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.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

November 2012 Newsletter and Thanksgiving Photos

Dear Praying Friends,                                                                                   November 2012

Genesis 50:19, 20 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

   We recently celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon be upon us.  Too often we get so wrapped up in the business of the season to reflect on how or if we are truly putting into practice the great truths of these holidays by thanking and trusting God for the things, both good and bad, in our lives.  Joseph is a great example for us in the Bible of how we need to look at those events and people which cause trouble in our lives.  Joseph trusted the living God's will for his live despite betrayal by his family, false charges and unthankfulness for his goodness to them.  Joseph had more cause than most of us to be bitter and revengeful.   He even had it in his power to really get back at those that hurt him.  Yet, because he chose to trust in the living God and forgive and bless those who despitefully used him, God blessed Joseph.  Let us not spoil this most precious time of year with any bitterness or unforgiveness.  Let us show the world the love and trust of the Lord Jesus Christ in all our relationships.
   November brought winter quickly this year and we have already begun to be thankful for safety on winter roads.  This included two trips to Asahikawa (4 hrs away in winter time). The first was for Ken to go back into the hospital on the 6th of November for endoscopic surgery which went without any hitches and he was discharged by Friday of that same week. Vicki took him down, came back home, and then went back and got him when he got out.  He had his follow-up on the 29th and all seems to be well although his white blood count was up so they gave him antibiotics and in January he will have an x-ray done.  Ken especially had an opportunity to witness to a junior high boy that was in his room this time besides handing out verse cards and tracts.  This young man seemed to be fairly open so we trust all that was said and done will continue to work in his life for the timing God has to continue and water and harvest those seeds through others. 

   We were also thankful for safety in travel for the northern Hokkaido missionaries and families as we gathered here for our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration.  We had 34 of us this year! The fellas were thankful for the snow that fell that day to make their annual touch football game a real treat and the girls enjoyed watching and then attacking them all with snowballs!  This is a real day of respite from our busy schedules and a time of wonderful food prepared by the ladies but also a great opportunity to thank the Lord for His provisions and goodness to us.  We also get to enjoy a play put on by all the children and young people.  Beings they skipped last year due to the plan of the play needing some work we really enjoyed seeing their 'production' this year.  They put on various themes of interest from America's history. All the lines were well memorized and all the hand-made costumes really special! (see photos below)  

The day after the get-together we were to be the judges at a yearly junior high speech contest about 2 1/2 hrs south of here.  We traveled that direction for about 20 minutes but quickly knew this was not going to be a road to travel that day.  The roads were all just ice rinks and coming back would have been worse for it would have been after dark.  When we called to tell them we had decided to return home they completely understood and said it was a blizzard down there as well.  They were able to substitute judges fairly quickly by using a couple of the assistant English teachers in the area.  We also suggested maybe next year it could be a little earlier in November to avoid this kind of weather.  We were disappointed at not being able to hand out the English John-Romans and tracts we had prepared for the contestants but know the Lord is in all our stops and goes, so accept that plan from Him!

Hitomi Tsuzuki has to go to Sapporo yet every weekend for her rehabilitation on her knee but started coming back to the evening service!! What a blessing that was and she indicated that she trusts to keep it going this way. One or the other of her parents has been traveling back with her to help her out at home but now she is able to get about home carefully w/o her crutches so she will be more on her own. One week this month we invited her and her mother to come for supper.  Mrs. Tsuzuki told Hitomi that she was both nervous and looking forward to the evening. Hitomi told us later the next week that after they returned home her mother didn't stop talking about the evening for about an hour and a half and we got a very nice thank you note from Mrs. Tsuzuki.  We are praying that this type of communication will continue to break down fear barriers and allow Hitomi to come to a complete trust in Christ as her Savior soon! 

   Now we continue to prepare for our Christmas program outreach on the 23rd of December. There have been many that have come year after year but still are not interested in studying further...may this be the year that they listen to the Spirit move in their hearts to yearn to learn more! Weather can also keep some away as well as the fact it is a 3 day weekend. So we trust the Lord to draw out whom He will and we serve whether few or many! May God bless your outreaches during this special season and don't forget to keep Christ in CHRISTmas!

 Prayer Requests:
1.      Families of believers to be saved and baptism of believers
2.      Health of Mrs. Sonoda-she never knows if she is going to have a hard day or calm day—dizziness; discomfort
3.      Bible study with Hitomi Tsuzuki-her salvation; rehab and healing of her knee
4.      New inroads to be found into people’s lives and hearts; Mr. Moriyama, Miss Emi, Filipino ladies, Town folk
5.      Yen/dollar values
6.      Ken’s surgery and passing of stones; witnessing opportunities—new verse cards to hand out all completed!
7.      Wisdom as we continue the Christmas program evangelism preparation and hand out fliers

Serving Christ Together,    
Ken & Vicki Mansell           Just A Prayer At Night – Your evening is our daytime!

thanksgiving photos: 
 Smith ladies and Elizabeth Hall, ALT
 hungry young men filling up!
Malachi Minks, Josiah Wilhite, Timothy Mather, Malachi Wilhite
 Enjoy fellowship and food

 Ladies prepared wonderful food!

 Men's table
 Play scenes (Kristen Smith is narrator)

 The Audience
 Smith ladies helping with decorations
 Sarah Mather and Victoria Minks

 Vicki and Tanya Minks
 Victoria Minks, Hannah Mather, Kristen Smith
 Wilhite Twins so ready to eat!

 Zeb Minks!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Man Pillow--who would have thought!

NAGAREYAMA, Japan — After a long night at work as a radio DJ, Junko Suzuki likes to snuggle at bedtime — and she says she's found the perfect partner: a man-shaped pillow. 

Linen maker Kameo's new "Boyfriend's Arm Pillow" — which consists of a headless torso and a stuffed arm that curls around the sleeper — might make some people uneasy. But not Suzuki, or about 1,000 others in Japan who have bought the pillow, which Kameo says is the first of its kind. The product went on the market last December.
"I like to sleep holding someone's hand," Suzuki, 34. "And this pillow makes me feel relaxed because I can hold the arm and feel something warm at my side."
Kameo, based in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka, says the pillow is not only an emotional comfort, but that its shape keeps the body balanced by supporting the sleeper from both sides.
Sleepers typically curl up in between the body of the pillow and the crooked arm, with the sleeper's head resting on the pillow's "bicep."
"My grandmother used to say that there is nothing more comfortable pillow than a human," said Kameo President Tomoki Kakehashi. "So, I thought that maybe women would want to sleep on an arm-shaped pillow."
The pillow is only on sale in Japan, where customers can buy one for US$80 (Japanese Yen 8,500). Covered in a shirt-shaped pillow cover, it comes in blue, pink or green. For Suzuki, who is estranged from her husband, the pillow has definite advantages: It doesn't squirm or thrash in the night, and you know it'll be there in the morning. "It keeps holding me all the way through," she said in her home outside of Tokyo. "I think this is great because this does not betray me."   (

Need a good night's rest and need someone by your side--this may be the answer... have the need of someone by your side all the time and the Lord is ready--never leaves or forsakes--and fills all the  needs we have!  Don't just take comfort for a few night hours but get eternal salvation and round the clock comfort of God by your side and the Word to fill the heart!

Matthew 11:28-30 - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

Hebrew 13:5 -...for he (Christ) hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.