The flight got in late and so wasn't able to get my sim :( I am phone less but at least there is internet :) We got home near midnight and I was wide awake. But this morning was ready to share. I had planned a different sermon than came out, but that is normal and good! :) At breakfast a church member had come and so shared and talked there too.
He shared how he was a drug addict and read book about a mafia guy who came to God and his life changed. He wanted to meet the author and so went to the church he had started. There he was changed on the first day! He went through ups and downs but is on an upward slope and is bringing others to church. One time at church and his whole life changed. Another member of the church told me a similar story. He came to church and was a member of a buddhist cult that is very popular in japan. I don't know why he went to church. When he got there he prayed to accept Jesus and his life changed. He brought two of his fellow former cult members and co-workers and they too believe.
I was really impressed with the church and the pastor there. They have grown so much since the last time I was there! So much more mature. He was telling me of missionary friends and acquaintances who during the post tsunami period showed so much love to a town that the government of the town is asking them to determine how it is rebuilt. They are putting a church in the center of the town - the pillar of the community since God's love really touched those people. When no one else was there to help these two guys were.
The service was great and then we all ate together and sat around and chatted for a long time. I had forgotten how good it is to be in japan. I feel so at home here, more so than when I am at home. So much love to give and people to help but with no pressure. It just comes. I sat for an hour deciphering things a deaf member of the congregation was trying to sign to me. I wasn't bothered but just impressed by he love the guy who was signing for other guy who actually wanted to talk had. I didn't always catch on easily but he kept at it. While I was doing that, the pastor and others were talking to the new people in church and sharing God. Others were having fellowship and still others were making lunch so we could all eat together.
nearly 6 hours after I got to church we left only to return an hour later for the next service and a preservice meeting. It was supposed to be a youth service and no one showed, so it was the cook, the pastor and me. So i changed my sermon on the spot and just spoke as I thought of things. Theme - ask and you will receive and for the first time while giving the sermon I understood what the verse you don't have because you ask of your selfish desire means. it doesn't mean you can't ask for selfish stuff but based on everything else I see in the bible and what I have experienced, it means God won't give you something that hurts someone else. :) I knew i could ask for stuff but i didn't know how to explain it to others and now I do! :) thanks to God!
Got back after 8 and we ate. Trying to schedule everything is a monster, but somehow it always falls together :) so while scheduling things and more people to talk to here before I leave tomorrow morning, the pastor and I had a talk. He was sharing his views on male female roles in the bible and asking for my input. So although my views differ greatly from his and I didn't want to get in an argument, I couldn't stay silent and said yes yes to everything he said and then said but I believe differently and said what I believed. He countered, I countered. His wife added to my side and he countered and I said something and she said something and finally he agreed, a wife and husband are partners and a wife doesn't and shouldn't follow a husband's leading because he is a guy, but only when he right or else they both need to pray and follow God.
Interesting days. Only one day here and two controversial topics without prep done and I learned something! :)
Why am I writing all this in the save each one blog. Because save each one started because I came to japan 7 years ago. but that story will have to wait for another day. I have another busy day and need to get up early and jet lag needs to hit me so I can get over it! Have a blessed day!