter suffer from an inner sense that they have transgressed some immutable law, and the hiddenness of that transgression can intensify the pain: thus the feeling of relief that can accompany confession in such cultures. But in shame-cultures, exposure is the great evil: not to transgress, but to have one’s transgressions revealed.
Luke 13:6-7 "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'"
Among other superstitions the Japanese have embraced, one of the most peculiar is blood types. Quoted from informationism.org
Blood type theory is widely popular in women's magazines as a way to gauge relationship compatibility with a potential or current partner. Morning television shows feature blood type horoscopes, and similar horoscopes are published daily in newspapers. Though there is not a proven correlation between blood type and personality, it has still remained in the many matchmaking services that cater to blood type. In this way, it is similar to the use of astrological signs in the west, which is also popular in Japan.
What's Your Type?
As of this writing, I have no idea what my blood type is. Most foreigners don't. Nevertheless, some businesses go so far as to screen potential employees based on unscientific data.
Type A Reserved and prone to worry, sensitive perfectionists such as Britney Spears and Adolf Hitler.
Type O Decisive, self-confident, curious, and ideal for sport, including Elvis Presley and the Queen.
Type B Cheerful caring, flamboyant free-thinkers such as Jack Nicholson.
Type AB High-maintenance, distant, suited to arts, such as Mao Zedong.
Regardless of the hearsay, knowing that the Japanese have an interest in blood may prove useful in effective witnessing. Hebrews 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
A new marketing strategy in Japan launched boutique-style eateries and a super-streamlined menu that includes Quarter Pounders, Fries, and Coke. What's unique is that they purposely left off the McDonald's branding as part of the ploy to relaunch the Quarter Pounder after a 10 year hiatus. In case I haven't mentioned it already - McDonald's in Japan are the best in the world. File this one under praises.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Richard Geringswald heads up the mission efforts at Legacy Christian in Lakeland, FL in addition to the Jamaica Bible Seminary. He believes, as do we, that God made water come out of a rock at Moses command, and as such was able to procure for our mission 30 Japan flags when his mission budget read EMPTY. Yet another testament to creative support efforts we've been blessed to be recipients of. We're elated that each of our partner churches who've pledged monthly support will receive one of these fine gifts as a token of our appreciation to remind them that God's love is as far reaching as the East is from the West. See if you can spot Aaron in that photo.
Southeast Christian Church in Orlando will soon be reborn as The Bridge, and part of their new makeup is a slogan Crash the Future with a rhino that serves as their visual reminder. A group of rhinos is called a crash. We had the opportunity to share the SWORD STORY with the congregation and afterward I presented Pastor Steve Malone with our crash offering - an 18 pound solid aluminum rhinoceros that's been a talking point of our house since we've been married. Our prayer is that The Bridge would connect people to Jesus Christ and His purpose for their lives in Orlando and beyond. Will you join us in that prayer as they seek to follow the LORD's will in 2009?