Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Every year I have wonderful intentions of getting family pictures taken and sending out Christmas cards... you know, before Christmas, but it just never seems to happen. So this year, I'm aiming for a New Year's newsletter... we'll see how it goes. ;) In the meantime, please click on the link above and enjoy this Christmas greeting from the Woolery family! :)
Friday, November 25, 2011
Now, it's time to decorate for Christmas! :)
Friday, November 11, 2011
If you haven't read this, I HIGHLY recommend it... it's the story of how a woman's life was changed by intentionally and habitually thanking God, every day, throughout the day, for all the big and little things in her life. I haven't started my "One thousand gifts of thanks" journals yet, but our family is starting a new tradition this year, thanks to this book and my recent obsession with pinterest.com. :)
Friday, October 07, 2011
Right now our ladies Bible Study is reading Believing God by Beth Moore. One of the greatest things about this study is the section at the end of each day's homework assignment entitled, "Godstops". It's a time for you to reflect at the end of the day where you have seen God working in and around your life. It's a great practice to build the habit of seeing things through God's eyes... that even in the normal routines of life, God is active, and amazingly, he invites us to join Him in His work.
We've only been doing this study for a month, and of course, God is showing up and doing amazing things! Over the last few days, I have been amazed at the many opportunities God continues to give our family in our place of ministry here in Okinawa. Of course, leading an international congregation is more than a full-time job, but we've always seen that as only part of the reason we're here. We live in Japan and are striving to learn Japanese and build relationships with the Japanese people God puts in our lives. Japan is very different than Guam or the Philippines; it takes much longer to meet people and build relationships, and it can take a lifetime to learn the ins and outs of Japanese culture... but our God is so much bigger than these things! He continues to provide us with opportunities and friendships that don't fit the norm, and daily, He is overwhelming us with His guidance and grace. Here are just a few examples:
*The pictures you see are the daughters and nieces of the wonderful Japanese family who lives next door to us. They have given us such a warm welcome to Okinawa and are always so eager to help us learn how to live in Japan. Even though we saw them frequently, a few months ago, Nami-san asked me if they could come to our house twice a week to work on English and Japanese language skills with our children... not only did God put us next to this family, but they asked if we could have more time together in our home! Please pray that as we continue to share life together, they would see Jesus in our family and seek to know Him.
*As we looked at language schools when we first arrived, we were overwhelmed by the cost. Brian studied on his own for a while, and I was able to take a 3-month conversational class at a local language school, but it was just too expensive to continue. A year ago one of our church members introduced us to a Japanese minister who offers Japanese language classes and gives a discount to missionaries. Brian and I are now both taking classes from him, and the other day I realized that the money I make teaching English every month is the exact amount we need to pay for our own language lessons!
*Our Japanese teacher's nephew has been living in Okinawa the last year to study English intensively before he starts college in mainland Japan. He asked Brian to tutor him, and they have been meeting together every week for the past 6 months. Sho doesn't know much about the gospel, so together they have been studying the Bible as a way to practice his writing and conversation skills. God continues to use this time each week to draw Sho closer to Himself as he learns more about Jesus and what it means to follow Him. Please pray for Sho as he continues to search!
*Just last night our Japanese teacher introduced me to 2 college students who just returned from going to school in California for a year. They are not believers but have previously studied the Bible as a way to learn English. Since they don't want to lose their English skills, they will now be coming over to our house once a week so we can study the Bible together in English. Please pray for Ryoko-san and Erina-san as we get to know each other and talk about the difference God can make in their lives!
There are so many more stories, but I will save some of them for Brian to tell you about. :) Honestly, at times in the last few months I felt like I was in a fog and just going through the motions of life with no real meaning... but as I look back, I know people were praying for me and praying for us to keep going and keep trusting God... thank you so much for your prayers! We are partners together as we seek how God can use us right now in Okinawa. Again, God is doing so many amazing things, and we are humbled that He asks us to join Him. Please keep praying for all our friendships and interactions!
Psalm 1461 Praise the LORD!Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
3 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The LORD will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
God is doing so many amazing things in and around us... maybe I'll actually post 2 blogs in a day and tell you more! I am so thankful for these wonderful boys and my incredible husband... God's blessings are overwhelming!
Friday, August 05, 2011
Brian and Justin have spent hours building airplanes, airports, towers, etc. with duplos (Legos for younger children) and then they eventually let Noah destroy them. :)
making pictures of trains with stamps
playing Brian's new X-plane game
During a lull in the wind this afternoon, Brian and Justin decided to enjoy the wet weather and get rid of some energy on our back porch...
and tonight we even watched a movie while we ate our snack-y supper.... :)
So even though we've been a little stir-crazy at times, we're really enjoying all this time at home together... but we do want to leave the house again someday... happy typhoon day! :)
This is Tomoyosei-sensei, the pastor of the church.
We began the service by singing songs in Japanese and English, and then Brian gave a message.
After the service, we played a game where the kids started to get to know each other.... and for the rest of the evening the new Japanese/American friends were inseparable!
making a craft together...
Justin was so excited to be part of all the big kid activities. :)
And then it was bbq time - oishii!!!!
After dinner they played one more game, and it was so great! The kids were blindfolded and given a bat... similar to a pinata, but they were hitting a watermelon in a plastic bag on the ground... when the watermelon finally broke, everybody got to eat it... so fun! :)
We spent our few days together talking, shopping, playing at the park, and lots more talking, of course. It was so fun to watch our kids play together and become fast friends!
Brian also got to reconnect with friends at NYC (Nazarene Youth Congress)...
He and Acy, our good friend from East Timor, represented the Asia-Pacific region.
A surprise reunion with Uncle LeBron :)
always fun times with other NYI leaders from around the world :)
AND he got to hang out with our friends from Asia-Pacific!
And Justin almost never stopped moving... He was so ecstatic to have a yard to play in, new things to explore, and endless new friends to play with...
Justin and Noah also got to meet Jonah, the adorable son of my childhood friend, Marcy... As I look back through the pictures of them together, there are none of them looking at the camera... they just had too much fun playing!
We love being with family... thanks so much for coming down to Texas to see us, but now it's your turn to come to Japan! :)