Okayama christian center 1 february 2014 color page order
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,
I hope this finds you all well. I’m doing fine so far this winter but winter isn’t over yet. (Grin) The flu and the
norovirus are going around.
The most pressing thing to tell you is that on January 26th, someone hacked into the Christian Center’s YAHOO
account and got all the email addresses. They sent a letter off to those on that list, “Undisclosed recipients”, saying that
I and my family were in the Philippines and had been robbed and were in need of money to get home, so would the let-
ter recipients please send money to me in the Philippines. Of course, one clue that something was off is the “my family”
part. I’m still single the last I looked. Warn people not to fall for such schemes. Most of your friends would never send
such a letter to “Undisclosed recipients.” And always check. Several people called Gary, my forwarding agent, to make
sure. Some called me to find out the truth.
This hacking erased all the emails I had and all my email addresses. It didn’t erase the letters in my “Sent” file of
letters I’d sent to people, so I was able to recover some addresses from that. But I still lost quite a few. I sent an email to
all the addresses I recovered; if you didn’t get that email, that means I don’t have your email address so please drop me
a line so I can have it again. Due to the hacking, I had to get a new email address for the Christian Center. The address
is now: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thankfully, my home computer is fine.
November 23rd, the Christian Center hosted our annual carry-in
lunch. A good crowd came and we had good fellowship and food.
December 16th, I performed the wedding for Mr. & Mrs. Zushi’s
daughter, Kaname. Mrs. Zushi has studied with me since before
Kaname was born. That makes a person realize that time really has
In December I baked 719 sugar cookies, peanut blossom cookies,
chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies. I had promised to donate
300 for the Yunogo
Christmas program and
200 for Misuzusou
Care Home. (At the Home my class decorated 100 of them as our class
gift to staff and residents of the Home.) The rest went to individual
friends and guests.
a fall festival and each
club had to do some-
thing. Our English club
sang a song in English
and Japanese. (Two of the ladies in the group pictured at right are not
December 22nd was our Christmas Godo Reihai and Christmas
fellowship. That evening was the Christmas program in Yunogo. This
program is for the guests and people in Yunogo. (Yunogo is a tourist
town.) The town served a white
stew at 5:30 outside the Music
Box Museum. Then at 6:00 the
program started in the mu-
seum’s main room that can hold
70 or more people. The program
began with me explaining to the
people what the real meaning
of Christmas is. Then we had a
candle lighting ceremony and
I explained how one kindness
helps fight the spiritual darkness
251-1 Yunogo, Mimasaka Shi, Okayama Ken 707-0062 Japan
Keith Summers, missionary
Gary A. Sands, forwarding agent
197 Crawford St., Fredericksburg, OH 44627
and if we pass the light to others, the world becomes brighter. Then a handbell club played several songs. After that a
museum staff member played several of the antique music boxes and the player piano. At the last, I lead the people in
singing three Christmas carols. As the people left, each person received a gift of three cookies. (My donation.)
Then the next night was our annual caroling program at Sakuto Valentine Hotel’s Tower Hall. Bro. Oota was in
charge and I led the people in caroling. Bro. Nishiyama and Bro. Jiromaru sang solos while Bro. Sugiyama and I sang a
duet. The program lasted an hour. The Tower Hall was full.
The year 2014 is also called Heisei 26 being the 26th year of the current emperor. It is also the Year of the Horse.
For some dating, we use 2014 and for others, 26. It’s hard to remember at the beginning of each new year what number
to use. (Grin)
For two weeks from Dec. 25th , no classes met. I was here at the Center every day but one during those two
weeks but not having classes, I could take things easier and not be pushed.
In Japan, high school students take entrance exams for colleges where they want to apply. Mr. Shirasawa is my
student and his oldest daughter is doing that now. He said it costs around $300.00 to take one test and his daughter will
be taking 4 tests. This doesn’t include travel fees to the colleges where the tests are given nor housing if the trip requires
overnight stays. Mr. Shirasawa said about 4,000 students would be taking the test for the department where his daughter
is applying. So that means for that one department, the school will receive $1,200,000.00 for giving the tests. I have no
idea if all college entrance tests cost the same.
I have sent the detailed 2013 financial report for the Okayama Christian Center to supporting churches and peo-
ple. If you would want one, please let me know. The total income from the States was $8,572.18. Donations from folks
here in Japan came to $1,632.63. So the total income for 2013 was $10,204.81. The total expenses were $58,718.53.
The big expense is due to work done on the Center during the summer. So expenses far exceeded income but the Center
had the money in the bank to pay the bills. But it did take a big chunk of the money from the Center account.
Bro. Ando is doing fine physically but recently his thinking is a bit off so he is in the hospital having tests run to
determine the cause.
Right now I have 11 classes a week. A twelfth one resumes in April; he is busy until then at the city office with
upcoming elections. Bro. Sugiyama continues with his weekly Bible class and bi-weekly NT Greek class here at the
Center. He and I still take turns preaching for Hayashino church in the morning and I have the afternoon worship ser-
vices here at the Center for those who prefer an afternoon service. (The first Sunday of the month is our joint worship
service, Godo Reihai, in the afternoon which is the only service that day. Four of us take turns bringing the messages:
Sis. Holloway, Bro. Oota, Bro. Sugiyama and myself.)
Thank all of you for your prayer and financial support through 2013. The work continues here and I pray for your
work where you are. May God bless and keep you safe under his wings during this year.
Yours In Christ,