From Rebecca Masters on 7/30

2017/07/29 15:58 に miinfo service が投稿   [ 2017/07/29 16:11 に更新しました ]

It has been nothing short of a whirlwind since we all made it to Toyota City.  This has been the most intense part as we prepared with some long days, late nights, and lots of shopping trips for the Kids' Clubs. 

God blessed these beyond what we could have asked for....He showed us all levels of His awesomeness! 

We had 50 children attend the Chibi Enji club (the Preschool Kindergarten). We had 18 attend the Chu Ko Club  (Middle School High School). Then we had 90 attend the Shogako Club (Elementary School).

The Chibi group learned the Bible Story of Jesus letting the little children come to Him and how much God looks for that kind of child like faith.

The Chu Ko group learned the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Then they got to act it out in a skit.

The Shogako group learned about building their life on the firm foundation of Jesus. They also learned that if God is for me, who can be against me.

The Toyota Reunion was also blessed as we reunited with old friends and made some new friends. We had to be mindful of the time because the church needed to be set up for Sunday, so we moved the reunion over to the lovely house (Megumi No Ie - which means "Grace House ") we are staying at right next to the church.

Here are some pictures from the past couple of days!
Picture #2 - Kayo (a friend from St. Matthew classes) became a Christian. She felt God calling her to take our team out for a traditional Japanese lunch when we got off the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) at Nagoya. It was so amazing to hear her story and see how God has been working in her life!

Picture #3 & 4 - at Toyota Higashi Church they have a Bible class for Kids that uses the Bible to teach them. Also Pastor Nozomu posted our bio sheets on the board outside his office to show the church members our team.

Picture #5 - Ashley and Sam making pancakes for the Chibi group. 
Picture #1 - Our Welcome Board to Toyota Higashi Church

Picture #6 - Jill with Pastor Nozomu

Picture #7 - Chibi enji group

Picture #8 - Chu Ko group 

Picture #9 - Shogako group  It was difficult to get a photo because there were so many kids and we filled the room!

From Jill Metz & Michi Hotta-King on 7/23

2017/07/24 6:56 に miinfo service が投稿   [ 2017/07/25 6:53 に更新しました ]

Oak Pointe Church Team

7/20 (Thu) Night Arrival at NRT / Asakusa Overnight

7/21 (Fri) 
11:00 – 2:00  Meeting w/ JCFN (Japan Christian Fellowship Network) at Tokyo Office in Ochanomizu  & Interview by Yoshitomo Takahashi of Japanese Christian Newspaper (Word of Life-Japan)
Setsu Shimizu, North America Director, JCFN CA
Maki Goto, JCFN Japan Staff
Chihiro Okada, Japan Director, JCFN Tokyo 
MBB Team – Jill Metz, Michi-Hotta King, Rebecca Masters, Ashley Johnson, Samantha Topel, Camryn Washington

3:00 – 5:00  OPC Meeting in Ikebukuro w/ Barbara Bauman, JEMA-Japan Harvest/Asian Access -Higa
Yuko Imoto, a Japanese Christian living in Toda Saitama/sister of Tue Japanese Life Group member Eiko Maekawa in Novi MI.
MBB – Jill & Michi
Note:  Barbara is the author of “The Joy of Parenting”, a bilingual (English/Japanese) Bible study book and a wife of Gary Bauman who is Communication Executive Director of JEMA
Gary & Barbara will visit Toyota City and plan to attend Motor Cities Summit Meeting on 7/31 (Mon).

6:00-10:00  OPC Tokyo Mini-Reunion at Hikarie Shibuya   
Sumiko Yamada, a returnee who attended ESL, off-site Life Groups (Miller’s & Michi’s) and lives in Tokyo.
Yuko Watts, visiting Japan and a current ESL & Life Group attendee (On site Jill’s & Michi’s) and a permanent resident in Novi MI. 
Yoko Ogata, a returnee and long-time friend of Jill’s living in Yokohama. (Note:  Her sister June Ohba converted to Christianity in college, living in Tokyo area and Jill will follow up.)

July 22 (Sat)
9:30 -12:00 Visit to Edo Tokyo Museum & Water Taxi in Tokyo
Sumiko Yamada, Yuko Watts w/ Jill & Michi

12:00 – 2:30 OPC Tokyo Mini-Reunion at Atrie, Shinagawa
Minako Ishii, a returnee who attended off-site Michi’s Life Group and lives in Yokohama
Sumiko Yamada – See above

Travel from Tokyo to Nagoya, Arrival 5:30

6:00-8:30 Michigan-Nagoya Night Gathering at CBI Nagoya (Christ Bible Institute)
CBI / ANF Church (Planted by CBI): 

Paul Kang, a CBS Chaplain and ANF Pastor & His wife Yu
Taylor Rayl, a children’s programs coordinator and wife of CBI Director, Brett Rayl
Kuni Hotta, a CBI Missionary & CBS Student
Mitsu Nakamura, a CBS Student from Tokyo & His wife Kristen from Kentucky
3 Summer Interns from the States helping Heart & Soul Café CBI
OPC Friends
Brian & Monica Apotheker, currently living in Nagoya on work assignment w/ Toyoda Boshoku, Toyota City, a host family for Jill & Michi
Fumi Murata, a OPC returnee (ESL, International Women’s Bible Study, Michi’s Life Group) living in Tokoname, Aichi
Hideko Yajima, a current MI resident who will return to Aichi Japan in the near future (International Women’s Bible Study, Michi’s Life Group) with her son, Kensei Yajima
Chikage & Michael Ozika with their children, visiting from Novi and Chikage originally from Nagoya and Michael working for Japanese company, Denso from Kariya, Japan.  The family attends OPC and lives in Novi.
Kayo Kusakabe, introduced by Amy Roe of St.  Matthew. A former ESL student at St. Matthew and now lives in Nagoya near CBI. Note:  This was intended to connect/introduce her to CBI staff/pastors.)

7/23 (Sun)
10:00-11:30 ANF-Nagakute Worship in Fujigaoka, Nagoya (ANF:  All Nations Fellowship)
Sermon by Brett Rayl and translated by Kuni Hotta
Brett Rayl, CBI Director/ANF Pastor
Damon Cha, a CBS O/T Professor  
Hideyuki “Hide” Kawai, a CBS graduate and newly ordained AFN-Nagakute Pastor
Yasuyo Kawai, a CBI/CBS Admin. Asst wife of Hide Kawai
Paul & Yu Kang – as listed above
Kuni Hotta – as listed above
ANF Volunteers:  Mariko Irie who used to attend Toyota Higashi Christ Church, Mike

1:00 – 2:30 ANF-Nagakute Small Group Special Event-Human Trafficking
Hosted by Paul & Yu Kang w/ Hide & Yasuyo Kawai

4:00-5:30 ANF-Nagoya Downtown Worship
Sermon by Brett Rayl and translated by Kuni Hotta
Brett & Taylor Rayl
Kuni Hotta
Yu & Asako Eguchi
Mitsu & Kristen Nakamura 
Akiko Kato, a CBS graduate
ANF Volunteers:  Julie Kanada, Jennifer Cheng, etc.

OPC Friends first time attending church ever
Yui & Makoto Ohashi w/ Haru (18 mo. Daughter)
Returnees (Yui -ESL Bible Study & Michi’s Life Group)

From Rebecca Masters on 7/23

2017/07/23 19:52 に miinfo service が投稿   [ 2017/07/24 7:43 に更新しました ]

Well the whirlwind for the St. Matthew part of the team has been full of challenges and surprises with lots of tears of joy as we reunite and tears of sadness when we have to say goodbye again.

The Yokohama Reunion at Landmark Tower posed some challenges with a space big enough to hold all of us. God provided a cafe that was the largest restaurant around by leading our dear friends Shihomi and Yuko to scout out the place ahead of time. It turned out to be a blessing because eventually we were able to accommodate the 60+ people that came. So many friends  brought along husband's and kids. We visited way past our time because there were so many to see! Pictures 4-8
Ashley, Camryn, Samantha, Sue, and Becky them headed over to Nagomi Mishina' s house for a BBQ. This was an amazing time. Nagomi (she is a wonderful Christian lady) shared with us that since her return from Michigan 3 years ago she has been pretty down emotionally speaking because her beloved father (a missionary)  passed away soon after her return. So she was dealing with grief as well as trying to readjust to life back in Japan.
She has not opened her home or had anyone visit since her return 3 years ago.  When she heard about our visit, she knew that she just had to do something! So she offered homestay for 4 of us and invited as many as could come for a BBQ. We also met some new friends that were good friends of Nagomi and her husband. They attended classes at Cross of Christ Lutheran in Bloomfield Hills and had connected with the dear members in that International Ministry. Picture #9

Culture corner stories....

From team member Jill Metz...

This is what you do when your water bottle spills on
  your purse and you walk around with soggy stuff all day. See picture #1.

From Ashley Johnson...

My water story: Ashley got too excited while watching the Tuna auction at the restaurant and had a little accident. Don't worry, it's just water! At least the Walk of Shame wasn't too long back to the hotel.  See picture #2.
Theresa spent some precious time with her dear friend Mayumi and family. She also made some new friends and was able to have some quality time together. Picture #10

Sunday was church at Becky's church when she worked in Japan, Takenotsuka Lutheran Church. It was a sweet homecoming and such a blessing to share worship, food and fellowship once again with dear brothers and sisters.  

The reunion was also blessed. Takenotsuka opened their heart to welcome us and let us use their space. Pastor Emoto said he counted over 50 people (not including our team of 8) because many brought kids with them. We were able to do a little more as a group in this reunion because of the space. We had a slideshow of dear Michigan scenes, then shared about time and favorite memories of Michigan. Even though everyone came from all over, we has this common bond of time together in Michigan. There was even some line dancing from friends that were on the same dance team. There is simply not enough space to share all of the amazing stories. Picture #11

From Rebecca Masters on 7/23

2017/07/23 18:10 に miinfo service が投稿   [ 2017/07/23 18:11 に更新しました ]

The past few days have been such a whirlwind of joy and excitement. God has been shining His Light brightly in Japan! 

Jill and Michi reunited with some friends in Tokyo on Friday. Then headed to Nagoya on Saturday for a reunion and gathering at CBI (Christian Bible Institute). Michi was able to meet up with her son who is studying at CBI as well. They had a night named for that gathering at the Heart and Soul Cafe. They then headed to worship in Nagakute, which is one of the only growing areas in Japan right now. There is potential for reaching the younger generations in this location.  Please enjoy pictures of these gatherings! 

From Rebecca Masters on 7/22

2017/07/21 14:44 に miinfo service が投稿   [ 2017/07/24 14:21 に更新しました ]

The Michigan Bridge Builders hit the ground running on Friday. We all enjoyed together a lovely breakfast at the hotel. Then divided and conquered in the name of Jesus for the afternoon and evening. God provided many opportunities to reconnect and catch up with our dear friends. We also got to experience and learn some things about Japanese culture. 

Picture #1 - Ashley, Jill, Camryn, Samantha, Becky,  and Michi met up with Setsu and JCFN (Japanese Christian Fellowship Network) for an interview with Christian Shinbun  (a Christian newspaper that is widely circulated around the Christian churches in Japan). We shared with him about the ministries in Michigan and the impact God's ministries are having on the Kingdom both in Michigan and in Japan. We also shared with him about this trip and the upcoming reunions and Kids' Clubs we will be having. It was such a blessing to share this with the wide audience that this newspaper has...God will use this for His Glory I am sure to strengthen, challenge, and encourage the Christians living in Japan!

Picture #2 - Sue, Jan, and Amy spent an afternoon of hoofing it around old town Tokyo with dear friends
catching up and making new memories! They then dispersed to their various homestay families for the evening. 

Picture #3 - Ashley, Cam
ryn, and Samantha stayed at a hotel in Akihabara after spending the afternoon with Setsu hoofing it around old town Tokyo. When they asked the concierge at the hotel for a restaurant recommendation they were pleasently surprised to witness a tuna auction during the meal.

Picture #4 - Theresa and Becky enjoyed reconnecting with dear friend, Mayumi and her daughter Ayumi.  Theresa will be doing a homestay with Mayumi for the next 2 nights in beautiful Shizuoka prefecture (where Mt.Fuji is located). Mayumi and Ayumi showed up early to the hotel because they also wanted to see Becky before they left. They came to the restaurant where we were just finishing up breakfast. We were so excited to see each other and were evidently so loud,  we were asked by the restaurant staff to please keep it down. Tears of joy at reconnecting are definitely worth a little noise. 😉 To God be the glory!

Picture #5 - Becky jumped on the Bullet Train after the interview with Christian Shinbun and headed to Hamamatsu to reconnect with dear friend Junko. Hamamatsu is about a 1.5 hour ride from Tokyo and is home to the headquarters of Yamaha music.  In the train station when you arrive there is someone playing piano. It was a nice touch to my welcome to music town! It was refreshing to fill up my heart with the company of a blessed friend! We will all get to see Junko again when she comes to the Kids' Club with her daughter next week. She will be one of our volunteer translators. 

Jill and Michi reconnected with friends and made some new ones for their afternoon. 


Please pray for....

1. Our health as we deal with jet lag and the heat.

2. The reunion in Yokohama for the St. Matthew part of the team. We are expecting over 40 friends! We have limited space at this public venue and could use some divine intervention on how to make it work with this many friends.

3. Jill and Michi as they head to Nagoya and reconnect with friends there and make connections with the local churches in Nagoya.

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