Dec 20, 2015
Christmas Service at Oasis Church.
Nov 20, 2015
KCS held its 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner today. The high schoolers (with the help from a few moms) prepared a thanksgiving meal for almost 100 people Not only that, but they decided to donate all of the proceeds from the event to Samaritan's Purse. Before the meal, Chris' 1st-2nd grade class, along with the three 3rd graders, sang a song and performed a little Thanksgiving poem. It was really cute. Thanks to everyone who made this evening a great success.
Nov 10-13, 2015
Michael was able to attend this year's Church Planters Institute Conference near Mt Fuji. This is a conference for missionaries and Japanese Christian workers who have a desire to plant churches and make disciples in the nation of Japan. The sessions, seminars and speakers were really good for Michael, as they gave him lots of ideas and motivation for his work at Oasis Church. He also enjoyed the opportunity to do a little hiking with his friend (David Mills) and go for a quick run around Lake Saiko. However, the best thing about the week was the fellowship. Being able to hang out with old friends and meet a few new ones was exactly what Michael needed.
Worship time at our main sessions. We had 5 of these sessions over the three days.
These are some of the JEMS missionaries that Michael was able to hook up with. It was especially nice to meet Tim Burns (front left) and Joseph & Yumiko Wu (front center) for the first time.
November 8, 2015
At Oasis Church we have recently started studying the book of 1 Corinthians. So far, people are enjoying taking an in-depth look at this wonderful book. Some of the topics during this series are going to be a bit of a challenge, but we are excited to see what the Lord wants to teach us through the Apostle Paul.
November 6, 2015
Today was all-school chapel for the month of November. Michael continued in his series called "Not Of This World" by looking at the second half of Romans 12:2, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." His challenge to the students was to open their hearts to the word of God, because that is one of the main ways that God wants to teach us how to "not conform to the ways of this world." Before the message, the principal surprised Michael by presenting him with birthday cards from the entire school. They also took time to pray for him. What a blessing that was! By the way, Michael turned 50 last week.
October 30, 2015
Today was Fall field trip day. Chris' class, along with the 3rd-4th grade class, went to Tennoji Zoo in Osaka. Nobody got lost, and nobody fell into the lion habitat, so all in all it was a good day.
October 26, 2015
We have added Issue 75 of "A Minute with the Masons" to our newsletters page. You can read it here.
October 25, 2015
Michael ran in the Osaka Marathon 8.8k Challenge Run today. He was hoping to do the full marathon, but an injury to his foot kept him from being able to train for that distance. However, the shorter race was still lots of fun, and he still received his finisher's medal.
October 2, 2015
Today was the first all-school chapel message of the new school year at KCS. Michael's theme for the year is "Not Of This World: Following Jesus in a World that Doesn't." His first message was based on the first half of Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the ways of this world." The second half of the verse ("but be transformed by the renewing of your mind") will be the topic for November's chapel.
September 2, 2015
Today was the first day of school at Kansai Christian School. Luke is starting his first year of high school, Chris is starting her first year as the full-time 1st-2nd grade teacher, and Michael is starting his seventh year as school chaplain. May the Lord bless all of the students and staff at KCS this year.
August 27, 2015
We have arrived back in Japan after a very busy time in the States this summer. The main purpose of our trip was to visit supporting churches and check up on Chris' parents. But we also manage to find some time to do a few fun things as well. Here is an update of what we did this summer:
On our way to the States, our flight went through Korea. So we took advantage of the free transit tours offered by the airport and spent 3 hours visiting an old government building (picture) and a street market.
We visited some friends (Dennis & Susan) in Bishop, CA. Susan taught for a year at Kansai Christian School and Chris was the aid in her classroom.
On Father's Day, Michael and Luke ran in the Mammoth 5k, in Mammoth Lakes, CA. The weather was great, the scenery was awesome, and the medals were way cool!
On our way up to Portland, OR, we stopped off for a picnic lunch at Crater Lake National Park. The water was so blue it almost looked fake.
While visiting Michael's dad in Portland, we had to go to Voodoo Doughnuts that we have heard so much about. Mmmm!
As we were driving south from Portland to Mount Hermon, we stopped for a day of sightseeing in San Francisco. We ate dim sum lunch in Chinatown and then walked to Fisherman's Warf for some clam chowder. Along the way, we found Mason street.
We spent a week at Mount Hermon, a summer camp sponsored by our mission organization, JEMS. Michael and Chris were at Family Camp. while Luke spent the week at Inner High Camp. As always, being surrounded by the Redwoods of northern California is a special place to be.
While at Mount Hermon, we got to hang out with the other JEMS missionaries to Japan. Some were long-time friends and others we met for the very first time. It was a great blessing to be a part of a wonderful group of people.
Some friends from Catalyst Christian Community and Cerritos Baptist Church pitched in to treat us to three days at Disneyland. What a blessing by some truly special friends.
We were able to spend about a week up in Spokane visiting with Michael's mom and brother. As always, it was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles (and all that traffic!)
We just happened to be in Southern California when the Jesus Culture conference came to town. The worship was really loud, but it was also a huge blessing to us. This was a 2-day event.
We were able to visit seven different churches during our time in America. We really appreciated the opportunities to share about what God is doing at Oasis Church and Kansai Christian School. Here we are sharing about our beloved church member, Mr. Kawano.
During our time in Los Angeles, we stayed in missionary housing Atherton Baptist Homes. This is where Chris' parents are living, so it made it possible to see them almost every day. Here we are celebrating Chris' mother's birthday.
June 13, 2015
From June 16th, we will be traveling to the States for 10 weeks of home ministry. During this time we will be unable to update our homepage. If you would like to see what we are up to while in America, please feel free to check out our Facebook pages (Michael here. Chris here.). May you have a wonderful summer. We'll be back in the Fall.
June 12, 2015
Today was the last day of school at Kansai Christian School and the annual Spring Program and Graduation was held to honor all of the hard work of the students over the past 9 months. This was an extra special day for us as Luke graduated from Junior High School. On top of that, Luke as received the perfect attendance award and made the honor roll (the only student in the school with a 4.0 gpa)! We are very proud of our son and he is looking forward to beginning high school in September. This was also a special day for Chris as it was her last day as 5th-6th grade Bible/homeroom teacher. From next Fall, she will be the new, full-time 1st-2nd grade teacher. She is excited about this new opportunity that God has given her to serve the students of KCS.
June 11, 2015
We have added Issue 74 of "A Minute with the Masons" to our newsletters page. You can read it here.
June 10, 2015
Today is Luke's 15th birthday.What a wonderful young man he has become. We are proud of you Luke!
May 10, 2015
A group from Catalyst Christian Community in Long Beach, CA was in Japan this week to attend a Christian conference in Kobe. When the event was over, we were able to hook up with the team for an evening for food and prayer. After most of the team returned to the States, Bob and Nancy stayed a couple of extra days. They were able to join us at Oasis Church with us in the morning, and then treated us to Korean BBQ for dinner. We were very refreshed by their presence. Thank you!
May 1, 2015
Today was Michael's last all-school chapel message of the year. He finished up his series on the promises of God with a message called "God's Promises For Difficult Times." Michael is thankful for the opportunity to serve the KCS students and staff in this way. Please pray for lasting fruit to be produced from the times they spent together each month.
April 24, 2015
After months of hard work and many rehearsals, tonight's KCS drama was a huge hit. Chris, along with fellow teacher, Ikumi, were co-directors of the production called "Spend Awhile on the Nile." It was a musical with lots of singing, dancing, costumes, and humor. All of the students did a wonderful job.
April 24, 2015
Chris found out today that starting in September, she will be the new, full-time 1st-2nd grade teacher at Kansai Christian School. After serving in the classroom as a teacher's aide for 4 years, she is now stepping into the lead role. Unfortunately, this means that she will no longer be able to do the 5th-6th grade homeroom and Bible class. While she is excited about this new opportunity, she is a bit nervous about the new responsibilities. Your prayers would be much appreciated.
April 18, 2015
Our good friends from America (Ken & Mary Tabuchi, with daughter, Lisa) have been staying with us the last couple of days. It has been good hanging out with them and getting caught up on news back home. Today we went to Umeda to check out the Sky Building. For those of you who are fans of "The Amazing Race," this building was featured in season 20, episode 11.
April 13, 2015
We have added Issue 73 of "A Minute with the Masons" to our newsletters page. You can read it here.
April 7, 2015
Michael went running today for the first time this year. He took the time off in order to heal up a couple of injuries that he suffered last Fall in preparation for the Nara Marathon. Unfortunately, both injuries were still a bit tender. He was planning to run the Mammoth Half Marathon with Luke in June, but if these injuries don't heal up real soon, he may have to downgrade to the 5k.
February 28, 2015
The KCS Futsal team participated in a practice tournament today: a warm-up for the BIG tourney in March. The guys (and gal) did a great job and actually came in first place! This was also Luke's sports debut: his first time to play in any organized team event.
February 20, 2015
Tonight was the annual Open Mic Night at KCS, where the students and staff show off their amazing talents. There was lots of singing and dancing, as well as a special appearance by the minions from "Despicable Me." If you look closely at the picture, all 5 of the minions looked surprising similar to some of the KCS teachers, including one who looked like Chris (far left)!
February 18, 2015
Yesterday and today, Michael performed the memorial service and funeral for Oasis Church member, Mr. Kawano. About 150 people came to either (or both) events, many of them hearing the Good News for the very first time. Both services included the singing of Kawano's favorite song, "Friend of God" (pictured below). Please pray for the many seeds that were planted in the hearts of those who attended. At Oasis Church, we will miss Kawano-san very much. His humor, kindness and hunger for the Lord was an inspiration to us all.
January 9, 2015
In the first all-school chapel of 2015, Michael continued his message series called "Holding On to the Promises of God." This month's topic: God's Promise of Answered Prayer.
January 4, 2015
Today was Chris' 29th birthday (again!). Since it was a Sunday, a friend at Oasis made an awesome Snoopy cake so that we could celebrate together as a church family. Thanks Carolyn for thinking of Chris and doing such a wonderful job!
January 2, 2015
In celebration of Chris' birthday in a few days, we made our annual pilgrimage into Osaka to eat at the Outback Steakhouse. Chris' favorite food at Outback??? A baked potato! These are almost impossible to find at a restaurant in Japan!
January 1, 2015
Happy New Year!
For more updates, see...
2007 Updates (July to December)
2007 Updates (January to June)