Recap of 1999 and some gleanings

Settled back into the routine of teaching some English and then leaving the country every 90 days to renew my visa. Didn't teach too much, leaving me with plenty of time to work on the translation for the Great Controversy and meet friends. Didn't get hardly any supportive voices for my translation work until around the end of the year tho, so things didn't really advance very well.

Another reason things didn't advance too far on the translation front (completed thru chapter 17 only) is that the Osaka center Seventh-Day Adventist church invited me to work at their English school as a assistant director. I'm in charge pretty much, but the pastor has the final say and the former director has a lot of say (?)! This is proving to be a great blessing to me. It's easy for me to get behind a book and read and believe the theory behind something, but to put it into practice, to do the right thing because it's right, putting your knowledge into practice is where your character can grow really quickly. Working with the 2 young teachers, working with church members, working with the students, i've made some mistakes, but when i see personal growth, a closer walk with God developing, i praise God for giving me this chance to work in his vineyard.

Trips were taken to Kyuushuu, Korea(3 times), Shikoku (twice), Yokohama, Hakone, and America. Finally learned how to read Hangul during one of the Korean trips. Used the time wisely and typed in the "Word to the Little Flock" book into the computer and onto the internet while in Seoul. Got to see the countryside of Korea for the first time. Not so different from Japan, but worth a visit. America beckoned with a 20year reunion. It was weird seeing classmates with wrinkles etc. and talking about how soon they're going to be granma's!!! This is the first time since i first came to Japan that i really didn't look forward to coming back. America is prettier, easier lifestyle, the people are more upfront (sometimes too much so), cheaper, but my field of work is here in Japan.

A friend got baptized at a Sunday church. I had some dialogue with the pastor who said that the 10 commandments weren't abolished, then in his next letter he said they were. A friend who wants to be a preacher but isn't even a Christian yet kept me busy with many a FAX and email asking questions etc. Made me stronger just digging into things i've taken for granted for many years. He entered a college theology correspondence course. I pray he can find faith someday.

Finally had enough of my hoster "myfreeoffice" when they started putting a sliding watermark on every page. I know people who want to read about the Great Controversy don't want to see that. So i bot a domain - www.earlysda.com Put the "Little Flock" on it and got it going in October. It was advertised as a new site for one week which really popped the counter, and by the end of the year had received around 375 hits:) 5 or 6 people this year saw the site and sent me a email. One has become a good friend and sent me a big box of copies of original William Miller books and Ellen White books:) Brought into sharp focus the changes made in the "SOP"!

A English student who isn't even a Christian taught me a very important lesson this year. I received an "exploding gopher" program by email, and while helping her set up her computer, i started it up. She thot it was awful. I thot it was just a harmless cartoon joke. After thinking about it for several days, i realized that it didn't meet the standards of "pure or true". Just because i've seen things since i was a little kid, like ducks getting blown away and then coming back in the next scene, doesn't mean that it's good to watch. So i'm trying to stay away from those violent (very funny) things.

Money promised for a jeep in kalimpong India finally arrived. This year 1 1/2 vehicles in India were bot with money donated thru a Winters. Pray that they'll be used wisely to bring God's gospel to more people than would have had a chance to hear without them.


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