Wednesday morning at the earliest kosher moment for a phone call the telephone rang. It was a dedicated volunteer from Wheelchairs of Hope wanting to fill me on the previous day’s happenings (I had been out of town).
Several years ago a dignified retired gentleman–Mr. S–started coming to Wheelchairs of Hope. His home is quite a ways from the wheelchair project, though, and as he finds it more difficult to make the trip, he hasn’t been coming as often lately.
On Tuesday Mr. S showed up, and he was “glowing. “ (She chucked when she said this, probably because “glowing” isn’t usually a word often used to describe stately, elderly Japanese men.) Over lunch Mr. S shared how when we start our work day with prayer, pray before lunch, and then end the day with prayer, it gives him great comfort and peace. He said he so liked working with the Christian volunteers and began remembering the church he’d attended as a young person some 40-50 years ago. He decided to look the church up again, and then began attending quite regularly. He came on Tuesday to let us know he’d made a public confession of faith and was baptized on Easter by the 80 year old former pastor who had first told him about Jesus those many years ago.
I know I was moved, and thankful that he’d come back to tell us. I can’t imagine the joy the 80 year old former pastor has, knowing that seed planted 40-50 years ago had born fruit. Thank you for your prayers for the many volunteers who come to Wheelchairs of Hope.
Hurray!! John chapters 1-10 were recorded in March, DVDs published early April, and were up on YouTube last week. Thank you for praying. It has been a long haul. Our small team has been hit by everything from a spouse’s cancer death to arm pain to debilitating vertigo, not to mention the constant strain of living on very low wages. But they kept going, and are now pressing ahead to finish John. Take a look at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GjGaluyyuiY#!
Pray especially for Hori, who is on medical leave for a month.
Keep praying for Uiko too, the lead translator and on-camera-presenter. It’s not just arm pain. She comes to our house on Thursdays for supper and Bible study, and shared these stories:
While walking down a shopping street with two friends, a fortune teller stationed at the side of the street came up and grabbed her and began yelling at her, pulling her away from her friends. The fortune teller had a “very strong hold on her arm” and threw salt on her to “purify” her. Her two friends came to her aid and when the fortune teller realized they were all Deaf, she wrote her message out on paper for them. “This lady is the devil, she is evil, do not believe her message, do not listen to what she tells you, keep away from her.”
All a rather unsettling experience for Uiko and this on the tail of something else. Deaf members belonging to a strong Buddhist sect have been spreading an ugly rumor about Uiko. Her family does not believe it, nor do her close friends. However many in the Deaf community are taken in by it, and the timing is most unfortunate as Uiko is the presenter for the Japanese Sign Language Bible translation of the Gospel of John. The woman who started the rumor told Uiko she would put an end to it if Uiko joined the Buddhist sect. Please pray for Uiko’s spiritual protection, and pray for the rumor to be dispelled.
Leadership transition continues at Wheelchairs of Hope. Though my resignation won’t be official until June 6 at the annual business meeting, I no longer function as board chair. It’s so nice to be able to focus on connecting with the volunteers, and getting my hands dirty on real wheelchairs without the weight of the system on my shoulders. The transition process, though not all smooth sailing, sees those better positioned than myself taking the helm and making the necessary changes. Thank you for praying! Please continue to pray for the board of directors and for Mr. Tani, the new director.
Meanwhile, the community of volunteers continues to flourish. Cleaning days generally have between 15 and 30 people, many of them regulars. Last week we had 56. We expect to send a container with 120 chairs to northern Thailand May 28.
So . . . if the information on our prayer update went out late, I did even worse on the blog–missed the prayer request AND the answer!
3/29 I wrote:
Today is the last working day of March. We want to make final revisions on John 1 and 10, and record 1, 9, and 10. Frankly, it looks impossible. Please pray for a great working day (with very tired people), and for wisdom, power, and guidance to deal well with whatever comes. Thanks.
And today, I wrote:
Oops! Just realized that a whole week went by and I never reported back about how the recording session went. (I did make a couple of entries along the way on our facebook page, but never got to the prayer update.) So . . . two Fridays ago now, we did finish recording everything–I got home at 10:00 that night and worked until 11:30 finishing up the final check of each recorded portion, but we finished!! Thanks for praying.
Praise God! The remaining portions of chapter three and four of John were recorded today! That means we’ve got all of chapters 2-7 recorded.
Our goal is to finish by the end of March. Eight and nine are revised and ready for recording; one and ten need to be revised and recorded next week. Pray for a good finish.
Please keep praying. We’re still working hard on final translation of John 1-10, hoping to finish by the end of the month. Yesterday we made final revisions on chapters 5 and 6, and today we’ll be recording those chapters. Chapters 2 an 7 are recorded, along with most of 3 and 4. Much of John 3 is recorded, but we’re still struggling with the first section–including John 3:16. This week we seem to have turned the corner on much of the ill health that has been plaguing the translation team, so thanks for praying.
I know its not exciting news, but a lot of the time, that’s what life is about–doing the next thing in a long, slow process and praying that the result will be more than just exciting, it will change people’s lives, forever.
. . . so do not get tired of doing the right thing, because you will reap the rewards of your labor when the time comes–if you don’t give up partway through. Gal 5:9
Today Uiko is recording the final version of John 2 and 7. Pray for her!