We are into the second month of the school year, and are off to a good start, starting our fourth year here at OCSI. This year things are a little bit different. We have a remodeled office, Megan is starting her first year as superintendent and Andy has now taken the responsibilities for the speaking at all 6 of the chapel services at the school. Mia is starting 7th grade and very adjusted to Middle School life. Naomi is starting 5th grade, and enjoying being an upperclassman in the elementary school. Eliya is now in 3rd grade, but excited to be in the upper elementary where she gets to eat and have recess with Naomi. We are in our new house and have made connections with lots of our neighbors! We have neighborhood kids at our house every day!
The start of the new school year brings a few very exciting changes. At the school we have started ‘Life Groups’. Every week 6 or 7 students (same age and gender) will meet with one teacher with the idea that every student is getting cared for and discipled. Life Groups take time discuss issues like healthy relationships, digital citizenship, kind communications, and other important topics that relate to these young people’s lives. More importantly, it is good for teachers to check up on these students every week to make sure the students are doing well. Megan has a group of nine 6th grade young ladies and Andy has a group of seven 11th grade young men.
This month OCSI had camps for our 4th and 5th graders, middle schoolers, and high schoolers. This is a great break from school to enjoy the great outdoors and to have a chance to deepen their relationship with the Lord. Each camp is 3 days long. Andy and Naomi went to the Elementary camp and Mia went to the middle school camp.
Please continue to pray for the school, the students and their families as well as our family. If you'd like to know how to pray for OCSI, please use the Daily Prayer Guide below or follow the OCSI Blog. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers!
We bought a house!
Our family has had a great November. We have enjoyed the cooler temperatures, and only sometimes miss the snow we see on friend's pictures on Facebook :) Our family is doing very well.. Megan is staying busy and looking forward to the Christmas break; Andy continues to run as he prepares for a half marathon in January and a full marathon in February; Mia, Naomi, and Eliya all continue to do gymnastics non-stop and are staying busy with school and Japanese lessons. Mia has her first big gymnastics competition next month.
Thanksgiving is a great time of the year. Ever year we enjoy sharing American culture and food with those around us. This year we had a great celebration. We provided the house, and our friend (who is a professional chef) provided the food. This year we kept it a bit smaller and only had three families over to our house. Being away from family is always difficult, especially during the holiday season but it helps to have friends over to our house to celebrate.
This month we started a home fellowship on Saturday evenings. Andy continues to preach some on Sundays for the Sapporo church and we continue to enjoy the English worship on the island when we can, however, we truly desired a more intimate setting to worship and study in. For the past several years we have invited families to come to church with us, however, they struggle to fit in and have expressed a desire for more conversation and opportunities to ask questions about the Bible. We have had a great first couple of fellowship times! A young mother who was an MK (missionary kid) from the Philippians brings her guitar each week and she lets Mia play with her. We have a meal together and spend sometime in God's word. We meet on Saturday night and it is international friendly. Okinawa is filled with serval different cultures-- Japanese, American, Canadian, Korean, Chinese, Filipino, and more. Please pray for this group as we grow closer to each other and closer to God.
Bible studies for parents
This school year Megan and I continued our Bible studies for parents at our school. Andy is teaching English conversation with a 10-15 minute Bible lesson at the end. He has around 10-15 parents coming. Megan is doing a Bible study on the wisdom literature in the Bible looking at the Proverbs now. Please pray for these studies.
This month we were busy with Summer school. As Principal, Megan continued to interview prospective students and register them while updating the Kindergarten classrooms. These classrooms haven’t been updated since the school was built! Andy assisted in the second grade class and took care of the technology needs of the school. New playground equipment is being installed and new science curriculum has been delivered and ready for the teachers in a few weeks.
Even though it is summer school for OCSI, Andy still has the oppotunity to teach English and the Bible to the Japanese preschool, and recently Mia, Naomi, and Elilya have come and helped me. I love getting my girls involved in ministry as much as possible, and the older they get, the more they can be involved.
We had a nice BBQ party at our house this month. Serveral of our family friends and neighbors came. We bbqed hambergers, hot dogs, and some steaks. After eating, all of the kids had a water balloon fight and ended up completely soaked. Then we played the Japanese version of a pinata, suika wari. In both games, the person whose turn it is is blindfolded and has a stick, then has to spin around 5 times. Then instead of hitting a pinata, they try to hit a watermelon on the ground. As soon as the watermelon is split or broken up, then everyone eats it!
Next Steps in Ministry
Family Update - Summer is here
June is such a busy month, So many things happening with the closing of a school year. You have Finals, final grades, and graduations. At OCSI, we have four graduation/promotion ceremonies. Promotion ceremony for Kindergarten, 5th grade, and 8th grade, and then of course Seniors graduating from High school. Megan and I had several responsibilities with all of these events. This year was particularly special because Mia, as a 5th grader, was promoted to the middle school, and Megan as the principal, got to call her up, shake her hand, and get a picture with her during the 5th grade promotion. It is hard to believe that Mia is ready for middle school! Where does the time go? We are so proud of all of our girls. They continue to make excellent grades, show great character, and loves the Lord. Thank you for always lifting our family up in prayer!
Friends from Sapporo
Trip to Tokyo
Two days after school was released and we went to a week long trip to Tokyo. We had the chance to see lots of our friends from the Christian school in Tokyo, friends from church, friends from our old neighborhood, and students we have taught in the past. We also had the chance to go to Tokyo Disney Sea with some of our friends from Okinawa. Tokyo Disney Sea is one of the girls favorite places to go. It was good to be able to reward them for their hard work through out this year. Our family misses Tokyo! We miss the trains, we miss our friends, but we DON’T miss the crowds.
While in Tokyo, we had the chance to go and visit our Baba (Japanese Grandma). She was our neighbor while we lived in Tokyo and got very close with her. She loves our girls so much, ever holiday or birthday she is continues to send the girls cards and gifts. It was so great to see her and her family. Our Baba is 81 years old, she is not a Christian yet, please pray the Lord would draw her and that we can be effective in sharing the gospel with her.
Camp for MK's
For the third year in a row we were able to send our girls to Joy Bible Camp, a camp for Christians/missionary kids. Our girls absolutely love it. They make so many good friends, create so many memories, and have their faith strengthened! This year the camp’s theme was ‘Chosen’.
Hello from the Roe’s! It has been a busy but very exciting month. School is starting to finish up, and this makes our girls very excited, as they look forward to summer break and end of the year parties. Stressful for Megan and I as we look at the amount of work we have ahead of us, with preparations for the end of the school year, finals, and graduation ceremonies. Thank you for your continued love, prayers, and support.
5th Grade Osaka Trip
This month with the help of Don Reasoner, we put together an elementary worship team. It consisted of 2 students on the keyboard, 6 playing the guitar, and 8 singing with mics. They students sound great! They have played the last two weeks of chapel, and they are scheduled to perform at the 5th grade promotion. It is so cool to see students developing their gifts to serve God. Mia was one of the students playing the guitar.
Interns to Okinawa
The interns made it to Okinawa! It is so good to have
young people who are interested in missions to help us
for a couple of months. They have only been here for a few weeks and have really connected with a lot of the
students. They are currently helping with some classes, recesses, and bus monitoring. The students are teaching the interns Japanese which is so funny to see. Please pray for their time in Okinawa. Pray that it would prepare them for the mission field after they graduate college.
Spring break camping
This month we got a couple of days off for spring break, so we took a two day camping trip to a very small island, which we had to take a ferry to get there. We went camping with 2 other families who we are very close to us. It was so much fun to camp in an incredible island with wonderful friends. Our girls had so much fun swimming, catching hermit crabs, playing volleyball, and hiking. We have friends who we have been witnessing to for the last year or two. It was such a great way to spend Spring break! On top of being able to rest as a family, we got to know our friends more and had some extremely crucial conversation, one night we had a conversation explaining the gospel and how it offers true hope, hope of redemption and restoration. We have been witnessing to this family for the last 2 years. Please continue to pray for the Ito family and the Tamaki Family.
Bibles to children
This month I had two requests from parents who are in my Bible study. Their children love to study the Bible and they wanted a Bible that we use for our Kindergarten classes. I was able to give them to the parents, and the children are soooo excited, Also the parents told me that the children are MAKING them read it to the before bed at night. We also have a couple parents that we talk to tell us that their kids make them pray before meals and before bed, even though the parents aren’t Christians. These early years years are so important for a child to have a good foundation and what a joy it is not to only give a child a Bible, but more than that, to see the glow and excitement in the child’s face when they receive the Bible.
Special Guest Speaker
This month in partner ship with PTF (Parent teacher fellowship) we had a guest speaker come to OCSI. He is a Christian radio personality who radio talk show is broadcasted through out Japan. He is from Japan’s version of Focus on the family, and he specializes in family issues, mainly raising children. We had a great turn out, 25-35 parents showed up to hear him speak. Parenting is one of the issues that Japanese people feel unprepared for. It was great to have him come to our school.
2 students baptized
This month I had two students from our high school get baptized. Both students are great students, and I had the chance to talk with them.
The first student is a deep thinker and even came over to my house to discuss some questions he had. He told me he has been thinking about being being baptized for a year. I asked him why did he wait to get baptized and he said because he wanted to be sure he could fulfill the commitment that he was making. The other student after being baptized had this passion that he really wanted to share his heart and testimony with his classmates. So we gave him the chance to take 10 min out of chapel to share his testimony, he did awesome and was well received by his peers. Praise God for these two guys!
This month the girls had their gymnastics competition. Over this last year they have gotten so good at gymnastics. At the competition the athletes were expected to do a mat routine, a bar routine, and the vault. There were about 20-30 participants in their age group and there were judges to score all of the athletes. Our girls did so good. Mia and Eliya got 1st place, and Naomi got 2nd place in their age groups. We are so proud of them!
Our little girl (Eli) turned 7 this month, it is so hard to believe! Eliya has been looking forward to her birthday for sometime, because she wanted to have a birthday party! When asked who she wanted to invite to the party, Eliya responded “All of the girls in 1st grade”, that is about 25 girls. We had a big bash, 23 of Eliya’s friends from school and some neighbors came to our house. It was such a good time, Eliya was so happy and felt so special! It was also a great chance to get to know some of her classmates and their parents better.
Last month we had our accreditation visit. OCSI is accredited by WASC (Western Association of school council) and ACSI (American Christian School International). We had a team of 4 school professionals come and evaluate our school to determine if we can retain our accreditation and to advise us on improvements/changes we can make to the school.
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