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Update from Larry and Alma

Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 7:11 AM
Subject: Another update from Kobe

Dear family and friends,

"The men were amazed and asked, 'What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him.' " (Matthew 8:27) We too are amazed because God answered our prayers about the winds and the waves. Last Sunday a powerful typhoon was headed in our direction. We had several of our number who normally worship here scheduled not to be here because of conflicts with other things. Because of the weather we talked about canceling the service. But we decided to have it anyway for whoever could come. Those who previously could not come, did, because their other things were cancelled. The center of the storm shifted slightly toward the east so that we were just on the fringes. The storm did not become more intense until just as we closed the service and people were still able to get safely to their homes. We praised God for His provision for us, and that there was not a lot of damage to the surrounding area.

We are continuing to hold many English classes with Bible times, Bible study times, and lunches and teas with several God leads us to. Several of those who attend these classes ask some very thoughtful questions. They are interested in the answers that come from the Bible. Pray for a woman who told Alma this week that she knows her ancestors are dead, but she believes their spirits are alive and she prays to them about things that trouble her. I (Larry) am continuing to share some thoughts from John. I have been asked to share briefly something from the Bible to an English cafe on the last Saturday evening in October. Last Saturday evening we took a Japanese friend to the cafe, and we had a good time. He is not a believer yet, but we are praying for him and his family, and are being friends to them.

Alma meets her Indian friend again this Friday, 12th, at 4:00 PM at her home to see her art work. We do pray for opportunity to share about the Lord. She has told Alma that she is from a strong, religious Indian sect.

Thanks for your faithful prayers for us. We are very appreciative.

Larry and Alma

Update from Larry and Alma

Dear Friends,
Well, we leave Tokyo in three days. Summer has just flown by. We are so thankful that we came. We have enjoyed the guests that have stayed here, and it has been great to get re-acquainted with friends from many years ago.

We have had many in for lunch or tea together. It has been a time of reminiscing, sharing, and often praying together. The years have brought changes in families; some good and some not. There have been some good opportunities to share more with them about our wonderful Lord Jesus who loves them and wants them to know Him as Savior.

Before coming to Japan, I wrote a friend who is 90. The letter was returned, so I thought that she must have passed away. Our first week here in June, I went to the last place that I knew where she lived. They told me that she had moved, and gave me a map to follow as I walked to her new place. When I arrived, I looked through the glass doors, and there stood my friend with her sister! She was as surprised to see me as I was to see her!

She and I lived in the same neighborhood about 18 years ago, and her husband died four months before my husband, Steve died. We had many meals together and talked and prayed together. We have kept up our friendship over the years. This summer, I went every two to three weeks to see her and have cake together. She said to me one day, "Alma, I have nothing to do, and even if I did, I can't do much. But, you see the small garden/field and road beyond. I watch the traffic and pray two things:  That they will be kept safe, and that someday they might come to know God." She wonders why she is still here, and I told her that God has given her that "work" to do for now. I visited her today, and her sister shared our cake with us as she was visiting at the same time...again! It was a wonderful time talking together and then praying and thanking God for His goodness to us over the years. I hope that I was as much of an encouragement to her as she was to me. God is faithful to "fan the flame" of His gift of salvation in all of us.

Yesterday afternoon, a lady came for tea and we had a good time talking together. This was the first time that she was open to talk about God, and that He is faithful to be with us through very difficult times that life sometimes brings. She is a very gracious and sincere lady, and has done some deep thinking about the place of God in her life. She said, "Who would have thought that in your short time here, we would have met on the train. And, that we live so close by each other!" She lives about a 2 minute walk from here. I assured her that our meeting was God's plan for us this summer. Though I invited her, she did not come to the near-by church with me, but I know that God will continue His work in her heart.

Nokendai Bible Fellowship had a wonderful VBS week! We were there for the last Sunday, and two children raised their hands indicating that they had accepted the Lord as Savior. Though more had prayed during the week, at least these two wanted to follow through on their decision and be baptized. The team as well as the Tamuras were encouraged to see God work in their hearts! I was just talking to Shirley Tamura, and their need now is for someone to have Bible studies with the mothers of the children who attend NBF. They are also concerned about the children coming up to Jr. Hi, and need someone to provide activities and Bible studies for them. In the beginning, we prayed for families to come to NBF, and God has faithfully answered our prayers. Now, we just need adults to disciple them and "fan the flame" that is in their hearts!

Larry is fine and has helped keep this place clean and inviting to guests. It has worked well for us to each have our routine and help each other when necessary. We are thankful for this experience, and for the sometimes "no guest" days so that we could have time to spend with others. The Lord has given us another wonderful summer serving Him in Japan. Thank you for praying for us during our three month stay here.
In His Love,
Larry and Alma

Update from Larry and Alma

Dear Friends,
Greetings once again from TEAM Center Guest House in Tokyo. I will go back to the first week of August. We had planned to meet with friends on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. But, one by one, all phoned and had to cancel. But, an unexpected meeting took place on Wed. with three friends from 30 years ago. We all met around the same time...all had sons 2-3 years old...and lived in the same neighborhood. One lady said that I gave her a Bible shortly after we met. She grew up in a small town with no Christian witness. She has since become a Christian and has a Bible study in her home where another of our friends became a Christian three years ago! We pray for the Lord to work in the 3rd lady, and that she will come to know the Lord. She thanked us for praying and talking more about God while we were together.

Four days of this past week was spent in Karuizawa, a town in the mountains where TEAM holds their Annual Conference. It was cooler up there which was great! On Thursday, I went to another city to see my friend and her mother who is in a nursing home. I met this family 40 years ago. I sang hymns to the mother as my friend fed her some ice-cream. She had gone to Sunday School as a child and her daughter and I thought that she might remember some of the songs. I met Larry at the Karuizawa station and we returned to Tokyo together.

Yesterday, I phoned my friend who has cancer. She is not doing very well. She said that she has shown the cube to her family and to all her friends who come to visit her. We just pray for fruit from her sharing!

Our time in Nokendai where Larry spoke last week went well and there were 52 people who came...including 11 of the VBS team from Seattle. They have had a good week, and are looking forward to tomorrow when they plan to give an opportunity for parents to accept the Lord in the service. They had a number of children pray this week to accept the Lord. We are so thankful for this. We plan to visit the church where we worked for 5 1/2 years on Sunday mornings in Oppama, and then join the meeting in Nokendai in the afternoon. It will be a fun day...to see friends from our time there, and then to see how the Lord will work in Nokendai.

Bye, and once again, thank you for sharing in our summer ministry in Japan.
In His Love,
Larry and Alma

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