The entire congregation was able to gather altogether May 8 at the outside amphitheater to worship God at Oasis Center, (Morigo Campground). Since COVID-19 protocols have been in place, the church “meets” in two locations simultaneously, one live and the other live-streamed. But this Sunday, we were all together! God held off the rain and gave us a lovely spring day to honor Him and to enjoy our lunches outside!
In our last journal, Gordon shared that about 100 years ago some Christians visited Rifu and prayed for a church to be planted for the Japanese people. God answered their prayers. Rev. Sato and a small group of Japanese believers began Rifu Church 90 years ago. We were invited to join in the celebration of God’s faithfulness through many times of trials, tragedies, and a global pandemic.
Pastor Makito suggested barbecuing the turkey as part of the anniversary. We were happy to serve! Gordon had never barbecued an 11kg/24 lb. turkey before, but we were up to the challenge. Matthew (son) and Gordon made some important modifications to the camp’s barbecue grill in order to accommodate the size of the bird. Everything tested and fit perfectly in the covered grill!
It took six days in the refrigerator (safe thawing practice) to thaw the frozen turkey. So, Saturday night, after returning from our trip to Tokyo, Gordon prepped the turkey, setting the turkey onto a bed of vegetables. Then, he returned it to the refrigerator for the next morning.
On Saturday afternoon, Miho came to help with prepping the stuffing and sweet potato casserole to share with the barbecued turkey! We had fun and finished before dinner! God is good!
Early Sunday morning, we were at Morigo Campground (location of the Oasis Chapel and Oishian Cafe) to start the BBQ coals. The 11 kg turkey (a gift to the church from missionary Dan Brown), stuffing, sweet potatoes and salad were all eaten! Yoko, one of the long-time members, made 2 kinds of omochi (Japanese rice cakes) for everyone! What a feast!!
For some people, this was their first taste of turkey. Many people have come up to us to comment on the food! God is opening doors for us to make friends through food!
Pastor Makito gave a hopeful message honoring the past and highlighting God’s vision for the future of Oasis Chapel.
Gordon gives IM congratulations to Oasis Chapel
He graciously invited Gordon to bring congratulations and well wishes from our IM Area Director, Leslie Turley to the church. The service was filled with stories, music, and praise for the Lord. He has faithfully kept this congregation alive and growing. We are blessed and honored to be serving here as your partners in mission.
With Love and Thanks,
P.S. Please pray for the English Café (outreach) beginning on Sunday, June 26. Each month we will use a story from the Bible as our text for English learning. Please pray for the Lord to open all our hearts to hear God’s message of hope.