Each morning meeting has focused on a different Asian nation, showcasing the mission work and worship as well as translating the main message into the national language. Today focused Japan! Here we see Mariya Yoshida, daughter of YWAM Japan national team leader Kazuhiko Yoshida. Mariya was meeting mc and dance team leader while Kazuhiko spoke about Japan. It was wonderful to see them and Japan recognized!
Two of our afternoons had choices for network meetings in various areas of interest. Rhonda attended the educators’ meetings led by University of the Nations College of Education staff. Here is Lisa gives a demonstration lesson regarding education for the whole person.
One of the networking groups was “city ministries” . We both attended this one today and John got to share about the city of Tokyo.
We were blessed to get time with Kalafi Moala, our YWAM national leader when we first arrived in Japan in 1985! It was great to catch up with each other!
Rhonda’s enjoyed contacting students off and on to help with studies and just keep in touch!
Later in the day 3,500 delegates partnered with churchmembers from Pattaya churches to share the good news of God’s love with schools, orphanages, old folks homes, neighborhoods, and prisons through presentations, concerts, prayer walks, and Bible distribution. This shows some of the hundreds of vehicles hired to transport us from our hotel into city centre.
The end of the day we shared a meal with friends new and old, including our dear friend Gary who with Naoko and son Kai have moved to Sendai, to establish YWAM there.
Conference leaders arranged for YWAM staff who act as elders in their local situation to host a round table lunch discussion group. Our group had members from the USA, Nepal, and India. We introduced ourselves, shared the challenges and vision we have, and then prayed for each other.
Later in the afternoon we attended a reunion for people who had been at the Manoa Valley Base in Honolulu. I was there 1982 – 1985 when I left for Japan. There was a time to share stories from the beginning in the 1970s right up to the present. Finally, the present team got in the middle and the earlier guys all prayed for them to continue the vision for reaching the unreached.
(Below is a view of our hotel building from the beach where we prayed.)
Today began the conference schedule of meetings in the morning and evening where all attendees gathered. We were blessed today to have national church leaders speak, spurring us on to share our faith in Asia.
Our day began with a special visit with Rakel, YWAM Tokyo staff member, at breakfast.
At lunch we met Paula (far right) from Argentina who speaks only a little English. Georgina (middle) came by with Kiyomi, both Spanish speakers from Okinawa YWAM! Paula enjoyed unexpected Spanish conversation!
It was great to see Shinko here with husband Aki, long time YWAM staff friends.
We met Jeanette and Nathan from Okinawa where they were wed in April! Jeanette was part of the 2015 prayer journey to Hokkaido.
It was a real joy to see Molly just returned from India, having worked with Jose and Maegan at an orphanage they started a few years back.
We had to complete our packing and departure preparations by 09:30 to take our bus from Bangkok to Pattaya. Quite the challenge!
However it was much easier for Rhonda and I than for those with children. All those little details to take care of. Good job, Jose!
Finally the bus arrived. We got our baggage and outselves on board and set out on our two hour road trip.
Smile, please, so everyone can see how much you enjoy road trips. Fortunately the bus was air conditioned.
A little over two hours and there before our eyes was the hotel where we would be staying.
Also a welcome sign that assured us we were at the right place.
Check the view from our 17th floor window. Nice swimming pools and even a real beach. This is my kind of conference.
During the last 2 days of the consultation, Rhonda and Maegan joined two different planning groups – principal training and school multiplication. Rhonda’s group included the Ivory Coast delegation plus Jean Claude from Switzerland so there was discussion in French (with interpretation) and English.
Maegan enjoyed meeting Edward who is the international administrator for an accreditation agency which comes alongside schools with an accreditation process.
This special lady ministers in education through YWAM Uganda Family Ministry. We were blessed with others to support her fundraising for the costs of the consultation and next week’s conference. She made most of the items pictured here, selling them to raise funds.
We ended the week asking the Lord to show us how He’d have us partner with the College of Education as they develop training for principals currently running schools and those about to start schools. It will be exciting to see how He continues to lead us all.
This YWAM base is amazing. At the back is a structure which reminds me of my days spent in Calcatta mansion back on the pioneer ministries base in Honolulu before I came to Japan. I especially like the cross on the roof!!
This morning I spent most of my time upgrading my snap chat skills, taking lessons from my Sensei. You can see from the picture he is way ahead of me. He left with his family right after lunch so I have time to practice my new skills before we meet again in Pattaya.
Rhonda and I decided to get our constitutional and walked to the Lotus store to buy some needed supplies for our next week of meetings. It was about half an hour’s walk each way. It was interesting to see how the meat was set out, not in the nice neat small packages we are used to back in Japan.
While searching for almond and soya milk we ran into an American man from San Francisco married to a Thai lady from Fang. They took time to help us in our search. It was most pleasant and altogether we had about a forty five minute interchange. We were originally going to eat at the store but as our talking took longer than expected we decided to return to the base.
Having taken a reasonable time to recuperate from all that walking, we decided to put a wash on and try out the local KFC. It is much cheaper here than in Japan. In the laundry room we met this lovely lady also from Fang. She remembered me from the time I visited our very first Bi-Lingual DTS outreach team and we visited the orphanage where she was working.
What are the chances of meetings two different ladies from a village over six hours train ride from where we are staying???
Feeling rather hungry we headed out into the brightly light streets to find KFC. Crossing that road was quite a challenge but we did make it OK.
Just in case you don’t believe we were both there, I took this selfie. I promise you that I did not use photo shop.
It took awhile after ordering our food for it to arrive, so I found myself sitting accross the table from my beautiful wife and could not resist taking a picture of this breath taking moment.
Today, just happened to be the graduation day for the Okinawa DTS. I had learnt about this at our last NLT meeting by zoom before we headed out on our journey. Kazuhiko at that time invited me to attend if possible. If possible turned out to be an hour and a half taxi ride in rush hour covering over fifty kilometers.
It was both an honour and a privilege to be able to witness the students sharing testimony of both their personal growth and evangelism experiences during the school.
I also got to meet all of the staff. After the ceremony we headed to the mall for a celebration feast.
I only have two photos from the meal.
When the festivity subsided, I headed for a quick fix at starbucks and took another taxi back to home base.
Upon arrival I discovered the meetings had just finished and was pleseantly surprised to meet Jose, Maegan and family. We we out with them for the evening meal, it was very plesent to catch up with them.
However, my duties were not yet over for the day. I had been seconded to help purchase snacks for tomorrow’s morning tea break. I really enjoyed this though as I got to spend more time with family we have been getting to know.
Mark (College of Education dean) and Lisa Orvis (College teacher trainer) with others led us through a week of processing what is involved in starting new schools. It was a great time of sharing our experiences in starting schools and discussing what training, resources, and tools would have been helpful.
Towards the end of the week we formed groups according to the kind of school we would like to start, mine being a school for missionary children. It was wonderful to partner with an administrator and two teachers involved in schools in Ghana, Cambodia, and Kona, Hawaii as we discussed mission statements and school governance.
On Thursday this team of educators from Ivory Coast arrived after some visa difficulties almost caused them to miss their flight. Their delay, though, allowed them to share about the university’s teacher training program with a national leader of denominational schools who now wants that for their teachers! The team itself has two denominational heads of education and the teacher training program leader for Ivory Coast.
So I will begin this post by introducing our room pet, Michal. He is here every day and is hopefully keeping the mosquito population at bay.
Then I need to introduce our neighbours in the next room. We have come to know them quite well, not just because the walls are rather thin, so one can easily hear everything that is being discussed but because we also worked together making the name tags and have interacted during meals almost every day. Suzanne seemed to be in charge of logistics.
Tonight we went out for diner with them too, which made for a good bonding time. This is Rhonda with Kendra. She is the older sibling.
Cayden took time to introduce me to snap chat and has been a rather patient teacher for one very slow learner.
Hopefully I can put these skills to use in the not to distant future. I have already learnt how to add Harrison so I was able to double my contacts on my very first day.