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!
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.
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.
Last week we had an unusually heavy rainfall. When it first started I took a couple of photos and you can already see someone’s garbage bin was floating down the road in the left of the picture.
So I went out side to see how much rain there was and if I could help rescue the floating bin. The water level kept rising higher and higher and several of the plastic ramps our neighours use to help them drive over the curb also came floating down the road. I took time to wedge them into secure places so they would not drift any further.
I did not take any pictures of this because of the rain but did take a few more to show the amount of water piling up around our house. I think I kept this up for about an hour firmly securing several floating ramps and a couple of garbage bins so my neighbors could easily find them when the water receded.
The I decided to take a walk down the side of my house and saw a neighborhood boy coming out of his house, so I waded through the knee deep water and went to greet him. His first reaction was to take a selfie with me coming down the road.
We said hi and then he followed me down the road and took another picture of me taking a picture of the newspaper man overcoming all obstacles to deliver his papers.
Outside my house we took a selfie together. Then I invited him in, offered him some hot chocolate and we talked for about thirty minutes or so. He seemed so happy to talk and told me his name was Ryo. We became Line friends and decided we would meet again and develop our relationship.
I have tried and tried to edit this photo so that it will post normally but for some weird reason WordPress refuses to save the changes. Today I gave up and posted it sideways anyway.
I am sure many of you are wondering who Gary is! Gary is a fellow Brit from Liverpool who with his beautiful wife Naoko are on staff of our iDTS. Gary and I often get together for one-on-one times to encourage each other. Gary and Naoko are called to pioneer YWAM in the Tohoku region of Japan, which is the section between Tokyo and Hokkaido where the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused such a lot of damage. Gary just happens to have been born today, December 25th. Unfortunately, I did not get to see Gary today as we spent the day with David, Tamara, Hannah, Amy and Caleb.
This special day actually began yesterday for me when the postman brought me a package from my “Secret Santa”. This is something that we do as a family so that instead of everyone buying everyone else a Christmas present, we use an online app called “Elfster” where all names are entered and each person receives one name to get a gift for. The app allows for wish lists and the ability to anonymously ask questions for clarification. Here is the package that arrived for me. Without opening it I took it to David’s where we stayed overnight Christmas Eve after sharing a nice sushi dinner, getting the children off to bed and then watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” – the first time for me to see this in colour.
We began Gary’s birthday by having a nice breakfast of sausage, egg and muffin with David and his family. This was followed by a family Skype with Tamara’s family in Vancouver which involved opening several presents from them for the children. Next was a Christmas story time remembering someone special that Gary shares a birthday with, a fun time playing charade type games together then another Skype call with Jonny and Kelly. Here is where most of our secret Santa presents were opened. That is , all except mine as I had to wait for Sarah and Mary to get up in Norway as Sarah was my secret Santa and obviously wanted to see me open her present.
We had an excellent Christmas dinner together and after that Sarah called from Norway and the big long awaited moment came. I got to open my present – a very nice pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones! Hannah helped me open the package. All too soon it was time to drive home. After we arrived, Rhonda and I had a special advent time which involved lighting the Jesus candle. We had bought this candle from a shop in Auckland when we went to New Zealand for the 30th anniversary for those who had been on the YWAM ship Anastasis in Greece back in 1979-1981.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARY!
Today is a National Holiday here in Japan. It is the Emperor’s birthday. Our current Emperor is Akihito who assumed power after his father passed away in 1989. Just as the Queen of England is also the head of the church of England so Akihito is the head of the Shinto religion of Japan. However, since the enshrinement of “War Criminals” at the Yasukuni shrine neither his father, Hirohito, nor Akihito have ever visited the shrine. Please continue to pray for Akihito to continue to stand with truth and, as the Bible says, that he may know the truth and the truth will set him free.
Our day started with pancakes for breakfast. Our grand-daughters Hannah and Amy helped make their own pancakes and we all ate them together. They both seemed to have way too much fun not only making pancakes but also posing for photos. Actually taking the pictures was an official assignment from our son David to help him keep up with his “Photo-a-day” project for his children.
Later on in the day we had the Lilley family over to have fun together and celebrate our season of preparation for Christmas together. As it was cold and beginning to rain a little I was assigned to go and pick up the Lilley family. Their girls were so excited to be coming to a party and have this opportunity to play with their friends.
Here is Greg – our fearless DTS Director – with their newest baby Angela. Food is always a big part of celebration and of course cake is a must. With Rachel in the background you can see Angela’s big sisters Arianna, Megumi and Psalm. Look, remember the poinsettia from yesterday!!
Of course David & Tamara attended and brought our favorite grand-son Caleb. Isn’t he awesome!! David also helped me to get my technical problem solved so hopefully this post will also show up on Face Book with a link to this blog.
I am so glad to have a Techie to help me solve these problems and to help with the preparation of my coming trip. After David and Tamara and family had shared dinner with us they left with the van for their own home. Rhonda and I relaxed with a TV show and a final Skype call with Aiko and Mary at the bus stop on their way to Stanstead airport. They will be staying with the awesome Deila Rivrud family in Norway!
Today was a “Mount Fuji Day”. That is one of those clear, cloudless, blue sky days we get this time of year when Mount Fuji can be easily seen from our city. After helping getting Rhonda on the road to visit Tamara and the grand kids, I went to Tulleys to meet with Gary – my fellow Brit who is on iDTS staff. I was a little early so I went out on to the terrace where this view can easily be enjoyed. Gary and I often get together but because of the iDTS schedule we had not been able to connect for a couple of months.
This is Tulleys at Higashi Kurume station where I often meet with people for coffee and conversation. Most of the staff know me now and I don’t even have to order as they already know what I like to drink. I have met with two of the staff outside of their work and am hoping to meet with a couple more after I return from my trip. Most times they will take the time to make my latte look special. They really seem to enjoy doing this for me. The only thing I need to tell them is if I need a take out cup or a mug for drinking there. Not only are the staff friendly and the atmosphere very inducive to good conversations, it seems that I will often also meet others during my visits. Today was no exception. Gary and I had just sat down with our coffee when Phil Boaretto arrived and greeted us. Phil is the pastor at the 3C church in Tokyo where several of our staff attend. Now, Phil just happened to have a cool hat on so we posed for my regular routine! When Phil and his wife first came to Tokyo they contacted me and we had coffee together which started a long and good friendship. It is very encouraging to see how many young people regularly attend his church.
Gary and I did have a great time together, even spent time soaking in the local hot baths, which is always a good thing to do in the cold weather. After meeting with Gary, I spent about fifteen minutes at the Post Office ATM carefully depositing the refunded money from about nine envelopes to prepare for the credit card payment next month. Not quite enough money there yet but I need to make it up before I leave on Sunday – a very important part of my preparation.
Next I took the train to my son David’s house to pick up Rhonda, Hannah and Amy and drive them home where we had pizza together followed by our regular Advent time. As they get older it is awesome to see their interest and love for advent grow.
On my way to David’s house I stopped to buy poinsettia for Rhonda. We had seen some at the flower shop outside our local Seiyu store before we went grocery shopping but when we went back later they had all been sold. Fortunately I found some on the way today.
Before heading off to bed we all had a very special Skype call with Sarah Aiko for her birthday. Right after she got breakfast in bed from her favorite sister.