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VVV OSAKA DIRECT VVV August 31st, 2005
Praise the Lord! Since we last wrote, we made a two week trip to Minnesota, Virginia, and Maryland, and had the great pleasure of seeing many of you in person. For those that we were not able to meet, we are looking forward to seeing you on our next trip, although we do not know when that will be. Back here in Osaka, the hot summer weather is finally starting to cool and we are looking forward to the more gentle weather of fall. The Lord continues to lead, guide, and bless us, and I am confident that He is doing the same in your life. God is good! On to the news updates; I do hope that you enjoy this issue of Osaka Direct. God bless you!
News and Photos
On July 21st, I was formally ordained at a special service held during the biannual International Ministerial Fellowship (IMF) conference. This is an important milestone in the journey of faith that the Lord has been leading us on since we committed our lives to Him way back at Calvary Chapel of Oceanside. In many ways the meaning of the ordination is similar to the missionary commissioning that was previously received, but it will be more widely recognized since IMF is a fully-recognized organization for credentialing ministers and for providing ecclesiastical endorsement for chaplains (including US military chaplains). One difference from our missionary commissioning that did strike my heart was the emphasis in the ordination service on the permanent nature of ordination - being set aside forever as a servant to the Lord. Of course, this is true for all who call Jesus Lord. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement!
The IMF Conference
The IMF Conference was a wonderful event with a widely varied program sharing many different worship styles and with a variety of conference and workshop speakers. The theme was "Growing Together" and we truly did feel that the conference allowed us to bond with other IMF members from across the USA and around the world. We were pleased to find that IMF has members from many different cultures and church backgrounds. It was a joy and a blessing to worship and learn together with these people from many parts of the Body of Christ. Just in case you are wondering, the IMF ordination will not change our relationship with Mission to Unreached Peoples (MUP). MUP will continue to be our mission sending agency, while IMF will provide additional spiritual covering and accountability as Dan's ordaining organization.
Grace Fellowship Chapel (GFC) Visit
After the IMF Conference ended, we went to the east coast to visit friends and family (grandchildren!) in Fredericksburg, Virginia and then we continued on to visit our home church in Westminster, Maryland. It was wonderful to see the GFC family and we really enjoyed the fellowship and especially the barbecue party and the baptism service at the pool. Praise the Lord for so many friends and blessings! It seemed very appropriate and deeply meaningful that my first message as an ordained pastor was at GFC.
Back in Japan
We arrived back in Osaka on the evening of August 3rd, just in time for me to make the final arrangements and hold the wedding service for Katsuhisa and Yukiko on the afternoon of August 7th. This wedding was one of the reasons that we could not stay in the States longer. Although it would have been nice to visit more, there was no way that I was going to miss doing the wedding for these two friends. Some of you may be surprised to see me in the robe, but for Christian weddings in Japan, a traditional minister's robe is almost always worn, and it does seem to help people to understand that marriage is holy.
Grandchildren Kollin and Leah are doing great
Son, Larry, should be back in the USA soon
Rachel Starr back in Japan
Deaf Ministries International (DMI) Conference
Praise & Prayer Requests
(1) Praise the Lord for speedily providing the ordination for Dan that OIC required.
God bless you always!
In Jesus' love,