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"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15)
Volume 90 January 1991 Number 1
The November issue of this paper told of the preparations and
projects underway connected with the 20th anniversary celebra
tion. Now that is past, but we want to share a few comments and
pictures as we look back on it one last time.
1. We appreciated the effort and sacrifice made so that two
couples from the Markle, Indiana Church of Christ, which has
supported our work for over 46 years, could come over here to join
with us in the meaningful celebration. They were Larry and Judy
Mower and Dean and Ilene Korn, elders of the church and veiy in
terested in missions. They brought a gift of SSOO from their
church, which was deeply encouraging to our local church. They
also took many pictures which were to be shared with the folks
back home.
Harold Sima tranalates as the 4 visitora from MarMe, Indiana give their greet
ings at the receptioiu
Lois and I enjoyed very much having the good-humored, back-
home, down-to-earth type folks with us for a number of days and
various experiences together. We took tliem to a Japanese hot-
spring hotel down at Hakone after the busy weekend of meetings
here and enjoyed one night of "total immersion" in Japanese cul
ture - raw fish, sleeping on tlie floor and everytliing - and enjoyed
their humor and adjustabili^. Also we had perfect weather for
taking pictures of some of Japan's best scenery in that area. They
also were able to take tlie bullet train down to tlie Kyoto, Nara area
for some sight-seeing and visiting our work down there, and to
ward the end they got in some shopping.
2. The benches were delivered on time, and really make the
place look different After getting tliem in place I noticed that the
door of the small closet in the church was not fully closed, and
when I pushed on it the tiling pushed back. I opened it to discover
10 hand-made green cushions just tlie right size for the new
benches, and one small cushion for the organ bench. To this date
no one has given any indication of knowing who was responsible
for designing, making and even delivering them to the church; so,
at the anniversary, we attributed that to an "angel" which everyone
enjoys even if tliey dont fully believe.
3. The booklet was delivered just in time, and it is full of good
short articles by most of our members as well as historical facts.
Our children wrote messages, and Daniel again drew the picture
of the church that was used on tlie cover.
4. The Chapel Concert from 7 p.m. Saturday evening, Novem
ber 3, was attended by 60 adults and 8 children; A good number of
these had parts on tlie program, including the 4 visitors from Indi
ana. It was the first public appearance of our young people's in
strumental and vocal group called "Frogs" (Forever Relying on
God's Son), and I played a medley of hymns on tlie piano to tlie
great surprise of some who didnt know I could do tliat. Of course
The Myirodai Congregation singing, The Lord is My Shepherd.'
we have some talented and trained musicians among our mem
bers, so some of tlie instrumental and vocal numbers were classi
cal music and professional quality. It was a very good evening of
true celebration and joy. The final and climactic number was
when all of the members of the church came up to tlie front and
sang a specially arranged 3-part chorus of "The Lord is My Shep
herd." We had practiced every Sunday after the worship service
for 5 weeks.
5. November 4th we had 44 present for the morning worship,
with a special message on Christ's words, "I will build My Church."
There was a steady cold rain, which was exactly like the weatlier
20 years ago when we held the first service. Sandwiches were or
dered, and over 20 people stayed to eat in Sims Hall and then pre
pare for the special afternoon service when guests from 5 or 6
churches in tlie area came. Brother Itagaki from Nakano Church
brought tlie main message, and I gave a short history of the
church and some current facts about membership. After that we
all crowded into Sims Hall for a reception during which a number
of very meaningful shoil speeches were made by various visitors.
One of the preachers translated my father's poem written to me
when I left home for college 49 years before and my answering
poem to him upon leaving college and deciding to become a mis
sionary. Most of the people present didnt even know of the exis
tence of tliis literature, so it was later printed and distributed to all
our members.
Ladies group in Nakano Church parsonage. Mrs. Matsuoka is at left. Mrs.
Mizuhawa (now 07) is hi cciiicr rear. Mrs. Itagaki, the preacher's wife is in
fivnt next to Lois,
On December 87 we received the phone message that Mrs.
Matsuoka. a member of Nakano Church for over 36 years had
passed away suddenly that afternoon from heart failure. We were
with her daughter and husband and most of her greatgrand and
grand-children, a few other relatives and a good number of
Nakano Church folks for the funeral there on December 29.
Bom in 1905 in Osaka, she and her husband and two young
daughters moved to Tokyo in connection with her husband's job at
a pharmaceutical company near tl\e mid-point of her life - several
years after World War II. Their home was just a stone's throw
from the Nakano Church and our home at that time. The second
daughter (college student) began coming to tlie church, and in a
relatively short time became a Christian and began playing the or
gan for worship services regularly. After 2 or 3 years she per
suaded her parents to attend, and both of tliem wore baptized. We
used to enjoy going to tlieir house with the young folks to talk, eat
and have good times.
Mr. Matsuoka died unexpectedly of a massive stroke one
night 31 years ago. The second daughter also died suddenly over
10 years ago, leaving 2 teenagod children. So she had her portion
of sadness, disappointment and trouble in life. Since her hus
band's death she has lived by herself - first in the house tlioy built
and more recently in the care-takers apartment of tlie building her
son-in-law erected on tlie lot to give her financial security.
Her tendency to say exactly what she thought made for some
difficulties in human relations; but, she mellowed over tlie years
and often said in later years tliat her main joy in life was going to
church. She rarely missed a meeting of the church or of the ladies
Bible study group which Lois Sims has been leading every 2nd
and 4th Thursday of each month for almost 40 years. She espe
cially enjoyed planning the menus and making sure there was
enough money in the treasury.
She was also a constant worrier, and every year at Christmas
she would say "Well, this may be my last year," and the others, in
cluding a cheerful little old lady 12 years older would encourage
In September this year she was hospitalized with kidney
trouble, and when she was released, went to live with her daugh
ter, which made it impossible to attend church. Finally on De
cember 20 she was able to attend tlie special Christmas meeting
and supervise the gift exchange as usual. She was her usual
talkative self, with the usual comments about poor prospects for
next year; but everyone was so happy she was tlie re. Of course tlie
next Thursday she went on up tliere.
This is tlie first of tlie "core group" of tlie ladies Bible study to
be promoted to gloiy, and she will be missed. It was a joy to see
the changes Christ made slowly in her life here on earth, and now
the greatest change has happened. All gloiy and praise to Him.
About 6 montliB before the. event, one of the Japanese preach
ers in Kagoshima-ken called me and asked if I could go down
there and speak at a special meeting they were planning to honor
the Maxeys. In October the Maxeys completed 40 years of living in
the same house and carrying forward the work of the Kyushu
Christian Mission. The Japanese ministers were planning the
meeting for November 23, which is the Japanese Thanksgiving
Day holiday every year, and traditionally the time the Emperor
eats the first of that year's rice crop. This year was the 37th annual
gathering of the several Churches of Christ in that prefecture on
that particular day, which is quite a tradition in itself.
This year this day coincided with what was called "Daijosal" in
Japan and translated "Great Thanksgiving Offering." It U when
the new Emperor communes most of the night with the Sun God
dess, and according to ancient mythology becomes God-man. The
government built a new building especially for this event at enor
mous expense. Christians and many others expressed strong op
position on the basis of separation of religion and state, but after
seeing the great indifference to it on the part of most Japanese,
perhaps there is not so much to woriy about.
More tlian 100 people were present for the occasion, and in
addition to my talk there were sincere expressions from many of
appreciation to the Maxeys and many suitable gifts were given by
different groups.
During tlie afternoon program a panel discussion was held
with 4 missionaries and 5 Japanese preachers on tlie platform to
I epjoyod the trip and fellowship.
Audience at Kyushu meeting.
Missionaries atul Japanese preachers on the platform.
Pauline and Mark Maxey, Harold Sims and Preacher Yoshil'a daughter at the
dining table in the fioms.
TheRobert Slrnsfamily in our living room. Mrs, Tsuda and her daughter Maki
are in the back.
On November 9, our second son, Bob, his wife, Helen, and
their children, Joel and Amanda, arrived for a visit. Helen had
come with Bob for 3 weeks back in 1983. This time Bob is working
for a Japanese auto-parts manufacturing company in Sholbyville,
KY and was over here on company business and at their expense.
Helen could come free because of a good collection of frequent
flyer coupons accumulated when Bob was with his former com
pany. They had to pay for tlie children, and tliey came by different
airlines, with 1 child each, which made for a long waiting time at
the airport but no great trouble.
Bob had to work almost very day expect Sundays and holi
days, and endured the crunch of rush-hour traffic, both going to
town in the mornings and coming home in the evenings. We had
lots of time to visit with Helen and got to know the grand-children
There was some overlap with tlie Indiana folks, so for several
days we fed and slept 10 people here every night - some on tlie
floors. We had a lot of good times.
Bob made a short devotional talk in church and also sang a
special musical number for Thanksgiving Sunday, November 25.
The two children joined in with about six or eight Japanese to sing
"Jesus Loves the Little Children" in 2 languages.
On tlie night of November 25 we a had a good family time,
celebrating Amanda's 4th birthday four days early and also
Christmas one montli early, saving postage for sending gifts on
both sides.
One Sunday afternoon our young people's group suddenly
came up with tlie idea of having a 1 day special evangelistic effort
geared to reaching now young people. They wanted to call it a
"party," because all young people like tlie sound of that word and
most of tliem would likely be turned off by a word like
"evangelism." They assured us older folks that it was not meant to
be just a party, and certainly not a wild one.
They did all of the planning, advertising, preparation, etc. and
paid all of tlie expenses except tlie xerox copying which was ex
tensive, but allowable for that good purpose.
This is tlie poster and hand-bill design tliey used. Notice
some words in English, which helps got attention. They prepared
a printed program, including all songs to be sung, and arranged
for special music, refreshments, speaker, etc. and worked zeal
ously for hours every Sunday afternoon for a month.
A total of 31 people attended the program on Sunday after
noon December 16. Half of them wore from Mejirodai. This in
cluded 2 girls who havont been here for a couple of years and
came in answer to mailed invitations. There were 16 outsiders.
Some of them were college friends of some of our YP, and mem
bers of other churches, but 6 young people came to church for tlie
first time in response to handbills passed out door to door in this
After it was over they cooked a big pot of stew, and all ate
from the same pot - traditional sign of friendship and brotherhood
in the Orient - and relaxed and rejoiced in a successful job. They
all left about 0 p.m. tired and happy.
prn. 3:30 7-oq^(3
It--7 PT?
In this issue we always have an article about Christmas. 1. It
is one of tlie high points of the year in attendance and interesting
happenings. 2. Wo havent spent a Christmas in the United States
since way back in 1967, so the "doings* here at this local church
are our "traditional Christmas" and 3. We want to share some of
the joy witli many of you who sent cards and notes wishing us well.
But this time I tliink I will just list a few of the things about this
time that were special and remain in our minds a month later.
1. The daughter of one of our oldest members works at a
florist shop, and some days before Christmas brought 4 potted
poinsettias for the church. Some of tlie leaves were a little discol
ored, so they woront being sold, but they really helped tlie church
look festive.
2. Our Sunday School is quite small tliese several years, but
for our program tliis year all 4 songs tliat were learned and sung
by the children were original compositions by Mrs. Ito, who
teaches the 4- 6 grade class half of tlie time and whose daughter is
a member of tliat class and won the prize for the best attendance.
3. Wo had 50 adults and 11 children packing our small
church for worship on December 23; but the outstanding joy of
this particular Christmas was that we had 4 people in tlie congre
gation who hod been sick for weeks. None of them were expected
to be there, and they were passing around a "get well" card to send
to one of them when she walked in. Two of these were people who
had been operated on for cancer during October and November
and for whom we had all prayed. The other 2 were a man who has
had serious pancreas gland trouble and a lady who had type C
hepatitis. It was remarkable that all made it for that day, and all of
them made little speeches to the people expressing tlianks to Ood
and for the prayers of many on their behalf.
4. Penny Boggs wrote and directed a little play or pageant as
the main feature of our afternoon program. She had Mrs. Morita, a
grandmother, sitting in our rocking chair and around her gath*
ered about 10 children. (Penny usually has children's church
during our morning worship so she had taught her regulars some
linos to say as they asked the Grandmother various things bring
ing out the meaning of Christmas). Then she had some of our
members who dont have special musical talent and seldom partic
ipate in programs to take various parts as the Christmas stoiy was
acted out on the stage mostly in pantomime. There were also sev
eral musical numbers included.
5. Part of tlie above play was having our 3 older men come to
the front and present gifts to the Christ child. They were dressed
in some of our batlirobes and towels were wrapped around their
heads. The audience sang "We Three Kings of Orient Are." I had
previously asked various groups of 3 in the church to make up
some Japanese words for the verse of that song - words that would
describe their feelings toward the church, experiences of the year
or something. Then the audience would respond with the chorus
of the hymn "Oh, Star of Wonder." We had 3 sisters in the church
who have grown children. They sang first, then the 3 small Tarumi
children, the 3 Ito children, the Hara family of 3. Finally Lois and
I made up 2 verses in Japanese describing how we came to Japan
40 years ago as bride and groom and are now Grandma and
Grandpa, which all delighted in so much they could hardly sing
the chorus.
6. As the program and gift exchange was winding down and
they were calling me for the dismissal prayer, I was called to the
phone. Our son, Daniel, was on the line from Michigan announc
ing the birth of their second little girl, Michelle. So before the
prayer I announced tlie birth of our ilth grandchild. Everyone
wonders how I can manage some dramatic tiring every year so we
can say it was the best Christmas ever.
7. The Christmas Eve Candle Service was the best attended
yet. The church was packed with 55 adults and 11 children. The
faces of the crowd glowed with seriousness and joy as we sang
most of the old familiar carols with good volume and feeling. That
night we had at least 6 or 7 people in church for the first time.
One of our members, whose attendance is not too regular, was
asked by a non-Christian friend to be taken to the service. Our lo
cal doctor's wife and daughter came for the first time, etc. It was
really great.
8. We went to the hospital where Mrs. Okada was spending
her third Christmas to put on our 3rd program there. The lobby
was packed with 43 patients in wheel chairs and a good number of
nurses and staff. This was on Christmas Day at 3 p.m. Sixteen of
us went from here through terribly slow traffic.
Members qf the Shirisiiu Bible Canip Committee at the anmuil meetlttg.
(D h
The Christmas 'Baekground' was painted by a member when
77ieme above "Vie Word qf God."
in art school
Mr. and Mta. Stanley Buttray (retired), R.D. 2.
Box 160, MeadvlUe, PA 16333.
Mr. and Mi*. Andrew Patton (retired), #6
Tangetwood. Carl Junotlon. MO 64834. Forwarding
AgenC Mr. and Mi*. Ralph Mortord, R 1, Box 413,
Knightatowu. IN 40148.
Mr. and Mr*. Harold Slma. 3-33-7 MeJIrodal.
HahioJI-shl. Tokyo 103 Japan. Forwarding Agent
Flrat Church of Chriet 319 B. Orange Avenue., EueUs,
FL 32720-4194.
Two year donation 8 .90
Donation and FlamingTorch >1.00
Tokyo Chrlatian
(USP8 776-320)
PubUefaed tour ttisee a year In January, April,
July, and November lor the miealonarle* ot the Church
of Chrlat, Cunningham Mlaelon. Tol^, Japan by
Mlealon Servlcee, 7323 Hodgee Ferry Road, KnozvtUe,
TN 37920-8731. Second Claae poetBge paid at
KnoxvlUe. TN 37901-2427, FOSTMASTBR: Send
addreee change* to ToIqv Chrlatian, c/o MISSION
SERVICES, PO Box 2427, KnoxvUIe. TN 37901-2427.
Before you move, please send the mailing label with a copy of your new addreee to:
MISSION SERVICES ASSOCIATION. PO Box 2427, Knoxville. TN 37901-2427.
Form 3570 Requested, PO Box 2427, KnoxvlUe, Tennc 37901-2427.
January 1991
Dear Prayer Partners,
We began this Oriental "year of the Sheep (Ram)"with 22 Christians gathered
in the church at llOOPM New Year's day reciting the 23rd Psalm and singing
"Savior, like a Shepherd lead usmuch we need Thy tender care." The post-man
delivered a stack of about 60 New Year greeting cards from various Japanese
friends offering best wishes, as their custom is. But as the days rushed by,
and the clouds of war gathered there was an undercurrent of tension that could
be felt in every conversation and newscast. Now as 1 write this the war in the
Middle East has been going on for several days, and it will surely have some
effect on each one of us during the coming months. We are planning to stay at
our post here all year, continuing in the calling and ministry we have been
given by the Lord, and fighting the good fight of the faith in the strength and
help that the Holy Spirit gives,
Hopes are up for the coming of a capable, devoted young Japanese couple to
become assistants at Mejirodai within this year. Some of the details remain to
be worked out. Also there are many other things that need to be done, and some
tough problems to be solved by much prayer and effort, I Cor, 16:8,9.
1 don't view myself as indispensable, and 1 know that 1 am not sufficient
for these things and very much stand in the need of your intercessory prayers?
but 1 do feel needed, enjoy the work and life here, and feel encouraged by good
health and the good year of manifold blessings just ended and the warm encourage
-ment of many friends that came in the Christmas mail.
The Christmas letter which all of you received had a 1 page review of our
20th anniversary year special events and the celebration in Nov. and also some
comments about the general church situation in Tokyo, family news etc. so 1
will not repeat those things. 1 will briefly mention several happenings since
that time which have brought us a lot of joy.
* Second son Bob and his wife Helen and the 2 children Joel and Amanda came to
visit Nov. 9-26. Bob was on business for his Company and Helen was using up a
lot of frequent-flyer coupons, so they brought 1 child each on different air
-lines. We had good times, and our Japanese friends also enjoyed them.
* Three men from First Christian in Yuma, Arizona were with us the week-end of
Jan. 6, on their way to visit a missionary from their congregation in Chiang
Mai Thailand, and our people were very encouraged by their testimonies.
* Harold made a quick trip to Kyushu to join in the celebration of 40 years
since the arrival of the Mark Maxeys to begin the good work there. All
arrangements were made by the Japanese, and it was emotional and happy.
* Christmas was again a great time. The active young people's group planned a
Christmas Party to try to contact some new people for Christ, and rejoiced when
6 college-age girls from a dormitory in our area came to church for the first
time. This was PM of the 16th. Our other special events were worship and
fellowship on 23rd, candle-service on 24th and hospital program on 25thall
well attended, with a good number of non-Christians present.
More about all of these things is in the Tokyo Christian, which we hope all
of you receive and read.
Harold and Lois Sims
First Church of Christ
315 E. Orange Ave.
Eustisy Florida 32726
Balance on hand Dec, 31, 1989 $7,298,43
RECEIPTS/INCOME (in the order of the amount contributed during the year)
First Christian Church
First Christian Church
Englewood Christian Church
White Oak Christian Church
First Christian Church
Gilbert and Mary Best
Church of Christ
Northside Church of Christ
First Christian Church
Clovernook Christian Church
Church of Christ
Warwood Christian Church
Christian Church
First Christian Church
Christian Church
First Christian Church
Southside Christian Church
New Somerset Christian Church Richmond, Ohio
So, Milford Church of Christ Milford, Ind,
First Christian Church Columbus, Ind,
Church of Christ Hamersville, Ohio
Jefferson Pk, Church of Christ East Point, Ga,
Napa, Cal,
Johnson City, Tenn,
Jacksonville, Fla,
Cincinnati, Ohio
Charlottesville, Va,
Markle, Ind, (Bequest)
Markle, Ind,
Newport News, Va,
Yuma, Arizona
Cincinnati, Ohio
Alexandria, Ky.
Wheeling, W, Va, .
"New Saleni, Pa,
Fayette City, Pa.
Bainbridge, Ga,
Turtle Creek, Pa,
Munster, Ind,
Harold and Lois Sims
3-33-8 Mejirodai
Hachioji-shi Tokyo 193
34,699,93 41,636,13
(for camp)
Mr, & Mrs, Kenneth Eade
Mr, & Mrs, Daniel Sims
Linnwood Church of Christ
Mr, & Mrs, Hugh Meyer
First Christian Church
Christian Church Missions
Mrs, Hope Schmidt
Miss Pam Bennett
First Christian Church
Mrs. Nancy Rosen
Mrs, Edith Simpson
Mrs, Ruth Fogle
Robert & Helen Sims
* Specially designated for
First Union National Bank
English, Ind,
Rochester Hills, Mich,
Lafayette, Ind,
Greenwood, Ind,
Munhall, Pa,
Confluence, Pa,
Kendallville, Pa,
N, College Hill, Ohio
Chicago,. Ill,
Cincinnati, Ohio
Greentown, Ind,
St, Petersburg, Fla,
Shelbyville, Ky.
retirement fundtheir idea
Eustis, Fla, (Interest)
Sent to STM in Tokyo
General expense money for work$900 monthly
Living-link salary$1300 monthly
Special for purchase of new van
Designated for Shinshu Bible Camp
Designated Personal gift
D 2
Sims Tokyo Mission Financial Report '90 P'
Paid by forwarding agent from Eustis \
Mission Services (printing and mailing Tokyo Christian) ?l,85b.Z
Postage . , ^, 15 00
Bank safe deposit box rent lo'sO
Office Supplies
Invested ooa aa
Designated for Sims Retirement Fund J'occ'oq
Church Development Fund of Florida (8$ interest) 40^222*45 -40,222.45
Balance on hand Dec. 31,1990
Balance on hand Dec. 31, 1989 '
1. From forwarding agent in Eustis
(see above. Living-link is not in this report of Mission expenditures)
2. Offerings sent directly to Japan for Sims Tokyo Mission
Mr. &Mrs. Charles Shultz Snithdale, Hiss. 400.00
Mrs. Billa Siss ,Cincinnat.1, Ohio 500.00
(part of late mother s estate)
Mr. &Mrs. Alex HaveUcsek Cottonso^, Ariz. 200.00
Scott Lund and Scott Sha Indiana &Illinois 100.00
Scott Ewart and Nancy Swaller Bluffton, Ind. in'00
Christian Military Fellowship
Primary, Westwood Cheviot Cincinnati, Ohio lu.uu
Mrs. Lora Lucas 10*OO
Miss Mae Eckstein -n v 20*00
Mr. Charles Meadows Charlottesville, Va. ZO.UO
Ray and Carol Rice Augusta, Ga.
Total receipts in # 2 1455.00
3. From Mejirodai Church i ^ i 'J'XQ Al
Help in purchase of new van often used for church
Reimbursement for church use of Xerox (see large item pci? oc _ -
in expenditures below) *)d/.oo
4. Various income
Sale of.Bibles and hymnals at church oco i?
For preaching at other churches and meetings coo 9c
Reimbursement from riders in van for gas and toll ozz.zo
Reimbursement for train and plane fare several times
From Pattonsinterest on a bank account left here ,
Total receipts in # 3,4 5,505.aa
Total to be accounted for:-Bal.+#l-4
EXPENDITURES , . i>i2*-!ltl ftfll
( All in Japanese yen, changed into dollars at yearly average rate of 142-?1.00)
(Following roughly the same order as last year's report.)
1. Travel: By train, bus plane and taxi
By automobilegasoline etc. Joa, ,0
toll and parking (high in Japan) \,Lul,lc
Tax 300.70
Purchase of new Toyota Town Ace (8 passenger light van)
2. Housing: repairs, mainly termite control 958.67
Fire Insurance zJZ.oa
Sims Tokyo Mission Financial Report '90 P.3
Conventions, conferences (both H.&L.) $849.71
Travel expenses for special speaker at Shinshu Bible Camp 200.00
Expenses for our lodging at 4 different camps during year 120.42
Support of Japanese Camp Manager's living expenses 2,243.60
Postage for year, including mailing Christmas letter 1,326.83
Telephone 711.88
Word-Processor Lease monthly payments 828.17
Xerox usage fees and paper 796.40
Xerox monthly lease mayments from April 348.16
Stationery 110.72
Church advertising 173,07
Church supplies 183,53
Video tapes for church use 275,00
Upper Room for church members 234,93
Literature and tracts for free distribution 279,44
Printing 63,38
Bibles and hymnals for sale at church 60,35
Books for church library 98,59
Membership in Miss. Organizations and Subs, to prof, journals 106,59
Assistance to Japanese preachers 314.02
Vacation Bible School 22.92
Pictures for Tokyo Christian and other publicity 232.98
Medical not covered by Ins.mainly new glasses for H. 455.91
TOTAL 29,551.84
BALANCE Dec. 31,1989 2,617,84
Income during 1990 (above) #1 15,080,00
#2 1,455.00
#3,4 5,505.99
Expenditures during 1990 (above) 29,551.84
Balance on Dec. 31, 1990 deficit - 6,893,01*
i s deficit is something less than what is still owed on the new car, and will
be paid off within the next 2 or 3 years. Other than the $14,000 paid for the
car, the expenses for the year were about average for the past few years. We
already saved some automobile expense for repairs and inspection this year by
having the new car.
Another rather large expense we didn't have last year was part of the living
expenses for the Shinshuu camp manager. Some is already coming in designated for
the camp from former supporting churches of Buttrays and Pattons.
Tokyo Christian
"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15)
Volume 90 April 1991 Number 2
This year's spring camp was held March 25-28, in the early
part of the 2 to 3 week vacation that all Japanese students have be
tween school years. The next year of school always begins in
April. All feel free and happy, because they dont have homework
as they usually do during the 40 day summer vacation, and the
weather Is mild. This year we had 35 campers plus 2 missionary
couples and 2 Japanese preachers and the camp staff and some
part-time campers from the local area. Not the largest ever, but a
good group of 6 Middle Schoolers, 7 or 8 High Schoolers and
around 20 College students.
The thing about this camp that was most impressive to every
one involved, and that we are most thankful for, was the
leadership of some of the College age young people. This camp
begins the 11th year of the Camp, and some of our young people
from Mejirodai as well as some of the others have been at both the
spring and summer camps for most of those years. They have had
a lot of fun, done their share of mischief, some have been baptized
in the local river, and they have come to love the place, undei^
stand the purpose, and get used to the way we cany out the pro
gram, keep the place clean, try to get enough sleep, etc.
This year Bro. Kensei Yokomizo of Yokosuka church was
asked to serve as Dean of the spring camp. But he asked 2 of the
College Sophomores from Mejirodai to work with him in planning
the program and then in carrying it out. They of course decided a
theme and asked Bro. Daiki Kishimoto from the Osaka area to
come as the main speaker each evening. He has served at the
camp for several years in a variety of jobs, and enjoys the work
and the young people, and is very good at preaching easy to listen
to sermons at their level with some humor salted in. (His wife and
Mrs. Lisa Turner gave very diligent and appreciated service in the
kitchen for eveiy meal, by the way.) But the young people did an
excellent job in keeping interest and enthusiasm high, having ev
erything well-prepared, gaining everyone's cooperation and mak
ing it a happy and memorable experience for all - many of them
non-Christians and first-time campers. For example:
1. They prepared song-sheets of popular gospel choruses in
Japanese that fit in with the theme "Are you really living? - Meet
ing Christ." This took hours of work at the Xerox machine in our
church office, and then binding, etc.
2. Four of the college boys played guitars, and they prac
ticed several times beforehand and accompanied the singing. Mr.
and Mrs. Kume, professional musicians who are members at
Mejirodai, led the music and played the keyboard.
3. The different young men presided at all sessions, made
all announcements at meals, led the 4 teams in all activities, etc.
They had a several page printed program prepared, including
spaces for notes, rules of the camp, introductions of people on the
program, and followed it well.
4. In order to prevent people from sitting at the same table
every meal, as had been the custom, the young man in charge of
that had everyone draw a number as they entered the dining hall,
which decided the table, and provided for everyone to get to know
The mvsidana during one of the evening sessione
the others.
5. One trouble at camp is always getting the young people
to go to sleep at night. From Lois' and my room we could hear
them up late at night, but we dldnt get up to scold them and try to
settle them down this time. The young leaders were up with them.
But the good thing was that they also saw that everyone got up be
fore 7 every morning and participated in stretching exercises as
the Japanese do and then in devotions. The absolute quiet that
prevailed in the main room during 30 minutes of devotional time
with everyone there together praying or reading the Word was al
most unbelievable for that age group, but I saw it and was glad.
6. They rented the city gymnasium in the nearest city and
spent 1 afternoon there playing basketball and volleyball between
the teams. Tim Turner and I spent all afternoon taking them over
and bringing them back in our 2 8-passenger vans.
7. On the final night each team presented a Bible Drama in
line with the theme, and they were very well done, with many kids
memorizing their parts in the short time available. As a judge, it
was difficult deciding the best team, best actors, etc. Prizes were
awarded, and everyone was veiy happy. CThe leaders had also
made preparations for the dramas ahead of time.)
We came back home during a foggy and rainy afternoon and
the car full of young people, including some of the leaders, slept
from happy fatigue most of the 4-hour trip, but this old man was
happy to be carrying this load of good campers back after another
good camp mostly led by people who were in Middle School 5 to 7
years ago when they first went
BfUe drama
During the past Christmas and New Year season, several of
our Japanese preachers sent us family snap-shots along with their
greeting cards. Lois suggested that we put tliese in this issue of
the Tokvo Christian to help you get acquainted with our co-work
ers in the field here. Many people know only the missionaries
here, and worry about what will happen to tlie work of Christ when
we retire, but while we need to keep praying for the Lord of Har
vest to send workers into His field, we also should realize that the
majority of our 60 some churches in Japan are presently being
served by Japanese, and that there are some preparing to do this
every year in the Osaka Bible Seminary, and be thankful for this.
At this time we will briefly introduce 6 of these in the order in
which they began their ministries in the Tokyo area.
1. Shigeru Akada grew up in Nakano, near the church
where the Simses worked from 1950-66, and was baptized there
around 1960. He stopped his studies at one of the Universities in
Tokyo and enrolled in Osaka Bible Seminary to prepare for the
ministry in 1961 and graduated from there in 1965. He began
working with the A1 Hammond family at what is now called Onta
Church of Christ in Tokyo in 1967, and has continued there since
the Hammonds returned to the United States not long after that.
He married the daughter of one of our preachers in Okayama Pref.
(now deceased) in 1967, and they have one son, Naoki, who is now
a Senior in High School.
/,jr; T'-il
2. Satoru Taninari grew up in the city of Akashi, south of
Kobe along the coast of the Inland Sea and became a Christian
there. His father, who recently died suddenly, was a policeman.
His home church hosted our annual Convention last August He
graduated from the Osaka Bible Seminary in 1976, and preached
for several years in one
of the churches in
Osaka. He came to
Shinshu Bible Camp at
the invitation of the
Buttrays in 1981, and
has been the manager
for a good number of
years, doing all kinds of
jobs from kitchen to fi
nancial records to ad
vertising of the camp
and, of course, a lot of
other tasks. He mar
ried a Christian kinder
garten teacher from an
other group in Tokyo in
1984, and they have 3
little boys that all the
campers like to play
with: Shuichi (6), Ko-
taro (4) and Yu (2).
3. Keiichi Suzuki
grew up in the crowded,
small industrial Arakar
wa Ward of NE Tolqro.
He lived near the
Arakawa church where
he went to Sunday
School and eventually
became a Christian. He
went to Osaka Bible
Seminary while the An
drew Pattons were
working with that
church in 1976 and
graduated in 1980. In
1983 he married a girl
from a Presbyterian or
Reformed Church in an
other part of Tol^o who
was a Middle School
English teacher as well
as a very active Sunday
School teacher. He
himself immersed her
after she decided to do
this on her own. They
have 3 children: Keita
f7), Megumi (4), and Keisuke (2) and partially support themselves
by tutoring the neighborhood children in English, Math, etc., for a
small monthly fee. I neglected to say that he came back from
Osaka and took up the ministty at his home church. When I
called to check on the children's ages, he told me they had 1
baptism recently, and hope for another next month.
4. Akira Ishii al ^ . , i #,.
so grew up in the ' v
neighborhood of the
above-mentioned Arar ,
kawa Church, and was f ^
baptized there. He was
married in 1970. He
went to a school and i
studied drafting and
was working, and his
wife taught organ I
lessons to children. m
Then they decided to go
into the ministiy. He
went to the inter-
denominational Tokyo
Christian College, be- jm^F. ^B
cause they couldnt aX- ( ^B
ford to give up their 1 |^B|B^
apartment and jobs and BBBB^g j
move to Osaka for
school. After he gradu
ated from TCC in 1983, Bill and Betly Turner asked them to help
start a new church in the Kotesashi area where they were living at
the time. Several churches and individuals helped with support
so the Ishiis could give full time to the work. The church is going
along slowly, meeting in one of 2 adjoining small apartments that
are rented for their living space and the meetings. Bro. Ishii ac
cepted the invitation of a company to work full time several years
ago, but is still having regular services weekly at their place with
several faithful members. Their children are Ayako (10), Yuki (6),
and Manae G3)-
5. Kensei Yoko-
mizo lived very near the
Yokosuka Church, and
came to the Sunday
School there as a small . .a .
boy. He became a
Christian and was faith-
ful in the church during
school days, including
regular college. Then
he decided to become
the minister of his
home church and went
to Osaka to prepare for
that. Hehad seen many \ B^^l
changes of preachers
and missionaries dur-
Ing years in the
^ere, and a
number of troubles, and
wanted to do what he
could to evangelize his
own family and neighborhood, so refused invitations to minister in
other places in order to return to his home church. He graduated
from Osaka Bible Seminary in 1985, and that same year married a
young lady who was a member of one of our Osaka area churches
and the nephew of a member of the Sayama church in our Tokyo
area. He supplements the small salary the little church there is
able to pay him by delivering newspapers early every morning.
Their children are Makoto (4). and Megumi (3).
6. Nishiyama Hitoshi first became acquainted with Christ
and the gospel through an English Bible Class taught by Bill
Turner in his University. After he graduated and got a job with a
supermarket chain. Bill introduced him to the Isehara church,
which was located nearest to his company dormitory. After some
years as an active member there, he decided to become a preacher
and quit his job and enrolled in Osaka Bible Seminary. He gradu
ated in 1990, and also got married last spring shortly before he be
came the assistant minister there, working with Paul and Kathleen
Pratt. The girl he married is from one of our churches on Shikoku
Island, and she also graduated from Osaka Bible Seminary. They
were just blessed with a baby girl on April 6, so for obvious rea
sons, I was not able to get a recent picture of them.
In the late summer of last year we heard that Mrs. Kimura,
the wife of the preacher at Hirakata Church of Christ in Osaka had
breast cancer, and that it had probably gone into her lymph glands
and that liquid was collecting in her lungs. So it was very serious,
and the doctors had said an operation would be difficult and dan
gerous. She was going to take a new kind of treatment by a doctor
in Yokohama which her sister had learned about and used be
cause of a similar problem. The main problem was that the cost
was extremely high and they were not covered by insurance for
Soon we received a letter from the alumni association of Os
aka Bible Seminary asking for the prayers of the brotherhood and
also for contributions to help the Kimuras during this time of fi
nancial crisis and need. We and our church sent a modest
amount, along with most of the others.
Several months passed, and we heard that the special treat
ments in Yokohama over several different periods had been suc
cessful enough to very much surprise the doctors in Osaka who
originally discovered it. It was decided that she was able to un
dergo surgery, which she did on Jan. 29 this year. The doctor told
her husband after the surgery that it had gone extremely well, and
there was no sign of cancer in any place but the part they re
moved, and from now on she would only have to go back for once
a month check-ups.
Lately we received a letter full of joy and thanks from both
Mr. and Mrs. Kimura, and a complete financial report from the
committee of their classmates from some years ago at OBS. Cer
tainly it was an answer to the prayers of many, but I think you
would be interested that our brotherhood in Japan raised a total of
over 3.25 million yen or $25,000 during the 5 months from last
September until February of this year.
Having read of the "FRANtastic Sundays" programs in some
church bulletins we receive, we decided to try that here this year.
The first effort (Friend Day) was on Easter Sunday, March 31. It
was a rainy day, and we were somewhat disappointed that only 2
people managed to bring their friends to church with them, but
were thankful for those who were attending church for the first
time in their lives. We had a total of 45 adults and 8 children,
which is about 50% over our average.
Most of the 20 Protestant churches in our city of Hachioji in
western Tokyo cooperate in a city-wide service on Easter Sunday
afternoon. This was the i6th year we have done this. Because we
couldnt rent the city auditorium on March 31, we had the meeting
this year one week late on April 7. The special speaker was Steve
Fox who is the son of a former American serviceman and a
Japanese mother, and was very well-known 10 and more years ago
as the bass guitarist of a group of young musicians on TV and
stage known as Oo-Dai-Oo. He now ministers to a Japanese
church in Hawaii. Joining him were Mr. and Mrs. Kume, who are
also well-known in the musical world of Japan and are members of
our church. Over 20 of our members joined about 500 people at
the auditorium on another rainy Sunday afternoon to proclaim the
gospel in word and song to some who seldom hear iL
Makiko Tsuda, a second year student in a local High School,
has beg^n teaching the preschool class in our Sunday School.
She and her older sister, who graduated from High School in
March and passed the entrance exams to enter a Junior College
for training Kindergarten teachers in April, attended a special
one-day study course offered by the Japan Sunday School Union
on March 21.
Our attendance at Sunday School hae been declining over the
past 7 or 8 years. One reason is that there are fewer children in
the neighborhood. Recently I noticed some statistics in our local
city news sheet. The city of Hachioji had a population of 370,000
in 1080, and 450,000 in 1990, but among them the number of chil*
dren 5*14 (those who receive compulsoiy education) declined from
67,200,18.1% of population to 49,600,10.9% of population. Now the
average couple in Japan has only 1.57 children. 2.2 is required to
maintain the present population.
Ito Takahiko passed the notoriously difficult entrance exami-
nation for entrance to Tol^o University. All of our congregation
were pleased and offered their congratulations. The second boy
also got into the High School his older brother had attended,
which has a g^od reputation for putting graduates into the better
Universities. Mrs. Ito remarked that for this one year only she
would have one child in College, High School, Middle School and
Elementary. Our daughter, Hope, in Indiana can make the same
claim this year for her 4 girls.
The wife of the preacher in Obihiro, Hokkaido (a graduate of
Tokyo Bible Seminary over 30 years ago) suffered through 4 dif
ferent operations for a detached retina and cataract on her eye
during February and March.
Eleanor Hammond, who served with her husband and family
on Tanegashima Island and in Tokyo for over 10 years and has
been in San Jose, California for about 20 years, finished a long
battle with cancer on March 12 and went to be with her Lord.
Daniel Sims, on business with Chrysler Automobile Company,
was in Japan for almost 3 weeks during March, and worshipped
with us on March 24 and 31.
From a letter received:
"It seems to me that time is flying very fast in little more than a
year since I came back home from Israel, but I have a good time
studying Greek NT and Hebrew OT and Ancient Near Eastern Texts
and Israel History at my home and the library of Sophia University.
My old brain works not so good, but my hobby is reading the Bible in
the original, and now I can read and somewhat understand them by
referring to dictionaries, but it wUl take a long time to attain profi
ciency in them. My wife has been doing very well, and visits the hospi
tal to have her eyes and health checked twice a month. My son was
transferred to the Osaka office ofJAL this year, but he usually comes
home every weekend to Join his family. Your citation of II Cor. 11:28
much impressed me, and I pray God's help upon your missionary
-Tenihiko Kanamura
(Good friend of the Buttrays, and before retirement, for many
years employed as a translator with U.S. Military Forces in Japan.
Now an active member of Nakano church and also on the Shinshu
Camp Cormnittee.)
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Buttray (retired),
RD. 2, Box 160, MeadviUe, PA 16335
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Patten (retired), #6
Tangelwood, Carl Junction, MO 84834. For
warding Agent: Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Morford,
R 2, Box 413, Knightstown, IN 46148
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sims, 3-33-7 Mejiro-
dai. Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 193 Japan. Forward
ing Agent First Church of Christ, 315 E.
Orange Avenue, Eustls, FL 32726-4194.
Two year donation $ .50
Donation &FiamingTorch $1.00
Published four times a year in Januaty,
April, July, and November for the missionaries
of the Church of Christ, Cunningham Mission,
Tokyo, Japan by Mission Services Association,
7525 Hodges Feny road, Knoxville, TN 37920-
9731. POSTMASTER: Send address changes
to Tokyo Christian, c/o MISSION SERVICES
ASSOCIATION, PO Box 2427, KnoxvUle, TN
Before you move, please send the mailing label with a copy of your new address to
MISSION SERVICES ASSOCIATION, PO Box 2427, Knoxville, TN 37901-2427.
Form 3579 Requested, PO Box 2427, Knoxville, TN 3700141427.
Tokyo Christian
"Goye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15)
Volume 80 July 1001 Number 3
Many organizations in Japan have their yearly meetings
in April because the iiscal year and school year both end on
March 31. So it is always a busy time for us. as we must pre
pare reports and plans and work out schedules, etc.
This year the meeting of oiur Yotsuya Mission Holding
Corporation was held on April 9. We are now in a time of
generational change, with 3 younger men joining Lois and me
as trustees of the properties and funds that began when the
Cunninghams started their work in Yotsuya 90 years ago.
Walter Maxey, from Kagoshima, and David Hinson, from
Wakayama, have to come a long distance to take part in this
once-a-year meeting. But we appreciate their understanding
of various situations and their contribution. In earlier issues
of the Tokyo Christian we have mentioned the loan fund ad
ministered by this Incorporated g^oup, and are happy to re
port that several loans have been paid back in full by mis
sionaries and Japanese churches during the past 2 years.
The Yotsuya Miesion trustees in front of the Sims' house.
The annual congregational meeting at Mejirodai was held
on Sunday afternoon April 21. The main item of discussion
was the budget because we are expecting the coming of a
young Japanese couple to share in the ministry here next
January, and that will mean a great increase in the monthly
expenses. Also 2 or 3 ladies had made a survey of all the
members inquiring about what kind of service they would be
interested in and willing to do. and also about how much
Information about church plans and activities they were get
ting and wanted. The congregation is growing more mature
and effective in its activities each year, and we enjoy working
with them and have great hopes for the future.
On April 22, the American Christian College opened Its
second full year with over a dozen students, at least half of
whom are Christians. Mark Maxey brought the message for
the occasion, and after the morning ceremony, a light lunch.
and time of fellowship, we had the annual board meeting
during the afternoon. Already 2 students have been able to go
to the United States for further college studies, and one is
hoping to enter Cincinnati Christian Seminary in August of
this year if he can get the paper work done on time. So we
feel the school is accomplishing its purpose. It uses the sec
ond floor of the former Tokyo Bible Seminary. The Saku-
rayama Church meets in the first floor and the preacher and
family live there.
Mark Maxey preaching and Harold Sims translating at American
Christian College convocation April 22.
Audience at AC.C. opening.
Stanley Buttray, 76 (retired from the mission
work at Shinshu Bible Camp in 1983 and now living
in Meadville, Pennsylvania), underwent heart by-pass
surgery in Erie, Pennsylvania on July 1 because seri
ous blockage of 2 main arteries to his heart was dis
covered. Early reports are that the surgery was suc
cessful and he is recovering normally. Flayers for
him and Mabel are requested.
This spring has been busy with many activities among the
churches. I will list brieily some of those we have been
directly involved in.
1. Golden Week Camp was held this year in the early part
of that series of holiday - April 27-29. There were 12 campers
eatnestly listening to sermons and participating in discue-
sions about the Holy Spirit and enjoying walks in the area. I
could only attend the last half of the camp because of respon
sibilities at Mejirodai on Sunday a.m. and went by train be
cause there was no one else attending from here to ride along.
Campers waiting tor the bus near the oamp. Rice paddice In the
2. On Sund^ night. May 5 and Monday, the 6th, the
Mejirodai yoimg people and some of their friends from other
of our churches (total of 30) stayed at a small Youth Hostel in
Fuchu for a time of study and fellowship. They asked Mr.
Kishimoto, presently the minister of Megumi Church of Christ
in Takarazuka city near Osaka, and Brother H. Saito, who is
one of our members, and a section chief in the Toshiba Elec
tric Co. in the same Fuchu City, to be the speakers. One col
lege student from here who is not yet a Christian was per
suaded to go and espressed to me how much she had gotten
from the practical teaching as well as the good times in recre
ation. (The young people who have come to know each other
through the years at Shinshu spring and summer Bible
Camps have fellowship meetings several times a year, and
have started up a little paper to keep each other informed and
encouraged. One of these meetings was on April 21, after the
spring camp.)
3. Also on Sunday, May 5, in the afternoon, the Machida
Church of Christ celebrated 10 years since the dedication of
their building and starting of regular services there. At that
time, Mark and lynn Pratt were there, but now Tim and Lisa
Turner are serving as ministers there as well as teaching part-
time in the nearby Oberlin School and in American Christian
College. Paiil and Kathleen Pratt have helped a lot in fi
nances and other ways from the start of this work in addition
to the Isehara Church where they live. The local people had
prepared a nice book with meuiy pictures giving the history of
the first 10 years, and a good number of those present stood
up as also present 10 years ago.
4. For Mother's
Day, our youngest
son, Daniel, was
here, and we sang
special music dur
ing the service.
Daniel, Lois and
Harold Sims singing at
Mejirodai on Mother's
Some of the church people with Daniel after church.
5. On Pentecost Sunday we usually have a barbecue in the
small yard between our house and the church, and we did
again this year - in nice, warm weather. This was the second
special day of our FRAN series this year. We had a relative
present from the U.S. (son Daniel) and only 1 other person
brought a relative, so the project is not doing so well, but we
had a good attendance nevertheless. We also had one bap
tism: a High School teacher of English who has been attend
ing for some months. She accepted Christ as Savior at an
other church 19 years ago, but was immersed and became a
regular member here that day.
Pictured are some who ware present at Mejirodai on Penteooet Sunday.
6. June 22 and 23 were special days at Joel Home in Yoko
hama, where Jonathan is preaching. They printed 3000
handbills Inviting the neighbors to a Saturday night and Sun
day morning meeting at which professional level special mu
sic would be performed by several people and then a message
from the Bible. The number of people who came as a result of
the printed publicity was few, but there were 23 at the Satur
day evening and 13 at the Sunday morning meeting, which
was encouraging to the group that averages only 5 or 6. I
preached on Sunday morning, and Jon came to Mejirodai to
preach in my place. I also enjoyed the good music and get
ting to know people that Jon had mentioned in past conver
7. On Jime 30, the Fifth Sunday Rally was held in one of
the gymnasiums at the Oberlin School in Machida. This
school was founded by a Christian man who attended a col
lege of that name in Ohio many years ago, and they teach all
the way from kindergarten through college on one campus.
Our youth group at Mejirodai did all of the planning and ad
vertising and managing of this gathering and even put on a
short play as part of the program. There were 74 adults and 5
children in attendance. Because it was the rainy season, they
used the gym and the young folks enjoyed games of basket-
ball, dodge ball, etc.. before the main program. Japaiiesetyle
supper was ordered from a nearby place.
8. By the time you receive this, the yearly Missionaiy and
Japanese Conventione will be over. This year, the 42nd All
Japan Convention was held in Kochi on the island of Shikoku
July 24-26. The missionaries are to met together on July 22-24,
which saved a lot of travel expense for those of us who
attended both. Mr. and Mrs. Doncdd Bumey, who have
worked in that area for about 30 years, were actively involved
in planning for both gatherings.
1. On Saturday evening. April 20, the husband of one of
our members called to inform us that his pregnant wife had
been hospitalized that day because of toxemia and high blood
pressure, and she was asking for prayer at church the next
day because the baby was not due for 8 more weeks and it
seemed to be serious. On April 24, we went to visit her and
were told that it was not visiting hours and that she was being
prepared for Caesarean section in about 30 minutes. I said I
was a preacher and had come to have a brief prayer for her, so
they let her come out into the waiting room and we had a vety
brief time of prayer together. Lois meanwhile asked the
nurses to let us know by phone what happened. So they
called later that afternoon to say that a baby boy was bom,
weighing less than 4 pounds, and was taken immediately to a
special hospital for premature babies. She was not able to see
the baby for some time, but on Sunday, July 7. she brought the
baby to church. At that time he weighed 3 times his birth
weight and is about normal for a baby that should have been
bom on June 13.
2. Mrs. Salto, wife of the minister at Goem Church in
Kochi, began hemorrhaging during the church service on
June 23. She was rushed to a local hospital by ambulance,
but. when she arrived there, had lost about 5/6 of her blood.
Appetkls went out by radio and telephone for blood donors,
and, although her baby was lost, she seems to be recovering
3. In late Januaiy, a daughter was bom to the son of one
of our members who works for a fading company in Hong
Kong, and it was annoimced in church with great joy. He
named her Joanna, which pleased her Pemvian mother, and
is a Scriptural name, but also means a g^od sheep in
Japanese (this is the year of the sheep in the Orient). In early
April, they discovered the baby had some serious heart trou
ble, and brought her to Japan for treatment. The doctors here
confirmed that she had a hole between the parts of her heart.
She lived just 105 days. The funeral was held in Mejirodai
church on Sunday afternoon. May 26.
4. Mr. and Mrs. Ozawa had their fourth child and third
boy on June 2, and all was normal. I married them less than
10 years ago.
5. On May 3, Keiichl, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Itagaki,
minister of Nakano Church, was married to the daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Kishi, who minister in Hiroshima. We were
privileged to attend this meaningful and joyful Christian
wedding in one of the hotels in Tokyo, performed by Stephen
lijima, who also married the parents over 30 years ago.
Mr. and Mn. Itagaki and KeilchL
The wedding reception. Bride and groom in center. go4>etween oou-
pie on each aide of them (principal of school where Keiichl teaches) and
Mr. and Mrs. Kishi on the right side.
6. On June 7, Mrs. Mizukawa, age 97, passed easily from
this life into the next and better one. She started coming to
church late in life, and was baptized at age 72 in the bathtub
at one of our Conventions. She was very faithful in atten
dance at worship in Nakano church, and was present in her
usual place on the last Xx>rd's Day of our life, having walked
from her home. She was just as regular in coming to Lois'
twice-a-month ladies' Bible study. Her funeral was held as
part of the morning worship service on June 9, which is prob
ably what she would have wished, although it made it im
possible for us to attend.
7. Mrs. Evelyn Clark, widow of Martin Clark, died on July
9. She had suffered a stroke around the end of last year, and
had not been able to speak since, but had recovered enough
that she was taken by airplane to Oregon so her daughter
could take care of her in her home where she cares for a few
other aged patients. She died just 25 months after her late
husband. On her kitchen waU is a note written in Mark
Maxey's large script, "They also serve who stand in the
kitchen and bake apple pies." It well describes her typo and
place of service to Christ.
Though we live in the extreme western end of Tofayo, a
good number of people come by to visit us. During the past 3
months or so, we have enjoyed visiting the following:
1. Daniel, who came on Chrysler-Mitsubishi business
again for about half of May. He was here for Mother's Day and
Pentecost, and at the end, overlapped with Velma Held who
was the babysitter for the older 4 of our children the day he
was bom.
2. Robert, who was here briefly in June on Ichikoh busi
ness, and spent just one night at home. We drove him out to
the airport in order to get some time for just talking.
S.Mr. Jeom Sang Park, preacher at the Nam Boo Jong
Ang Christian Church in Seoul, Korea, visited us one Sunday.
He came several times in 1988 and attended part of our Tokyo
Convention. A relative lives not far from here.
4. Mr. Issac B. Lubag, member of Crusada Church of
Christ in Manila, had been here several times. His brother,
who recently graduated from Emmanuel Seminaxy, had sent
him our address, and, with veiy limited Japanese language,
he was able to find our place. He is working in Tokyo for a
period of time and comes from the other side of town, spend
ing about 2 hours one-way on the trains.
5. Miss Velma Held, known to many readers because of
her support of the Missionaxy Convention and general inter
est in missions, was in Japan for the last half of May, follow^
ing some months of helping in India and a visit in the Philip
pines. She stayed here and visited some others in the area.
She spent a number of years in Japan during the U.S. Occu
pation days as a teacher in the schools for military children,
and is much loved by all.
6. Lester and Donna LeMay, from Tempe, Arizona, visited
our home in Mejirodai July 7-10. He preached for our evening
service just after arriving, with jetrlag and ulcer problems
working against him. Doxma was one of the girls in the dor
mitory we looked after during the school year of 1953-54.
They have served in located ministries cmd also briefly on
mission fields in South Africa and Nigeria. For the past 15
years, they have been forwarding agents for the work of Bro.
Yun Kwan Chae in Korea, and were on the way to take pic
tures and visit the work there for 10 days. They saw some of
the work and perhaps too much of the traffic in the Tokyo
area, but we had a good time together.
The Japanese government has become so rich that they
not only give orders to people to fix up their property, but of
fer to pay a percentage of the cost.
1. Right now, men are digging trenches in our yard for a
new sewer to cany the water run-off from the roof into a sepa
rate sewer emptying into a small river down below here. The
city is paying the whole cost of this.
2. The city of Yokosuka sent us a notice that we must fix a
crack in the comer of the retaining wall that fronts along the
street and is over 6 feet high. I was dreading the cost of that,
but visited the city office with the local preacher and discov
ered the city was prepared to pay 40% of the cost if we met
their specifications about type of wall, etc.
3. The Shinjuku Wecrd sent us a letter asking us to remove
the cement wall from the street side of the properly where
Mrs. Cuimingham used to live. They included colored pic
tures they had taken to prove it was cracked and leaning out
ward and stressed that we would be liable if it fell on anyone
even during an earthquake. They added further that they are
txying to green-up the city, and if we would replace the old
prison-type fence with a row of trees or hedge, they would be
glad to pay 30% of the cost of removing the old one, and about
the same for the new one. So we agreed to that, and it looks
much better.
In June, Harold Sims donated 40 years of National Geo
graphic Magazines to the local High School where he had
been teaching English Conversation one day a week for 10
Mr. and Mrs. Stanlsy Buttray (retired),
RD. 2. Box 190. MeadviUe, PA 16335
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Fatten (retired). #6
Tangelwood. Carl Junction. MO 64834. For
warding Agent Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Morford,
R 2. Box 413. Knightstown. IN 46148
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sims. 3-33-7 Mejiro
dai. Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 103 Japan. Forward
ing Agent First Church of Christ, 315 E.
Orange Avenue. Eustis, FL 32726-4194.
Two year donation $ .50
Donation & FlamingTorch $1.00
Published four times a year in January,
April, July, and November for the missionaries
of the Church of Christ, Cunningham Mission,
Tokyo, Japan by Mission Services Association,
7525 Hodges Feny Road, Knoxville, TN 37920-
S731. POSTMASTER: Send address changes
to Tokyo Christian, c/o MISSION SERVICES
ASSOCIATION, PO Box 2427, Knoxville, TN
Before you move, please send the mailing label with a copy of your new address to
MISSION SERVICES ASSOCIATION. PO Box 2427. Knoxville. TN 37901-2427.
Form 3570 Requested, PO Box 2427, Knoxville, TN 37901-2427.
13. 13
"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every n^ature" (Mark 16:15)
Volume 90 November 1991 Number 4
Both our missionary convention and the Japanese
one were held this year on the island of Shikoku during
the last full week of July. The missionary meeting was
planned by Don and Norma Bumey who have served
Christ in that area for over 30 years. Their daughter,
Rachel, was back home from Lincoln Christian College
this summer to help. We started on Monday evening,
July 22, and ended Wednesday at noon in time to ride
'y n
" i/ >
The missionaries at the convention.
across town on the bus to the Japanese Convention.
(Some of the missionaries only came for the English-
speaking Convention because of financial or language
ability reasons.)
Twelve missionaries from Tokyo went down on the
same airplane, and were met by 3 cars and taken to the
modestly priced welfare center that had been reserved
for our use. It only had a capacityto house 40 people, so
we filled it up. In fact, 2 missionary families camped in
tents atagovemment-owned facility out along the Pacific
coast about a 35-40 minute drive from our meeting place,
which saved them a lot of expenses, enabled attendance
at both conventions, and gave the children some good
fun times besides.
We missed some of the older ones: some gone on to
heaven, some on furlough inthe U.S. for the summer, and
some too sick to make it (including the regulars, Mark
and Pauline Maxey); but it was a joyto see alot ofyounger
people and their small children present. We had not met
some of the newer Niigata-areatentmakersyet. We also
enjoyed good messages by 4 of the middle-aged co-work
ers, some of whom we hadn't heard preach before. Of
course, the English language singing was wonderful as
usual, and there was special music and other features
that we shared happily.
William D. and Emily B. Cunuingham arrived in
Japan on October 1, 1901, and, within a month the
first issue of their widely-oirculatod publicity organ,
'*The Tokyo Christian," was published. So, with this
issue, we mark 90 years of this little paper's history.
For the first SO years, it was published monthly.
Then, during the 1930's, as Mr. Cunningham's health
weakened, there were various troubles within the
Yotsuya Mission, the world-wide economic depres
sion, and the Japan-China War, followed by World
War II all resulting in many issues of "The Tokyo
Christian" being missed. During and shortly follow
ing WWII, Morris Book, of Orlando, Florica, pub
lished it under the name of "Christian Horizons," and
my name first appeared in one issue of 1945 as a
recruit. So I have been directly connected with it for
half of this time. In the post-war years, we (including
Stanley and Mabel Buttray and Andrew and Betty
Fatton and some others) have continued to publish it
quarterly, and have appreciated very much the posi
tive help and encouragement given by the staff of
Mission Services and also by many readers. Articles
are written by the missionaries on the field, and the
editing, printing and mailng is done in the United
States, which is somewhat inconvenient, but the only
reasonable and possible way to go.
Whon the retirement of Andrewand Betty Fatton
came, I wrote in the January, 1990 issue: "I plan to
keep the Tokyo Christian going at least until the fall
ofl991." We have nowcome to that point in time. But,
while continuingtakes some time and is somewhat of
a financial burden, wo do not foel right about stop
ping now. We ourselves are getting along in years
and thinking about retirement. We certainly do not
feel it is possible to take responsibility for seeing it to
100 years, but we plan tocontinue publishing 1issues
a year for at least a couple more years.: We trust that
God will guide us in this small matter as well as all
things, and ask your continuing prayers for all of tlie
work and workers here. ^
Audrey Weat leading morning devotions.
The 42ndJapanese Convention began onWednesday
afternoon, July24, and ended on Friday, July 26. This was
the third convention to be hosted bythe 3 small churches
in Kochi prefecture, and it was very well planned and
enjoyed by all of the almost 300 people who attended
from all over the country. Because the hotel could only
be reserved on weekdays, some people could not get off
work to attend, but there were a good number of all ages
present. Since we go almost everyyear, there were many
familiar faces. The 3 main messages were brought by a
young preacher, a middle-aged preacher, and an older
one. Short testimonies were given at each session by
different students at Osaka Bible Seminary. On Thurs
day evening, the annual banquet was held with a varied
and entertainingprogramat which various news of inter
esting changes and developments among the churches
were shared. We even had some exercises led by young
housewives from Ono Church to teach all of us how to
relax and improve digestion of the raw fish and other
local dishes that had been served in abundance. It was a
good time of fellowship and edfication.
The group attending the Japanese
Convention from Mejirodal Church.
The Noichi Church of Christ Don Bumey is standing by Uie door.
Morning devotion group on the putting green, wltti hotel in background.
The Saito femily, ministering to Oomen Church in
Shikoku. She is the lady who was mentioned in the last
issue of the Tokyo Christian. She had lost 5/6 of her blood in
amiscarriage onlya month or so previous to the Convention.
One of 25 tables seating 10 people each at the banquet The man at left
is Bro. Hattori, preacher at Noichi Church and program chairman this year.
The man and wife at center are Mr. andMrs.Kishimoto. He preached the Qrst
sermon and will be coming to Mejirodai early next year.
Mr. Yukio Oka (67) is an elder in Minato Church of
Christ. His working career was mostly with a private
railroad company in the Yokohama area, and his main
projects were building the large terminal building com
plex next to the National Railways having the third larg
est floor space of all buildings in Japan, and developing
other shopping and living areas near stations along the
line. After his retirement several years ago, he has be
come busier than ever, as he has been asked to serve on
boards of a number of Christian organizations, such as
the Gideons, Yokohama YMCA, Christian Hospitals, World
Vision, etc. In connection with his responsibilities at
World Vision, he made a trip to Bangladesh earlier this
year, and was shocked at the poverty and many needs
After he came back to Japan he called together a
number of his businessmen acquaintances, and they
organized to try to help in a practical way. He had been
informed by government officials while there that, if
Japan would furnish materials, the government would
furnish the land and the labor to build a number of ele
mentary schools. They recommended wooden one-story
buildings with strong concrete foundations that would
house 500 students and could be used both day and night
for education and as evacuation centers when cyclones
and floods occur. Mr. Oka said, "Food and medical aid
are necessary, but I think educational aid is the most im
portant in the long run."
The cost of one school is 3 million Japanese yen
(about $24,000), and this group has set a goal of raising
money for at least 10 and possibly 20 schools. The
campaign was launched about the end of June, and
publicity was given to the idea not only by Christian
newspapers and magazines, but the high-circulation major
daily papers. The office has been established at Joel
Home, where Jonathan Sims lives and works with Mr.
Oka in trying to start a new church in Yokohama. Jon
athan also answers the office phone and does other jobs
for the project as well. Already funds for the first school
have been raised and sent. Daily offerings, large and
small, are coming in.
This is not an appeal for funds. The Japanese breth
ren are doing this on their own. This is just for your
The annual summer young people's camp this time
was the first week of August. We had a capacity atten
dance ofover 60 people from 8 different churches, includ
ing some former campers from that area who are now
working, but came in the evenings forthe messages. The
main speaker this time was Bro. Sawa, who is a High
School teacher and "Education Minister" at the Ono
Church. He knows howto talk to the young people. The
team leaders were all college students who are veterans
of manyyears at camp and good workers. The music was
all modemgospel and led byMrs. Kume, from Mejirodai,
and accompanied by3 guitars and a keyboard, and was a
major attraction.
Several decisions were made at the camp, including
2 from Mejirodai who are waiting for parents to agree to
their being baptized. One was baptized at camp: Miriam
Cole, daughter of David and granddaughter of Leone,
both ofwhom have helped at the camp anumber ofyears.
This summer Mr. and Mrs. Ikarashi and their 3 chil
dren came to live at the camp and help in both kitchen
work and upkeep of buildings and grounds for the busy
season. It was good to see the boys helping energetically
insettingthe table, etc. Theyare from Niigataprefecture,
and are attending Osaka Bible Seminary for 2 years and
then plan to return to their home prefecture to evangel
ize there.
For the past 5 years, we have had a camp for older
people in mid-September as the last camp of the season.
This is partly because Japan has an "Honor the elderly"
national holiday on September 15. Until this year we
called it "Silver Camp," but this year the Japanese de
cided they like the English words "Senior Citizens* Camp"
1991 young people's camp.
Islfe'. . '
9 4
Music leaders at camp.
Audience at night meeting.
better. This year, forthe second time, Mr. Kobayashi (74),
an elder of Minato Church, was the Dean and Bro. lijima,
the preacher at Minato, who has just turned 70. was the
main speaker.
We had 24 people there, including 3 besides me and
Lois from Mejirodai, from 4 or 5 different churches and
we all had a very good time in every way.
Several different churches had VBS this summer.
Penny Boggs was busy helping with the one in Machida
and the one in Mejirodai, which was August 20-22. As
many will remember, this was the very time when much
of the world was watching the news about Russia.
We had a total of 12 children enrolled. One of our
adult Sunday School teachers and 2 young girls now in
College and High School were helpers, along with Lois
and me. One of the attractions this year was staying
VBS on final night.
college boys who came at his invitation for their first
experience of "church." Not counting these, there were
at least 10 people who have been here before but have not
yet made the all-important decision to accept Christ.
Considering that our average SundayAMworship atten
dance last year was 33, this is not bad.
On Sunday afternoon at 4 PM we had an informal
meeting in the church's all-purpose room for people to
get acquainted with and ask questions of the evangelist.
Following that discussion time we had a light supper of
sandwiches before the final service.
On Saturday and Sunday, August 31 and September
1, Harold Sims wenttoYokosukato preach forthe special
evangelistic meeting they have everyyear to start the fall
activities. On Saturdayevening they had a special music
program also to draw in some outside people if possible.
There was a verygood attendance ofSOthatnight, includ
ing several people who were present for the first time,
having been invited by the members. The next morning
there were fewer, but among those were 3 High School
girls who were also in church forthe firattime. The local
cityhad ordered the churchto erect a newretainingwall,
because the old one was badly cracked by the roots of a
large tree in the comer. The city paid 40^ of the cost, the
church paid what they could, and our Mission took care
of the rest. The workwas finished just before the meeting
and looked nice.
* Tim and Lisa Turner became parents of a second baby
' girl on Sept. 27.
I *Ruth Groover andherson, Joe, whoworks for DeltaAir
lines, took advantage of some perks airline employees
enjoy and visited Japan for some days in August. I was
"best man" at her wedding many years ago, and am
ashamed to admit that I had forgotten that small point
while well remembering the event itself. I was addition
ally surprised to leam for the first time that she had
seriously considered becoming a missionary while a
' student at Atlanta Christian College at the same time that
' AndrewPatton and I accepted Mrs. Cunningham's invita
I * The Atlanta Christian College Faith Promise Rally
^ placed a phone call to our home on the night of Septem
ber 3, Japan time, to communicate directly with us.
* For most of the month of September and half of Octo
ber, we in Japan have had a rare "rainy season" during
what is usually the nicest time of the year. The reason is
alongseries oftyphoons that have passed byand over the
islands. There have been a lot of flood damage and some
I landslides in places not far from us, but we are thankful
to have had no damage, and overall, the winds have not
been destructive.
overnight in the church a first time experience for each
one. We borrowed sleeping mats from several church
families and used all of ours and managed fine. It was a
real excitinig time for the kids. On the following Sunday
night we had a program where the children sang songs
learned and recited memorized verses and showed their
workbooks and handiwork to the parents. This was
attended by 14 children and 14 parents, bringing us to a
record summer high for evenings.
On September 29, almost 50 mostly young people
attended a rally at Machida Church. The programwas a
preaching contest. Three of the five entrants were from
Mejirodai Church, all college students. They had very
good 10-minute messages, and one of them won an
unexpected prize. It was a first-time experience for all
concerned, and we all enjoyed a meal together after
Mejirodai Church held their annual evangelistic
meeting September 20-22. The evangelist was Bro.
Terakado from a non-instrumental Church of Christ in
the next Prefecture about 30 miles from here. He also
took part in the Convention we hosted in Tokyo in 1988,
and is a good friend. He brought 3 messages that were
very much appreciated by all of our people, as evidenced
by the fact that over half of the average attendance were
there all 3 nights.
The members worked hard distributing 3,000 hand
bills door-to-door in our section of the city, making post
ers and inviting friends. We had attendances of 30, 34
and 36 adults on the 3 nights, not counting afewchildren
whom Penny looked after in another room each night.
One who came 3 nights was a non-Christian housewife
from the neighborhood who had never been to church
before. Also we had 2 young men friends of one of our
Mr. and Mm. Stanley Buttray (retired), R.D. 2, Box 180, Meadville,
PA 16335-
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Patton (retired), #6 Tangelwood, Carl Junc
tion, MO 64834. ForwardingAgent Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Morford, Bt
2, Box413,KnightBtown, IN 46148.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sims, 3-33-7 Mejirodaio, Hachioji-ehi, Tokyo
idSJapan. Forwarding Agent FirstChurch ofChrist, 315 E. Orange
Avenue, Eustis, FL 32726-4194.
Two year donation$.50
Donation i Flaming Torch$1.00
Tokyo Cbriatlan (USPS 776-320)
Published four times a year in January, April, July, and November
for the missionaries of the Church of Christ, Cunningham Mission.
Tokyo, Japan by Mission Services Association, 7525 Hodges Feny
Road, Knoxville, TN 37920-9731. POSTMASTER; Send address
changes to Tokyo Christian, c/o MISSION SERVICES ASSOCIA
TION, PO Bo* 2427, KnoxvUle, TN 37901-2427.
Before you move, pleoes send the mailing label with a copy of yournew address to
MISSION SERVICBS ASSOCIATION, PO Box 2427, Knoxville, TN 37901-2427.
Form3579 Requested, POBox2427, KnoxviUe, TN 37901-2427.
Dear Friends in both Japan and U.S.A.,
As this year passes, it has now been 90 years since the Cunninghams began
their Mission in Tokyo, 50 years since Pearl Harbor, 44 years since we got to
Japan and 21 years since we started the church here at Mejirodai. [Every year
passes more quickly], used to be said only by oldsters like us, but it was the
very words of reaction by the youngsters in our Sunday School when we started
practicing a song for the Christmas Program. Ah, so!
We hope all who receive this are keeping up with the world news, the changes
in diets and styles and most of the daily duties all of us have; keeping on with
personal prayer life and service for Christ and even in the times when you get
tired of the constant routine and rush; and keeping in good spirits, physical
condition and contact with family and friends. May your Christmas and New Year
holiday season be a time of refreshing.
Our missionary work continues to provide daily challenges and rewards, and
we look forward to the remaining years God may grant us. Harold preached in
Mejirodai Church almost every Sunday, and also for 2 other short evangelistic
meetings in smaller churches in our area. There was not the increase we hope
and pray for, but there was steady attendance, unity among the believers and
some spiritual growth. We attended 4 different Camps in Shinshu, 2 conventions
and 4 Rallies and many business meetingsnot only connected with the local
church work but for Votsuya Mission, American Christian College, Osaka Bible
Sotiiinary, and Japan Missionary Language Institute on which Harold is a board
member. During the spring and summer there were 3 new babies born to our
members, 1 baptism, 1 funeral. Lois and Harold teach 12 hours of English
classes to various age groups every week.
There have been only a few changes in our family,
HOPE and Tom Schmidt have now expanded into growing pigs on their farm
outside of Kendallville, Indiana, and Hope is working full-time in a nearby
town to help with the cash-flow needs of a large family. Becky (20) is in her
third year at Ball State Univ. in Muncie. Mindy (16) is in High School, Heidi
(12) is in Middle and Wendy (8) is in Elementary, Wendy was baptized in June
making the whole family active members of So, Milford Church of Christ.
SYLVIA and David Smith are nearly ready to move into the house they have
built with their own hands in Cumming, Iowa. They continue the ministry with
Christ's Church in West Des Moines, and their whole family are also active
members of the church there. Rachel (15) keeps busy talking on the phone, and
has some baby-sitting jobs, Joshua (13) played some on their school foot-ball
team this year, and Susie (11) takes care of the cats and other things,
JONATHAN continues his work in the Joel Home in Yokohama, preaching on
alternate Sundays with Mr. Oka, an elder of Minato Church who started the work
there, and also teaching part-time in The American Christian College, He is
also serving as telephone answering service for a special project raising funds
for building 10 elementary schools in Bangladesh to help that poor nation
recover from destruction caused by cyclones and floods that Mr, Oka is heading.
He comes to visit us about once a month, and serves as Treasurer of Yotsuya
Mission, which is a lot of work and responsibility.
ROBERT and Helen are in Shelbyville, Kentucky where Bob works for Ichikoh
Corp. Joel (5) and Amanda (5) have been joined by Joanna, born Feb. 14 this
year. They like to travel, and recently visited Arizona, including Lois* sister
and family who live in Cottonwood. They are active in the Shelby Christian
Church, and are enjoying a new home and car on which they are paying monthly.
DANIEL and Jeanne are in the middle of a job and location change now. He
has left Chrysler, and is working for Mitsubishi Motors in Southern California
already, but as of now they have not yet been able to sell the Michigan house.
Lara (2) was given a playmate when Michelle was born last Christmas, and all
are fine. Ironically he-may not get to Japan so often now as previously.
The new year will bring some important changes for us.
Daiki and Masumi Kishimoto will be coming to minister with us in Mejirodai
about the middle of January. He was born and raised in Tanabe city, south of
Osaka, and became a Christian there as a High School boy. He graduated from
Ibaraki Christian College about 100 km north of Tokyo (a college founded by the
non-instrumental churches of Christ) and has done about 3 years of graduate
level study in Osaka Bible Seminary. During this time he has been working with
George and Ethel Beckman starting a new work called "Grace Church of Christ" in
Takarazuka city. He was married in Sept. 1990. Our people got interested in
calling him as minister when he substituted for me while we made a trip to the
U.S.A. in the summer of 1989. Another young graduate of OBS will take his
place as minister of the Grace Church in the Osaka area.
Harold and Lois are planning a trip to the U.S. during Feb. and March.
The Eustis Florida Church will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary during the
latter half of Feb., and we want to attend that and visit old friends there.
Following that we plan brief visits in our children's homes and with our
brothers and sisters in scattered places. Also we plan to renew contacts with
as many of our supporting churches as possible during the 7 week period.
Wo know that snow-storms disrupt all kinds of travel during that season of l.ho
year and would ask your prayers for us as we make the many stops on the schedule.
Many people ask us about retirement plans, and we are trusting that God
will give clear guidance as we contemplate time, place, type of activity and
other matters related to that period of our lives which is approaching. But wo
plan to return to Japan in early Aprilin time for yearly business meetings of
the local church and other organizations with which we have responsibilities,
and to continue the work here for at least 2 or 3 more years. We ask you to
join us in prayer to the Lord of the Harvest that He will send forth worthy
laborers into His harvest fields.
Glory to God in the Highest
And on earth peace...
Harold and Lois Sims
mmi mdAH