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.
G-Ma and G-Pa Cook