December News

Mission Update: We were able to send out 7 Christian CD's in Spanish and 40 Spanish Bibles to our mission partner in Cusco, Peru to use with the local radio station programming and mission outreach. Pray that everything arrives in tact.

We are working on a visa for one of the students from the church in Guayllabamba, Ecuador to be able to visit the states next summer. Pray that it will come through as this will be our third attempt.

Well, we are almost to the halfway point of our first year here on Okinawa. If we've learned nothing else, we have realized how really halfway around the world we are! It takes about 18 hours of actual air time to get here from the Southeast U.S.  We have found that the mission field here is much different than Ecuador, and the challenges to share Christ different.

Though we have seen some traditional aspects of Asia such as planting the rice fields, the majority of our day deals with contacts in the military. We have really been working at building relationships as our way of sharing God's message. We are currently attending Calvary Chapel Okinawa and hope to get them hooked up with several projects while we are here. They are a relatively new church, only two years on the island, and originally planned an outreach to the locals, but found the military coming forward with a need as well.

We are contemplating our next move as Steve has been unable to secure a job here and he needs to find some direction in that area as well. He is almost to his last class to finishing his degree so it has been a blessing to have the time for that.  God has a plan for us and things happen for a reason. Lately I have taken a look back to see if this "detour" was for us and if God let us go so we could see that it really wasn't our 'path,' and be able to more clearly focus on where and what He really wants from us.

The beauty around us is all part of God's work and the orchids are a pleasure to the eyes! We want to be pleasing in God's sight as well so that He can say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Being willing to take chances, make mistakes, and continue to refocus and go forward are all qualities God brings out in us to show us the path for our lives. I think we can go many different ways and be successful, but the path God has planned for us will lead us to be all he wants for us. It may not be the easy path or without resistance, but it will develop us spiritually into better servants for God.

Steve is enjoying the scenery and finding interesting spots to visit! There aren't many places you can go where you will find a "Happy Crab Crossing" sign. The Okinawans are a friendly and courteous group overall and remind you of what it was like to actually have true customer service. They help to remind me to act like Christ instead of my usual self!

Entertainment is always around the corner with groups that love to demonstrate the traditonal dances and music. We have to take advantage of the opportunities God provides us here because whether it turns out to be the right or wrong decision to come, He can use you where ever you are if you'll just be in His will.

Symbols of luck and hope are all around us here which is sad in that they could simply put their hope and trust in God and have present and eternal benefits. Pray that we can reflect the love of God and the relationship we have with him so that others will want what we have and not just think we are different and accept that.

We pray that this holiday season was everything that God had in mind for us. We will constantly disappoint ourselves, each other, and God Himself, but the grace and love that He has for us will always give us forgiveness and the opportunity to try again. It is hard to share with people that they need God in control of their lives when to them, and even us, it seems they have it all. But it is so much more than this life and our personal fulfillment. I could never believe that this life is it and there is nothing more. There is no way God would have created us, the world, and given up His son to die for us for just that.

As we head into the New Year, I pray that God still counts me worthy to do His work and that I find the direction that needs to take. It's so quiet here you would think it wouldn't be hard to hear His voice, but you have to remember to be listening!

Cathy and Steve