10/26翻訳した本がやっとできて、月曜日に大阪の南港に取りに行った。 通関の人に説明したら、無税になった。 神様に感謝です！
5,000部を友達の車と僕の車に乗せて、今部屋が本でいっぱいになっている。 すごく広めたいので、今いろいろ考えているところです。 日本人だけじゃなく、英語圏のＳＤＡの中でもあまり知られていない本です。
とにかくこの本を広めるのは僕の使命です。 今ネパール語と中国語で翻訳され、着々と発行に向かって進めている。 ここ日本でこの本の普及に関してなにか良いアドバイスがあれば誰か教えてくれませんか。 まず、すべてのＳＤＡの教会と文書伝道者に送ろうと思っています。
10/22 Well, it's been around 2 1/2 years in the making, but today it's finally a reality - the Japanese translation of The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels (^-^).
I left the house at 6:45 to meet a friend around 30km (maybe 15 miles) away in Osaka at 8:45. I knew i was in trouble when i could only go 13km in the first hour!! The traffic and trash and telephone poles sticking halfway out in the road make me question if this country is really an advanced country or not, but seeing all the Mercedes Benz on the road reminded me that it is - ha. The politeness of the drivers stopping so you can scrape past that pole etc. are very nice:)
Anyway, the customs people were skeptical of us, and said they'd discuss what to do about applying customs. I took off for the restroom, and when i came back, they said "We won't charge anything this time" WOW! Praise God! Later my friend said they had peppered her with questions while i was away asking about what i was doing in Japan etc. haha:)
We went to the big storage place nearby and after getting hard helmets from a sullen clerk, we drove around the back to get the books. We gave the sheet of paper, and after a couple of minutes a forklift came with 2 pallets of books. A manager came too, saw our cars, and got upset: "You'd better get it all in. I'm expecting you to take the pallets too." We cut the plastic sheeting and put 30 boxes in my car, and 20 in my friend's. She carried the pallets over to the big stack and put them on before i knew it. Everything worked out well. My friend is terrible with directions and with driving, but we managed to stay together. She almost made herself get rear-ended once, but the guy slammed on his brakes and looked to be shouting something inside his car.
So as of this moment, there are 2,000 books at my friend's condo, 1,500 here in my room, and another 1,500 to bring in when the rain lets up. Yoshiko (my home-stay mama) was very helpful to lend me her car for the day:) I gave her one of the books already, and she says it looks very nice, and i'm sure she'll read it. Please pray she can understand it, and want to follow Jesus.
Things are happening amazingly fast in the world. Who would have thot 2 months ago that America, China, and Russia would all be united agreeing on something? With Israel and Palestine in the picture, this could go ballistic in a hurry. And with pestilence in various places around America...don't want to be "this is THE real thing" crier, but things are shaping up that were quite unthinkable just months ago. Like national ID cards in America?????!!!
May we all do our part to get the 3rd angel's message out loud and clear (^-^).
10/12 I'm very, VERY happy today! The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels that i've translated into Japanese was delivered to me today:) It's very beautiful! I ordered 5,000 copies, and they should arrive in Osaka port next week.
I started on this book around the first part of '99 when i mentioned to a friend that i really wanted to get this book into peoples' hands, but didn't know where to go to get it translated, and he suggested - me! I thot he was bonkers, but then thot that if i could be hired as a professional translator by a Japanese company (in 1998), and be praised for my work, then just maybe i COULD do it. Of course i always started with a prayer for God to help me in my choice of words. I paid someone to smooth it out, and someone was gracious enough to re-do the entire first 15 chapters! There have been many setbacks, and advances, lots of things to make me a stronger Christian because of this endeavor - and now it's just begun!!! haha. Now to make a flyer and get going around to houses i guess. I especially want to get it to SDA church members of course (altho i can pretty much guess what the response will be), and to the Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple priests. After i've done the best i could to push this project, i've always counted on God to get this done in his own time. Since the war has started, it seems like people are more receptive for something like this. Some of them are thinking about eternal things more anyway:)
I pray the leaders of the world will move wisely, under the guidance of God especially in this anxious time. Japan officially supports the war effort, but many people think America is pushing other countries around... I'm surprised at the low level of thinking ability among many of the TV commentators. One said the first thing he thot of when he saw the planes smashing into the World Trade Center, was that "America is going to use this as an excuse to increase her power around the world". The same guy showed his lack of knowledge when the next day it was announced that some top Taliban officials had gotten bombed away. He said: "how in the world can America know that?" I like this commentator because he speaks his mind which is rare in Japan, and he's usually pretty knowledgeable, but his display of ignorance in this case is amazing! Many of the commentators are having fun poking away at America. When i came back from India in '98, it concerned me that 2 of the top 10 best-sellers were books glorifying Japan's part in WWII. If America does something really bad, even if it's a mistake, this whole country would probably turn overnite. Anyway, it's a good time to spread the 3rd angel's message:)
Today i called the person who translated the Spanish edition of the 1858 GC, and talked with her a bit. I was hoping she might have it on computer, and when she said she originally did it on computer my hopes soared, but then crashed when she said she deletes old stuff and doesn't have it anymore!! I'm going thru every single character of this book, comparing it to the printed copy i have. Why does Spanish have to have some "i" with a round dot, and some with a slash? It really makes me strain! But it has helped my Spanish skills tremendously - yea! Only around 200,000 more characters to go!
One of my English students quit as she is moving to Portland, OR next week. Coming back from her lesson last month, a grandma stopped me on my bicycle and said her grandson wants to study English. Her daughter called me, and we agreed to the same lesson time as this lady that is going to Oregon, but she wanted to start in December. Then i got a call 2 days ago saying they were very sorry (ut-oh), but they wondered if they could start the lessons next week!!! Wow! How God works things out is amazing!
9/14 アメリカで信じ難い事が起こってしまったですよね。 目を疑わせるような光景で、超高層ビルががれきの山となったりして、何千人の貴い命が一瞬にして失われた。 まっ、アメリカは神様から離れつづあるので、罰を受けるのは不思議ではない。 最終的に神様をあまり知らなかった国より本当の神様を知りながら拒否するアメリカの受ける罰の方がはるかに重い。 テロを防ぐためいろんな新しい規制が設けられるでしょう。 なんか「自由時代」が終わるんじゃないかなと思います。
もちろん、神様の許し無しではなにも起こらないから、サタンがこれを案じて、実行させても、神様は何かの目的を持ってるんでしょうね。 確かに、この事件が起こってから、神様や世の終わり等について話す機会が増えている。 多くの人は将来に対する不安が結構大きいらしい。 私たちが団結して、第三の天使のメッセージを伝えるチャンスじゃないか！
日曜日の朝にホームレスの友達と４人で京橋で会って、紀伊への旅に出掛けた。 本州の最南端、串本市で昼食してからちょっと海を見た。 波が高く、風もきつい。 「大丈夫かな？」と皆が見上げながら心配そうに言った。 また鈍行に乗って、へんぴなところで特急が通過するのを待ち合わせた。 紀伊勝浦に着いたのは１：４５頃かな。 フェリーでホテル浦島まで行って、７階にある部屋まで案内してもらった。 下を見下ろしたらなんと迫力のある光景だ！ 皆「忘帰洞」という有名な温泉に入った。 そこからも高波が見えて、すごかったけど、人が多くて、あまりリラックスできなかった。 すぐ部屋に戻って、3人がゆっくりしたかったので僕が玄武洞という温泉に行って、ほとんど一人占めにした。 波が打ち寄せるたびに、「うわー、すごいー」とか言った。 夜皆がテレビの野球の中継に夢中になった、ハハ。 寝る前にヨハネの3章、「風」についてのところを読んだ。 宗教大嫌い一人でも話しを聞いてくれた：）
翌日、二人が温泉に行こうとしたけど、台風の影響でだめだった。 ホテルの１階の部分まで波（しぶき）が当たった。 食べ放題の朝食を終えてから陸を目指した。 でもフェリーが欠航！ 知らなかったけど、トネルもあるから車で駅まで送ってくれた。 そこに新宮行きの代行バスがあった。 調べたら、串本と紀伊勝浦の間に木が線路に倒れ、１０：３０頃に運行を再開するって言ってたので、そこで待つ事にした。 那智の滝を見たかったけど、「逆流してると違う？」と冗談を混じりながら電車を待った。 とにかく、月曜日のうちに帰りた〜い気持ちがあった（ケ・ちゃんは足がちょっと痛かったし）。 やっと１２：３０頃、紀伊田辺行きの鈍行が現れ、乗った。 ちょっとだけ東に行くと風があまりなくて、全然問題なかった。 紀伊田辺で昼食を取り、日根野辺りですごくきれいなでっかい虹を見た。 なんか神様が微笑んでるような感じがして、行って良かったと思う（＾−＾）。
This terrible disaster in America has seemed to open up a few hearts to the gospel. Surely Satan is angry, and God is letting him have sway over the hearts of men who have turned their backs on God. America knows better than any other country what the truth is, but they have turned their backs on it. Their destruction will worse than those countries who never knew God. But we must pray that many will have their eyes opened, and will turn to God with all their hearts, souls, and minds. God is not pleased with the destruction of anyone.
The trip with my homeless friends to the southern tip of the Kii peninsula was quite fun. We met Sunday morning around 7, and rode the slow trains south until we got off in Kushimoto, the southern most city on the big island of Honshuu, around noon. We went to a family restaurant where they had fried rice and one had pork cutlets, whle i had spaghetti with pickled plums and mushrooms, also some french fries. After eating we walked along the harbor and saw that the waves were getting high, and gusts of wind were almost blowing us over. Then we got on the train again, and while stopping at every little spot to let the express trains thru, we reached our destination of Kii-Katsuura around 1:45 where we took a 5-minute ferry ride to our hotel.
Our room was on the 7th floor where we could look out over the ocean. The normally calm waves were quite high and strong, very impressive. We went to the famous hot-spring "Bokido"(meaning cave where you forget to return home from) and it was my first time to get into a hot-spring inside a cave. There were too many people tho, so we left pretty quickly. My friends wanted to relax, so i went to some other hot-springs by myself. Genbudo was very nice, and the high waves dashing up against the bank and partially splashing inside the hot-springs were awesome to think of all the power behind them.
Everybody wanted to watch the baseball game on TV, so i got up and went to eat some udon noodles by myself. They went after the game to get some curry&rice. Then befroe going to sleep, i read aloud John 3 where Jesus talks about how noone knows where the wind comes or where it goes. Even one guy who hates religion stayed in the room and listened.
2 of the guys played Othello until 1am, but the older guy and i had no problems going right to sleep. They joked about the older guy's sleeping with his mouth open. The 2 guys went to the hot-springs in the morning, but they were closed because of the high waves. We could look down and see the waves exploding against the base of the hotel, and the spray reaching the windows on the first floor. Evidently the hotel personnell were worried, as they were pointing and taking pics etc. We went down to a buffet-style breakfast. I had 2 plates and 2 bowls, one of the guys had 4 plates! Most of the stuff was meat and fish and vegetables that had been pickled. But there were eggs, bread, a little fruit and cereal also, so i tanked up:)
We wondered if we could get off the island because of the typhoon, but learned they had a tunnel, so they took us to the train station. There we found that a tree had fallen over on the tracks, and it was expected to be ready to go again by 10:30. We decided to wait the 30 minutes - which turned into almost 2 hours 30 minutes! I had wanted to see the longest waterfall in Japan which is near there (Nachi), or the whale museum (lots of shops there were selling whale jerky), but we decided that the typhoon was probably making the waterfall flow upwards anyway, and we had to get home that day, so we just waited patiently for the train to come. We got on around 12:30, and the wind rapidly dissipated as we went east and then north. The little country trains (ours was painted up as a panda) don't have toilets anymore it seems, so i had to ask the conductor to stop at one little place for relief. He was very gracious about it:)
We had lunch at a sushi restaurant in Kii-Tanabe. I had somen noodles. Before going on this trip, i had asked the guys not to smoke or drink, but i guess that smoking thing is stronger than any promise to a friend.... Near sundown around the Kansai airport, we saw a most beautiful, large rainbow. It really made me think of Noah, and how God showed his love to him. It made me think that God was showing his love in a special way to me and my friends there on that train:) Maybe that's a little selfish?? We said goodbye at Kyobashi again around 7pm. This was a nice trip for me, but it would've been better if we could've gone to see more places. The impressive scenes of those huge waves won't be quickly forgotten tho. And i hope my friends thot a bit about their souls too.
A friend called a couple of hours ago saying she had been laid off. Seems her driving the old folks to the hospital wasn't very good. I can vouch for her poor driving, but the boss didn't need to go into details about how she is not a good member of society, and how he hated her picture on her resume!!! The 23 year-old boss probably got quite a kick out of telling someone older where to go. Then just 5 minutes ago a different friend called, and said her Romanian husband, who was a carpenter in Romania, and has been working in a "system-kitchen" sub-contractor company for Matsushita, got fired because someone came from Matsushita and complained to the owner about a foreigner working in his shop. This is incredible!!!!!! So now they are wondering what to do, where to go. My only advice is to either go way out in the country and do farming or helping the old people there, or finding a job even if it's tough work downtown and moving downtown. They are living with her parents now, but that can't last forever. If he could speak Japanese things might be different, but just being a foreigner in this country makes you "different", not one of "us" - yuck.
8/19 Today i got a phone call from Hotel Urashima in Katsuura. The reservation i'd made over the internet was accepted, so if everything works out well, 3 of the homeless guys and i will be going there on September 9th. I'm looking forward to it, and i'm sure they are too. They have 6 hot springs on an island that you can use, and one of them is inside a cave facing the ocean:) I passed on the evening "full course meal". That part of Japan is famous for whale cuisine, and i don't need that!!
A thief got into one of the homeless guy's tents and stole his electric shaver and little portable radio. He said he'd hide stuff in the future, so i helped him get new ones. I also tried to help him get to a doctor to see why his left arm goes numb, but he's pretty stubborn - ha! I'm afraid the homeless guys who have been studying the Bible with me are getting a large dose of "churchiness". One of them especially is pretty much sounding like a "church-man", rather than a "Christian". 2 of them are quite sure that Jesus is the answer, but both of them say that for now they'd rather have their cigarettes. Wonder what's in that stuff that makes it better than eternal life?!?!
Some women at the little church that have really taken in my homeless friends got on the case of my SDA friend recently over the way she prayed. I still can't hardly believe it. It wasn't some wild, crazy prayer either. Just that she didn't use the words: "in Jesus' name". Now she's scared to pray at all out loud. Why some people think you have to have some magic mumbo phrase to please God is beyond me. Even when i show them the Lord's Prayer they stick to their guns about it. If it sounds like some form of voodoo to you, that's the same feeling i get from it. And these are the most true to trying to carry out God's word of any group i've ever heard of or met in all the greater Osaka area!! It's getting clearer & clearer to me that a half-baked religion is much, much worse than no religion at all. At least a "no-religion" stance doesn't lead anybody astray. Of course i've read that, but to see it enacted in front of me is something else again.
The dentist wanted \80,000 for just a new crown on a back tooth, so i ran away. Finally found a dentist that my home-stay mom goes to that did it for \20,000, but they did it in silver. It really doesn't matter to me. I see my homeless friends with rotted teeth or the one guy with only 1 tooth left, and feel very fortunate to have what i have. God is good! Now the money i saved can be used to help others:)
A Japanese friend came from America with her fiance. It was his first time to Japan. I remember my friend as being very considerate and easy-going, relaxed, but this time she seemed to be stressed, and concerned mostly about herself. Probably all the pressure of getting married and everything got to her.
Went hiking with a friend in June to Fushimi Inari and thru all the orange Shinto torii gates with all the company's names that donated them, over the mountain and thru the woods to the back side of Kiyomizudera. It was a great walk, and my friend was happy to get out of the office and let off frustration regarding the company. Sure glad i don't have that hassle!!
Right now typhoon #11 is getting closer to Japan. It's finally <35 degrees for the first time in quite a while - yea! Last Thursday i went hiking the Yamanobe no michi in Nara with a Japanese friend and her Romanian husband. She tried to live in Romania, but lasted only around 5 months. Now they plan to live in Japan, but he has become a "company-man" already it seems. He works from around 9am to 10 or 11 at nite!! Needless to say, he was very happy to get out in the countryside even tho it was very hot:)
The 3rd printed copy of the Japanese The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels was sent, and i proof-read it having the computer read it back to me - thank you Toshiba! Now if you can just let me wipe the system clean and start over.... Anyway, the Japanese GC is at the printer's in Korea hopefully ready to be printed this week. The Chinese edition was translated and sent me 3 weeks ago. Now i have to find someone to proof-read that. I can pick out most of the main stuff because the Kanji is used in Japanese too, but i don't know enough to proof-read it. The Polish edition was 20% translated when the translator's computer crashed and he lost everything. Seems like the people of this world often plan better than children of the Kingdom. The Nepali edition is being proofread by 4 people now. I checked the Spanish edition to see how true it was to the original. I bot a dictionary and went thru every word of the 1st chapter. While it seems mostly quite good, there are some additions and deletions evident. Sure wish people would treat it as the word of God. The Chinese translator bluntly said that he didn't treat it as the word of God, but he was nice enough to write up something to that effect to put in the front of the book. Why people think they can play around with God's words is quite puzzling. But i'll go with what i can get:)
Here's one HP that makes me think quite a bit: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0011/earthlights_dmsp_big.jpg
6/18 昨日ごみ拾ってきた。 京都の伏見区で。 疲れたけど、それに伴う充実感もいいよね：） その後、参加してた２６才の国会議員を目指してる人の事務所に行って、その周辺の住宅にビラ配りしてた。 まっ、本当はクリスチャンは政治に力を入れてはいけないけど、僕は意図的に入ったわけじゃなく、友達に付いて行っただけでそこにたどり着いたって感じ。 とにかく、僕の本をどうやって広めるか、いろんな意味ではいい勉強になりました。 廻ってる時にある廃屋からさらなフライパンを拾って、ちょっとラッキーの気分になった：） でも伏見区の京都は僕のもつ京都のイメージとだいぶ違うところだった。 高級な芸術家のギャラリーなんか全然なかったし、普通の下町のにおいが強かった。 誰も住んでないアパートの数に驚いた。 すごい勿体無いと思う。
A month has gone by.... I've gotten to the point where i can do up a pretty nice looking illustration on Paint Shop Pro. The cover illustrations for the front and back of the Japanese The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels are finally done! If anybody wants to see them, let me know and i'll send you a gif file. It was pretty frustrating to work for 2 hours and then press a key and it say "PSP cannot process your request" or something like that, and then force me to shut down - oh no! 2 hours down the drain. But working with it is very interesting, and slowly i'm learning to make it do what i want. The most frustrating thing is the slownesssssssssss. Just to undo the last action can take 2 minutes or more! Guess a pentium 2-366mhz just doesn't cut it when it comes to graphics. Guess that's why the pros like Macintosh:)
Yesterday i went to Kyoto and picked up trash as a volunteer with a friend. A 26-year old guy in our group is trying to get elected to the national House. He's a neat guy, and we all went to his office, had lunch, and went out into the neighborhood stuffing mailboxes. I know Christians aren't supposed to put their energies into politics, but it wasn't something planned, and i did get some good pointers for trying to promote the book i translated. He said that you don't need any permits to stuff mailboxes or to hand out flyers at train stations which was excellent info:) I got really tired tho. Just no energy....
The girl in LA who has the drug problem got into a 18-day program at Weimar. A SDA Japanese friend of ours took 6 days of his time to fly from Toronto out to LA to help that family!!! Wow! That's pretty amazing to me to do all that for somebody you've never even met! Surely God will bless him. Now i hope and pray that girl can recover from her addiction, and follow God.
Recently i've gotten lots of new English students:) Doing a little PR helps. One private and one group of 3 kids were the result of my ad at the grocery store, and one new private was the result of trying to help that family with the daughter in LA. God has blessed me abundantly above and over what i even asked for - and all the lessons are on Tuesday and Wednesday just like i wanted!! That way i still have S,M,TH,F free:)
The deal with the King of Nepal's family was quite a shocker(@-@). Still wonder if that's really what happened or not. Just when the Christians are getting harassed there, this incident happens....looks like something has Satan riled up.
One of my homeless friends is thinking bad about just about everything and everybody, and one of the other homeless guys who has really tried to help him is taking it quite personally. I tried to tell him that no matter how much you try to do for people, some of them will always take things the wrong way. I asked him to think about how Jesus wants to give us all eternal life, but most of us refuse it. How does that make Jesus feel?
In going to the little church in Nara, my favorite church in all of Japan, i met a lady who is very conversant in the Spirit of Prophecy, and really trying to live it out in her life and not just follow some leader because they are "the leader". It was such a pleasure to talk with her:) God gives us brothers and sisters to make our pathway more joyous and so that everyone can see God's love thru our love for each other in the truth. It's amazing how two people with totally different backgrounds except for the truth, can know just about everything about how the other one thinks, and what is important to them and not.
5/14 Had a great experience yesterday. My SDA friend who helps with the homeless, her brother is in jail for drugs. So she goes to some relative's help meetings sometimes, and she met a couple there last Thursday. Their daughter married an American, and lived in SanDiego. He used drugs occasionaly, and when he started abusing her, she turned to drugs. She got thrown out by him recently, so she tried suicide too. It didn't work, but she is mostly paralyzed from the waist down. Now she's near LA in a facility. I called the daughter yesterday just out of the blue, and while being surprised, she seemed eager to talk. Her matter-of-fact and "i'm OK, my grandma is more important" tone were a little scary tho considering her situation.
So we went to the parent's home yesterday (of course at their invitation) and tried to give advice. A Japanese SDA pastor in the LA area is supposed to try and help them out, so everyone was greatly relieved. Seeing the mom crying over her only child's condition helped me see a little bit of the love God must have for his created beings everywhere. How his heart must rend as he sees us go a zillion different ways down the road to perdition. And his happiness and joy at seeing even one turn from death to life! What joy it must bring him (^-^). My friend then gave the mother there a hot foot bath and neck and foot massage. You could like just see the stress melting away from the lady. Such a tremendous blessing - the health message with the 3rd angel's message:) Of course the 3rd angel didn't get much airtime yesterday, as we were trying to reach them where they are, but the mother anyway seems interested in the Bible. Her brother came too, and we found out he's a teacher at a Buddhist community college. So no doubt this is a open door that God has made for us:)
I'll go today to the mobile market. It just started around 2 weeks ago, and comes around twice a week. The fruit&vegetables are around 30-40% cheaper than the stores, but you have to be careful - for example: the bananas are sold in huge bunches that make them cheap by the piece, but you just can't physically eat a thousand bananas in the few days they stay edible (ちょっとオーバー） haha.
5/10 Finally it's around 80 degrees with probably around 80% humidity - perfect!!!!! People around me ask if i'm a crawly slug when i go into happy flights over the weather:)
Went with my English students yesterday to dig up some bamboo babies (direct translation of how you say 'bamboo shoots' in Japanese:). One other student went last week and didn't get a single one, so i wasn't expecting much, but we hit the jackpot!! Most of the people in our 6 person group got around 8 or 9 each. I came home with 3. So last nite my home-mom cooked them up, slicing some up with the rice, and deep-frying (tempura) some of it. I purposely left some extra skin on the babies so they wouldn't get bruised coming back home in my bicycle basket (yeah, the one with the red skull lightly painted on the front for some weird reason - ha!), and didn't tell her to peel another layer or two to get to the good parts. But the tempura ones were MAGNEFICO!! Some of the students found some neat leaves from a tree that gave off a good smell when they rubbed them.
In the last week i've probably sent over 200 emails out. About 6 responses have me in hell for having any connection with the SDA organization..... My computer is acting weirder and stranger and odder. Was hoping that i could go to the end of this year before needing to re-install Windows, but now i'm thinking it won't last the month... That's at least 2 hours wasted. But i love my computer. It makes my life so convenient and pleasant and fruitful (sounds like a commercial - ha!)
5/8 Yesterday i think i bookmarked more internet sites than i ever have in one day before. Of course being on the internet for 1:45 might be the reason too!! That tied my record for the year set on jan.26. Anyway, the Ethnologue site was just what i was looking for regarding what languages are used in what countries and how many users there are. http://www.sil.org/ethnologue/ Is it ever comprehensive!!!! For example, did you know that there are 213 languages listed for the US!? Most of them seem to be native Indian like: ACHUMAWI which is spoken by all of 10 people! Of course India has bunches more!
This site really tugged on me yesterday, i've seen it before, but it hit me again yesterday: http://www.wycliffe.org/wbt-usa/trangoal.htm I think of all the time i wasted when i was younger when i could have been training to get God's word to people who had never heard it. But i was more interested in myself, going to normal school, getting a normal job, making normal money,,,,,for what? To live like "I" wanted to. My thots quickly changed gears tho when i considered my present situation. And then i got excited. While they're doing a tremendous work in trying to get God's word out to the people, i'm trying to get God's word for THIS time - the 3rd angel's message - out to the people - yeah! I AM doing something worthwhile.
This is the 2nd most important book in the world. Why hasn't it gone all over the earth? Why aren't there printing presses running day and nite to warn people? Do we really not care very much if they burn in the lake of fire? Do we value our own ambitions and comfy lifestyles above people's souls? The second most important book after the Bible is getting a bit of exposure, but it sure won't become a Loud Cry without the Holy Spirit's moving on people's hearts to give all their energies for giving the 3rd angel's message in power and clarity.
I KNOW this is my lifework. The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels is currently in around 6 or 7 languages, with 4 in progress that i know of. With 80 languages in the world with 10million or more users, what has been accomplished so far is only a drop in the bucket. But drops add up to something, and God will pour the latter rain out when his timetable has it set, so we must do our part while it's day and have the freedom to work:)
4/29 Well, i turned 40 last Thursday. Hard for me to believe........ A friend came over and we went walking around the woods behind our house and up over the hill to the huge cemetery on the other side. It was a beautiful spring day with the verdant, brilliant green of the new leaves showing off the remaining cherry blossoms to good advantage - nice!
My home-stay (landlord) mama's 5y.o. grandkid invited me to a B-Day dinner downstairs with grandma and grandpa and his family. They made a really pretty strawberry cake for me and his mom gave me some sandals - yea! I played with him and his little brother until around 9:30. Fortunately my back doesn't feel the strain too much today - haha!
It was nice to go to church in Yao yesterday. My friend just came back from a 10-day Newstart training program with Agatha Thrash, and she was all excited about all the new stuff she learned. It was a real pleasure to see her in such earnestness and happiness telling things she learned about how to live a more healthful life. She's already trying to introduce some of the ideas into her daily routine. It was funny to her to talk about tho, how immediately after the 10-day seminar, she and her freinds she made there made a bee line for the noodle shop - haha! I can empathize with that. After eating rich foods, it's hard to get to like a simple diet.
Went to see a couple of the homeless guys who didn't make it to church. One of them had problems lifting his left arm. He says the 'sake' has finally done in his liver. He promised to try and reduce his intake, but he refuses treatment at a hospital.... One other guy who always says he's worthless, hardly ever even sits up anymore let alone stand up and walk outside. He thinks one of the other homeless guys who tried to help me is actually trying to hurt him. If he could just understand that there are people who try to help others just because they care, it would make him think more positively....
I'm having the computer read The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and His Angels in the Japanese version that i translated. It's different to look at the characters and read them, than it is to hear them. It's a good thing i'm going over it again, as i've detected a few out-and-out errors - praise God!
Japan got a new leader and cabinet last week. This guy looks like he is serious about really shaking things up. I hope he does something to get rid of the 'business as usual' mentality that pervades this country and is dragging it down. Of course more than anything i want to see some event that makes people long for the truth. God will provide the means and way, i have to be here and do my part too (^-^).
4/9 After not much outdoor activity except for the bicycle rides to the train stations or teaching this winter, there has been quite a change. Probably the cherry blossoms are to blame:) Went to eat lunch under the blossoms along the row of cherry trees near my house last Wednesday. Everybody in Japan gets out under the trees and spreads their lunch or supper and drinks, and revels in the beauty of spring (or of the beer). Then on Thursday a friend came with her daughter and daughter's friend, and we ate under the trees and then after stopping at my home to play some computer games (while the mom took a nap - ha) we went hiking in the woods nearby. I say hiking, but really it's just walking. Then on Friday a former English student came, and we went hiking all around this area for around 6 hours! We did stop around an hour for lunch at a small lake up in the mountains (hills) and fed the baby ducks (soooo cute!) and watched the people pedal their 'swan' boats. What a relaxing time!!! We finally made it to the highest point around here which is around 320meters or so, which afforded us a great 360゜panoramic view:)
Before really recovering, i took off for Kyoto yesterday where i met a friend and we walked along an old canal where the water was swiftly carrying the fallen petals to the ocean (or to clog up the drains). When the wind rustled the trees it created a beautiful swirling curtain of pinkish-white petals. Ones that made it to the water were quickly formed into line and went rushing off while those that didn't covered the mossy banks with a pattern that only God could invent. It was all so incredibly beautiful (^-^). Then onto the mountain path where we were overwhelmed with people going the other way. When one wave passed another would come. Nearly all the people were in their 50-70s, and many of them were fully decked out with titanium walking sticks and clothing completely covering the skin for the ladies. Not that they're modest, it's that they are afraid of getting wrinkles and ruining their complexion -- haha. Finally when i was really considering turning back and going somewhere else, we saw around 5 people holding aloft the group's flags. Before we could ask them if there were more, they were already apologizing for making us wait:) 260 members walking the mountains! Wow!
I didn't take any lunch as my friend said she'd make rice balls, and also, Wed, Thurs, & Fri when i ate outside, i took a banana & peanut butter/sesame seed butter each time (with some other stuff). So what's the first thing my friend pulls out of her lunch bag? - yep, a banana:) Of course it was good, and fortunately i had some peanuts left over from my airplane trip to Seoul, so with that and mikan oranges and rice balls and puffed sweet rice (やめられない！)) we looked out over the hazy metropolis that is the ancient capital of Kyoto. Later we went down into the city and did the thing that everybody does at this time of year - walk the Philosopher's Walk and with one eye on the people to try to avoid running into them, you keep an eye on the cherry blossoms that you came to see in the first place! What a pleasant peaceful day. And like Friday, i was able to talk about and give a pretty good witness for the Saviour(^-^) But i don't want to even bend over today - haha. Oh yes, Sat nite i found a bicycle in the weeds with smashed up rims etc., so i now have a harldy rusted front basket for my machine - yea!
Saturday at church they had a video of the director of evangelism in Japan. He didn't speak the truth in the last video i saw of him, so i wrote a letter. That was last October - but no reply:( Knowing that God's angels will not enter a place where error is known to be preached, i quietly walked outside with a book and went to a nearby park where a very pleasant man struck up a converstation with me. "So this is why God called me to church here today" i thot. Found out later that several church members were pretty upset with me - sigh. On another note, the lady who seems to have the most say in the church was pretty vocal about how God allows breakage of his law if it's for his cause. One other lady and i expressed disagreements. Just because it doesn't say in the Bible that God punished Rahab for lying about the spies, it doesn't mean that lying is OK sometimes!!! With that type of loopy logic, you could get to thinking that killing people is OK (Moses etc.), going into harlots is OK (Judah, Samson etc.), having lots of wives is OK (just about every guy in the Old Testament!) and so on. What i tried to point out at church, was that God holds us responsible for what we know. If Rahab was doing the best she knew to do, then God will give her an appropriate reward in the the resurrection day:)
I was encouraged after that as a friend and one church member came with us to talk to some homeless guy who helps the homeless. Things look very encouraging for our young (37y.o.) homeless friend:) But to get help from the govt. he has to be admitted to the hospital first. Then the govt. will recognize him as a person, and help him get on his feet and supply an address so he can get a job - weird system! Then we went to talk to our 67y.o. homeless friend who is waiting for his death he says. He asked us not to try and help him anymore as he "isn't worthy", but i told him he was just as worthy as i am, and that Jesus thinks he's of great value.
3/29 Well, i guess i've recovered enough, or settled down enough from the happenings of Tuesday to be able to write this diary. I was just riding my bicycle along the river/creek, and came out onto the main hiway when i noticed 2 police on motorbikes going the same way i was headed. After about 1 minute, they motioned for me to stop which i did and then started a little nightmare. First of all, in my panice mind-set, the things that came out of my mouth were not the total truth. That hurt me to see that i had that kind of junk still in my me. We should be ready at all times with the 100% truth. They asked: "did you get the bicycle from somebody?" I said yes which was mostly true, but with an intent that God would never approve of. Anyway, they checked the number that is engraven on the bike and came up with a owner for it. The owner wasn't at home then, so i gave them my address and Tel.# and they let me go.
Around 7:30 there was a knock on the front door. 2 police were standing there. I didn't hear them at first, so my home-stay parents (landlord) answered the door. When i finally heard voices, it had already been determined that the man of the house was the one they were going to charge with this. So they loaded up "my" bicycle, and we followed them down to the police station.
There we were met by a no-nonsense elderly police officer who told us how serious a thing it was to misappropriate other people's goods. Then he wrote up a paper charging my home-stay dad with that crime. It's not something that goes to court, but it's a bit serious. The really crazy thing was, that i became the person to "vouch for this person's future obeyance of the law"!!!! What a weird system!`%&"!
It helps not to think about it too much, but to think that for helping clean up a garbage heap, that you may be charged with a crime, and that just by "looking like a potential criminal" (whatever that is), the police can stop and question you on anything they want. Their attitude was very haughty, like you are scum and they are absolutely right. Maybe they've forgotten that it's everyones taxes that are keeping them clothed and fed. But in talking to some Japanese friends who've had experiences with the police, i see my little incident is quite small in the overall scale of things, but the attitude is the same. One friend said her boyfriend got run over and killed. The police advised her not to pursue the matter as the offender: "might lose his job over it"!! I saw on TV recently where a lady died around 7 years ago in Yokohama. She had just broken up with a guy who wanted to marry her. She was found dead with her wrists slit in the remains of a fire. And for all that, the police didn't take the case to court! The parents couldn't believe it was suicide, so they conducted their own investigation, which recently resulted in a verdict against that ex-boyfriend in civil court. Of course this is the country where the yakuza and police are close pals.....
As if to be sarcastic, one English student said her daughter's husband's sister's husband was a policeman, and he could get me a bicycle for free because they have a whole warehouse full of them!!!!!!!! So i'll wait one month for that, and then probably ride around until i get stopped again for looking like a suspicious bike thief. What will i say that time??? Don't want to think about it. But this was a good test of my heart, and i see i need to be closer to God in speaking the 100% truth.
The cherry blossoms are out, and it's getting very pretty. Walking and running back from my English class yesterday, it felt great to be able to move my body:) It was after a little shower, so the birds were out in force making nests etc. I hope some of my friends come visit during flower-viewing season!
Recently someone saw my www.earlysda.com site and sent me a paper he had written on the Mosaic, Davidic, and Ezekiel temples. It's highly fascinating, and nearly all straight on with the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy! I'm excited!
3/23 Yesterday was an exciting day! I went down to Osaka and first met some homeless friends and talked awhile. After that i went to see if i could get free legal advice regarding going door-to-door selling this Great Controversy i'm translating into Japanese. I guess i need to make a reservation with the international section which has a few hours open on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month. Then i went to the American consulate to get some tax forms. They have a weird system there. At the front desk they make you leave all your electronic devices and drinks. Then you have to put your bags thru a machine like at the airport. So i handed over my water (actually they want you to dispose of it before entering, but the guards are pretty nice:), put my backpack on the belt, and got it handed over to me with of course the Swiss army knife safely in the pocket. But i couldn't carry in the dangerous water!!!! haha.
I went to the biggest bookstore in Japan after that looking for legal stuff on selling stuff, and books on how to publish your own book. Prices of books are kept artificially high by a "publishing association", so i didn't buy anything. They were basically just books describing how somebody started their own press, or how somebody got an idea to write a book and it became a big-seller. Not much on the nuts and bolts of who to see and what to negotiate for when getting your own book published.
Going back to meet my friend from America, i stopped my bicycle at a bench where one of my homeless friends was that i hadn't seen in a long time. He was doing really well:) He didn't know it until he browsed some books in a bookstore, but since he turned 65 last May, he could've been receiving a pension from the government! He applied in January and should start getting money next month - around \117,000/month!! Praise God! I gave him a bit to help tide him over until then. He was eating a obento lunch-box that he had found in the dumpster behind a convenience store the nite before.
Then my American friend came and we went to the Green Earth Cafe. It was my first time there, but it's in the same place as Seed of Life used to be. Seed of Life was started by people who came to Country Life and took a bunch of pics and asked a bunch of questions around 10 years ago. They then opened a restaurant nearly exactly like Country Life, even down to being closed on Saturdays because they thot that was one of the reasons for our success (of course it was, but in the manner they thot!!). Anyway, it's got new owners now and isn't buffet style anymore, but is still vegetarian and delicious:) What amazed me was seeing 3 people that used to come to Country Life every day!!! It was like a time-slip. One of the people i pray for every nite altho i hadn't seen or contacted him or his wife for over 4 years -- and there he was in front of me! About 10 minutes after he left, his wife came in:) Happy reunion that made me feel like a real Osaka-jin(^-^).
My friend and i talked mostly about Jesus and the truth and what's happening spiritual wise with us and others. It felt really good to talk to someone who is on fire for God enough to not compartmentalize him to a "worship service". Jesus is alive and living and should be the object or at least in the thots in every conversation. What he has come up against is something i've heard quite a bit, but just can't fathom. That is -- that many SDAs think they have the truth, they know they'll be saved, and they don't really care about or want to know what anybody else has to say, especially if that person is not "approved" by the organization. That boggles me. But i guess people who don't have the eye-salve or white raiment or gold but think they have it all, are the last to realize their hopeless condition. Why don't people want to take 3 hours out of a day and meet friends for Bible study, but they casually spend that much time watching TV or shopping etc.? Why do we think we have to have a degree or be accepted by the world when we know that all that is passing away??? He had some excellent thots on what is important in college and life, and what God is wanting to do, how much he wants to give his Spirit to us, but we are holding him back by our fear of not being able to control the Spirit. I think he's right-on. We seem to want a church manual or action plan or committee to figure out what to do, and then go from there. God is calling for us to follow him 100% and leave man's opinions behind. But then my friend started getting funky with his "Sunday-church" thinking. It's sad to see people who've known the truth fall off the firm platform that God has erected. I really believe that he just fell off, and didn't intentionally jump off. Some of the basic truths that SDA pioneers dug and pored over, and then received visions from God confirming their studies or leading them in new directions, is counted as a small thing. "Ellen White never claimed to be infallible" is a poor excuse to not believe the truth. God will not send his Spirit to fallen churches - those who trample on his commandments. Sure there are precious souls in them who will be called out just as honest-in heart SDAs will be called out from the SDA church in the Loud Cry, but the SDA church is currently the only one even professing to follow the truth. God will not go thru the prophets of Baal to correct Israel. His statement last November that this "prophetic ministry" that is gaining a strong following, "may in fact be the omega of apostasy", echoes and re-echoes loudly. It fulfills all the requirements except they aren't saying (yet anyway) that we are "god". Something to keep a watch out for tho. I pray God will open their eyes, because if this movement was based on the firm platform of truth, what a great good it could do to revive the living testimony and wake up God's people
3/12 Last week was probably the week in my life when i received more blessings that i could immediately recognize as blessings, than any other week in my life (^-^).
On Tuesday i went with a SDA friend to a 93 year-old lady's house. My friend does some "home-helper"(maybe "home-care" in English?) work for this bed-ridden lady like feeding and changing her etc. She talks to this lady sometimes about God, and asked me to come and talk to this lady. What to say to a 93 year-old who you have to lean over and basically shout into her one ear that's still functioning? Basically i just talked about what heaven is like, and how God doesn't need our money etc., he wants our hearts. And if we give all to him, we can go to heaven. She seemed very thotful and misty-eyed about it all. I was greatly moved. Then i found out that on Thursday when my friend went again, this lady was still talking about heaven, and also mentioned wanting to give all her wealth to my friend when she dies!! Of course my friend said she didn't want the money, she wants the lady to accept Jesus and go to heaven:) May God give this old lady strength to believe in him!!!
On Thursday i got the email from India that you can see on the "Kalimpong" page showing where the pastor there said he was very discouraged, but after i came and showed an interest in the place, it helped give him new hope and energy to work for the master:) What a heart-wrencher to think that i could go something to have that much of an impact on somebody?!?!
Then there was the email on Friday from my friend at LMN who's in Nepal now. He said he's going to be the MC at a party they're having with the King of Nepal on Monday (today)!!! You're in my prayers brother!!
There was one more big blessing last week that i can't remember right now.... oh well. When it rains it pours -- showers of blessings(^-^).
3/1 Wow! Update my progress 2 days in a row. This hasn't happened for ages:) Actually, last nite i had a dream i want to remember --- I was in a temple that was a strange mix of a serene/sedate Japanese Buddhist temple, and a crazy/noisy Hindu temple. I gave a talk to a bunch of High-school age kids, and my heart was pounding quite a bit. I asked them if they would give their lives 100% to God - for the truth. I was overjoyed when i first looked out and saw it seemed like everybody standing up. In looking closer, i noticed almost whole rows, especially towards the back, who were staying put, laughing and joking.
Then the meeting was over, and i was in front of the temple, i was teaching animal's names to little kids when a raccoon like thing kind of started coming at me. I wasn't sure if it was friend of foe, and backed up a bit. But it was friendly. Then for some reason we were chased out of the temple grounds, and i fell down in a mud field. The animal somehow helped me up. Fin.
One big thing i learned, is that i need to write down dreams that seem to have any importance soon after i wake up, or better yet, make myself wake up to write them down while they are fresh. Something more happened at the end, but i can't remember here at 4:30pm:(
2/28 Got back from Korea yesterday. My heart was pounding as i wrote in Japanese on the entry card - "religious work". If my visa has been reneged on which is what i was told the church would do, then i could face the possibility of a long interrogation, and at worst - deportation. On the airplane coming over from Korea i was working on the proofreading(smoothing) of the Great Controversy translation, and was just at the point where it was talking about how the saints cried out day and nite to God to deliver them when the death decree was about to go into effect. Yes, my situation doesn't come close to that, but it was VERY LARGE to me.
In Korea i was met at the airport (first time in over 10times into that country), and whisked away to a quiet place out about 30km from Seoul. It snowed Friday nite, and we woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland on Sabbath morning. Korean houses have a comfy warm water heating system that circulates under the floor, so my toes stayed toasty which is a big change from the icecubes they form when i'm in Japan. The family was super friendly, scrumptious meals were prepared, there was nice order in the home with none of the usual attendant fanaticism, and i was able to get some spiritual batteries recharged with good Christian fellowship. They are working at printing up different things. They print in several different languages including the well-known "Study Bible"(the one with the comments by Ellen White), Spirit of Prophecy books, and some hymnals. The quality is quite high, and the prices are reasonable. Their newest project is to print up the Great Conflict series along with Steps to Christ - all in a "Pocket Book" format. Yes, the books actually can fit in a shirt pocket. No, you wouldn't give them to your grandma unless you presented a microscope along with them, but the target audience - young people everywhere especially in Africa - would be greatly benefitted by them. Of course being small, the cost of the book could be quite low too. The entire 8 book set that is being considered could be produced (at large runs) for <3USD!
I want to help them, but i can't personally promote their pocket books, because those books have all been changed drastically from the originals. I showed them some of the changes, and instead of the man getting angry which is the usual reaction i receive from people, he was thotful and attentive to what i had to say. One of the things that lifted my heart the most about the whole trip to Korea, was that this man who doesn't seem to have so terribly much of this world's goods (altho he's not hurting by any means), is really thinking big and planning to get out the 3rd angel's message - and he mentioned twice how the original Great Controversy is very valuable and needs to be printed up!!!
Hopefully in the future we can work together to print up the original books. He's the frontrunner right now to print up the Japanese Great Controversy i'm translating:)
So i step over the yellow line, up to the smiling young immigration officer who i've been earnestly praying for, for the previous 7 or 8 minutes. I know that this is who God chose to handle my case. I also know others have/are praying for me. It's a great peaceful feeling to know that if you've done your best, you can leave the results with God - if he wants me to go thru interrogation, then that's his plan. If he wants me to not get in the country, then that's his plan. If he wants the immigration officer to smile (most unusual!) and quickly look thru the box of stampers for the one marked "Religious Activities - One Year" and stamp my passport and quickly hand it back to me, then that's his plan too:) My head got a little light, and the thankfulness that welled up inside me could hardly be contained. I probably looked suspicious all the way thru customs and to the train station and clear to Osaka with a huge grin on my face and my hands clasped together. SSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOO HAPPY! SO THANKFUL! SO ASTOUNDED!
And at the same time - so aware of the responsibility resting on me to evangelize this country! WOW! What to do? There's only 126million people in this country, and probably 125,900,00 or so have never heard about a "3rd angel", let alone understanding it or following it................ The dent has to start somewhere, and why not with me? God is sure looking for people, people who will follow him tho the heavens fall. What he can start with just one person - witness White, Miller, Luther, Paul, Elijah, Noah etc. is totally amazing. Of course his plan is to have whole trained phalanxes of workers out in the field searching for souls as for lost sheep or lost silver coins or lost souls:)
2/18 This is part of my reply to the man who sponsored my visa at Country Life from 1989-1994, but refused to sponsor my visa again because i "caused confusion in the church by bringing homeless in".
「また、−−−さんが、「私は問題（ホームレスの人たちを受け入れるべきか否か等）が問題ではなく・・・と断言していますが、なぜその事が言えますか。 ヤコブ２章を読んだ事がありますか。 ９節「しかし、もし分け隔てをするならば、あなたがたは罪を犯すことになり、律法によって違反者として宣告される。」 スーツとネクタイを身に着け、寝るところで四つの壁に囲まれ、天井があるなら、そういう人を教会に連れて行ったら、皆はちやほやして喜んで受け入れる。 に対して、ホームレスの人を連れて行ったら、「あなたの仕事はなくなるよ」とーー（牧師）さんに言われました。 面白い事に、彼が「あなたのやってる事は聖書に基いている」って言いながら、協力しようとしなかった。 「だったらどうして支持しないんですか」と僕が聞くと彼が答えた。 その答えにはあなたが考えているところがあるかも知れません。 「私の役割は教会の調和を保つ事です。」 そこで僕が聞いた、「教会が安息日をやめようとしたら、どうしますか」。 その時の彼の眼差しは一生忘れられません。 ５秒くらい僕の目を見詰め、「その事は有り得ない」と悲しそ〜うに答えた。 もちろん、預言通り、その日は来ます。 彼がＳＤＡ教会を偶像化してしまったように我々は多少しているではないでしょうか。 でもＳＤＡでさえ、神様から金を買い、白衣を買い、目薬を買い、悔い改めないなら、神様の口から吐き出される。
ビサの件ではあなたの自由です。 日本に居る事が神様の計画だったらうまくいくと信じています：） 神様は多くの日本人を天国に連れて行きたがっています！
2/11 Went up north of Tokyo Thursday morning to help with some translation. i also got to see my old friends i used to work with at Country Life Restaurant in Osaka. One of them is opening a new vegetarian - organic - restaurant in Tokyo next week! She isn't Christian, and the other one helping her thinks she's Christian but doesn't really believe it, but it's interesting to hear them speak more like real Christians than most people i've ever met in church!!
Went to the homeless tent along the river today. My SDA friend, who's been rejected by most of the churches around, had come early and cooked rice and fish and miso soup for them. They were all very happy:) When i got there we studied Daniel chapter 1. After that, we did something that even as i was doing it impressed me very much that God was looking on and smiling in approval. Of course it was my friend's idea, she got some hot water in a bucket and massaged their feet while they soaked for around 20minutes each. I insisted on a 15second cold water rub down at the end. The way the guys relaxed and opened up to us was just incredible!
An independent ministry man, the man who sponsored my visa when i worked for Country Life before, gave me a letter telling me to basically keep the harmony with the church and do all things in good order. He talked to the pastor after i asked this man to consider sponsoring my visa again. I haven't answered him yet, but isn't that in the Bible about keeping harmony in the church - among those who are following the truth? The leaders have rejected a part of God's word (love your homeless), so how can i keep harmony with them. It seems like Jesus caused a few waves too in his day, not because he was a rebel, but because the way of the "church" was against the truth. I'm all for keeping harmony - but only with those who choose to stand on the platform of truth. I don't care if the person is the leader of the entire SDA denomination, if he isn't in the truth, i must warn him, and then depart from him if he chooses to stay in error.
1/15 The following is a questionairre sent by a friend who's studying for his 3rd(!) doctorate, and then my reply.
I have a assignment of my Post graduate Master courese of CQU. So please cooporate with my following queatinare.
1.What problem do you encounter in learning Japanese in Japan?
2.How do you find japanese people react to you when speaking Japanese? Why?
3.Do you feel that you are a participant in Japanese society? Why?
4.Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable living in Japan? Why?
Below is my answer to him that he said was just what his professor was looking for?!
1/10 Well, it's been a long-long-long break since my last progress update. Maybe 9 months?!
Lots of bridges over the water........
Since the English school director job at the church ended in the end of March, i finally got busy doing what i know i'm here in Japan for - translating and printing and distributing the original Great Controversy. I started up again in April, and finally finished it on October 2! Also during the summer i had typed most of it into the computer, so that was all done too by 10/8. I paid my friend \74,000 to make my translation into smooth Japanese, and she finished on 10/22. HHHowever,,, around half way thru i found out she was going to fortune-tellers, and she got upset with me for asking her about it - so we won't be working together again:( She did a pretty fair job, but in October i was able to find a SDA member who said she'll go thru it and make it into good Japanese. Her first results are excellent, and i can tell that this is the real thing - ie: it reads smoothly after her help. Only problem is, she's got a regular job, and this takes a lot of time................ But i'm ecstatic that the book has been translated, and now i have to consider printing and distribution etc (^-^).
Took a trip on the cheap slow train to Tokyo in August to see friends and the church that does stuff with the homeless there. Had a great time with my friends, and one of them said she'd quit smoking for sure, and probably quit going to fortune-tellers. I pray she can keep her promise. Surely Satan is busy keeping souls entrapped in various things. The church was very nice in how they work together to help the homeless. It was interesting to me that that church doesn't have a permanent pastor. Seems to make a difference.
In September i was hired for a 5-day J-E translation for those who came over from Alabama for training. So i went up to Kashima, north of Tokyo, and then back down here at the Osaka plant. The thing that impressed me most, was how lots of people work together to get something done. Of course, their goal is to make chemical products and sell them for the largest profit they can. Seeing all the engineers in one large room bent over their desks or looking at computer screens (maybe 80 of them in one room), intent on doing their job (or looking that way), made me wish so strongly for a group of Christians to do that to advance the gospel. For example, is there even one place in the whole world where there is a group that large that are spending that much time and energy in such an organized way to study the prophecies? I sincerely doubt it. The translation of fluor-chemical jargon was tuff, but they basically knew the processes already which helped out. They both said they thot i did a pretty good job:)
I went back to America in November. Met a Japanese friend at LA airport and we took a rental car up to Yosemite. It was my first time there, and really beautiful. I especially enjoy the giant sequoia trees. I bot a airplane ticket thru the internet for the first time, and just walked up to the Southwest counter and gave them my reservation number and showed my pic in my passport and they let me on the plane. What a no-hassle way to go - and cheap!! I thot i would have a lot of free time, so i took my laptop back with me, but the press where i used to work while i was in academy let me work a few days stuffing envelopes with the book "The Marked Bible". Out of 150,000 copies, i stuffed 11,900. It was fun to see everybody and talk with them. And i paid for a part of my trip back - like around 2 of the 4 fillings i got. I went to a pro football game. This helped me decide that i will never go to any other pro sporting event again in my life - what a terrible waste of time and energy. And the emotions created are not something that helps lead me closer to God either. America seemed richer and more decadent than i remembered. The thing that struck me the most, was how the images on the TV screens go so much faster and how something is always moving in the background. It seems like being still on a visual medium is as bad as a blank spot on an aural one. The last few days of my trip were spent renting a car in LA again, and driving up to see friends in California and even as far as Oregon. That was fun. Lots of empty land in America:)
Right after the job at the school finished, i started teaching a small group of ladies near my house:) It's amazing how the Lord provides!! So i was able to get by with just a slight drawdown of savings each month.
Invited some of the homeless guys over to my place "out in the country". One of the guys, 66, drank some water out of the stream and said it was the best he's ever had. His face was alive as he explained about just about everything there in the woods. I went bamboo shoot digging a couple of times. Lots of people are shoot digging recently, so we weren't able to get as many as last year. The ones we got tho sure tasted good! Haven't done much hiking recently, went to 二上山 in June, 私市 in July, and a couple of times thru the woods behind my house and over the hills to Ikoma. As far as parties, had a somen noodle party, and a couple of times meeting friends and eating out, but the number of times was probably not even a quarter of what it used to be. Seems like the older i get the less active i am.....
It was good tho meeting the homeless guys most every Sabbath and having Bible studies. A little church kind of took them under their wing, paid for their train fares and cook lots of food (free! ) for them and just in general seem very happy to have them there. The number of homeless in the area i know has decreased quite a bit from last year. Probably the economy has gotten a little better (3 of the guys i know got jobs) and the govt. has helped some with creating shelters (3 went there). Those guys sure seem like my real family:)))
I've got to figure out how to do more evangelism here, as that's the whole reason i'm here! Putting up a few pioneer SDA books up on the web is good, www.earlysda.com but i can do that anywhere in the world. My New Year's Resolution is to get out the original Great Controversy in printed form in Japanese this year!!!
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2001 is great! But now i want to see other stuff
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