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Archive for July, 2008

 

Here are some more pictures from our mission trip! Enjoy!

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Although we returned a couple of days ago…we are just now getting turned back around…it is 9pm in TX and 11am in Japan…just a slight difference!  I seriously don’t even know where to begin.  I have a ton of pictures and a ton of stories…so I will just weed through them all and pick out some of my favorites.  To begin with…..

 The flights there and back went great!  Carter slept 5-6 hours on the way there and the entire time on the way back…no medicine needed!  We each had our own digital TV on the back of the seat in front of us…so I read and played Tetris…which is sooo addicting!!  We arrived in Tokyo, took a couple of trains to Sendai, and soon fell asleep on our tatami mats.  The sun is up at 4 am which means we were too:)…so we went on a walk around the town…

The hydrangeas grow wild there and are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!

When the rest of the town woke up we went to the church building and met Mawatawi Sensei…who has been the preacher for the last 40 years!  He was such a sweet man and he kept telling us over and over how thankful he was that we were there!

We worked on last minute preperations…shopped and planned for camp…and headed out the following morning to the campsite.

This was the lodge that we stayed in…and the hill adjacent to the lodge.  The campers had fun sliding down this hill during free time.

 

The camp could not have gone any better!  We had 15 church members and 15 non-Christians attend the camp.  Great questions were being asked…answered.  Some of the men in Blake’s bible study group were asking great philosophical questions…while some of the sweet women in Brooke’s group explained that they had come “for the good conversations”.  Of course we all knew why they were there…God had placed them in that place, for that time, for a certain purpose…of this I have no doubt!!  How else can you explain why 15 individuals, who do not know each other, leave their families for the weekend, to drive 1 hour away, to spend time with a group of people they do not know all that well, to discuss a religion…CHRISTIANITY!!??!!  Only God could have made this happen. 

A sweet lady in Ben’s group was explaining that she really “just wanted to know what the truth was.”  Ben was telling her to pray about this and to ask God to show her the truth.  Carter was sitting about 5 feet away playing with some toys when he overheard this conversation.  He ran up to the lady and said, “We will teach you how to pray!!”…as he extended his hands to hold hers…and Ben prayed first, then Carter and then she prayed her first prayer EVER to a God who LISTENS asking Him to show her what is the true religion! WOW!!!

I taught the children’s classes about creation.  Where else do you start with children that have no concept of the bible or it’s teachings?  It went over really well.  They were all DARLING!!  Here are just a few…

ERIKA

YAMIKA

Along with our bible studies…we played a lot of games/activities so that the church members and the non-Christian Japanese could have a good time together and form relationships.  Here are pictures from some of our parties…

WHO CAN BUILD THE TALLEST STRAW STRUCTURE???

EXACTLY HOW MANY BALLOONS CAN YOU FIT INTO THAT SHIRT??

CREATE AN INVENTION WITH A GRAB BAG FULL OF RANDOM ITEMS…

We all had so much fun with the games and activities. 

 I can’t forget to mention the public bathing times.  Each night was a designated bathing time for the men and women…seperate of course.  This is where we showered…

Can you see those teeny tiny stools in the corner?  You would take one of those and a bucket…and sit down in front of the faucets.  Here you would proceed to fit one of your cheeks on the stool…with your knees above your ears…and fill your bucket up with water and bathe!  All the while sitting knee-to-knee with the woman bathing next to you.  Do you know how long it takes to rinse your hair out???  After you are all clean you can get inside the bathtub in the middle of the room.  Even as I write this I know you can not TRULY grasp this experience without being there in person.  By the second night Brooke and I were pros and no longer cared how we bathed as long as we could get some relief from the hot/humid day:).

Overall camp was a fantastic experience and the JOY of Christ was very apparent.  Please continue to pray for these sweet Japanese people who are searching!

After camp we had two days in Tokyo where we got to see first hand the Japanese at the local Shintu Shrine…they would ring a big bell to “wake up the gods”

Here they are burning inncense to their gods…

They would buy fortunes…and if they were bad fortunes they would tie them to the branches of the trees so that the gods would “take them away”

After seeing all of this, we were more convinced of how important our roll as Christians is to tell everyone we can about the love of Christ!   They have no community…no true worship…just rituals…HOW SAD!!!   We hope to go back some day and try to plant more seeds of faith in these sweet sweet people!

WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO COME WITH US!!!

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OFF TO JAPAN!!!

   That’s right folks…we leave tomorrow for Sendai, Japan.  We are going on an LST Friends Camp!  We are so excited to get to share Jesus with the new people we will meet.  Please pray for safe travel, open hearts to hear the Word, and our hearts as we leave little Miss Caroline behind:(.  We are really looking forward to getting to experience this with Carter and hopefully plant a seed of passion in his heart for the lost!

Did I mention it is a 14 hour flight and a 3 hour train ride???

ONE WORD……….DRAMAMINE!!  (for Carter)

Well, I am off to bed…gotta be well rested and full of patience for tomorrow!

These are our teammates Blake and Brooke White and their son, Brandon.

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Happy 4th of July!!

 

 

I have always LOVED the 4th of July.  As a kid there was nothing better than going to buy fireworks.  My dad would take me and I would get to load up!  We always left the house with my mom saying, “Don’t spend too much money!”  My dad and I would just smile at each other…and I knew that I was going to get to buy as many as my little heart desired!!  You see, my dad was just a BIG KID and so he too loved looking at every single firework…trying to decide what it did…and telling the kid working behind the counter that we would take 5 of everything:).  This is truly one of my favorite memories!!

This year we went to Edmond to stay with my mom and Robert and had a great time!  The guys played golf…we swam…shopped…and let off fireworks.  Carter, of course, just had the time of his life.  We drove in on the 3rd…and Poppi had bought Carter PLENTY of fireworks!!!  We let them off for about 1 1/2 hours and as we were leaving Carter said…”This was the coolest, coolest, coolest night EVER….next to Christmas!”

So here is to continuing the tradition.  Although this time around it will be ME taking Carter and Caroline to the fire work stand to pick out ANYTHING their little hearts desire…and Ben calling out the door, “Don’t spend too much money!”

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I know you all are tired of seeing slide shows of my family:)…so this will be the last for awhile!  My aunt Deedra and her three children:  Brooks, Britton, and Barkley came to visit us last week.  We had a BLAST.  There is truly nothing better than having family come stay with us.  Carter ADORES his cousins!  On Wednesday we went to a water park…wore them out…and then came home to watch Mr. Magorium’s Magic Imporium. 

Thursday we woke up and played around the house all morning.  Carter loved having his cousin’s here to dress up with him.  He kept saying, “Mom, this is the best day ever!”  They each wore different costumes all week…so cute!  That afternoon we went to the Zoo.  The weather was PERFECT with a breeze…and there was no one at the zoo!  The kiddos loved feeding the birds!  We got to go on a train ride…Barkley’s first time on a train…she was sooo excited:)!  We got home and went swimming at Mark and Sherry’s house.  Kids went to bed around 9pm and Deedra and I rented THE BUCKET LIST!

Friday we went to the donut store….played in the yard with the slip-n-slide…and then went to the bounce house.  That night Deedra and I rented 37 DRESSES.  I seriously don’t remember the last time I got to watch rented movies 2 days in a row…GOOD TIMES!!

Saturday we went walking at the park…went swimming…and then we GOT A BABYSITTER FOR THE EVENING!!!  You could literally hear us singing “Hallelujah” as we pulled away from the driveway.  I don’t even think we left phone numbers to be reached at….Don’t call us…We will call YOU!! j/k

The kids had a great time…everyone got along really well for little to no sleep and days packed full of fun!!  As the Barnes family packed up and pulled away on Sunday Ben and I looked at each other and said, “What a Blessing to have family that we enjoy being around and love so dearly!”

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