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CAJ REPORT

JONATHAN AND VERLA SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADORS TO JAPAN
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will
also be qualified to teach others, II Timothy 2:2
VOLUME 15 FIRST QUARTER 1995 NUMBER 1
TRANSFER OF THE JOEL HOME
Mr. Oka, the owner of the Joel Home, is
getting up in years. Since his two
daughters did not want to inherit the
Joel Home, Mr. Oka decided to donate it
to the Lx)rd's work. After he discussed
the transfer with several churches, the
Mejirodia church was chosen. But
transfer is very complex, so it took about
a year to complete all the paperwork.
But on December 31, 1994, the
transaction was completed.
In order that people in the community
realize that this home is actually a
church, we are in the process of
renaming the home. We have had many
suggestions but have not come up with
an appropriate name yet. But that will
be decided soon. The congregation is
also trying to think of innovative ways to
attract people in the neighborhood to.
join our services. Tracts are no longer
successful as they are handed out in
abundance, and people have grown tired
of them. And since some groups such as
Jehovah Witness have been very pushy,
people are antagonistic toward door-to-
door evangelism.
YMCA ENGLISH RTRTE TTASS
Although attendance has remained low
in Jonathan's Saturday morning Bible
class, those who come are asking deeper
questions. Recently one of the class
members mentioned that she has gotten
more out of Jonathan's Bible class than
former Bible classes. She felt that was
due to the fact that he was bom in Japan
so understands more fuUy the Japanese
culture. Since textbooks are geared to
American thinking, the Japanese don't
understand many of the thoughts.
Therefore, the class has challenged him
to write his own textbook specifically
answering many of their questions.
Two weeks ago Mr. Wakabayashi, a
businessman, joined the Bible class. He
is married with three children, and is a
very personable man. Jonathan and I
were thrilled when we heard of his
decision to quit his job and go into full-
time ministry. Lord willing. Since
education is much cheaper in the states,
he is praying it be possible to study at a
seminary in SpringjSeld, Missouri. When
Mrs. Ozawa, a non-christian class
member heard of his decision to leave a
financially secure position, to uproot his
family, to enter the ministry, she was
totally astounded! So Mr. Wakabayashi's
decision has been a testimony in itself,
bringing much discussion. We ask for
your prayers in this challenging decision
of his.
POSSIBLE CHURCH GROWTH
Jonathan is presently teaching English to
one of oxir neighbors, Mrs. Honda, who
specifically stated she did not want to
leam Bible. Although she still has not
shown any interest in attending any of
our Sunday morning worship services,
she has attended our last two mini
concerts. We were very happy when she
informed us on March 23rd that her
oldest daughter, 20 years old, would like
to leam the songs in the Sanbika hymnal,
but that she wants to leam them in
English. Mrs. Honda likes my voice and
asked Jonathan if I would sing the songs
in English while the rest of the
congregation sang them in Japanese.
When Jonathan replied yes, she asked
him if her daughter could sit next to me
in order to learn the songs in that way.
So we must never give up, even when
situations seem hopeless, as God is
always by our side.
PRIVATE ENGLISH CLASSES
Although two of Jonathan's English
students discontinued classes at the end
of 1994, we picked up a new student on
March 7. Her name is Chisato, and she
is 6 years old. Since she was bom and
lived 5 1/2 years in the states, even
attending the first grade there, her
grandmother wanted her to continue
learning English. When the class was
first being arranged, the family asked
that I be the teacher, as they felt their
daughter would be more comfortable
with a woman. But at that time, I was
still experiencing morning sickness plus
many migraines, so we said we'd only
teach as a team. Although I was very
nervous during the first class session,
never having taught before, I soon was
very comfortable with Chisato. We
decided to have me listen to her read,
correct her pronunciation if necessary,
etc., and that Jonathan would do the
workbook material. But I became so
excited once I began, that I have almost
totally taken over the class. But
Jonathan told me that I was a natural
teacher and not to feel bad.
PERILS OF .TAPAN
As most of you know, on January 17 a
very devastating earthquake hit Kobe
City and surrounding area. It killed
around 5,000 people, injured
approximately 25,000, and left about
300,000 homeless. Many churches as
well as individuals, both here and abroad,
came to the aid of these victims. It was
very touching to see people dedicate
hQurs of their time to help cook for,
serve to, provide clothing and other
supplies, etc. to these people.
On March 20th another horrifying event
took place in Japan. Several people
planted poisonous chemicals in several
passenger cars on the Hibiya subway line
in the Tokyo area. The finnes were very
toxic killing 10 people, leaving about
5,000 injured, and causing much panic.
The police suspect that it was members
from a religious sect. Several arrests
were made after finding the chemical in
branch offices of that religious
organization.
UPDATE ON VERLA>S PREGNANCY
Unlike in the states where a doctor
doesn't want to see a pregnant woman
until the 11th week of her pregnancy, in
Japan the doctor wants to see the woman
as soon as she suspects she is pregnant.
He then sees her every 3 weeks (taking a
picture of the fetus at each visit) until
the eighth month where the visits are
every two weeks. During the ninth
month the visits are weekly, of course.
The doctors here also want to keep the
woman's weight to a bare minimum with
the understanding that the more you
gain, the more difficult the delivery
becomes. At my last visit I had a very
good report. We guess that our
nutritious eating habits have paid off, as
our baby has a very strong heartbeat and
is growing faster than normal, even for
an American baby. I have surprisingjy
kept my weight down, having only gained
4 lb at week 20. But we are sure that it
will be increasing at a fast rate in the
months to come.
i:)ECREASE IN THE nPLLAR
As the U.S. dollar continues to decrease,
it is becoming harder and harder for
missionaries to survive in Japan. At last
report the value of the dollar was only 88
cents with reports that it may even drop
as low as 80 cents. Although things will
be pretty tight for us, especially with a
baby on the way, we are confident that
God will continue to meet all our needs.
But we do ask for your continued
prayers.
Luke 12:29-31 And do not set your heart
on what you will eat or drink; do not
worry about it. For the pagan world runs
after all such things, and your Father
knows that you need them. But seek his
kingdom, and these things will be given
to you as well.
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, Virginia 23325
Address Correction Raqnested
He bore the sinofmany
made mtercessum
^ for the transgressors.
Iscdah53-12
Jonathan and Verla Sims
4-17-30 Rokkakubashi
Kanagawa ku
Yokohama-shi 221 Japan
Gloria Asbell
Renee Sisson
Forward Agents
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake, VA
PERMIT NO. 48
HISSIOfIb SERVICES ASSOCIATION
50X li27
KNOXVILLE, IN 37901
CAJ REPORT
JONATHAN AND VERLA SIMS
CHRIST'S AMBASSADORS TO JAPAN
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliabU men^ho wtH
also be qmlijied to teach others.
II Timothy 2:2
NUMBER 2
VOLUME 15
SECOND QUARTER 1995
.ay
the Lord
direct your
hearts
into
God's
love.
2 TbetuIoniAiU 3:
SARIN GAS INCIDENTS
Many of you have been very concerned
about our safety during the sarin gas
incidents which took place here during
March and April. The Japanese police,
through many investigations, have
determined that the AUM truth religion
group ( a new cult) was responsible for
randomly placing these harmful gas-
producing chemicals in various subway
trains, causing 10 deaths and 5,000
injuries plus upsetting many commuters.
On May 15 the Japanese police raided
the headquarters of this group and
arrested the head leader who was hiding
in a secret room between floors of a
building there. Since then most of the 40
leaders have been arrested, charged, and
are awaiting trial.
EASTER SERVICES
In April Japanese admire the beauty of
cherry blossoms by going to parks for
picnics. They like to drink alcohol and
have fun. Japanese for the most part do
not know anything about our Heavenly
Father, who created everything for His
glory. If we could somehow reach them
with the Gospel, we are confident that
churches would grow here. Many people
must feel some void in their life, as new
kinds of religious groups are expanding
rapidly. But with all the news about the
AUM group, the general public are now
afraid of any religion. Please pray that
people will open their hearts to
Christianity.
NEW YMCA TEACHING
OPPORTUNITIES
Since April is the start of the new school
year in Japan, English teaching
opportunities have opened for Jonathan
at the Yokohama YMCA. Besides his
English Bible class (which has increased),
he is now teaching 1 English class at the
Totsuka YMCA and 3 at the Nishi
YMCA. This is an answer to prayer as it
provides some yen income to offset the
loss in the exchange rate of the U.S.
dollar. Pray that he will be able to plant
some seeds for the Gospel through his
teaching and life.
JOEL HOME OUTREACH
Since our attendance has remained low
at the Joel Home, we have been trying to
think of innovative ways to attract our
neighbors. Mr. Oka came up with the
idea of writing a short letter each month
which explained a basic truth of
Christianity. Jonathan then types the
letter in Japanese on his word processor,
and we make copies which we distribute
in our neighborhood. Mr. Oka feels that
wide distribution of ordinary tracts or
flyers wouldn't work since they're overly
used by merchants, and people are tired
of them. On the other hand, a letter
may perhaps be read and spark an
interest in our Sunday morning worship.
Please pray with us that people will be
receptive to this new idea.
PERSONAL ENGLISH CLASSES
Three of Jonathan's private English
classes ceased around the beginning of
1995 due to one reason or another. And
the class that we were jointly teaching to
Chisato (6-yr old girl) ended on June 1
due to her lack of interest, tiredness, and
trying to establish new friendships after
spending most of her life in the U.S. We
are sorry that Chisato's class ended
because we had just begun teaching her
some Bible stories. Please pray that we
had some influence on her during the
time we spent with her. She still likes us
very much, and when Jonathan called her
family the middle of June, her dad said
she can't wait to come see us again.
PREGNANCY PROGRESS
As of June 17, I was 8 months pregnant.
As most pregnant women feel at this
stage of pregnancy, I'm tired of it! Ha!
I suppose not sleeping well at night any
more has something to do with it. But
I'm basically feeling good and getting
plenty of exercise which should help in
the birthing process. On June 14 and
June 28 we attended the two preparation
lectures offered through the clinic where
I'm going. Jonathan was the only male
at the first lecture (my interpreter), but
another husband attended the second
lecture. After the class we visited with
the other couple and found out that their
baby is due just two days before mine.
We also visited with a woman who is due
October 1. Although she can't speak
English, she said that she wanted to be
my friend, and we exchanged addresses.
Praise the Lord for contacts.
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, Virginia 23325
Address Correction Requested
Romans 15:5,6 May the God who gives
endurance and encouragement give you a
spirit of unity among yourselves as you
follow Christ Jesus, so that with one
heart and mouth you may glorify the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ.
Gloria Asbell
Renee Sisson
Forwarding Agents
Jonathan and Verla Sims
4-17-30 Rokkakubashi
Kanagawa ku
Yokohama-shi 221 Japan
(Note: VERLA'S ANTICIPATED DUE
"DATE IS 8/5795)
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. Postage
PAID
Chesapeake, VA
PERMIT NO. 48
MISSIONS SERVICES ASSOCIATION
BOX 2427
KNOXVILLE, IN 37901
CAT REPORT
JONATHAN AND VERLA SIMS CHRIST'S AMBASSADORS TO JAPAN
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mindhas conceived what Godhaspreparedfor
those who love Him." Isaiah 64:4
VOLUME 15 Third & Fourth Quarter 1995
r\SLjnnLG^
slneill calted
(wlnicln mearLS, God is with ulsX'
—tvlatthew 1:23
1995
JOEL HOIVTE OUTREACH UPDATE
Each month since May 1995, Mr. Oka has been writing a circular which includes ascripture verse, its meaning, plus
personal note. After typing and making copies, Verla and I have been distributing them throughout our
neighborhood. It is our prayer that it vrill be read and move someone enough to attend our Joel Home worship
services. Although wehave seen no response todate, we pray seeds are being planted.
YMCA TEACHING UPDATE
I am very thankful that when the U.S. dollar declined so dmstically last spring. God answered our prayers by
opening up several teaching positions for me at the YMCA. Up until April 1995,1 had only been teaching one
English Bible class. But nowI am currently teaching four more classes, one at the TotsukaYMCA, andthree at
the Nishi YMCA. Although these classes are strictly for teaching the English language, at times I have shared some
oftheJoel Home happenings and have also invited my students toattend our worship services. Adthough people
are friendly andat times act interested, none have attended thus far. But one young high school student was veiy
willing to accept a Gideon Bible. Praise die Lord!
PERSONAL UPDATE
Verla's due date was August 6. But on August 14 she still had not gone into labor so her Dr. decided to give her
a mildsolution of oxytccin, andwewere toldthat ourbabyprobably wouldn't arrive until thenext morning. But
at 4:14 pm she gave birth to our beautiful son, BenjaminJon, who weight in at 8 lbs. 1oz. And was 20" long. He
hadlots of dark hair, to Verla's delight. What a way to celebrate oursecond wedding anniversary. Yes, we had
beenmarried exactly two years the day of his birth. Pretty neat anniversary gift huh?!
BENJA^ON AT 3 WEEKS
As of December 14, Benjamin turned four months old. We can not tell you how many people's hearts he has
already touched withhis beautiftd smile, verbal expressions, andcuteactions. To Verla's surprise, she has let many
people hold Benjamin, some even being strangers. Unlike his parents, Benjamin is quite the socializer, seemingly
unafraid of almost anyone. With his personality, it is ourearnest prayer that he someday beable todo great things
for our Lord Jesus Christ.
THANKSGTVLNG
The annual missionary Thanksgiving gathering was again held at my parents home in
Mejirodai, Tokyo This is one of our largest-attended meetings. This year we believe there
were 46 in attendance, 27 adults and 19 children. Aftera delicious potluck supper, including
- - - ^ turkey and all the trimmings, we all assembled in the sanctuary where each of us, including
wrmmmWi children, shared something we were thankful for. It was a wonderful way to share in each
other's joys.
MY BIG DECISION
I knowthe following statement will beshocking news for most of you, but onNov. 181 made the decision for my
family and I toreturn tothe states where I will beseeking some type of ministry-related work. After serving in
Japan for 14 years, I'm sure you can imagine what agony I went through in making this momentous decision.
Although many factors were involved, themain one was the lack of any church growth during a five-year span.
Since now is the besttime tobegin searching for a ministry-related position, my fanuly andI will be leaving Japan
onJanuary 9. Therefore, much work needs tobedone within the next few weeks. We have already secured our
plane tickets from Japan toCalifornia (best route). We don't know where God will lead us, but we will begin our
new endeavor in Ames, Iowa.
BIG MOVING SALE
In late November a representative from Nippon Express came to estimate ourmoving expense. Atthat time we
were given arough estimate of$12,000. double that ofmoving here. So we decided to sell as much ofour furmture,
etc., as possible. Ofcourse, we couldn't take our TYWCR, cassette recorder, orappliances anyway. As those items
are made for use in Japan only.
Since we didn'twant topay $200 (not a typo) for local newspaper advertising, I decided tojust put up some large
posters in the neighborhood But toentice more customers, Verla decided tohave abake sale as well. So she spent
hours before andduring the sale making dozens of muffins, bars, andcookies. As it turned out, few people came.
But wedidmanage to sell a lot of little items, some larger ones, anda baked goods.
.We were sorry ourbeddidn't sell but have decided to leave it here as it would cost S1800 toship.
You're probably wondering what happened to all the left over baked goods. Well, I didn't get them all. Verla made
many gift packs and gave some to our neighbors, sent some to fiiends, and froze the rest to use at our annual
Christmas Eve Candlelight service.
h
CHRISTMAS
We've received many letters stating what a fun Christinas this year would be with little
Benjamin to share it with. Althoughwe've sold our Christmastree, our spirits have not been
dampened in the least because Christ remains in our home and hearts. We praise God daily
for all the blessings He bestows on us!
Since Dec. 24 falls on a Sunday this year, we have high hopes for a greater turnout at our
annual Christmas Eve candlelight service. However, Verla and I regret that due to our big
move, we won't have the time to present a musical selection this year.
SPECIAL REQUEST
Verla and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for so faithfully supporting our
ministry throughout the years withyoursteadfast prayers and/or financial support, many love offerings, Christmas
presents, etc. Your love has simply overwhelmedus so manytimes. That is whywe find it extremely difficult to
make one final appeal to you. As youare aware, it maytake some time and financial resources before I can secure
a permanent position, which probably means relocation for my family and I, plus another adjustment to a new
environment Therefore, we covetyour prayers andaskthat youcontinue your financial supportfor us throughJune
1996.
Although we will no longer be ministering in Japan, we want you to knowthat our love for you will never cease.
We'd loveto keep in touch withyouand will informyouof our newaddress whensettled. My God's grace be with
each ofyou during 1996.
'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14
HAPPY
NEW YEAR
LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST
1126 Laurel Avenue
Chesapeake, VA 23325
Address Correction Requested
mssioHS SERVICES associruon
BOX 2427
KNOXVILIL
Non-Profit Org.
U.S. POSTAGE
PAID
Chesapeake, VA
PERMENTNO. 48