Mark Brokenshire, International Dean of YWAM’s University of the Nations College of Education, leading our international gathering of 30 educators representing schools in 14 nations (Switzerland, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia, Ivory Coast, United States, Argentina, and Japan) in the importance of developing the Biblical culture of shalom in our learning communities.
In the evenings we are on our own for meals. Being adventourous pioneer missionaries we headed out to the local food market to see what we could find.
Being as we are from Japan and that has majorly impacted our food choices we discovered and selected the Thai sushi store. It even says sushi on the lantern behind Rhonda’s head in the picture. 寿司🍣
Here is the plate we decided on. Our first Thai market meal adventure was good!!!!!
Today I decided to wear my batik shirt from Indonesia. It fits with my colourful personality and also shows my favourite colour.
The shirt quickly attracted the attention of a participant from Indonesia who requested a photo together. So I have discovered a new way to make friends, wear clothes from another country!!
It seems that even the local orchids enjoy displaying the colour of my shirt.
At lunch time we were visited by Linda Herman, a long time friend who has served with YWAM here in Thailand for several many years. Linda is from Vancouver and attended the same Church when Rhonda and I got married.
First day of the Education Conference. There were about thirty attendees from several many different nations. Breakfast was from 07:00 which I found to be very reasonable.
I met a brother from Fiji who knows Mosese from YWAM Tokyo. Apparently they met at the same YWAM base in Fiji.
I also met another brother from Indonesia whom Rhonda had met previously at a different education event. He comes from Malang where our Bi-Lingual DTS did their outreach.
I found a few chances to help with the set up tables and make name tags. I even recruited a name tag buddy to help get it all done in time.
Rhonda jumped into everything and was in her element interacting with fellow educators.
Sharing experiences in education in groups of two.
Reporting on the groups sharing about what was important to them in starting schools.
At the end of the day Rhonda and I were able to go out and celebrate with a nice nice birthday meal. The restaurant even gave us a 10% discount as it was my birthday. What a nice way to end the day.
Today Rhonda and I both had to get up before 06:00 in order to catch the bus, that would enable us to catch the trains, that would enable us to get to Haneda airport and catch our 10:30 flight to Bangkok.
As you can see we made it safely and here we are checking in at Haneda. This too went very smoothly and enabled us to make use of a wonderful facility at the arrivals area one floor down.
YESSSSSSSS!!!! Tulley’s coffee can now be enjoyed at Haneda. The good news is that it is usually open 24/7. My standard Cafe Latte is on the table while Rhonda is seen pouring her decafinated black coffee. Not too sure how that is supposed to keep one awake but she really seemed to enjoy it.
Fortified for the five-and-a-half hour flight we easily cleared both the security and immigration checks and proceeded to our gate. Yep! That’s our plane.
Right after take off we were treated to a nice view if Mount Fuji. Other than that our flight was pretty uneventful.
The good news is that we arrived safely and were able to easily locate the YWAM Bangkok base. Now we are holed up in our very nice accommodations- with air conditioning I might add. The bad news is that arriving rather tired, so far, I have not taken any photos here in Thailand. Maybe tomorrow……..
You may be wondering why the guys on our team are all wearing jimbes today.
Well, when we researched our final destination for today we discovered that we could get in for free if we wore kimono. We wanted to visit the Samurais house and the castle in Kitsuki.
Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, (note for anyone travelling in Oita. Many sites close quite early.) the samurais house had just closed. However, the castle was about a five minute walk from the Samurais house. Julianne really wanted to visit the castle, so she sent up prayer that we would not be too late.
When we arrived the ladies were just turning off the lights. At first they were hesitent and the first lady was not too sure if Jimbe qualified as kimono. However, with a big smile she turned the lights back on an gave us the free entrance. Julianne! Your prayers are awesome!!
The castle was definitly very stragitically located, giving us spectacular views from the third floor.
Tim, the serious samurai.
They are suce a cute couple.
And our fearless leader.
Here we visited a memorial site for a different kind of martyer. People who gave everything they had and gave up everything they had for a bigger cause.
I am more aware of the flying Kami kaze pilots of the war but these young warriors, were in one man submarines on a one way trip to death.
This picture shows a mother saying farewell to her son. We can view this many different ways but we chose to call out the samurai warrior spirit, that gives no thought for personal safety to submit their hearts and lives to further the kingdom of love, not by killing the enemy but bombing them with eternal, relentless, pursuing, reckless love.
This site gave us much to think about especially in light of our theme at our morning team time. Precious in the sight of God is the death of his faithful ones.
We made a special effort to take our hosts out for a meal. It involved a drive into Oita city and locating the only shabu shabu resturant there. It was an all you can eat service so everyone ate to the full.
We had to split the group into two tables but at our table we had a great discussion about the difficulties of the church work in Beppu city and what we felt would be the best responses.
Two main areas came up one was greed and the other was deception. As we thought and discussed about these areas, we felt that generosity and extending trust would be key ways to respond to these things. It was a priviledge to be able to talk and learn from a team who had been working in the city for over nine years.
After a nice ice cream dessert, we parted ways, headed back to the church to prepare for the next adventure of the day.
In the photograph on my previous post of Beppu city, you may have seen plumes of steam rising up from the ground, this is because Beppu is on top of a very large volcanic area.
Our next stop was at a place where several large steam and water vents come up from this volcanic activity creating spectacular places to view the steam and water coming out.
This particular location has at least eight different events that can be viewed and they are known as the hells of Beppu.
The water is extremely hot and not safe for anyone to try and bathe in. However Japanese have surrounded the spots with incredible, beautiful nature which they keep up meticulously .
This tied back into our team time this morning as we were reminded that in Nagasaki during the big persecution of the Christian church, the believers were sometimes thrown into the boiling waters to be killed.
We had read, “How precious in your eyes is the death of your faithful servants”. We saw two things this morning as we read that verse. One, that God notices and it was precious to him. The other was the faithfulness and commitment of the Japanese who choose death, rather than deny their faith in Jesus .
Just before leaving the park we took advantage of the onsen foot soaking area where the water wasn’t too hot and we could relax and soothe our feet before the journey home.
Our first stop of the day was at a nearby lookout point with a beautiful view of the city.
From this vantage place we were again afforded an opportunity to proclaim the name of the one who loved this city and the people who lived there.
We also learnt about the annual fire festival that at first glance looked like lava flowing down the side of the hill.
Right after breakfast our team has a group devotion time. This has been such a special part of our day and a real blessing to me.
You can see that we are all using our devices to read and meditate on the passage we felt led to use that day. However, you can also see on the table there is still a printed Bible too.
Our passage today was from the psalms with a verse that said “how precious in the sight of God is the death of his faithful ones” this was very significant for us with the places we had planned to visit.
Another blessing of our team time is noticing and praying for the needs of each other. We prayed for both Jose and Ellie this morning and were able to encourage them with truth from the same passage we had just studied together.
Everyday we are seeing what I will call divine coincidences. Today was no exception. Just as we began our time, a young friend in the USA called me “unintentionally”. I chatted to let him know, He did not know how his phone called me but as we were having a prayer time I offered to pray for him too.
He had recently visited Japan is curretly graduating high school and needs to know his next step. Strong in his heart though is the deep need of the Japanese for the good news that is found in Jesus. So his story fit right into our day.