Turning a new leaf

In August as usual I had a birthday. This year I turned 65.  This is the age that one traditionaly retires and becomes an official old age pensioner with lots of senior privileges.  However, the word retire is not in the Bible nor in the great commission. Except in Numbers 8:25.

“The Lord said to Moses, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites.””
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭8:23-26‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

Having reached the age of 65, I am needing to see how to adjust my lifestyle, because forever 21 is just the name of a store and not an obtainable reality, not even in my dreams.  As I am considering this thoughtfully I am feeling to step back from those visions that I have been carrying and some that I have held in my heart and focus on supporting others to carry out the visions God has given them.

Top on the list, and to get the ball rolling will be my involvement in the World Cup Rugby games (2019) and the Tokyo Olympics (2020).  Also I will regretfully be laying down the “Ship4Japan” vision. Although dear to my heart, it is not in a place where I can pass it on to anyone.

Probably the one that I have carried the longest in my heart is to see Tokyo reached from an Urban Missions perspective, coupled with a deep desire to see Japanese Christians take their place in the arena of world missions.

Laying these things down does not mean that they are not meant to be, nor that they will never happen.  Even now YWAM staff are involved in ministries which connect with 2019/2020 and YWAM Tokyo DTS continues to raise up Japanese missionaries.  I will continue to support these ministries as well as look for people with vision to pick up the other visions, seeking to support them as they do.

All this to say that due to my current age, it is time for me to quit being a frontline person in starting a new vision or project and get behind the new leaders that are being raised up.  New works are starting in Northeast Japan, Hokkaido, and Southwest Japan – all from YWAM Tokyo base.  It’s a privilege to support these young leaders, standing alongside them as they move out to carry out the vision God has placed on their hearts.


Hats

As those of you who frequent my facebook page will know that from time to time I borrow someones hat and then take a picture of that person and me while wearing their hat. This is a tangent of off that caused by one of my beloved nephew’s living in the channel Islands, where I have three small fortunes held in offshore accounts to help finance Brexit and other terrorist organizations.

My beloved nephew Andy, started 2017 with an awesome idea to pay it forward to the first five people who replied with “I’m in” and agreed to offer the same to another five fine people too. His plan was to send something of meaning to those five fine people at a time of his choosing sometime during the year.

I wasn’t too sure just where I stood on his ranking of nice people but was a little chagrined to find myself at the bottom. Yes the very last one to get their goodie. However, when I did get my gift, I really did think that he kept the best for last.

He sent me two fine caps that are now my pride and joy!!!!!  Below is the picture of the package that arrived safely at my house all the way from Jersey!  In my next blog, you will get to see these beauties!

Making friends 4

Ryo keeps coming back, he is very playful and a lot of fun to hang out with.  We continued our reel kids adventure and jumped into chapter two of Romans.  However, I noticed the English version is the New King James translation and the vocabulary was a little too intense.  So this week I ordered a bi-lingual Living New Testament for our continued study.

If you remember, Ryo would always wear a hat, which I would borrow for a photo.  I had been trying to locate my hat that I found at Omaseki.  Just before Ryo came I did find it, so this time we swapped hats and took more photos.

Unfortunately Ryo’s schedule does not allow for us to meet again this month but he is planning to switch up his schedule for November so that we can meet every Wednesday.  Awesome!

I am planning to drop the living New Testament at Ryo’s House as soon as it arrives.  Hopefully he will find the English easier to understand.

Making Friends – part 3

Ryo came back a couple of weeks later and we looked at the New Testament and discussed what he had read.    I was amazed that he had already read seven chapters of Romans and had questions about chapter six.  This is quite understandable as the Japanese word for sin uses the word for committing a crime.  Given that most Japanese citizens do not have a police record it is easy to understand why they often stuggle to identify with this concept.  Ryo and I talked for awhile and it seemed that he was beginning to comprehend the concept of sin.  We also had pleantly of free conversation and lots of fun.

Ryo really enjoyed our time at Ofuro no Oosama and even though he would soon be returning to his university studies he said he would like to go again when he had some free time.  Another book we studied together is one of the reel kids adventure books.  This story was very interesting to Ryo and provided lots of opportunity for practicing several conversation topics in our English free conversation time.  We completed our study of the first chapter of Romans together and the next time we meet will move on to chapter two.

At the end of our time I gave Ryo a cross made from water buffalo horn that I had bought at a night market in  Chaing Mai, when I did the pastoral visit for our first bi-lingual DTS.  Ryo really liked this gift.  I am looking forward to our next visit.

Making Friends – Continued

In the last post I told you how I met Ryo.  About a week later Ryo came over to visit me at my house.  We talked quite a bit about his interests and also few of mine as we go to know each other a little bit better.  As Ryo was wearing a hat, I borrowed his hat and took a picture of us together!  This is another hobby of mine which has been used to make or enhance friendships along the way and you can see several pictures of the results on my Facebook page, in the photo section, in an album called “Hats”  Having taken that picture I also told Ryo about my Jimbe Buddy photo collection – also on Facebook.  Ryo gladly donned a Jimbe and joined the club.

Ryo was quite interested in what I do here in Japan, I explained about helping people understand and figure out how to have a relationship with Jesus.  Ryo seemed quite interested and so I gave him a bi-lingual new testament which he promised to read some of and come back with his questions next time we meet.  Our friendship is growing and next time Ryo will go to Ofuro no Oosama with me, where we will get to know each other better and talk more about how to have a friendship with Jesus.