This week has been a good week for Charlie. Make that a great week. Two exciting events happened in the same week: a baptism AND a transfer. Let’s start with the baptism, shall we?
Ok, big news, big news!! Anyway here we go. Yes, Masaki was baptized! The baptismal service was awesome! Masaki was a great investigator and friend. I’ll remember him forever. I feel so blessed to finally get to participate in the baptism of another person here in Japan. Senri has been a long, hard battle. It’s been rough and tiring and taxing on my mind and my body. There were many weeks where I felt forgotten in this little patch of the vineyard. I prayed and prayed so hard every night to be able to find someone who we could baptize here. Sometimes my hopes weren’t even that high–I just wanted someone to teach! What I can say I gained here in Senri is a testimony that God will answer our prayers and that He will on his own time. He always will. There’s never a loss of hope if your hope is in God and Jesus Christ. He will always pull through. Believing that is true faith.
Here are Charlie and Kodama Choro filling the font. Wow, are they ever excited. (Don’t drop the camera!)
And here they are with the newest member of the Senri ward, Masaki-san (second from left):
Now let’s get to the transfer. But first off, a little recap of the past six months and the significance of this transfer. It’s been a year and a half that Charlie has been in Japan, and he’s pretty much spent all of that time in and around the big cities of Osaka and Kobe. The last six months have been spent in Senri, just outside of Osaka, and it’s been a challenging area for him. But the Kobe mission also encompasses the island of Shikoku to the south, the smallest of Japan’s four major islands, and also where his grandmother was born. Her family still lives there in Shimanto and the Kochi area.
Charlie has been hoping and praying that he’d have the chance to go there, but in his last interview with the President he was told that would be unlikely. Kochi was probably becoming a sisters-only area, the President said, so it was best for him to put it out of his mind. Well, transfer calls came on Monday this week. And guess what?
In other news, (you can probably tell already from the way I talked about what I learned in
Senri)–I’m being transferred. This will probably be my last area. And I can’t express to you how excited I am for this one. Because this time, for real, I am going to Kochi! My mission president pulled through!!! I’M GOING TO KOCHI!!!! We gotta arrange to meet up with the Takedas [grandma’s family]. We have to! As soon as possible!! I was so surprised this morning because I was told I wasn’t going to get the chance to go down there. Kochi didn’t even go through my mind this morning as I was wondering about transfers. I just never thought it would happen!
It looks like the Lord had something else in store! So sayonara, Osaka:
Much of Shikoku is rural, filled with rice paddies and green rolling hills. It is overwhelmingly beautiful. Below is a picture of Jane overlooking the Takeda family home in Shimanto from our trip in 2012.
And here is a picture of Charlie’s sweet great-grandmother, Kameno Takeda, who is now 102 and still thriving:
I think she’s been waiting for him to come say good-bye to her before she passes on. (Then again, she might be around for years. We don’t really know what she’s waiting for. Neither does she!)
How does Charlie feel about this?
Stay tuned! The next few months are bound to be an adventure for Charlie.