Monday November 23rd, 2009
This month we attended two building dedications. We went to Yokota first on November 23rd. Yokota finished building their new building this year. Yokota church of Christ is right across from the military base in town, and has quite a few American members attending. They were excited to start this new chapter in their history.
Wednesday November 25th
We were invited to visit the Hosoya’s garden. There are a lot of doctors in the Hosoya family. And they are the main doctors in Haruna. We walked all around this beautiful traditional Japanese garden. We were constantly amazed at the detail and huge landscapes that was put into such a wonderful garden. We look forward to coming back in the spring and seeing the big cherry blossom tree in bloom. We‘ve enjoyed
getting to know them and their son (a doctor also). The young Dr. Hosoya also brings his son to our Wednesday evening children’s Bible study. We hope to become better friend and someday be able to share the Gospel to them all.
Friday November 27th, 2009
We really wanted to share the wonderful family holiday of Thanksgiving with people this year. We invited the Obatas, Rieko and Ryosuke over for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We had a fun time trying to find all the ingredients we wanted for a traditional meal. One day we drove around for 3 hours to find a store that sold imported goods. It was worth it. We found a turkey! It was 5.6lbs and cost $20. Along with the turkey we had mashed potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs, rolls, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie. It was delicious. We had a great time making everything from scratch. Except, we bought the rolls and cranberry sauce. The Obatas hadn’t had a Thanksgiving meal in over 40 years, it had been 14 years for Rieko, and Ryosuke had never had such a traditional American meal before. We had fun sharing this tradition of thanks with them. Even though we couldn’t be in the U.S. to share with our family, God gave us a bigger family to celebrate with.
Saturday November 28th, 2009
We had the great privilege to visit the Ochanomizu church of Christ for the first time. This is where Obata-san and his family spent most of their lives worshiping. Obata-san preached here for about 40 years. Then after retiring came to Haruna. We were happy to meet a lot of nice people and to see the new building. It took about 3 years to tear down the old building and build the new one. It is an eight story building. With cooperation from the government Ochanomizu uses the top 3 floors and the bottom 5 are for a company that assists disabled people. Paul liked being in one of the only high-rise churches of Christ he had ever seen. He said, “Only with God’s help would this be possible.” A special guest for the dedication was Joe Betts. He and his family served at the Ochanomizu church and taught at Ibaraki Christian for over 50 years. Joe and his wife Ruth only left Japan 3 1/2 years ago. He was very excited to be back home. It was a big encouragement to the congregation to see Joe again.
Monday November 30th, 2009
The month of November was a busy month for a lot of churches around Tokyo. Once again we were honored to be apart of various celebrations glorifying God. We attended a dedication to the late missionary, O.D. Bixler. O.D. baptized Obata-san some 44 years ago and was a great mentor and well respected in the communities he lived in. He and Suzuki-san started a children's home in Ibaraki. It has housed hundreds of children and also taught them God’s word and the meaning of God’s love. His son Dean Bixler came for the celebration, all the way from California. O.D. and his family served the Lord fervently as missionaries all over Japan for 50 years. His son Dean served 10 years with his family long after he grew up here. There is such a great legacy of people that dedicated their lives to serving God here in Japan. It is such an encouragement to hear of the wonderful way God has used these willing soldiers to spread His seed to so many people.