Friday, December 26, 2008
First off.. Merry Christmas!! :) I hope you all had a great day with family and friends! Last year I was in Peru with my friend Lili and her family! This year I was back at home with my dad after 2 years! Where ever we are for Christmas, it is a great day to celebrate that a Savior was born onto us in which we can also celebrate our salvation through Him!
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11
"The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." John 1:9
Happy Birthday Jesus! Christmas day for me this year was a great reminder that because of Jesus' birth I have been saved and have the joy of Eternity with Him! I got to spend it with my dad and then at night a group of friends came to the house for the "After Christmas Extravaganza." It was a great time!
All week long friends have been stopping in and out to help bake cookies and treats for the purpose of handing them out to the homeless in downtown San Jose on Christmas night. God truly blessed this time and I was so blessed by all my friends that came along! It was so cool how we got to meet some new friends downtown. When we got there they were praying together and when they finished and looked up, our friend Jake was there passing out cookies. We got to hang out there for an hour just talking and praying with them, but it was so cool to see the body of Christ love on one another with the gifts the Lord has given us. I was so blessed by them and their love and their hugs and that they would even hang out and talk with us! It was such a blessed night, and a great Christmas! :) Check out some pictures from the Extravaganza!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
While I was in Okinawa, Hannnah, Pastor Tommy's oldest daughter was always baking yummy treats for the Bible College students. I was always so blessed by her treats... especially getting to eat the batter :) and decided to start baking on my own! I remember when I was little that my mom would bake breads for the neighbors so I was encouraged to do that this year. Also when thinking of this Christmas season, my heart broke for all the homeless that are in the city. Christmas can either be a great Holiday for those with families or a sad time for those without. It has been on my heart to use this gift of baking to show love to others in how it showed love to me! For the last few days our house has been baking festival. Friends have been stopping over each day to help make their favorite treats. Thursday night after everyone celebrates Christmas with friends and families, a group of us will be heading to downtown San Jose to pass out these treats! Please keep the homeless or those without family in prayer! :)
It was really funny because for the last week my car has been working great!! It's an old 95 VW Passat that has had some problems the last few years, but still has been faithful in getting me from point A to B most of the time. Yesterday while driving the oil light started flashing and beeping really loud. Luckily my friend Peter was there because I still don't have a cell phone and wasn't sure what to do! (side note: I will have a cell phone again in a few days, whoot whoot). Great news is that my dad has an extra car, the suburban, and always lets me use it if I need it. So since I will be home the next 8 months, I'm praying on what I should do with the car since it's getting old. I'll keep ya posted!
SO it has offically been one week back home from Okinawa in San Jose! The weather has been super cold and when I got home there was snow on the mountains!! Burr! But it has been a great week catching up with friends and taking advantage of the time difference to stay up late and chat with them! :)
Last Friday night, Westgate's College group "Awakening" had a Christmas party and it was a great time to get reconnected with friends and meet new people. I still miss Okinawa and my family there, but I am also blessed that God has allowed a season for me to be home with family. This will be the first time that I have been home for an extended amount of time in a while, so I have been praying and am excited to see how God wants to stretch me and prepare me for His Kingdom! Praise God! :)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I left Monday night and got back Monday night in the states.. crazy huh? After going through customs and baggage claim in San Francisco I got to see my dad there waiting for me! It was such a blessing to see him and be able to see him after 4 months. When we got home and there was a sign on the door. I was trying to figure out who it was from, and then figured out it was a friend from the church! It was a nice treat to come home to!
Melinda was scheduled to leave Monday morning, and I was at night, but a few days before, her airline changed her flight to the same as mine. It was such a blessing to be able to fly together and sit together as well! We had a 3 hour lay over in Taiwan before each of us went to different ends of California, but we made good use of our time! haha love you girl! :) besos
Monday night Melinda and I headed off the airport. It was such a blessing the time the Lord allowed for me to be in Okinawa, studying God's Word and doing ministry with my brothers and sisters. Each expereince the Lord allows me to have, I get to meet more of my heavenly family and learn from them! Each semester of Bible College seems to be different, but I feel that the Lord taught me so much this semester in stepping out in faith, being stretch in serving, and giving me more and more of a desire to be like Jesus! Praise God for such a great semester and such a great family! I love you guys! Praying for you! :)
Monday, December 15, 2008
The last few nights at the Girl's D house, we've been styaing up late packing as one by one each girl has been filing out. Monday morning Jiai left, and Melinda and I will now be flying on the same flight to Taiwan and then we'll split to the northern and southern parts of California. Our roommate Kayo made us lunch and everyone came over to watch a movie, play with the baby and hang out! Look at baby Masaki at 8 days old!! cuuuute! :)
The new room of the church was ready to have service in it!! Pastor Tim gave a message about trials this morning with two ways to look at them. We can either look at our trials and become focused on them, or we can look at them as a good opportunity to ask the Lord what He wants to teach us in them. I was really blessed by the message, and the new church looks great!! :) After Church, Keisho invited to students over to his house and he made us lunch as we ate on his roof. We were so blessed by him and his hospitality! :)
Julia and Alondra will be turning 5 and 9 the 17th of December and the 15th of December. On Saturday there was a joint birthday party for the two girls! Liz made an amazing princess birthday cake and the kids played with the pinata and watched a movie! It has been such a blessing for me to be able to become close with this family over this semester. You have probably see a lot of pictures of their kids either on here or on Facebook. God Bless you Barrios family! :)
Friday night the Church held a Christmas Banquet at Macaroni Grill. For the students that didn't go, we got to stay back and party with the kids! I learned some Japanese by being to spinner in twister, and the kids loved it as they got all twister up. We made Christmas ornaments, played games and ate popcorn and ice-cream as we watched the newest Narnia movie. It was such a blast!
The first day I got to Okinawa, the Lord blessed the Church with a new building. We got to Okinawa just in time to say goodbye to the old building and hello to the new one. Over the semester the students have been able to see God provide for all the different areas of the church as it went under construction and painting and a room downstairs transformed into the new area where we will be able to hold church services!! The Ruiz family are leaving to go back to California on Thursday and the goal was to have the room ready for service by Sunday! Pastor Tommy and the boys worked so hard and the building looks great! :)
Wednesday after our Japanese oral final, the girls headed over to an all you can eat ice-cream and all you can drink beverage place for lunch! We got some food as well and took that to go after first filling up on the ice-cream! I think I managed to eat 6 scoops of ice-cream, 5 drinks and 2 coffee's with ice-cream! It was a fun lunch together with Pastor Tommy's wife Joanna and daughter Hannah. :)
Tuesday morning was the last time all the students were together before Keli'i and Edar headed back to California to go to the Graduation Ceremony in Murrieta. After they left, it was finals week for the rest of the students! I miss my brothers already!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Born December 7th 2009 at 4:48am, 9lb Masaki Taylor Newell was born!! Both Tim and Ayu are proud parents of their new little boy! You can see the similarities of Ayu! He is so adorable and it was soo cool getting to see the baby at the hospital when it was 2 days old!! Please pray for the baby, Tim and Ayu!! :)
Every year, the students get to have a feast together at a nice restaurant. This year we went to Macaroni Grill and were blessed with a journal, each person with their own Konji (character) describing their character, and afterwards each person received a reward. My Konji was "Beloved" and my award was the "how-can-I-help?" award. It was so fun to be able to hang out with everyone and to get to say goodbye's to everyone.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Check a small video of some of the gross games the kids had to play this last weekend... you see this video.. that's nothing. The next game they had three leaders be blindfolded and have to eat the "mystery borrito." (No video for this one) Mine had M&M's, goya (sour okinawan veggie), onions, caramel sauce, and yes.. nato. If you don't know what nato is, I encourage you never to try it. It smells strongly of feet and has the texture of beans in sticky marshmellow sauce. I couldn't stomach it and got sick, but it was still a fun game. Let's see if you can stomach this game!! :)
This last Friday night, Bible College students went to northern Okinawa to take around 20 kids to a retreat center. The theme of the weekend was stir-it-up from 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the beleivers in word, in conduct, in spirit in love, in faith, and in purity." There were 6 teachings on Word, conduct, spirit, faith, purity and love. Daniel Sedota, one of the students organized the trip and we were so blessed to be apart of what the Lord did this weekend!! At the end of the retreat there was a time offered for kids to make a statement of their faith and the Lord did a great work in the lives of these kids! It was overwhelming to see the spirit move in their hearts!! Please pray for the kids that got saved this weekend!! :)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Today was the last day of lecture classes and the last day that all students will be togehter at the Bible COllege. In just a few minutes the students will be heading up North to Okuma camp for a Youth Retreat and then on Tuesday Keli'i and Eder will be going back to California for graduation at the Murrieta Campus and the rest of us will be in finals. Sachikosan and Atsukosan, two Japanese ladies, came to the Bible College and blessed us with lunch! It was so good!! Or in Japanese you can say Oishii desu!
Bible College Students got a little too crazy from all the studying for finals and homework and got in a little trouble with the Japanese Police! No good! Just kidding, there was an accident out front of the Bible College and we all looked for any excuse to take a break from studying to investigate the scene along side the Police. Look whose going to jail! Looks like they aren't going back to the states next week. Poor Eder and Tokito, and we all thought they were good Bible College Students... :) (>w<>
Pastor Tim and Ayu are about to have their baby soon! The baby was due on December 2nd but has decided to camp out a few extra days. The Bible College girls live in a big house where we share it with Tim, Ayu, Naoko, Kayo, and Yuka (the Japanese girls). Pastor Tim and Ayu live upstairs, but almost everyday the girls get the chance to touch Ayu's belly and see the baby grow. When we first got here this semester Ayu was only 5 months pregnant and now she's about to pop! Today was the first time I got to feel the baby move.. you could actually see it moving just by looking! It was such a cool experience! Please pray for them and their new baby who will be here any day now!! :)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I finally got the video to upload!! Take a look of Hakugaijin at our Thanksgiving Banquet featuring Bible College student Jesse with his Gospel rap! It was awesome!! I'm not sure if you'll be able to understand the words of the rap but you will get an idea of the enthusiasm of everyone that was there! It was a blessing to hear their talent and to hear the Gospel summed up in a rap form!! Check it out! :)
I finally got the video to upload! :) Check out our Thanksgiving banquet here at the church where the band Hakugaijin performed and Bible College student Jesse performed his rap of the Gospel. It might be a little hard to understand what he was saying, but you get the idea of the enthusiasm of the croud! :) Enjoy
Monday Night we got back from the Island and everyone was drugged out from the dramamine we took on the boat. We rested up and then afterwards we had the graduation ceremony for the three boys that are graduating this semester! Check out Keli'i Eder and Daniel in their Kimono's! woot woot! Just kidding, but it has been such a blessing to be able to spend this semester with these guys and to see their amazing love for Jesus and to serve. Each of them has different plans in where God is leading them! Continue to pray for each of them as they step out in faith in ministry! :) and yes.. that is Sosimo there in the back.
It was such a blast at the ceremony and then after we all got to dance (salsa- wahoo) and eat lots of cake! Everyone got dressed up and looked so nice. Check out the Bible College girls of Fall 08!
Maybe you're asking what we got to do in Tanaki Kima. Well Saturday night we set up camp and got to explore the Island and meet some people. That night we watched a video in Japanese of the whole story of the Bible. It was really encouraging to be able to fellowship with Izuru (our Christian brother). After we have a bonfire and got to lay under the stars. Sunday morning we had a time of worship and in the Word on the beach, and then after we got to have children's ministry. During the morning we didn't see anyone out of their houses but about 20 kids came and hung out. Later that night we had another time of fellowship in the Word and Worshipping and ministering to the people there. The kids came back for more games. It was sad to say goodbye, but encouraging that the Lord allowed for us to go!