Thursday, November 27, 2014

Adjusting and Adapting

Our apartment building!!
   Matthew and I have been living on the island for a little over one month!! Whoot whoo!! We now have our own apartment, it’s awesome! We were able to purchase and have our refrigerator, washer and dryer the day we moved in!! The furniture store was out of ovens, so we had a lot of crock meals.  We did, however, get an oven this week!! We had internet installed and picked up a router, so we now have Wifi! As far as furniture, we have the three main things: a bed, couch and dining room table! We are planning on making everything else in due time. For now, we are glad to have a place we call home!
   We have enjoyed walking the streets where we live and checking everything out. The sea wall is very close to our apartment, so we like to go down and watch the sunset while looking for seashells.
Our FREE car
The first Sunday we visited the Kinser Chapel, a family GAVE us a car!! It was super encouraging for us. We didn’t know the family which makes it even cooler. I don’t really believe there is any other reason for someone giving us a car other than God providing for us. We are still adjusting to driving on the opposite side of the road and car. It feels like we are teaching ourselves how to drive all over again! There are some very tiny streets in Japan, so that always makes driving more fun. The roads that look like one ways really aren’t… they are just super small.
Driving on the left side!!
Ministry wise, Matthew and I will be focusing on two Marine Bases for the next few months, Camp Foster and Camp Kinser. Early next year, another Cadence missionary will join us on the field and take over children’s ministry on Camp Kinser, allowing Matthew and I to focus solely on Camper Foster.
   As of right now, the Chapel on Camp Foster has one kindergartener. Yup, only one kid attending. There is clearly A LOT of potential for ministry and we are excited for this challenge! We have started strategizing how to bring more families to the chapel, we have decided hosting Back Yard Bible Clubs is a great way to interact with kids. There are some logistical things we need to work out with the military, but we are super excited to get things rolling!!
   Camp Kinser has been extremely blessed to have a CRE (Coordinator of Religious Education) who has structured a children’s ministry for the Chapel. There are a handful of kids attending Sunday School on a weekly basis and we have enjoyed getting to know them the last couple weeks. Matthew and I have starting working on a Christmas Play with them, which has been lots of fun. We are excited for this opportunity because it has given us an extra day in our week to get to know the kids more.
Our Cadence Team and volunteers!
We also had an awesome Thanksgiving yesterday!! We were able to serve Marines and Sailors on Kinser and Foster. Over 400 servicemen and women came for a home cooked meal! It was awesome getting to talk with some of them, play games and EAT! My heart was overjoyed. We ended our evening sharing a meal with our fellow Cadence team members and youth volunteers. It was good to be together with our Cadence family and build stronger relationships!
  We are incredibly thankful for each and every one of you that has followed us on this journey so far! We could not be here without you, so thank you for sacrificing your time and money to support us!! =) We love you all and have so many reasons to be thankful!! =D

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Okinawa Life!!!

Our first beach day!
It’s official, we made it to Okinawa!!! We have been on island for three days and are still adjusting to jet lag and a new culture, but it has been very exciting for the both of us! Our main goal for the next couple of weeks is to adjust to the initial move while waiting for the logistical things to work out. We are pretty much stuck until our military IDs come through, but I am considering the waiting period a blessing! It gives us time to acclimate, explore the island and set up our apartment. Until we have our own apartment, we will be staying with our field leader and his family.

We went on an aerial tour of the island!
After receiving our military IDs, we will be able to get our driver’s license, purchase a car, rent an apartment and have access to the base without needing an escort! This coming week, we will finish up the paperwork for our IDs and pray it is processed quickly! Monday, we are going to begin our apartment search, which is super exciting! Although we won’t be able to rent anything until our IDs come, we will be able to narrow down our search! We have also been keeping a look out on cars, so we will have a better idea on the kind we want when it’s time to buy one!

Our office!!!!
Yesterday, Matthew and I were able to order our phones!! Whooot whooo! My phone will hopefully be in by the beginning of next week and Matthew’s will come in within the next two weeks. We were also given a tour of the youth building, where the Cadence Youth Missionaries lead ministry. We will be able to use the space AND we have our very own office!! All of our boxes have arrived, praise the Lord!! They will stay in the youth building until we have our own apartment.

We are so grateful that you are following our lives and praying us through our most recent transition! Thank you for being a constant reminder that God has called us to Okinawa! We love you and know we have the best support team out there!! =)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Eight Week Challenge

Eight weeks, Matthew and I have eight more weeks to raise our support so that we can be on the mission field in September. Some of you may be thinking, “September isn’t in 8 weeks, so why do you only have eight more weeks?” Good question. We need to be fully supported for three consecutive months before we will be released to the mission field. We are hoping, praying, and asking for our monthly support to be in by May 31st so that we are able to count June, July and August as our three consecutive months—seems easy, right?
Now, you may be wondering how in the world we plan on raising the rest of our support in 8 weeks?! Another great question! Matthew and I have created an eight week challenge! This challenge was created to motivate us and those around us. We are going to work and pray diligently for a new person/family to join our support team every day for the next eight weeks.  We have and will continue making phone calls, sending emails, sharing our hearts and meeting with people for dinner, coffee, etc. Our challenge technically didn't start until this past Saturday, but we got a little head start because we were excited! So far, we have had seven individuals/families pledge their support! Whoot whoo!! We are now bringing in 40% of our monthly goal, which is $7,055 and have $13,500 (out of 19,800) of our start up fund!!

What can you do? 1. Pray/consider becoming a monthly supporter. 2. Pray for our boldness as we ask others. Pray God will continue to send new supporters our way! 3. Let us know of anyone who you think may be interested in supporting us.

Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Word of Encouragement

Dave and Bonnie Lambert
"Her words frustrated me.  It seemed as if she really did not understand what she was saying.  I wanted to scream, to pout, (OK to be honest I probably did pout a bit), to demand that my wishes come true.  The year was 1995 and I was in the Base Exchange on Yokosuka Navy base in Japan, the store where you find everything from electronics to clothes to jewelry.  My wife had sent me out with very clear directions, find our first grade son new jeans.  Seemed simple enough, as the only store on base they had to have 6 year old boy’s pants.  But try as I might I could not find a single pair.  Not jeans, not slacks, not anything.  I finally got a salesperson to help and that is when they informed me that they were all out of stock on any pants that would fit a 6 year old boy.  Their solution, drive the 2 hours and pay the $40.00 in tolls to make the trip to the next nearest base and see if they had any pants in stock.  I could not believe it.  I asked to see the manager who as politely as possible affirmed her sales clerk position.  There were no pants to be found and they were not sure when any new stock would arrive.  Her rational response to my frustration is still is a vivid memory to this day.  'Sir, the school year is just starting and you know there are many 6 year old boys on this base.'  I did know that.  My boy was one of them.  The elementary school was just down the road from my office.  The assistant principal was a friend.  It was then that the realization of the need for ministry to this demographic hit home.  On our one small base that was way too overcrowded there were over 1800 elementary students. Those numbers did not include the satellite bases close by or the other bases in the Tokyo area or spread throughout Asia.  There were 1800 kids whose parents were active duty Navy all down the street from me.  All were growing up with parents who would deploy up to 9 months of each and every year and there was no ministry focused on them.  

Age Distribution of Military Children. The largest group is birth-5, then 6-11, then 12-18, last 19-23.Friends, that is why we are so excited to have Matthew and Sarah Annanie join the Cadence family.  They have huge hearts for not just kids but military kids.  The need is incredible, they have been called to go, now they need people who are willing to catch their vision and send them, to stand shoulder to shoulder with them to reach the thousands of children growing up with parents in our military.  Would you consider partnering with them as they minister to these kids?  As far as the jean expedition went, as I was walking out of the store another sales clerk ran up and informed me that she had found a single pair of 6 year old boy jeans in the storage area.  Mission success!"
                                                                                      With expectation,

                                                                                               Dave Lambert
                                                                                               Director of Mobilization and Training

Military Bases on Okinawa

The need for children's ministry is tremendous! The DoDDs (Department of Defense Dependent Schools) serve over 24,000 students in 45 schools across Japan, South Korea, Okinawa, and Guam! That includes all Kindergarten through 12th graders! Okinawa alone, currently has 4,288 K-5th graders! That is just Kindergarten through 5th grade, which is roughly 18% of all the U.S. military students currently living in the Pacific region. We want need, to be there now to reach these kids for Christ!! Will you help us reach those kids for Christ? Are YOU with us??

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Now What?

Leading K-3rd Grade Worship
After January came to a close and we weren't fully funded, I was pretty discouraged. Matthew and I spent the previous months sharing with people our goal to be supported 100% by January and we missed the mark. I was embarrassed and neither of us had the answer to the daunting, “When will you leave, now?” For the next couple of weeks, we spent time praying and seeking for an answer. What did we come up with? One simple verse: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT) After reading that verse and then reading it another 50 times, peace filled my anxious spirit. I was reminded that it is the Lord who decides when we will leave and when we will stay; He is the one who has and will always guide our steps. What an encouragement for us— we will continue planning and raising our support, but it is the Lord who officially decides when we will leave.
Matthew leading Large Group
What’s next? We will still work as hard, if not harder, to raise our necessary funds. We have set a new goal; we would love to see our full support come in by June of this year. In order for that to happen, we are going to pray like crazy, invite as many people as we can to join our team and get the word out there!! We currently have 22 pledged supporters giving close to $2,400 a month. We need to almost triple those numbers in order for us to be released to the field! Please pray for our support to increase and consider joining us financially. 
In between raising our funds and working part time jobs, we will continue serving the children in our church through Kid's Quest and AWANA. As I have mentioned before, we love our church. We love serving and we love the people we serve alongside. Matthew and I have been given an amazing opportunity to learn from them, for that we are truly grateful. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Today was a great day at church!  We had the chance to show the kids to have faith no matter what! Our bottom line was, " When you hear what Jesus has done, it helps to have faith."  I was on stage for large group and was suppose to do a experiment with Bill Zood the science dude, but he was MIA! What was I going to do!!!  Luckily my co-leader came to my rescue and encouraged me to do the experiment!  She reminded me that I had read the instructions, had seen it done, and I had all the materials; it also helped that she had faith in me that I could do it!  This led into a bible story from Luke 7:18-22, while John the Baptist was in prison for a couple of months.  He began to lose faith and needed some encouragement,  so he asked his disciples to go and talk with Jesus about Jesus being the Messiah.  When the disciples got to Jesus, He told them to watch and listen.  After a little while of watching and listening, they had seen Jesus do amazing things and heard him speak!  Jesus told them to go back to John and tell what they had seen Jesus do and what they had heard.  This good news encouraged John but he had to rely on his friends and the stories of what they had heard Jesus say and what they had seen Him do.  At our church we also ask a great question each week, which is "SO WHAT??"  The "so what" for today was great!  We are much like John the Baptist, having to build our faith on the stories of what others heard Jesus say and what others had seen Him do.  We made a great parallel from what we talked about to the kids lives.   

We get to do awesome fun things like this and tell them truths of the Bible! I cannot wait for us to be able to do it with the kids of the military!!