CMA Japan 2010
CMA Japan Mission Log
July 1 - August 9, 2010

Tiffany Case
Gwen Kennicutt
Christine Rempel
Please join us in our ministry to Japan. Check here daily to follow our steps.
We will be posting news, testimonies and photos on this page.

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Day 35 thru 37:
August 6th - 8th, 2010

Konichiwa minasan! (Hello everyone!)
Pastor Lee and his wifeWe arrived safely in Hiroshima on Friday afternoon. This is the 3rd year working with this church. Pastor Lee, his wife and 4 children are from Korea and are missionaries to Japan. It was wonderful to see them again and see how their children have grown over the past year. That night we had dinner with them and 2 other people who serve here at the church. Pastor Lee's oldest daughter (9yr) has been taking ballet and practicing English this past year because she has a dream to minister the way that CMA does. She wants to be a missionary and use dance to share the gospel. After dinner that night she changed into her ballet outfit, set up the cd player and showed us 2 dances. She loves to choreograph dances and loves to use the music that we gave her from our performance last summer. It was sweet and humbling to watch her dance. We pray that while we are here, we would be able to inspire her in her walk with the Lord. When she looks at us and talks to us we want her to see Jesus.
 Future dance minister Future dance missionary

Kato-san and KumikoSaturday at 1pm we had a special 45min program at a church about 20 min away. This is another church we have worked with for the past 2 years. Kato-san and his wife Kumiko are 2 people we love very much! Over the years we have had the privilege of hearing their testimonies and the way the Lord has been working in their lives. This day there was a special event, where all the people from their Gospel Hula ministries (mothers and children) were invited to come and see our ministry. We danced, Gwen shared her testimony and I shared the message of salvation. This event was mainly for non-Christians and we were so honored to be able to share Christ and His great love with them. After the performance time, sweet little girls brought us flowers. We then talked with people, ate snacks and made Hawaiian flower clips for our hair (craft time)!

Hawaiian flower hair clips Kato-san's church
Kato-san's church Kato-san's church

Kumiko is partially deaf (she used to be completely deaf until the Lord did a miracle later in her life that gave back much of her hearing) so she uses a lot of sign language in her Gospel Hula. Like us, she uses movement and expression to clearly tell the message of the song. During the fellowship time that day, she told us about one of her favorite songs, "You Raise Me Up". She wanted to know if we could show her how we would express that song through dance. So she put the music on (in English) and we danced (improv) to the whole song. It turned out to be a great worship time for us and as we finished we saw that it had touched many people. God works in mysterious and awesome ways!
From Gwen--
Yumi YonedaAfter our events that afternoon, Yumi Yoneda and her son Arata traveled three hours to come see us!  Yumi was the one who coordinated the very first trip to Japan back in 2005.  Not only that, but she was actually the one who introduced my family to CMA.  We were realizing today just how much she has done - if it hadn't been for her introducing us to CMA, then obviously I would never have joined this ministry, and she and my mom (who also helped lead the trip in 2005) would never have had the idea of CMA coming to Japan....  its just so amazing how the Lord works all of these things out!  All because Yumi did a homestay with us in Colorado for a couple of years.  It was so great to catch up with her and hear about all that she is doing now.  Since I last saw her 6 years ago, she and her husband Hiroshi have started a church in Nagoya, where they live.  Their son Arata is now 9. Sugoi!  Wow!  How time flies....he was 3 years old on CMA's first trip to Japan. Arata is going to a Christian school run by missionaries in Nagoya.  Also, Yumi is wanting CMA to come to Nagoya on our next trip to Japan!  
That night we (the three of us, Yumi and Arata, and Pastor Lee and his family) all went out to eat Okonomiyaki.  Also known as a Japanese pancake, Okonomiyaki is one of our favorite foods in Japan, especially Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, so this was a rather wonderful meal... and wonderful not just because we love the food, but also because we got to fellowship with friends!  What a loverly blessing, ne?  (Ne is Japanese for isn't it? )

Sunday AM serviceToday is Sunday, our last day in Japan :( It was full and wonderful, a great way to finish our almost 6 week stay! This morning Gwen and I spoke during the church service. After that we quickly changed while people moved upstairs to an area with more space. We then did 2 dances and I shared about our ministry, about the Lord being our All in All and how we need to seek after Him like a precious jewel. Next was lunch! Every Sunday this church has lunch and fellowship together after the service. We ate Korean food and found ourselves surrounded by many cultures. I ended up sitting next to a Japanese lady from Europe, she is visiting her family here in Hiroshima. Christine ended up speaking Spanish with a Japanese man and Gwen spoke with a 90 year old man who talked with her about the Civil War. The pastor's wife shared how the dances had deeply touched her that day. During the dances she sat there with her hand to her chest and tears in her eyes.

Sunday before lunch fellowship Sunday before lunch fellowship

Jesus Fellowship churchAfter lunch we packed up and went to another church, Jesus Fellowship. This is where Pastor Lee's children attend church school a few days a week (the other days they are homeschooled.) Pastor Lee and his wife decided to homeschool their children after working with us for a few years, hearing about our homeschooling experiences and having God speak to their hearts. At Jesus Fellowship we had an hour-long performance (dance/testimonies). This was our last event here in Japan, crazy! Time feels like it has gone so quickly and yet the start of our trip feels so long ago! After the performance we talked to the church school students for about an hour. They had many questions about our homeschooling, our life now and our future plans. We mostly talked to the girls, the boys were a bit shy. The girls were so sweet and loved trying out their English with us (all other conversation was through a translator.) We really enjoyed spending time with these girls, asking them questions and showing them pictures of Colorado and our families. Such a neat opportunity to encourage these girls. 

Jesus Fellowship church Jesus Fellowship church - Welcome sign
Talking about homeschooling Jesus Fellowship church
Showing pics of home and family Showing pics of home and family

With Mari at dinnerTonight we went out to dinner with Pastor Lee's family, Kim and Mari (2 people who serve here at this church). We had such a fun time talking and laughing with them, lots of laughing! We love spending time getting to know the people who are in ministry here in Japan. Over Okonomiyaki last night, I had a great conversation with Pastor Lee. We talked about the difficulties he and his wife faced as they moved here and started a new life as missionaries to Japan. So many things were sacrificed to follow the Lord's calling on their lives. We love this sweet family and pray the the Lord would continue to strengthen them, provide for them and use them to reach the people here in Hiroshima. Please pray for endurance and encouragement for all the people in ministry here in Japan. Reaching people here takes much relationship building, planting seeds and waiting for the Lord to bring forth the fruit. Lots of trusting and obeying even when you can't see the results.
We are almost all packed up now and tomorrow we start the journey home. It will be about 24 hours of travel. We leave by Shinkansen (bullet train) tomorrow at 9:15am from Hiroshima. We change trains a few times arriving at the Narita airport near Tokyo. We then fly out at about 6pm going to San Francisco and then home sweet home! Please pray for all the travel to be smooth, that we would catch all our train and plane connections. Also for safety over our bodies as we take large amounts of luggage on the train tomorrow. We are so in awe of all the Lord has done during this trip. Please continue to pray for the people we have mentioned along the way. The ones who gave their lives to the Lord in Yokohama, the people who came to church for the first time, the boy who heard about Jesus for the first time, the ones who were baptized, the ones we met on the train, the children we held, the ones who cried, the ones we never even saw.
Lord, to you be all the glory for ever and ever!!!
Tiffany, Gwen and Christine

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