Sims Jonathan Verla 1995 Japan

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download


missionary newsletters



    And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who willalso be qualified to teach others, II Timothy 2:2


  • TRANSFER OF THE JOEL HOMEMr. Oka, the owner of the Joel Home, isgetting up in years. Since his twodaughters did not want to inherit theJoel Home, Mr. Oka decided to donate itto the Lx)rd's work. After he discussedthe transfer with several churches, theMejirodia church was chosen. Buttransfer is very complex, so it took abouta year to complete all the paperwork.But on December 31, 1994, thetransaction was completed.

    In order that people in the communityrealize that this home is actually achurch, we are in the process ofrenaming the home. We have had manysuggestions but have not come up withan appropriate name yet. But that willbe decided soon. The congregation isalso trying to think of innovative ways toattract people in the neighborhood to.join our services. Tracts are no longersuccessful as they are handed out inabundance, and people have grown tiredof them. And since some groups such asJehovah Witness have been very pushy,people are antagonistic toward door-to-door evangelism.

    YMCA ENGLISH RTRTE TT ASSAlthough attendance has remained lowin Jonathan's Saturday morning Bibleclass, those who come are asking deeperquestions. Recently one of the classmembers mentioned that she has gottenmore out of Jonathan's Bible class thanformer Bible classes. She felt that wasdue to the fact that he was bom in Japanso understands more fuUy the Japaneseculture. Since textbooks are geared toAmerican thinking, the Japanese don't

    understand many of the thoughts.Therefore, the class has challenged himto write his own textbook specificallyanswering many of their questions.

    Two weeks ago Mr. Wakabayashi, abusinessman, joined the Bible class. Heis married with three children, and is avery personable man. Jonathan and Iwere thrilled when we heard of hisdecision to quit his job and go into full-time ministry. Lord willing. Sinceeducation is much cheaper in the states,he is praying it be possible to study at aseminary in SpringjSeld, Missouri. WhenMrs. Ozawa, a non-christian classmember heard of his decision to leave afinancially secure position, to uproot hisfamily, to enter the ministry, she wastotally astounded! So Mr. Wakabayashi'sdecision has been a testimony in itself,bringing much discussion. We ask foryour prayers in this challenging decisionof his.

    POSSIBLE CHURCH GROWTHJonathan is presently teaching English toone of oxir neighbors, Mrs. Honda, whospecifically stated she did not want toleam Bible. Although she still has notshown any interest in attending any ofour Sunday morning worship services,she has attended our last two miniconcerts. We were very happy when sheinformed us on March 23rd that heroldest daughter, 20 years old, would liketo leam the songs in the Sanbika hymnal,but that she wants to leam them inEnglish. Mrs. Honda likes my voice andasked Jonathan if I would sing the songsin English while the rest of thecongregation sang them in Japanese.

  • When Jonathan replied yes, she askedhim if her daughter could sit next to mein order to learn the songs in that way.So we must never give up, even whensituations seem hopeless, as God isalways by our side.

    PRIVATE ENGLISH CLASSESAlthough two of Jonathan's Englishstudents discontinued classes at the endof 1994, we picked up a new student onMarch 7. Her name is Chisato, and sheis 6 years old. Since she was bom andlived 5 1/2 years in the states, evenattending the first grade there, hergrandmother wanted her to continuelearning English. When the class wasfirst being arranged, the family askedthat I be the teacher, as they felt theirdaughter would be more comfortablewith a woman. But at that time, I wasstill experiencing morning sickness plusmany migraines, so we said we'd onlyteach as a team. Although I was verynervous during the first class session,never having taught before, I soon wasvery comfortable with Chisato. Wedecided to have me listen to her read,correct her pronunciation if necessary,etc., and that Jonathan would do theworkbook material. But I became soexcited once I began, that I have almosttotally taken over the class. ButJonathan told me that I was a naturalteacher and not to feel bad.

    PERILS OF .TAPANAs most of you know, on January 17 avery devastating earthquake hit KobeCity and surrounding area. It killedaround 5,000 people, injured

    approximately 25,000, and left about300,000 homeless. Many churches aswell as individuals, both here and abroad,came to the aid of these victims. It wasvery touching to see people dedicatehQurs of their time to help cook for,serve to, provide clothing and othersupplies, etc. to these people.

    On March 20th another horrifying eventtook place in Japan. Several peopleplanted poisonous chemicals in severalpassenger cars on the Hibiya subway linein the Tokyo area. The finnes were verytoxic killing 10 people, leaving about5,000 injured, and causing much panic.The police suspect that it was membersfrom a religious sect. Several arrestswere made after finding the chemical inbranch offices of that religiousorganization.

    UPDATE ON VERLA>S PREGNANCYUnlike in the states where a doctordoesn't want to see a pregnant womanuntil the 11th week of her pregnancy, inJapan the doctor wants to see the womanas soon as she suspects she is pregnant.He then sees her every 3 weeks (taking apicture of the fetus at each visit) untilthe eighth month where the visits areevery two weeks. During the ninthmonth the visits are weekly, of course.The doctors here also want to keep thewoman's weight to a bare minimum withthe understanding that the more yougain, the more difficult the deliverybecomes. At my last visit I had a verygood report. We guess that ournutritious eating habits have paid off, asour baby has a very strong heartbeat andis growing faster than normal, even for

  • an American baby. I have surprisingjykept my weight down, having only gained4 lb at week 20. But we are sure that itwill be increasing at a fast rate in themonths to come.

    i:)ECREASE IN THE nPLLARAs the U.S. dollar continues to decrease,it is becoming harder and harder formissionaries to survive in Japan. At lastreport the value of the dollar was only 88cents with reports that it may even dropas low as 80 cents. Although things willbe pretty tight for us, especially with ababy on the way, we are confident thatGod will continue to meet all our needs.But we do ask for your continuedprayers.

    Luke 12:29-31 And do not set your hearton what you will eat or drink; do notworry about it. For the pagan world runsafter all such things, and your Fatherknows that you need them. But seek hiskingdom, and these things will be givento you as well.

    LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST1126 Laurel AvenueChesapeake, Virginia 23325

    Address Correction Raqnested

    He bore the sin ofmanymade mtercessum

    ^ for the transgressors.Iscdah 53-12

    Jonathan and Verla Sims4-17-30 RokkakubashiKanagawa kuYokohama-shi 221 Japan

    Gloria AsbellRenee SissonForward Agents

    Non-Profit Org.U.S. PostagePAIDChesapeake, VAPERMIT NO. 48



    And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliabU men^ho wtHalso be qmlijied to teach others. II Timothy 2:2


    .aythe Lord

    direct yourhearts


    love.2 TbetuIoniAiU 3:

    SARIN GAS INCIDENTSMany of you have been very concernedabout our safety during the sarin gasincidents which took place here duringMarch and April. The Japanese police,through many investigations, havedetermined that the AUM truth religiongroup ( a new cult) was responsible forrandomly placing these harmful gas-producing chemicals in various subwaytrains, causing 10 deaths and 5,000injuries plus upsetting many commuters.On May 15 the Japanese police raidedthe headquarters of this group andarrested the head leader who was hidingin a secret room between floors of abuilding there. Since then most of the 40leaders have been arrested, charged, andare awaiting trial.

    EASTER SERVICESIn April Japanese admire the beauty ofcherry blossoms by going to parks forpicnics. They like to drink alcohol andhave fun. Japanese for the most part donot know anything about our HeavenlyFather, who created everything for Hisglory. If we could somehow reach themwith the Gospel, we are confident thatchurches would grow here. Many peoplemust feel some void in their life, as new

    kinds of religious groups are expandingrapidly. But with all the news about theAUM group, the general public are nowafraid of any religion. Please pray thatpeople will open their hearts toChristianity.

    NEW YMCA TEACHINGOPPORTUNITIESSince April is the start of the new schoolyear in Japan, English teachingopportunities have opened for Jonathanat the Yokohama YMCA. Besides hisEnglish Bible class (which has increased),he is now teaching 1 English class at theTotsuka YMCA and 3 at the NishiYMCA. This is an answer to prayer as itprovides some yen income to offset theloss in the exchange rate of the U.S.dollar. Pray that he will be able to plantsome seeds for the Gospel through histeaching and life.

    JOEL HOME OUTREACHSince our attendance has remained lowat the Joel Home, we have been trying tothink of innovative ways to attract ourneighbors. Mr. Oka came up with theidea of writing a short letter each monthwhich explained a basic truth ofChristianity. Jonathan then types theletter in Japanese on his word processor,and we make copies which we distributein our neighborhood. Mr. Oka feels thatwide distribution of ordinary tracts orflyers wouldn't work since they're overlyused by merchants, and people are tiredof them. On the other hand, a lettermay perhaps be read and spark aninterest in our Sunday morning worship.Please pray with us that people will bereceptive to this new idea.

  • PERSONAL ENGLISH CLASSESThree of Jonathan's private Englishclasses ceased around the beginning of1995 due to one reason or another. Andthe class that we were jointly teaching toChisato (6-yr old girl) ended on June 1due to her lack of interest, tiredness, andtrying to establish new friendships afterspending most of her life in the U.S. Weare sorry that Chisato's class endedbecause we had just begun teaching hersome Bible stories. Please pray that wehad some influence on her during thetime we spent with her. She still likes usvery much, and when Jonathan called herfamily the middle of June, her dad saidshe can't wait to come see us again.

    PREGNANCY PROGRESSAs of June 17, I was 8 months pregnant.As most pregnant women feel at thisstage of pregnancy, I'm tired of it! Ha!I suppose not sleeping well at night anymore has something to do with it. ButI'm basically feeling good and gettingplenty of exercise which should help inthe birthing process. On June 14 andJune 28 we attended the two preparationlectures offered through the clinic whereI'm going. Jonathan was the only maleat the first lecture (my interpreter), butanother husband attended the secondlecture. After the class we visited withthe other couple and found out that theirbaby is due just two days before mine.We also visited with a woman who is dueOctober 1. Although she can't speakEnglish, she said that she wanted to bemy friend, and we exchanged addresses.Praise the Lord for contacts.

    LAUREL AVENUE CHURCH OF CHRIST1126 Laurel AvenueChesapeake, Virginia 23325

    Address Correction Requested

    Romans 15:5,6 May the God who givesendurance and encouragement give you aspirit of unity among yourselves as youfollow Christ Jesus, so that with oneheart and mouth you may glorify theGod and Father of our Lord JesusChrist.

    Gloria AsbellRenee SissonForwarding Agents

    Jonathan and Verla Sims4-17-30 RokkakubashiKanagawa kuYokohama-shi 221 Japan


    Non-Profit Org.U.S. PostagePAIDChesapeake, VAPERMIT NO. 48



    "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mindhas conceived what God haspreparedforthose 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



    Each month since May 1995, Mr. Oka has been writing a circular which includes ascripture verse, its meaning, pluspersonal note. After typing and making copies, Verla and I have been distributing them throughout ourneighborhood. It is our prayer that it vrill be read and move someone enough to attend our Joel Home worshipservices. Although wehave seen no response todate, we pray seeds are being planted.


    I am very thankful that when the U.S. dollar declined so dmstically last spring. God answered our prayers byopening up several teaching positions for me at the YMCA. Up until April 1995,1 had only been teaching oneEnglish Bible class. But now I am currently teaching fourmore classes, one at the TotsukaYMCA, and three atthe Nishi YMCA. Although these classes are strictly for teaching the English language, at times I have shared someoftheJoel Home happenings and have also invited my students to attend our worship services. Adthough peopleare friendly and at times act interested, none have attended thus far. Butone young high school student was veiywilling to accept a Gideon Bible. Praise die Lord!


    Verla's due date was August 6. But on August 14 she still had not gone into labor so her Dr. decided to give hera mildsolution ofoxytccin, and wewere told thatourbabyprobably wouldn't arrive until thenextmorning. Butat 4:14 pm she gave birth to our beautiful son, Benjamin Jon, who weight in at 8 lbs. 1 oz. And was 20" long. Hehad lotsof dark hair, to Verla's delight. What a way to celebrate oursecond wedding anniversary. Yes, we hadbeen married exactly two years the day of his birth. Pretty neat anniversary gift huh?!


  • As of December 14, Benjamin turned four months old. We can not tell you how many people's hearts he hasalready touched withhisbeautiftd smile, verbal expressions, andcuteactions. To Verla's surprise, she has let manypeople hold Benjamin, some even being strangers. Unlike his parents, Benjamin is quite the socializer, seeminglyunafraid ofalmost anyone. With his personality, it isourearnest prayer that he someday be able to do great thingsfor our Lord Jesus Christ.


    The annual missionary Thanksgiving gathering was again held at my parents home inMejirodai, Tokyo This isone ofour largest-attended meetings. This year we believe therewere 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, includingwrmmmWi children, shared something we were thankful for. It was a wo...