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CAJ Report
JONATHAN SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
And the. things you have heard me say in the presence ofmany witnesses entrusted to reliable
men who will also be qualified to teach others. II Timothy 2:2
VOLUME 5 FIRST QUARTER 1985 NUMBER 1
A RECORD ATTENDANCE
A report in March about a Christmas program is late to be sure, but worthwhile of
mention as the good attendance encouraged me. Also with a helper taking pictures, the
program went smoothly. The program consisted of singing carols, telling the real story
of Christmas, Sunday school students reading from Luke chapter two, various games and a
gift exchange. Previous preparation for the program had been made through handing out
about nine hundred handbills. The young man from Yokosuka attending our Bible college
in Osaka was home over the Holidays to help in various ways. He was the one who took
the pictures while I directed the activities in the program. The children in Sunday
school had rehearsed their parts in
reading Scripture and telling about _
The attendance by American
standards was not much, but it was the
most coming to any program since X
have been here at Yokosuka. Of those
who came, eight of the children were
in a Church building for the first
time in their lives. Four adults, two
infants and twenty-two who exchanged
gifts were in attendance. Compared
with our average attendance in Sunday
school of eight, it seemed to be
quite a crowd, Ichinose san, who
teaches the children from preschool to
third grade, had prepared just enough
for the refreshment time. I donated
a box of tangerines. The greatest num
ber of visitors came as friends of the
children of the husband and wife who
study English in a class of mine. The
other visitors came directly from
handing out handbills in front of the
elementary school nearby. Pray that
I can make more contacts like the hus
band and wife who brought their
friends, children and friends of their
children.
Scripture Reading
Game. Time
A FURLOUGH IS COMING
I arrived in Japan in May of 1981 to begin my first term of service and four years
have sped by. In response to a request from some in the U.S. I am planning a trip to
visit supporting congregations, classes and family beginning May 29 and extending
through the National Missionary Convention in Orlando, Florida after which on October
3, I will return to Japan, recharged for a second term of service.
During my trip in the U.S. the young man from Yokosuka, who incidentally will be
graduating from Osaka Bible Seminary this Spring, will be filling the pulpit in Yoko
suka. You will hear more of him later.
My itinerary is taking shape. I will depart from Tokyo on May 29, Wednesday at
19:05 with a brief period of dark over the Pacific and go through Customs in Seattle
after arriving the AM of the same day 10:35. Continuing glast will lose me time so that
I arrive in Norfolk at 22:36 (still Wed. May 29). Going the other direction on October
3 will seem like one long day, departing Norfolk at 7:35 AM Thursday and without seeing
a sunset or dark of any kind will arrive in Tokyo on Friday, October 4 at 1^:50 hours.
Speaking appointments are being confirmed. After a week in Chesapeake, Virginia I will
be driving to be at 1st Christian, Mckeesport the AM of June 9, at First Christian,
Turtle Creek, PA that PM, later at Norwin Christian and First Christian, Big Run and
with my youngest brother in Belleville, Michigan on the weekend of June 30. The drive
to visit my sister in Desmoines will be hard as well as the return from Iowa to be at
Creswell Church of Christ July 7 followed by a week of camp. In any case additional ap
pointments from July onward will be best put in my next newsletter.
I will soon be able to see many of you all in person to Fellowship and relate
about the work in Japan. To visit will be a wonderful way to recharge for another term
in Japan. I am always grateful for continuing prayer and support. The Lord is answer
ing prayer, providing needs according to His timetable, sustaining us in our efforts.
Through the power given us from above we can be made more effective servants.
PRAY THAT ALL WE SAY AND DO CAN BRING GLORY AND HONOR TO OUR LORD AND
SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, Virginia 23325
C.A.J. -JONATHAN SIMS
Jesse & Ella Inge, Forwarding Agents
P.O. Box 13277
Chesapeake, Virginia 23325
(804)420-6028
Missions Services Assoc
Box 2427
Knoxville, TN.. 37901
[iilliliiillilnlltuinllll!!!
Non-Profit Org,
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake, Va.
Permit No. 48
C. A. J. REPORT
JONATHAN SIMS...CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
VOLUME 5 THIRD QUARTER 1985 NUMBER 3
A FIRST FURLOUGH SUMMARY
I have heard various conments about "furlough" from missionaries who
have devoted much time to work in the fields for the sake of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ. One of the most commonly expressed statements is that a missionary
will need to get back to the field to "rest up" from furlough. A "furlough" in
any dictionary becomes a synonym with "Vacation" but for a missionary a furlough
-does-not seem to be a time for reiazing~or getting one^s mind off-one's work. On-
the contrary, a missionary becomes busy speaking to a number of groups about the
work on the field and becomes tired from traveling around from place to place. A
furlough is similar to a vacation in that it is a financial burden not fully com
pensated for dollar wise, but is also a change of pace which can be appreciated.
It is amazing to know that many pioneer missionaries such as Hudson Taylor in
China never took a single "furlough," at least as we would interpret the word
"furlough." Paul did report to the congregation which had:sent him out to the
field, but never lost his zeal to work in the fields and when Paul couldn't be
there in person, sent letters to keep in touch. It is my understanding from
Scripture that a Christian can not go on vacation from being a Christian and also
to be a Christian is no real "vacation."
The aim of this furlough which began on May 29 and will finish when
leaving for Japan on October 3 has been to visit supporting congregations and
family. I have been able to visit briefly my aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers'
families and with many of you who have been praying for me and supporting the work
in Japan. I regret that I have not been able to visit with some others of you as
well. In heaven there will not be hindrances of distance and time schedule dif
ferences to keep people apart as happens here on earth. Traveling more than 8,000
miles by car I have made stops in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,
Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio and will fly Eastern Airlines to
Florida to attend the National Missionary Convention in Orlando.
In general, this furlough has been very worthwhile. It was not pleasant
to have two teeth with root canal infections to be worked on, nor to be inflicted
with whiplash because of a careless truck driver in North Carolina. It disturbed
me a little to see changes in-several congregations caused by a weakened state
of the economy. And a change of leadership always needs getting used to. But
blessings far outweigh troubles.
I can not express how much I appreciate the elders of Laurel Avenue
Church of Christ, Chesapeake, Virginia for providing a good vehicle for driving
around the country. I appreciate greatly the hospitality of those who allowed me
to stay in their homes as I went from place to place. I appreciate the many op
portunities I had to speak to congregations, groups, camps and individuals as well
about the work in Japan. Those who are keeping me in their prayers and supporting
me through finances, encouraging letters or cards, or simply through showing inter
est in reaching across cultural differences with the Gospel mean very much to me.
The Lord has blessed me with good health during the trips from place to place.
Simply to meet many wonderful people who are concerned about my well being and
interested in the work in Japan encourages me to be more diligent and helps to
charge me up for additional service in Japan.
A NEW ENGAGEMENT
On July 20, the young man preaching and teaching at Yokosuka while I am
here in the U.,S. was formally engaged to a young lady from one of our congrega
tions In the greater Tokyo area. Both had been in Osaka, attending the same con
gregation, but the Jaj^anese style "courtship" did not begin until the preacher of
the congregation introduced her to Kensei. After Kensei was introduced to her fam
ily and they showed even a hint of tolerance and she was introduced to his family
and shown tolerance, they could "date". Generally not much is done without family
approval, but in the cases where a couple agrees to marry regardless of lack of ap
proval from one side or both the couple finds a lot of hardship. In Japan, a mar
riage where both families approve heartily as well as the couple themselves is re
ally considered blessed. In this case the groom to be and bride ' to be are both
Christian and from our Churches, but his family are not Christian and I do not
know about hers, which may cause pressure on their relationship.
In Japan It Is a rare blessing to find couples like Kensei and Yoshie.
Too often Christians marry hon christiahs and end up drawn away from the Church,
because they can't find partners of like faith among the few congregations they
may know about. Crossing denoiiiiiiational lines also causes problems. There simply
need to be more Christians in Japan and more opportunities for Christian young
people to meet together.
In speaking for myself I can only say that the Lord has not yet blessed
me through providing that special helpmeet. If my Creator does bless mw by pro
viding a helpmeet, AHEN. Pray that in whatever situation I am in, single or
otherwise, that I can be as effective as possible in reaching others with the
Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am looking forward to beginning another term of service in Japan. The
other day I received a letter from Yokosuka, where the people are praying for my
safe and speedy return. They have been thinking a lot about me as I have been
traveling. I have been thinking about them as well, but am eqtially slow in get
ting letters written. There is much to be done there. Pray that there can be
break throughs in reaching across cultural barriers so that many Japanese will re
spond to the Gospel. I am grateful to have been able to visit many of you during
this brief furlough, and I ask for continuing prayer and support as I return to
Japan on October 3.
/s/ Jonathan Sims
Christianity
V«V«V*%VAV*V«V«V»«%V*V*V/t%V«ViVAVAVA%%VAV«^^^
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
C.A.J. - JONATHAN SIMS
P.O. Box 13277
Chesapeake, Virginia 23325
FIELD ADDRESS
Jonathan Sims
3-6 Hugo Cho, Yokosuka-Shi
Kanagawa Ken, Japan 238
FORWARDING AGENT
Jesse Inge
909 Neptune Ave., Va.
(804)420-6028
Beach. Va. 23464
Permit No. 48
Non-Profit Org.
Postage Paid
Chesapeake, Va.
Missions Services Assoc
Box 2427
Knoxville, IN. 37901
October 14, 1985
To Laurel Avenue Church of Christ
Dear Brethren in Christ:
I arrived safely in Japan on the 4th of October, tired from a long flight.
Now I have settled down and am resuming various activities here.
The people here had a welcome party for me on Sunday. Some new people have
been coming regularly, so I feel somewhat positive about the work here. Kensei
has done a good job... during my absence. He is thinking a lot now about his
upcoming marriage on November 23.
We talked a little about a schedule of church activities to be started and
will be sharing responsibilities of preaching and teaching as his part-time work
limits his preparation time somewhat. But with the two of us working together,
I feel it is possible to reach out into the community better than with just one.
The dollar has been made very weak recently, which is a plus for American
business (it makes American things cheaper in overseas markets- if middlemen
stay out of interfering), but it lowers my income- by allowing me less yen per
dollar. At 214 yen per dollar, my buying power is only 85% of what it was in
March of this year when I was getting 250 yen per dollar. In any case, I feel
on an equal level with all Japanese preachers who are struggling to make ends
meet.
Thank you for all of your help during my "furlough" in the U.S. I feel re
freshed and ready to continue on with the work here in Japan. The Lord is sus
taining my health and thanks to many Christians in America who are concerned
about Mission work, I feel encouraged at heart. Thank you again for your con
tinuing prayers and support.
In His service,
/s/ Jonathan Sims
Missionary to Japan
;note from gloria and RENEE:
Jonathan loves to get mail from his Christian friends here in the U.S. He
would love to get a personal note or card from you. Let's send him lots of
Christmas cards. His address is: JONATHAN SIMS, 3-6 Kugo Cho, Yokosuka-Shi,
Kanagawa Ken, Japan 238.
CAJ Report
JONATHAN SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN
And the. thinfixyou have heard me say in the presence nj many witnessesenirusied m reliable
men who willalso be qualified to teach others. U Timothy 2:2
/p V/
VOLUME 5 FOURTH QUARTER 1985 NUMBER 4
BACK HOME IN JAPAN
In every situation, the Lord blesses those who diligently seek first His
Kingdom and righteousness. Even though while driving along an Interstate highway
in North Carolina, my car (not actually mine, but provided for me through the elders
of Laurel Avenue Church of Christ, Chesapeake, Virginia) was hit by a truck caus
ing much damage to the car and whiplash to me, good is coming out of the situation.
From my understanding, the elders did not lose out very much in their investing in
the car as reimbursement for the damages was paid by the Insurance Company and the
car has been sold. The lawyer working on my behalf is making progress in negot
iating a "reasonable" recompense for personal injury. But most of all the Lord is
overseeing all things, having healed my neck through normal processes (which at
times He speeds up as He deems necessary.)
I again thank all who have made the "furlough" a blessing for me, namely
those who let me stay with them overnight or several days, those who provided
meals and those who gave me words of encouragement for the task at hand of reach
ing people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I arrived safely back in Japan on October 4, but my large suitcase didn't
make the connection in Chicago. It arrived on the third day, being delivered to
my front door at the airlines expense. I stayed overnight with mom and dad in
Hachioji and then went on to Yokosuka, where a welcome party had been prepared. I
had several gifts in my large suitcase, so didn't feel quite settled in until it
arrived on Monday. It took only two or three days to adjust to the time differ-
^ence, but about two weeks to adjust to my normal eating portions and menu.
The congregation here at Yokosuka has been continuing on well with
Kensei in the pulpit. He was glad to see my safe return and felt that my trip in
the U.S. had been good for me, although a little long for a "vacation." Sunday
School attendance is averaging about six, which is a drop caused by pressures of
society on children to attend public school activities on Sunday (or other commu
nity and group outings or events.) Sunday AM Worship, however has shown increase
with seven in attendance at times.
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful American holiday rooted in Christian
principles that is not celebrated in other countries. In Japan one day is set to
express gratitude for "labor," but for all practical purposes is treated as an ex
cuse for another day off from work with no special customs or religious signifi
cance of any kind. On that day, November 23, Kensei and Yoshie were married. The
ceremony was held in the chapel of our Bible College in Osaka and the reception in
the small school auditorium. One of the professors of the Bible College conducted
the ceremony and mom and dad had been asked to be the "go-betweens" for the sake
of the ceremony and stand with the bride and groom. I took pictures for dad as
well as myself during the ceremony, but gave one of the "speeches" at the recep
tion.
The reception went as well as the ceremony. Dad gave the first speech
which included an introduction of the couple plus comments of encouragement which
seemed almost like a sermon. I learned some things about Kensei that I hadn't
known, plus many things about Yoshie. For example, her mother had died when Yoshie
was nine and she was raised by her father, who becoming a capable cook, taught her
how to cook. The parents were introduced and expressed their approval of the wed
ding, with agreement that a Christian wedding is much better than the "package
deals" set up by resort hotels and airline agencies. Secular weddings are for the
most part money making rackets, charging high fees. My speech as a friend of
Kensei was short and because of excitement ended up reading the manuscript I had
written in Japanese. After I had sat down, I felt there was more I could have said.
The Lord is blessing Kensei and Yoshie in their commitment and will bless the work
in Yokosuka with a "Christian home" to lead others in that direction. Up till now
there have been predominatly singles in attendance here at Yokosuka.
At this time of year, there is much to give thanks for. The Lord is
blessing us with life and wonderful things which the world cannot possibly pro
vide., Christmas will be here when this newsletter is distributed, so I wish ever^
one a Christmas season filled with joy and comfort through Jesus Christ, our
Lord. There are many preparations to be made for the activities here at Yokosuka
during the Christmas season, so I must get on with ray part of the work. THANK YOU
VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUING PRAYERS AND SUPPORT WHICH IS BEING USED BY OUR LORD
TO BLESS THE WORK HERE.
411 1
5*?
The couple, "go-betweens" and parents
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, Virginia 23325
Forwarding Agent for;
JONATHAN SIMS, MISSIONARY TO JAPAN
P.O. Box 13277
Chesapeake, Virginia 23325
FIELD ADDRESS
3-6 Kugo Cho Yokosuka-Shi
Kanagawa-Ken Japan 238
Kensei and Yoshie sing a special number
Missions Services Assoc
Box 2427
Knoxville, TN. 37901
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake, Va.
Permit No. 48