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.
Trip to the farm
February was a full and great month. Friends of ours took us to farm. Where we got to see local horses, cows, pigs, etc. The farmer allowed our children to feed the cows, and pet all of the animals. They were so excited. Our girls love being out doors and especially when they are with animals.
Okinawa city Marathon
This month I (Andy) ran in the Okinawa city marathon. It was a huge marathon. Over 15,000 people ran in the marathon. The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny and 70 degrees. I was able to finish the race in 3:36. I also made several new friends who are into running. I love to run, but I really like connecting with new people. Plus, Naomi and Mia Came to the marathon to cheer on me on, which is really sweet to have your children cheer you on. Also, for finishing the race, I received a big gold metal (participation metal)
Service week at Okinawa Christian School
Here at Okinawa Christians Here at Okinawa Christian School International, we take pride in discipling our students to be the next generations church leaders, not only by teaching them a Biblical world view, but also teaching them how to serve and reach a world in need. Service week is a school-wide event that lasts for one week. There is not any normal classes, instead we break into 15 differnt groups, and serve the people around us. This year we visited and supported nursing homes and a special needs facility, fed the homeless, cleaned some beaches, performed some drama skits depicting the death, barrier, and resurrection of Jesus to over 400 people, went to Saipan to support a church’s youth outreach, etc. It was a very busy and exciting time. Andy was uncharge of overseeing the whole thing.
This is such a great opportunity because it gives the teachers a real chance how to interact and minister to people. To teach and lead by example. And it is really exciting to see how nervous and anxious the students are when they are first arriving at the different locations, and to see the same students leave excited about meeting new people in different circumstances.
There is a video on youtube, capturing what the students did through out the week. If you get a chance, check it out!
This Month Megan started after school clubs. There are now a running, basketball, craft, STEM, and other after school clubs for the elementary students. I (Andy) am running the basketball club. I have 30 students who have joined. Many who have never played basketball before, but what a great chance to show them the fundamentals of basketball.
Week of Reading...
This month the elementary school had a ‘week of reading’ week, were we focus and encourage the students to read more. Throughout the week we had fun activities to promote reading and one of them was character day, were the students dressed up like their favorite characters, and we had a parade where the students were dressed in their costumes holding the book from where their character was from. It was a fun week, all three of our girls were so excited for the week of reading.
January has been a very eventful and exciting month for us. We went to a cherry blossom festival and after so many years in northern Japan it feels really bazaar to see the cherry blossoms in January. The girls have been busy as always. We just got the grades back and once again the girls got almost straight As. They are doing so well, we can’t be more proud of them. Andy has a full marathon next week he has been preparing for. He has a few friends that he will be running with this time and he hopes that this time will be the time he breaks 3 hour and 30 minuets. Megan has been busy with school improvement and preparing for the school’s upcoming accreditation visit.
Megan speaks in conference
Megan was invited to be the guest speaker at a Christian women’s fellowship here in Okinawa. It’s a women’s group that tries to be a support and encouragement for all of the Christian women who live in Okinawa. On top of that several Japanese women (who are not Christians ) enjoy the fellowship and take part in the meeting as well Megan was able to give her testimony and speak on the blessing of being a child of God.
Andy reaches out to new preschool
This month Megan and I visited a preschool to see if we could get more relationships with local preschools, hoping to improve the improve the image of the school and two hope to get some students out of the deal. Andy went and taught English to 30 four year old students. They are all full of energy, Andy is planning on doing an English class for these students once a month. On top of that, the principal of the school is a Christian and has asked me to teach the children about the Bible and pray with them!
OCSI’s Open House
In January, Megan organized two open houses to try and increase our student enrollment. There was an incredible turn out. Over 20 parents came to take part, and 8 of them scheduled interviews for their children to join our school.
To read our full annual report, please download the file below.
It has been a busy summer as usual. The summer started off with the girls going to Joy Bible Camp in Tokyo, a camp for missionary kids. This year there was even a 2 day camp for Eliya to attend. Their theme for the camp was ‘Trust in the Lord’ from Proverbs 3:5-6. We are so happy that our girls had the chance to strengthen their faith and meet other Christian friends. While they were at camp in Tokyo, Megan and I were able to meet some friends from Tokyo. Right after the camp was over, we went to the US to spend time with family, and report back to churches. We had a busy time in the States, visiting people in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Florida. Every time we go back to the States, it is always such an encouraging time. Everyone always wants to hear what God is doing in Japan, and everyone is always so encouraging. We left feeling very blessed and fortunate to have such a wonderful family and great supporting group of Christians! The only down side of the trip as always is there is a limited amount of time and we were not able to get around to see everyone. For those who we did not get to see, believe me we try and desperately wanted to.
Upcoming School Year
There are a lot of exciting things that we are looking forward to this upcoming school year. It is great to see Megan in the role of Elementary principal, She has already been very active in leadership meetings, interviewing and enrolling new students, and preparing teachers for the upcoming school year. Andy is looking forward to his second year as chaplain, he is looking forward to using the Gospel Project's curriculum, which is a chronological, Christ-centered Bible study for kids, students, and adults that examines how all Scripture gives testimony to Jesus.
At OCSI we have the great opportunity to minister to over 400 students and this year we hope and pray to go beyond reaching only the students, we want to see the entire family reached as well. I believe with Megan as the principal and Andy as the chaplain we are in a perfect situation to connect with families. Our field leader has also encouraged us to do this after visiting us last Spring. Last year we started a parenting Bible study for elementary students’ parents, focusing on how to parent from a Biblical worldview. This year we are going to be adding another class for parents- a Bible study that looks at what their students have learned that week. Most of these parents are also non-Christians and I’m sure they are curious about what their children are learning. We have partnered with the school’s PTF director, a Japanese woman who has a passion for reaching the lost for Jesus. This second Bible study class will be announced during the new student orientation and Open House. Please pray for a lot of interest.
In late June, Naomi had decided to get baptized into Christ. She was baptized in the South China Sea with family, teachers, and friends present. It was a beautiful time of singing, playing with goats, and watching Naomi profess her faith in Christ and follow in obedience through baptism. It was recorded and we will get a video created and posted on our blog as soon as we can. We so proud of her and excited for her new life in Christ. God is so good!
Time in Sapporo
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.