Day 60


The time certainly can get away from me out here! Let me catch you back up.

Last Friday we returned from our missions trip to Kobe, Japan. We spent 5 days in Kobe and had an amazing time. We worked with an IMB missionary and a local pastor to do ministry in the city, English lessons, Prayer Walking, and doing a VBS with some local Filipino and Japanese children. It was really a neat time being able to help with the vision that the local workers had and take part in the work that they already have been doing. If you want to hear the testimony that I gave to the church here about our trip as well as others you can find it here.

We got to ride this to Kobe!

Since we've been back things have really started to pick up. I've begun a Prayer for the Nations night on Saturdays. My prayer is that we will be burdened with the desire to lift up other nations, especially those where the persecuted church is found and the 10/40 window. I am hoping that this will catch on before I leave and carry on well after I'm gone. Please join me in asking God to raise up people in this congregation to pray for the lost.

Also, starting Tuesday we will be doing a week long VBS. I am in charge of the games so I have been busy preparing for those as well. We would really appreciate your prayers as we try to communicate God's love and the Gospel clearly and effectively to children who are mostly only Japanese speakers.

One last thing. Yes, all week in Kobe I had been searching for it and on the last day my dreams were finally realized. My elusive lunch. The Mecca of Meat. The Holy Grail of Japanese Gastronomy! Kobe Beef!

It was everything I dreamed it would be and more.

Just about 10 days left here and it sure is going to go by quickly!



Day 54

You know they say, "It's the little things in life." Well Wipeout, here's to you for giving me so many of those "little things".

They also say, "Ignorance is bliss" and that may be true...

...until reality punches you in the nose.



Day 50

I'm in Kobe with the some members from the church so I'll be taking a break from blogging until the weekend when I'll tell you how everything went! Thanks for praying!


Day 46

Two things I learned today:

1. No matter how happy or catchy the tune is in your head, it is inappropriate to allow it to escape your head via whistle. Even by accident. Anywhere.
2. You know how a lot of times Original Gatorade is just too concentrated and leaves that sticky gunk in your mouth? And the next attempt Propel, just didn't quite cut it. And of course the latest Gatorade isn't horrible but it just kinda leaves you wanting? Well, the manufacturers of Japanese Gatorade have found the perfect formula. It strikes the perfect balance of quenching satisfaction without being too syrupy. It's great! Alas until I make it to the pros and can afford to have my Gatorade imported I'll just mix in a little water.

On another note. I'm am hosting a prayer night for the nations. I would appreciate your prayers as I am hoping that people will come and that God will use it to raise awareness about the state of the church in restricted nations.

Lastly, I got to talk to some of the fellas today. It was awesome.



Day 42

I got mail!!!

I would be willing to argue with anyone who disagrees that there are few better feelings in this world than getting mail/packages while you're overseas.

I am fortunate enough to have gotten BOTH today!

I got a letter from my Dad and a package of goodies from Mical

Like I said, few things can be more encouraging than these!!!



Day 40

Family Reunion!! You take what you can get in this life.

Man. Things certainly got away from me in the blogging world. There has been a lot going on since my last update so I will try to give you the highlights. First of all I have to mention that I was able to go to the naval base in Yukosuka for dinner with the Pastor and one of the members of the church who works on base. He took us to the Admirals Club for an ALL YOU CAN EAT crab (sorry Mom wish you coulda been there!) and prime rib buffet. Yes it was even tastier than depicted.

It was a huge encouragement to me to spend the evening with them, spend time in "America", and hear their testimonies. I was so thankful.

Also, my sunday school class started to take off in attendance. I was usually only having 1ne or 2wo people a week but the last three weeks I had 9ine, 8ight, 5ive and next week I'm expecting even more! So thank you for your prayers, please continue to pray that God would use me in that class to be a messenger of what He wants to communicate.

We have had a number of baptisms here at the church which is a huge deal. It is common for Japanese even after becoming believers, to keep it a secret either from their family and friends or the community in general, which is opening a huge door for their faith to be choked out very quickly. We are so thankful and praise God that He is moving people towards a public declaration of faith and a commitment to the church. Please join us in prayer that this trend would not only continue in our church but spill over into our community as well!

Coming up next week on the 12th myself and 8 other members of the church will be heading to Kobe (yes, where Kobe Beef comes from) (if you skipped over that link you should really check it out. It's pretty interesting) for a 5ive day missions trip. We will be partnering with a local church there with a Filipino pastor helping with the youth, prayer walking the community, friendship evangelism, a 4 day VBS, and a LoveDare training. We are so looking forward to this opportunity and to see how the Lord moves through our time there. We are also looking forward to being able to share with the rest of the congregation what God has done and how He is moving in the rest of Japan in hopes of spurring on more people to take part in community involvement for Christ. Please join us! I would especially appreciate your prayers as I will most likely be teaching the youth during this time.

Lastly, my family and I would so covet your prayers in this time. Just a couple of days ago my grandfather passed away. While his health was declining, he was called home much quicker than we had anticipated. He was able to be in Chicago with my parents for a few weeks and I was even able to video chat with him a few times. My Grandma and Grandpa Cook both had also passed away this Easter and I can not imagine two better sets of grandparents that anyone could have. They loved my brother and I so much and made sure that we knew it every moment. They were examples love and commitment to us both, coming alongside my parents at every opportunity to help out and be a part of our lives. Even in living far away we were able to spend extreme quality time with all of them while we were growing up and even until now. My brother and I have talked on many occasions about how thankful we are to have had them in our lives and the large roles that they each played collectively and individually, in shaping who we are today. I cannot wait to give them big hugs again and am proud to be a part of their legacy.

Grandpa T

G-Ma and G-Pa Cook