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Archive for November, 2009

Sometimes I am at a complete loss for words. The Bible tells us that sometimes we don’t even know what to pray for, but the Holy Spirit will intercede on our behalf and pray with words that cannot be expressed (Romans 8:26). This is one of those times.

Yesterday I found out that while on their way to a conference in Oregon, a group of Bible college students from Colorado lost control of their van on the icy road and spun out of control. 13 of the 16 aboard were ejected. Two of them didn’t make it.

Of course this is tragic in any case. Anytime there is such a loss of life it is sad. What brings this closer to home is the fact that one of the two people who passed away is the brother of one of our MiniChurch shepherds, Joy Pishcura.

So many times heard stories of tragic events all over the world and it seems so far away and so distant. It rarely hits this close to home. Not only was Joshua young (he was only 20) but he was on his way to doing great things in the Kingdom of God. He had his whole life ahead of him. He was taken away much too soon.

Please continue to pray for Joy and the whole Pishcura family. In addition to Josh passing away, his sister Katy was also a passenger in the van and she is in the ICU in Boise, Idaho. Pray for God’s peace, pray for healing, pray for their families and friends and pray for all the love and support they will need in the upcoming weeks.

You can read the Denver Post’s coverage of the accident here.

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A Funny Story from the Road

So it’s been a while since I’ve last blogged. A real long while. It’s not for a lack of things to blog about as much as just laziness. So sorry. I’ll try not to be this lazy in the future.

The last few months have been a blur. At one point I spent 21 out of 22 nights sleeping away from home because I went on a missions trip to Japan followed by a wedding in New York and a vacation in Boston. Needless to say, I came back exhausted.

But Japan was great. I really feel like we’re making great progress there and I can’t wait to go back next year. There are many great stories from Japan and rather than try to write all of them now, I’ll give you a funny one to start out with.

One of the great things that Pastor Ohigashi is doing in Sapporo is encouraging the house church movement. So one day during the middle of the week we drove out to Yoichi to visit them and stopped along the way in Otaru town.

Because there were a bunch of us going out to the country, we took two cars. In our car we took along a man named Mr. Honma. I love Mr. Honma. He is a man after my own heart. I guy loves to eat (all the omiyage he gives us is food). He has even been known to leave church (while it’s still in session) to go and find something to eat. Needless to say, the man is hungry!

That’s Honma-san on the bottom

So anyway, we stopped in Otaru town and did a little sightseeing. Otaru is an old town with many little shops selling trinkets and little knick-knacks. Of course, like many places in Hokkaido, they also have soft-cream.

Cruising the streets of Otaru

Now in Otaru they take their soft cream very seriously. There’s not just your standard chocolate or vanilla. That would be way too amateur. They don’t even do the twist where they mix two flavors together. Rather, in Otaru they stack up the different flavors that you order (like a little soft serve snowman).

Here’s the exciting menu board

There are seven flavors you can choose from including milk, melon, green tea and even lavender. But like I mentioned earlier, you can get some stacked. They have a “flavors of Hokkaido” with five flavors or for those not as adventurous you can choose the one with three flavors.

Dural wasn’t playing any games and got the five flavors

Akane opted for a more modest three

So anyway, Akane (the girl in the picture above) was one of our translators and because she speaks both Japanese and English, she was our designated orderer. Of course we all fired our orders to her and she had the unenviable task of relaying to the girl behind the counter making our soft creams. But in all the hustle and bustle, she forgot to order Mr. Homna’s soft cream (you know, the one who loves to eat). I’m not going to lie, I have never seen a sadder looking man in my life. He looked positively crestfallen. We were in a rush and the line was long, so we weren’t even sure if he would have enough time to stand in line again.

But as luck would have it (because I’m sure some of you are feeling really sorry for him right now) David, another team member, was already in line and Mr. Honma got to have a soft cream like the rest of us.

Once we got on the road again, Mr. Honma shared his feelings toward almost being left out of the soft cream party. Through our translator Akane, he said his spirit became sad when he saw all of us happily eating our soft creams. He asked God, “Why? Why can’t I have a soft cream too?”.

Then, he said, when he say David come with a soft cream for him, he was overjoyed. He said he wanted to jump up and down but he was afraid that he might drop his soft cream and become saddened again.

So I told Mr. Honma, “Well you know, we did order for you the soft cream the first time, but the person who failed to get it for you is sitting right next to you.” To which Akane, who was sitting right next to Mr. Honma sheepish looked at me and said, “I’m not going to interpret that.”

And she didn’t. Poor Mr. Honma will never know why he didn’t get to eat soft cream with the early crew.

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