Giving you a little view of Japan without leaving your home!

Prayer letters, curious subjects, events, people, customs, and more for you to enjoy and learn.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Unexpected Neighborhood Fire

Thank you for your faithful prayers for the souls in other countries like Japan. Pray that their eyes would be opened as the gospel is set forth. Last night a house burned down in our neighborhood. An older man perished in the flames, only to enter much worse flames. Pray that others in this area of the world would not continue on to such a fate but would turn to the Lord.
The picture above is fuzzy as it was taken from our bedroom window. When we heard the siren go off and we ran to check to see if we could see the smoke or tell where the fire was, we were so disheartened to see how far along the fire must be at that time already and how close, but praise God the houses on either side of the home were OK.
It is custom in our town because houses are so close together that whenever a fire siren goes off, night or day, you go outside to check. We praise God for His protection in so many different ways.
We found out today that the elderly gentleman's son had just moved back from Tokyo to be with his father and help him out, having moved in his belongings yesterday. Then the fire happened after the father had gone to bed we think. The son ran next door to call the fire department, ran back but already it was too late to get to his father and help him escape. We now pray for a possible way to meet this man and help him as he must be under great anguish at not being able to help his father.
May your day be safe and may you also have the safety of eternity through the love and gift of salvation of our heavenly Father!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Natural sand baths in Japan have a history of more than 300 years. The sand of the beaches is infused with hot spring water that comes up from deep in the ground.

The beneficial effects of natural sand baths are medically proven. Rheumatism, lumbago and diabetes number among the many ailments that sand baths are believed to provide relief for. It is even said that sand baths are three to four times more effective than an ordinary hot spring.

At the natural sand bath facility at Saraku, Japan, you go to the front desk, pay your bathing fee and receive a special yukata to wear in the sand bath. In the changing room, you strip off all your clothes and put on the yukata.

Under a simple structure with a roof, about a 100 people can lie down. During the holiday season, there can be quite long lines of people waiting for their turn.

Staff members pour sand all over your body with a shovel. All except for your head, that is. I heard a man say that he came to this place regularly and never needed any doctors or medicine. Lying in the comforting sand, you could easily believe him!

Most people lie down for about 10 minutes in the sand. With the pressure of the sand all over your body, you soon start to sweat profusely.

According to a Saraku employee, the sand bath facility opened at the beach in 1996 and it enjoys 270,000 to 300,000 visitors each year.

When asked about the virtues of taking natural sand baths, the employee said, "Taking a natural sand bath while listening to the sound of the sea is a superb way of relieving stress."

Source: Yomiuri News, by Mr. Nasu, 2007-10-08.

Sand baths are wonderful, no doubt, but only God gives guaranteed results for the relief of stress and anxiety -- you have his Word on it! (copied)

Philippians 4: 6, 7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Our Children and Grandchildren

Well couldn't let Children's Day pass without bragging about ours including our grandchildren! So hope you enjoy some of our pics from our visit in March and April.With the Joshua & Alicia, Jacob & Alyssia Appel on Resurrection Sunday

Richard, Angela, Abigail and Emma Mansell in caverns in VA

Michael & Stacy Mansell in Tucson

(lt-rt) Alyssia Appel almost 1; Abigail Mansell 4; Emma Mansell, 1
Bottom picture Jacob Appel 3
The blue outfits were made by Vicki from matching dresses both mothers used to wear in college.