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.
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.
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