It is Saturday morning and was 30 degrees when I went to teach English to a student this morning…about 7 AM. She is the daughter of my barber and we meet in his shop where it was a little cool. Anyhow, yes, this note comes the day before Sunday but….I was so late in writing last week and…I did not want the attached wedding video to become too old. Still rejoicing at what the Lord did last week….so good. Tomorrow we sing 2 new songs at the church. I am determined to keep us worshipping the Lord with ‘fresh praises’ as we enter the New Year. It has been a great year and you all have been real encouragers to us. The next year should be better. Please keep praying for us!!!!! Love to all. Happy New Year!!!!! From Japan…going for another year…
Well, here, we are almost at the end of Christmas Day but maybe it is not too late to say, Merry Christmas to you all. This day is a work day for most people so no one really is celebrating in Japan…..Celebrating will start on January 1st in Japan….New Year’s Day. But….we did feel like Sunday(23rd) was Christmas, especially at the church. Wow! We think between 70 and 80 came and out of that group, at least 20 came for the first time! So good! The high school Christmas band came with their ‘photography club’ so we had extra students who of course heard about the birth of Jesus and the ‘good news of great joy’…salvation. A Brazilian pastor, his family and several of their church members joined us so we made a lot of new friends. The attached video reveals a little bit of the joy we shared. And things got really funny when Ruth and a Filipino sister suddenly joined the student band to sing a Christmas song. I looked at the Brazilian pastor during that event and he wasn’t smiling so I thought, ‘He now thinks we are really crazy!’ but….afterwards he was laughing so much at Ruth and others. But it was all joy which so many desperately need. And thank you so much for praying for us and/or for this nation. I will send another video of the Brazilian wedding we had on Saturday(22nd)…another special event. This has been a great month. And it will get better! Love you all….
It is Tuesday morning and so cold and I am one day early with this note. Yea! Anyhow, it is cold but thankful that the house is warm in several rooms! And yet so many have been sick with something going around here. We shall come through this, I believe. This Saturday is the Brazilian wedding, a big one for us, and then Sunday we have a concert with a private high school, joined by another Brazilian church and lunch for everyone. Two days to share God’s love with others. Attached are photos of a birthday party Ruth attended with other church ladies at a nearby restaurant last week. They all consider her a kind of big sister or their ‘mama’. She loves it. No one new this past Sunday but there will be plenty this weekend. Please keep praying for us and the entire nation. Churches all over the nation are reaching out with Christmas programs for the purpose of sharing the gospel. May all the churches grow this year! Amen. And God bless you as you prepare for the holidays. We will be here for Christmas but will have time with others the next week which is the big holiday season for Japan….New Year’s. Love to all….
Yes, it is Wednesday here and this note should have been posted 2 days ago but….time flies and got away from us! Ha! Had a great Sunday even though too many were sick…some bug going around and around again. Anyhow, we guess the special event was words of appreciation for the truth which seemed to cause a few to advance in their relationship with God. Too many come to the church really tired because of their work schedule but…they listen, believe, and God’s give strength to go on for another week. The attached video will be shown this Sunday….you get to see it before they do! It is a demonstration of a used electric generator the church purchased. Why a generator for the church? Well, Hamamatsu sits on the spot where scientists say the earth could open up at any moment and yours truly might or might not survive. But if we do….I hope the church will be a source of help to neighbors by providing a small amount of electricity. Just as this video ended a neighbor walked up to observe what I was doing. I gave him the above explanation and he said, ‘Thank you very much!’ He had the biggest smile on his face as he spoke. I think it was the first time he had ever heard of a church wanting to help their neighbors in an emergency. Well, we’re ready! And thank you for helping us…always!
We are back at home after being in Kobe for about 4 days and attending a church there. A Brazilian brother took my place at our church and had an encouraging message according to what I am told. And at least one and perhaps more came for the first time. No video today but….you will see a pic of the two of us taken earlier this year. Do I look 70? Still rejoicing at the wonderful party I was given on November 18th. And if you submitted a comment to other pics of me that Ruth has placed on her FB page, thank you. We begin getting geared up for a wedding on Dec 22nd, then a big Christmas event with lunch on the 23rd. and what else? December is going to be full of events from heaven. Thank you so much for praying for us! God bless you more this week. Much love from the both of us.
We did it! We had a real Brazilian BBQ on Sunday for lunch. The weather was perfect and 4 or 5 came for the first time. One couple said they were invited to the BBQ but said they came because of wanting to be in church. We hope they return many times. A family of 7 took me aside and said they will begin attending regularly and are seeking membership. Such good news! The cooks were so good and stayed to the end even begging me to let them clean up! (See attached video!) A couple also asked for permission to have their daughter’s wedding in the church next month. Plans have started for that Saturday event which will be followed by a great Christmas luncheon on Dec 23rd. Ruth and I begin our 41st year in Japan this Thursday, Nov 15th. Some of you have been with us from the beginning….others for many years. What can we say but praise the Lord and thank you!!! I turn 70 on Saturday, November 17th. Maybe I look it but I am glad I don’t feel it! Ha! Missionary life suits us well! Hallelujah! Hey, you are special to us…always. Will write more later. Love to you today!
Yes, we had another birthday party this past Sunday….I think Costco is going to make a lot of money on us! (See short attached video) Ha! But fellowship is so much apart of the church here. I am so pleased that everyone stays for another 45 minutes or longer after a long message! No one came for the first time but a man returned who had been absent for more than 5 years! Wow! Many were so happy to see him. I have been encouraging everyone to believe we must expect the ‘departed ones’ to return and with joy, we sing with them and love them more. Thank you so much for praying for us. This year’s church Christmas gift is planned for a Christian school sponsored by a church in Cambodia! We must be giving in order to stay living! Yes, and Thanksgiving is this month! Wonderful! AND on November 15th, Ruth and I begin our 41st year in Japan! Two days later I become 70! Can you believe that? But we are so glad to be here….for you! God bless you more and more! Love to all,
We had a great Sunday, no visitors, but lots of joy. Ruth was the speaker and many were blessed by the prayer time at the end. One Christian said he was so blessed to see what God is doing in every member. It will get better. Thank you so much for praying for us. Ruth is in Kobe with Joanna and grandchildren for 2 weeks and me…I am fine and blessed. This going to be a great fall season at the church. Brazilians in the church are so happy they have a new president who they believe will turn their nation around….too many problems in that nation! Wow! The nations need God. You may be interested in checking out what is happening in China….it’s not good. Hallelujah! The Lord is over all. God bless you all more. We appreciate you all so much.
It has been a beautiful early fall day which we are enjoying so much. And this past Sunday, a deacon spoke, Mauricio from Brazil and he was so encouraging. Ruth will be the speaker this coming Sunday. No, I have not retired but I felt these two had something to say which should encourage everyone to love each other more, love the Lord more, and keep believing for great things to happen in Japan. We had no one to come for the first time this past Sunday but the Brazilian family of 7 returned and seem to want to stay….maybe just to check us out! Ha! (And no video today!) With Ruth speaking this Sunday I have a little more free time….now building #2 BBQ grill for a Brazilian BBQ next month! Christmas decorations have been displayed in the Philippines for more than a month so this year we will put them out a little earlier in the church. The Filipinos are excited about that! We’ll wait a little longer before we start singing Jingle Bells! Ha! You are all still so special to us. Thank you so much for your prayers for Japan and the church in Japan. Too few Christians…churches are too small. But God!….Love you all….
Ben&Ruth (One pic: A recent birthday party for a church member!)
Finally we had the BBQ which had to be delayed for a week because of the typhoon but….it was so good. See video attached. Otherwise, it was a great Sunday with Communion, special message from a young couple who returned to visit, and great news about the birth of two grandchildren….Oct 16th. What else? A lady from Peru returned for the second time….spent 2 1/2 hours with her on Saturday night in counseling….she needs the Lord’s help now. Thank you so much for praying for us. Ruth has had a bad pain in her right foot but maybe different shoes will help. That will not keep her from going to Kobe and being behind the doctor when he delivers the babies!!!! Ha! Love to you all. We are greatly encouraged these days!