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Tokyo

Christian
'GoyeintodU theworid and preadi thegoepd toevery creature' Mark16:15
January 1996
Number 1
=SIMS' NEWS
Mejirodai 25th Anniversary and Other
Related Events and Pictures
On the back page of the Novem
ber issuewe askedthe readers to pray
for 7 events that were being planned
through the end of that month. We
thank you for your prayers and God
for His guidance andmanyblessings.
We are happyto report on all of these
events and others, including Christ
mas with a fewwords and pictures in
hope that you will be able to share a
deeper knowledge of and concernfor
the gospel work in this part of our
changing world in this new year [of
the rat] in Oriental lore.
1. Twenty-two people from
Mejirodai spent one night and part of
two days October 27, 28 in a YMCA
facility near the foot of Mt. Fuji get
ting to know each other better by
playinggames, discussing the future
of the church, sharing testimonies
connected with our Christian walk
and, of course, the free talking in the
cars going down and back and in the
rooms late at night. Osawa-san in a
30-minute talk told us the details of a
dangerous operation she had on her
brain earlier in the year to separate a
bloodvessel andnerve that were caus
ing her eye to twitch constantly and
one side of her face to become numb
and sag slightly. She described her
fears, pains and feelings vividly but
calmlyand, of course, we couldall see
that the resiilt was totally successful,
and praised God together.
The group of various {tges that went to the
retreat.
Sitting on the floor Japanese style, except the
Simsee.
2. There was a good crowd of 67
people from most of oiu* Tokyo area
churches at the Minato Church on
Sunday afternoon October 29 for a
5th SimdayRally, at which I spoke on
"The Gospel and Culture," givingreal-
life illustrations from some of the
conflicts I have e^erienced while
servingas chairman of the local 500-^
neighborhood association duringthe
year. The small church building has
limited kitchen and eatingspace, but
theyserveda supper to everyone who
attended. We took a wrong turn and
got lost on the way back home after a
good time of fellowship, but of course
ultimatetyfoundthewaywiththe help
of a policeman somewhere out there.
3. Mr. & Mrs. Kishimoto, 3-yeai^
old son Ko and 2 ladies from the Me
jirodai Church rode with Lois and me
in our 8-passenger light van on the
515 km (322 mile) trip to Osakafor the
annual Seed-Sowing Meeting at our
Osaka Bible Seminary. 135 people
attended. I spoke on "Walking in the
Light" duringthe secondsession, and
Lois led the singing and I played the
piano for the 45-minute song service
at the start of the final session. It was
the first time we had done that for
someyears, andit might bethe last, as
my time for
serving on the
Councillors
V''-- committee
there has now
' ' expired. We
I * ' returned home
on Saturday,
enjoying the
beautifulfall fo-
liage in the
moimtainsand
the
apple trees
Harold Sims preach- along the ex-
iDg at O.B.S. pressway.
Tanemaki crowd in front of O.B.8, main building.
Senior student Shlngo Tsudn from Mejirodai
(his mother rode down and book with us) giving a
slide presentation of his trip to Indonesia during
August 1995 to visit our Church of Christ Missions
there. He hopes to become a missionary to that
field in the future.
Haroldand Lois gettingreadyfor songservice.
Next to Lois is Mrs. Yamaguohi, a student ofTokyo
Bible Seminary about 40 years ago who coarrled a
Church ofOodminister andnowlives in I^oto. She
oame to visit us in Osaka. It was the first time we
hod seen her for about 20 years or so.
Harold Simsspeakingat the25thAnniversary.
Over his head is the banner from Clovemook
Church. On his left in Japanese writing Is '25th
anniversary* emd to his right is "Memorial Service
for those gone to Heaven.*
Lois got out an old album of pic
tures of the church and those attend
ing that day which all present mem
bers were interested to see. We had
an above average attendance of 41
adults and 7 children for that morn
ingworship service, and averyhappy
and meaningful time. Also on that
anniversaiyday everyyearwe have a
simple Memorial Prayer time remem
beringthose (now11 innumber) who
have gone on to heaven ahead of us.
After the worship service we had a
fellowship meal together in the an
nex they call Sims Hall.
Mrs. Nittono and daughter near end of concert.
tion was the accompanist. The atten
dance was 50 adults and 7 children,
and over 10 percent of the audience
were in our church for the first time.
We tdvertised byinserts in the news
papers ofthe Etrea, which is expensive
but evidently effective.
6. This year was a rare one in
which the Japanese and American
ThanksgivingDaywere the same. On
November 23 theTokyo areamission
aries gathered here in our church for
eatingthe traditional turkeyandtrim
mings and a time of worship. Each
one shared briefly something they
were especiallythankful for this year.
We had two families from the U.S.
Military share this good
Itime with us, so it was the
largest prayer meetingin a
longtime-31 adults and 15
children, reminding us of
the old 1950s and 60s when
all of us had several chil
dren of school age. After
the planned program they
all enjoyed the time to
gether so much nobody
wanted to go home, so Lois
and I were still cleaningup
rentof dishes after 11PM, but talk-
those iughappilyand"thankfully"
tarUy- about the end of a perfect
day.
The ooDgregBtion at the 25th Anniversarygathered in the front of
the church. The pictures on the white-covered table are of those
members who have departed from this life and our midst temporarily.
Ko (3), Daiki and Masumi
Kiahimoto in Osaka.
4. November 5 was the 25th An
niversary of Mejirodai Church. The
first service was held on November 1,
1970. Atthattime CliffandBeaNelson,
an elder of the Clovemook Christian
Church in Cincinnati, Ohio were
present - visiting us on the way back
from visiting their son who was in
Taiwanat that time. Mrs. Nelson sent
us a nice letter and tape made at that
time, vividlyrecallingthe experience,
and also a check for flowers to be
provided for the anniversary service.
The Clovemook Church also sent a
longpaper banner reading, "MayGod
Continueto BlessYourMinistiy" with
the signatures of 140 members on it.
5. For about 10 years we have
bad a Chapel Concert eveiy fall in an
attempt to get people to know about
the church, get inside of it and ac
quainted with some of the people.
This year on Saturday PMNovember
18, Mrs. Nittono, who attends our sei>
vices sometimes and lives down the
street from the church, volunteered
to give a Mandolinconcert for us. She
plays with a group at the professional
level, and has appeared publicly in
concerts and on TV. This also is the
100th year since this instrument was
introduced to Japan, so she has been
busier than usual. She arranged an
unusual program, featuring some
hymns that fit that instrument. Her
daughter, studying it now also per
formed. Mrs. Ito from our congrega-
7. The Mejirodai Church has an
annual potluck lunch together after
the worship service at Thanksgiving
time. We introduced this type ofmeal
to them at this time many years ago.
Afterthe servicewe always beginwith
the youngest and go to the oldest,
making short speeches beginning
with "I am thankful for...". This year
some of the members asked Lois to
bake a turkey, as this might bethe last
time to enjoy that. So she did, and all
showed their appreciation by going
back repeatedly for seconds. We had
almost all desserts last year, but this
year theylaughedbecause therewere
no desserts - "potluck." We had 33
adults and 7 children in chuich at
AM, and most of them stayed for the
afternoon, during which there were
some very good speeches - one who
survived anautomobileaccident, and
other good humoredandinformative
ones showing each personality.
This finishes the events listed in
the previous issue. But the biggest
news during November was the sud
den announcement shortly before
Thanksgiving by our son, Jonathan,
that hewouldbe resigninghisjobs as
missionary with the Joel Home in
Yokohama and as Treasurer of the
Yotsuya Mission Corporation and
goingtoAmericatoseekanothertype
of work. All of us here were qmte
shockedanddisappointed at this, but
he hadevidentlybeenthinkingabout
it for some time and we can under
stand some of the reasons for it.
As a result ofthis, we are forced to
make some alterations in our plans,
and there will be changes in various
situations inthe comingmonths. We
aretrustingGodto g^de andworkall
things out together for good, as He
has done many times in the past. We
will make announcements regarding
the future ofJonathan and Verla and
their baby, Benjamin, when the infor
mation comes in, and we pray that
God will bless and use them for His
glory wherever they go.
8. We reported the hospitaliza-
tion of Stephenlijima inthe previous
issue. Since he has a heart pace
maker, andoftentotal anesthesiahas
a bad effect on that machine, we un
derstand there was quite a debate
among the doctors at the large
Yamanashi Prefectural Hospital
abouthowtoproceed. Itwaaobvious
he needed anoperationforgall stones
that showed up distinctly on the X-
rays. He also needed a prostate gland
operation and some hemorrhoids
taken care of. The head doctor sug^
gested that while they had him "out"
theygathera teamof siirgeons anddo
all three operations simultaneous^.
Aftersometime, his opinionprevailed
over those that contended a 74-year-
old with a pacemaker would not be
able to endure all of that.
We are thankful to report that he
was operated on in early November
and it was such a success that he was
ableto attend andpreachat the Christ^
mas service at Minato church on De
cember 24.
9. On a cold F^day PM, Decem
bers, Kyoko Kawamurawas baptized
inMejirodaiChiirch. Shehadmadea
decision at Shinshu Camp earlier in
the year, but wanted to be immersed
into Christ on her 20th birthday. She
had studied the Bible privately with
Bro. Kishimoto every Tuesday after-
Bro. Kishimoto bsptizlxis B^koKawamura.
The group who witnessed and rejoiced in the
baptism included her mother and father (on the
right), members of another church group. Mrs.
Tsuda and her two daughters (Kyoko's aunt
[mother's sister] and cousins).
noon for a number of weeks in prepar
ration. ThefoUowingSimdayAMshe
siirprisedall ofthe otheryoungpeople
and others with the announcement of
her engagement to be married this
coming spring.
10. On December 12 the Adult
EnglishConversationClass that I had
been teachingfor about 22 years held
a farewell meeting for us at a small
Italian Restaurant in downtown
Hachioji, with appropriate short
speeches and a nice gift for us to take
into retirement. I have a lot of good
memories ofconversationswiththose
men about many different subjects,
and we had veiy good humor eveiy
time.
11. The Japan Missionary Lan
guage Institute closedanother semes
ter with a Christmas partyon Decem
ber 15, which included a very nice
farewell for me. I have served on the
advisory board of this school for mis
sionaries for about 20 years and as
Chairman for the past 10 or more, so
now as our retirement nears the
present students and the staff and
teachers planneda niceprogramvrith
many sincere and good-humored
speeches, gifts, music, etc., which we
appreciated deeply.
Harold and Lola and the JMLI teaobers and staff.
Presenting a oertifloata to Mr. Sims, who
presents diplomas to the studentswhoget through
the course.
12. Our Christmas at most
churches inJapanthis yearwas all on
Christmas Eve, because that fell on
Simdayand most people had that day
off from work or school. We had the
year's high of 60 adults and 15 chil
dren present for the worship time,
which meant chairs in the aisle and
entrance hall, twicethe usual volume
in singing, and a happy atmosphere.
(The Japanese are used to crowds in
trains, streets at concerts and games,
etc. and enjoythefestive atmosphere.)
I preachedonTet us goto Bethlehem."
Among those attending were two
people who had never been in any
church anytime before, and a good
number of others who had not been
for a long while for sickness, simple
neglect and perhaps other reasons.
So it was a very happy time for every
one.
Almost evezyone stayed for the
lunchofapackofsaran-wrappedsand
wiches, two cookies, a Mandarin or
ange and a cupoftea, andthenwe had
the program. This consisted of three
parts: the children's song, the "play,"
and the chorus. The young people's
group planned the whole thing. Be
cause of lack of time for rehearsal,
two narrators read the play and the
actors just pantomimed their parts.
Eachone was to plan and prepare his
own costume and actions. I was to be
King Herod, so Lois made me a crown
of gold painted cardboard from a gift
box, and a robe. I thought it would be
haphazard, but was pleased at how
each one did his best and howwell it
A Boene from the drama.
byour local people, who promised to
help edit and print it. But with the
press of other things I did not make
very good progress. Finallyat 10 PM
on Saturday night, December 30, I
had the satisfaction of completing
one of my goals for the year by writ
ing the last line of that work.
14. On Friday, December 20 we
drove down to Yokohama for a final
visit with Jonathan and Verla and
little Benjamin. TheyleftJanuaiy 9.
15. Sunday.December31Shingo
Tsuda preached the sermon at
Mejirodai church.
16. Monday, Januaiy 1 at 1 PM
we had the NewYear's Day worship
at Mejirodai with 28 present to get
the year started off right byworship
ping the God of all the earth and
asking His blessing on the coming
year.
The ohUdren's Chriatmaa program.
went in conveying the stoiy and al
lowing all who wished to take part.
The chorus included many who do
not normally do that, but they wore
matching white shirts and blouses,
bowties for themen, and usedmatch
ing green books shaped like Christ
mas trees. The last number was an
enthusiastic rendering of "Santa
Glaus is ComingtoTown" inEnglish,
and then at the finale, rather hefty
Mr. Shioya burst into the roomwear
ing a Santa suit to the delight of old
and yoimg. A great time was had by
aU.
The afternoon program ended
about 4 PM, so we didn't expect a
great crowd for the Candlelight Ser
vice that night at 7 PM, but were
really surprised to see 50 adults and
14 children there, including quite a
Mr. aadMn. StanleyButtny(retired),
RD.S.BoxlBO.MeadviUe.PA 16339.
Mr. andMre. AndrewPatton (retired),
#6 Tanglewood, Carl Junction, MO
64834.
Mr. and Mn. Harold Biine, 3-33-7
Mejirodai, HaohioJl-sU, Tokyo 193 Jar
pan. Forwarding A^tent: FintCburoh
ofChrist, 319E. OrangeAvenue, Bustls,
FL 32726^194.
One year donation$2.00
Tokyo Christian (U8P8 776^20)
Publiabed four times a year in Janu-
ary, April, July, and November for the
missionaries of the Church of Christ,
CunninghamMission, Tol^o, Japan by
Mission Services Association, 7929
Hodges Ferry Rood, Knoxville, TN
37920^31. Second Class postage paid
at KnoxvUle, TN 37901-2427. POST
MASTER; Send address changes to
Tokyo Christian, o/o MISSION SER
VICES ASSOCIATION, PO Box 2427,
Knoxville, TN 37001-2427.
The ohorua.
Santa CUua arrives.
fewnewpeoplewhowere not therein
the morning.
13. Someofyouknowthatlhave
been occupied the latter half of this
year in writing a short book in Japa
nese about my life and work here in
Japan. This was urgently requested
Some Things Planned
for 1996
March 20 (Japanese holiday) -
Farewell ceremoz^ and partyfor the
Simses on closing 25 years of mis
sionary work at Mejirodai church.
March 31 - Ordination and in
stallation of Shingo Tsuda as assis
tant minister of Machida Church of
Christ where missionary Timothy
Turner preaches.
May 10 - Target date for Harold
andLois Sims to leave forthe U.S. for
furlough.
September 16 - Target date for
Harold and Lois Sims to return to
Japan and live and work for a period
of months at the Joel Home in
Yokohama.
Before you move, please send the label with a oopy of your new address to
MISSIONSERVICES ASSOCIATION, PO Box 2427, Knoxville, TN 37901-2427.
Form 8579 RMjuestod, PO Box 2427, Knoxville, TN 37901-2427.
Tokyo
Christian
'Go ye into all the world and preach the goapel to every creature' Mark 16:15
Volume 95
AprU 1996 Number 2
SIMS' NEWS
Harold and Lois Sims Preparing to Leave Mejirodai,
Visit Friends and Family in the United States and
Return to Work in the Joel Home in Yokohama
In the January issue several of
the news items reported were con
nected with the 25th anniversary of
Mejirodai Church. Nowweareinour
closing days of the ministry with this
local church, andinthemidst ofprepa
rations for moving out of this house
which has been our home for over 25
years. As all can imagine, during
these years too much "stufT has accu
mulated, and we must decide daily
whether to 1. take it to the U.S. (very
expensive), 2. try to sell it or give it
away to someone, 3. throwit away or,
4. take it downtotheJoel Home (which
has comparativelylimitedspace). Mr.
and Mrs. Kishimoto and their little
boy, Koh, who just enteredkindergar
tenonApril 10, will be movinginhere
some days afterwe leave inearlyMay.
He has already been working here
with us about 4 years, and has been
gradually assuming various duties
and leadership, and we don't think
therewill be anydifficulties about the
change.
During the weeks so far this year
we have been gradually having our
final English Classes and Bible Stud
iesand consequentfarewell meetings,
meals andvisits, but the responsibili
ties as chairmanofthe neighborhood
association continue even imtil the
end of this month and those at all
other organizations were until the
end of March. Of course I am still
preachingregularly and the prospect
of our leaving seems to bring an un
usual amount of other demands on
my time for consultations about vari
ous problems. So being able to con
centrate on packingforanysustained
period of time has been quite diffi
cult. But we have been trying to do
something every day and taking one
dayat a time, and we believe our Lord
has been answering the prayers of
many on our behalf and giving His
enabling grace and g^dance to be
able to get this far along.
Nowit is time for another issue of
the Tokyo Christian, so I want to just
share with you some of the recent
events and experiences we have en
joyed, to outline our plans for a sum
mer trip to the U.S. and then to give
you some informationabout ourplans
for return to Japan for a short period
of service in Yokohama and our new
address there.
other ways. A total of 160 people
came. We had not seen some of them
for a long time and, of course, many
are seen every week. Each person
(except for us) paid a fee, which paid
for the Irmcheon and the expenses
connected with the event. Lois and I
sat at a large table, and many people
came up there to get a picture of us
with themto keep as a memory of the
occasion. Itwasatimeofgoodhumor
and also serious commentsandmany
memories.
The program was planned and
carried out by the Mejirodai church
people, and we agreed with the com
ments ofmanyfrom other places who
attended that it was "like Mejirodai."
The first part, beginningat 11:15 a.m.
was a worship service. Bro. Saitoh
presided, and Mrs. Ito was at the pi
ano. The first hymn was "Crown Him
with Many Crowns," and the opening
prayer was offered by Bro. Cho who
had recently returnedfroma number
of years of pastoring a church in the
U.S. Northwest for a second ministry
withtheMikawashima Churchwhere
we served in the early years. Then
Recent Events
1. On March 20 (aJapanese holi
day connected with the spring equi
nox. and coincidentally the day be
fore our 49th Wedding Anniversary)
the Mejirodai Church had a kind of
"farewell" meetingfor us at a popular
and very nice Hall used for weddings
and other festive occasions on a hill
top at the edge of the city, with a
beautiful Japanese garden, waterfall,
plenty of parking, etc. Neither they
nor we wanted a tearful, over^-emo-
tional atmosphere, so they called it,
riages per- Missionaries Standin
formed and in Rtoki Clark. Ethel Beokm
Missionaries standing behind Harold and Lois Sims are: 1. to r., Paul and
Rtoki Clark, Ethel Beokman, Leone Cole, Betty Turner, and Tim Turner.
Lois Sims singins-
Bro. Ito gave an introductoiy speech
giving in brief the basic facts about
our 48 years of service in Japan, the
25 years in Mejirodai and our chil
dren, grandchildren and other infor
mation. Then, long-time friend and
co-worker Stephen lijima preached a
short sermon on Matt. 20:20-28, titled
"An Exemplary Servant." This was
followed by Lois' favorite hymn, "Sav
ior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us," and a
closing prayer by Paul Clark, presi
dent of Osaka Bible Seminary.
It was then noon, and lunch was
served. While they were eating, one
of our high school girls, Emi Ito,
played some classical violin music
with her mother accompanying on
the piano. Also many came up to our
table to say a few words of greeting
and take pictures.
The second part of the program
began at 1 p.m., before the meal was
completed. ThiswasemceedbyYohei
Akioka, one of ouryoung men. There
were four short speeches: first by
Kozo Kobayashi, an elder of the
Minato Church and friend from our
earlydays until now, secondbyHideo
Fukuda, a former student of Tokyo
Bible Seminaiy and writer of several
Bible commentaries and a monthly
magazine and the preacher of Zushi
Church in Machida; third byShigeru
Akada, preacher at Onta Church in
Higashi-murayama, and a former
member of Nakano Churchwho went
to study at Osaka Seminarywhile we
ministered there; and fourth, by
Yonako Nakagawa, ayoungladymem
ber of Mejirodai churchwho grewup
during our ministiyhere. In between
these there was special music by the
"Ladies' Chorus" group that Lois led
Lois and Harold receiving flowers at the end of
the meeting.
for a number of years. Yonako asked
me (without any forewarning) to ex
press in one sentence what I thought
about Lois, so I kissed her instead,
which brought quite a gasp horn the
audience, because sucha thing is not
ordinarily done in public in this cul
ture. But it seemed appropriate at
that time.
The third part of the programwas
led by Bro. Kishimoto. He showed
slides he had made from some old
pictures of our early days in Japan
and some more recent ones that gave
a brief picture of our lives. Then Lois
sang, "GreatisThyFaithfulness,"with
me playingthe piano. The Mejirodai
church sang special music to the
words of the 23rd Psalmand I made a
short speech in response. The meet
ingwas closedwith a prayer byan old
friend, John Muto, at 2:30 p.m.
On April 17, the Sunday before
this, duringthe afternoon most of the
church people stayed to work on the
details of the program, seating, regis
tration, etc. Lois and I knew what
theywere doing,
but thought
be
proper for us to
be over there in-
the
were sitting qui-
etly at home
watching T.V. I
went over to call sEHK
someone to the
telephone, and
looked into the
roomwherethey
were
and zealously
working to
gether, andfelt I hadgottena glimpse
into the future of this church. May
God bless them on and on, as He has
done, andas He has promisedto keep
doing.
2. Along with the program that
day, each person present was given a
copy of my book. Carrying the Torch.
which is a little over 100 pages, writ
ten in Japanese language at the re
quest of the Mejirodai congregation.
I spent many hours on that project
during 1995, and wrote most of it
dependingonmemoryalone. Itisnot
so much a biography or historical
record as some stories about various
things that happenedduringthis half
century, beginningwith my decision
to become a missionary. I have been
gratified that so many people have
expressed after readingthe bookthat
theycan feel and clearlysee howGod
was guidingus all alongtheway. Yes,
indeed. After I finally finished it at
the end of the year, 3 of the church
people spent a lot of time editing it,
adding some pictures, etc., and it ax-
rived from the printer just 2 or 3 days
before the meeting.
3. The annual SpringGamp was
held in Shinshu March 25-28. This
was the first time I had not attended
inyears, but the press of other things
was justtoo much this time. Atotalof
12 people went from Mejirodai, in
cluding some for the kitchen staff.
There were 35 people at the camp.
This time there were more than ever
from the local area, which is a good
sign. There was some trouble with
the boiler, and the weather has been
colder than usual for April in Japan
as well as the whole northern hemi
sphere of the planet this year, as all of
us know, so unfortunately quite a few
ofthe campers caught colds. But the
campwas completedsafely, and plans
for the summer one are already on.
4. TimTurner brought his 8-pas-
senger van here to our house and
unloaded those from our churchwho
Spring Camp
were riding with him. Then 1 got in
and he and I started out for Osaka
right away. It was 4:30 p.m. We
arrived at the Seminary there a few
minutes after midnight. One of the
Seniors was waiting up to showus to
the room in the dorm where we were
to sleep. His mother and sister and a
friend and Bro. Kishimoto had ar
rived direct from the Camp earlier
that day.
This Senior is Shingo Tsuda, the
first member of Mejirodai to go. into
the ministry. He graduated from the
Oberlin College in Tokyo, and was
finishingthreeyears ofgraduate level
study at the Seminary there. Two
others also graduated, and both of
them were also graduate level stu
dents, but theytookthe 2-year course.
They had a veiy nice graduation cer
emonyin the OBS Chapel, and then a
simple but meaningful luncheon/re
ception at the school following that,
with various short speeches.
I hadn't thought of it until some
one mentioned it, but it was exactly
12 years to the day since I had bap
tized him in the cold Chikuma River
near the Shinshu Camp whenwe was
a i4-yeapold boy. Since then his
mothertransferred membership here
from the Church of God, and his two
sisters have been immersed into
Christ.
Tim Turner and I drove back to
Tokyo onFridayafternoon, March 29,
and the others came back the follow
ing day.
5. Onthe afternoon ofMarch31,
Shingo Tsuda was ordained in the
Machida Church where he will be
servingas assistant ministerwithmis
sionary Tim Turner. There were sev
eral things that we are speciallythank
ful for about this ordination. First,
there were about 90 people present,
most from our area churches. (It was
an unusual kind of5thSundayRally.)
Mejirodai Churoh delegation in OBakaforOraduatioD. Front row: L.toR.,TomooOtanl.YoheiAkloka
(life-Iongfriend), Shingo,Mrs.HlrokoTsuda,youngerBifitarMakiko,andMrs.KayoAkioka. Baokrow: L.
to R., Mrs. Maaumi Kishimoto, Koh Kishimoto. Mr. Daiki Kishimoto, and Harold Sims.
Ordinatloa of Shingo Tsuda In Machida Churoh. March 31.
Second, the small
church did a
paring sandwiches
and cupcakes for ev-
eryone, and their se-
rious faces showed
they felt the mean- |
ing of what was tak- A
among those attend-
ing were Shingo's
both sides, uncles,
aimts, cousins, etc.
gather like this for
als, but you couldtell
that evenforthe non- I!., n
Christian relatives. Ordination
this was important -
an only son going
into the Christian ministry doesn't
happen very often in Japan. And
fourth, ourMejirodai folks alsoturned
out in force, and on their f^es was
written with joy and pride. This is
our boy!" Itwas great encouragement
toallofus. One missionaiyis leaving
for retirement soon, but there are
youngJapanese leaders risingup and
taking up the work.
Six people laid hands on Shingo:
three missionaries, TimTurner, Paul
Clark and Harold Sims (I also
preached the sermon, "Keep on
Preaching," from Acts 18:9, 10) and
three Japanese, Mr. Oka, an elder
fromMinato Church, Bro. Nishiyama,
of the Sannobara Church in Isehara
and Bro. Kishimoto from Mejirodai.
6. On Resurrection Sunday we
had chairs in the aisles at Mejirodai
Shingo Tsuda preaching at Mejirodai Churoh.
as 53 adults and 7 children were in
theworshipservice. Thenmanyofus
went to the city hall where the
churchesofHachioji sponsorayearly
cily-wide meeting. This was the 21st
year for this event, and the 1500 seat
auditorimnwaswellfilled. Eachyemr
theyhave a different outside evange
list come, and this year's man was a
veiygoodpreacherandhis daughter
is quite a singer. Several of our
churches in the curea had baptisms
that day, andwe were expectingtwo,
but both of them had to postpone it
for different reasons. Wenowe^ect
both the young office girl and the
middle-agedhousewifetobebaptized
on April 21.
7. OnAprill4LoisandIwentto
Joel Home. I have been preaching
there once a month for some time.
That daywe had a plumber from the
neighborhood come to the service
for the first time. He is 79 years old
now, but rememberedattendingSun
day School about 60 years ago and
decided to come and see. His words
were veiy encouraging to the small
group there.
Summer Trip
We plmi to have a truck come to
the house onApril 26 andloadupthe
part of our belongings which will be
shipped to second son Robert's ga
rage in Kentucky. (We are taking
mainlypersonal effects, files, books,
pictures, etc. and hardly any furni
ture.) Then during the early days of
May we will be moving our winter
clothes and some daily necessities
and "leftovers" to the Joel Home in
Yokohamafor usewhenwe returnto
Mr.aodMn.6taiil8yButtnsr(tetired).
RD. 8, Box 180. MoMtvUle, PA 16339.
Mr. andMn. Andiewl^tton(retized),
#8 Tanglewood, Carl Janotion, MO
84834.
Mr. and Mta. Harold Sims, 4-17-30
RoMiakoliaahtKitaMe'>*"YolmtMma-
shi 221, Japan. PoxwardlnsAeent: Ftat
ChorohofChilst,315E. OrangeAvenue,
Bustt8,FL327204104.
One year donation$2.00
Tokyo Christian(DSPS 770420)
Pablished four times a year In Jano-
aiy, i^zll, July, and November for the
missionaries of the Churoh of Christ,
CunninghamMission, Tokyo, JqmnIqr
Mission Services Association, 7529
Hodges Ferry Road, Knoxvllle, TN
370200731. Seconddass postagepaid
at KnoxvUle, TN 37001-2427. POST.
MASTBlfc Send address changes to
Tokyo Christian, o/o MISSION SEBr
VICES ASSOCIATION, PO Box 2427,
Knoxville,TN 37001-2427.
Japan for another short term of ser
vice.
Our travel plan in the U.S. is not
complete, but the outline will be:
May 10 - Leave Nmita (Tokyo) and
arrive in Los Angeles. Visit son
Daniel and family.
May 17-19 - First Christian Church,
Yuma, AZ
May 20-24 - Visit Lois's sister and
husband and other friends in AZ
May24-31 -Visit SylviaandJonathan
andfamily inCummingandAmes,
lA Grandson Joshua graduates
from high school in Ciunming on
May 26.
June 1-9 - Visit brother Earl andfam
ily in Cincinnati, OH
June 2, 3 - Clovemook Christian
Church, Cincinnati, OH
June 9 - Alexandria, KY Church of
Christ
.Tunft 10-12 - AE. Sims children re
union in Gatlinburg, TN area
June 20-30 - Florida ^ustis and
Englewood, Jacksonville)
July 7 - Virginia
July 14 - Pennsylvania
July 21 - Warwood Church, Wheel
ing, WV
July 25-31 - With Bob and family,
Shelbyville, KY
August 1 - Visit Hope and family in
Kendallville, IN. Second daughter
(nowa thirdyearstudent at Cincin
nati Bible College) is to be married
to fellow student Brian Mayo on
August 3.
August 14-18-FaithPromiseRallyat
Markle, IN
September 13-15 - First Christian
Church, Napa, CA
September16-DepartfromSanFran
cisco for yet another trip to Japan.
As you can see, there are still
some dates open or undecided at the
time we are-writingthis. We will not
be able to get everywhere and see
everyone, butwe arelookingforward
to another good furlough. We ask
that you pray with us that God will
gfuide us about place, time, lype of
work and other matters related to
our retirement plans. If it is His will
we hopeto g^t aplacedecidedduring
this summer of travels and looking
around and getting opinions. If you
need to contact us, you might try:
Sylvia Smith: 515-981-0817
Robert Sims: 502-633-7334
Hope Schmidt: 219-347-2904
First Ch. of Christ,
Eustis, FL: 904-589-2235
New Address in Japan
From the time we get back to
Japan, we will be livingin a different
place, so please make a note of our
change of address:
Harold and Lois Sims
4-17-30 Rokkaku-bashi
Kanagawapku Yokohamapshi 221
JAPAN
Tel.: 045-413-2200
Ourtime ofservice there will not
be definitely limited by any "condi
tions" but our ag^s would certainly
keep it fix>mbeinganywhere near as
longas anyofthe previous places we
have served. We hope a preacher
may be found within a reasonable
length of time, and have only com
mitted to stay until about May of
1997, which is about 6 months from
ourplannedreturnthisfall. Wehope
tocontinuetheTokvo Christianuntil
the time of our retirement inthe U.S.
Before yon move, please send the TTtiHng label with a copy of your new address to
MISSION SERVICESASSOCIATION, POBox 2427, KnoxvUle, TN 37001-2427.
Form3579 Requested, PO Box 2427, KnoxvUle, TN 37801-2427.
Christian
Volume 95
'Go ye into ail the world and preach the gospel to every creature' Mark 16:15
July 1996
SIMS' NEWS
Epistle from the Middle of Sims'
Eighth Missionary Journey
Number 3
As we begin this July issue of the
Tokyo Christian, we are at the middle
point of our 4-month trip through the
United States. We flew as far as Kan
sas City and have driven the 1983
BulckRiviera (purchasedfroma good
man In Des Molnes, lA) about 4,400
miles sofarwithout mishap ortrouble,
and we have enjoyed the fellowship
with manyfriends and relatives along
the way veiy much. In this Issue I
plan to: 1) tell a few things about
things that happened In Japan dur-
Ingthe days betweenwritingthe April
Issue of this paper and our departure
fromNaiitaAlrportonMay 10, 2)give
brief answers to questions we have
been asked In various places about
ourpresent situationandfuture plans,
and 3) give a brief report on our trip
thus far. We appreciate your contin
ued prayers for God's guidance upon
our decisions, our safetyIntravel, our
health, and theworkofChrist's church
In Japan.
l.a) On April 18 Harold attended
a luncheon given by the Prime Minis
ter ofJapanIn honor ofU.S. President
Clinton and his wife and entourage.
The guests were selected on the basis
of "contributing to mutual under
standingand betterrelatlonsbetween
the U.S. and Japan" during the 50-
year post World War II era.
I was put on the Invitation list by
the U.S. Embassy because of an ar
ticle which appeared In the English
language dally newspaper, Japan
Times, last Sept. 16. The article was
conceived and written by one of their
reporters who Is also a member of our
Mlnato Chxirch InTol^^o, a native and
convert fromK^shuwhere the Mark
Maxeys work, and the son-in-law of
Bro. Oka who Is the founder of the
Joel Home In Yokohama. It empha
sized not only my long-term service
as a missionary, but also the fact that
I served from April 1, 1995 - April 30,
1996 as the chairman of the local
neighborhood association In
Mejlrodal where we have been living
since 1970. This is something like
beingthe "mayor" or "commissioner"
of a small community of 540 homes,
or about 1600 people.
The newspaper did research and
discovered that I was the second for
eigner In 2600 years of Japanese his
tory to hold this local, grass-roots
political office. (I had beenaskedand
urged to do this by the local commit
tee members In Feb. 1995 because I
hadlivedIn this neighborhood longer
than any of them, and would soon be
leavingfor retirement inthe U.S. and
also because I was "known by every
one and able to do It.")
As anyone can Imagine, this job
took a lot of time In various meetings
which I was required to attend, and
therewerevarious troublesome prob
lems like bumed-out street lights,
noisy dogs, not following the rules on
garbage and recycling, etc. But the
people kept their promises to cooper
ate with and assist me, and there was
some joy In being greeted and bowed
to by everyone when walking In the
street, shoppingInthe store, andhear
ingfifth-grade boys stop playingcatch
andsay, "There goes Harold Sims, the
Chairman," after I passed them.
Of course. It was my first time to
attend such a gathering and to see a
President of the U.S. while he was
serving In the office. (We sawGerald
Fordoncewhilewaitingat the airport
for someone, but he was not Presi
dent at that time.)
Lois regretted that she was not
Included in the Invitation, but she
sawthe speeches broadcast live as a
part of the noon news on NHK that
dayand, while bothofuswere shocked
when we heard my name mentioned
by the Prime Minister, she had the
most fun because she got to receive
the phone calls all afternoon from
various church and community
friends who had heard It, from news
papers wanting to Interview me and
from friends from the past and dis
tant places with whom we had been
out of contact for years happy to get
some news about us bythat means. It
was an unforgettable experience for
us.
The securitywas tight, so I did not
get to shake hands with the Presi
dent, but I did reach the Prime Minis
ter and tell him, "I am the missionary
you mentioned In your speech." He
smiled and replied, "Oh, yes, do your
best." (A typical encouraging word
often used by politicians in Japan.)
l.b) On April 21 there were 2 bap
tisms at Mejlrodal church. Theywere
originally scheduled for Easter, but
because of sickness and Inconve
nience they were postponed for 2
weeks. The first one was Aklko Urata.
She studied English with me awhile
10 or 11 years ago, and thenwent with
her family to the NewYork City area
when her father's company sent him
there for at least 3 years. In most
cases, when childrenare inthe upper
years of school, the family remains in
DalkiKiahimoto, mlnisterofMejlrodal Church
of Christ.
Japan. Butthismandidn'twanttobe
separatedfromhisfamily. The mother
was worried about the safety of the 2
girls. But, when it was decided they
would go, she askedme to teachthem.
Akiko graduated from high school
there, and then went on to St. Olaf
College in Minnesota.
I still don't know or understand
why she went to that Lutheran Col
lege so far away from family, but she
went, graduated and came back to
Japan about 2 years ago. Soon after
that, she came to visit. She had writ
ten a letter to us every Christmas
during all those years, reporting on
her progress and experiences. She
had not become a Christian, but had
picked up some interest inand knowl
edge about the Bible and Christianity
during her college years, and started
to attend our church. But we were not
like the Lutherans that she had be
come used to and she told me she
wanted to go to a Lutheran church in
Japan.
We didn't see her for about ayear,
but eventually she came back after
getting a good job in an office where
she can use her English ability. She
said, "I went to the Lutheran church,
but they were rather cold and un
friendly to me, so Ihave decided your
church is better." By this time she
was willing to accept immersion, but
she didn't want herparents to knowof
her decision. She said she would tell
themwhenthe appropriatetime came.
The second baptism was Mrs.
Hiroko Kurasawa. She had come to
church regularlywhen she was about
high school age in the early 70s, but
had not been for about 20 years. I had
difficulty rememberingher whenshe
came to our door one day, but finally
came up with her maiden name. Her
father had died last fall, and 2 of our
church ladies who had become mem
bers way back when she was attend
ing went to the funeral and told her,
"Youshouldbe inchurch." Thissimple
statement on that occasion really
reached her heart, and she deeply
regretted that she had failed to be
come a Christian years ago and how
much she and her children, raised
totally outside of any church influ
ence, had missed over those years.
She soon began coming pretty
regularly. Often her 10thgrade daugh
ter was with her. After the first of this
year, she came and said she had told
her husband she wanted to be bap
tized and he had indicated that it
would be all right vrith him. It turned
out that he surprisedher bysayinghe
was going alongwith her to churchto
see her baptism. It was the first time
he had been inside of a church in his
l.g) From the first day of May Mr.
Takatani, a 1995 graduate of Osaka
Bible Seminary, who had been work
ing with Warren and Eileen
Christiansen in Nagano Prefecture
forayear,movedtoToi5yo. He will be
attendingandservinginvarious ways
at Mejirodai churchwhile supporitng
himself by secular work for the
present time.
l.h)Mr. Obana, now in his third
year of study at Osaka Bible Semi
nary, is preaching at Joel Home dur
ingthe months of July and August to
gain some experience and fill the
pulpit responsibilities therethis sum
mer.
l.i) Kensei Yokomizo, minister
for the past 8 years or so with
Yokosuka Church of Christ, and who
was baptized some years before that
in the same place, graduated from a
regular 4-yearcollege andfromO.B.S.,
is married and has 2 children, made
his first trip to the U.S. this summer.
He traveled as far as Los Angeles with
Harold and Lois Sims and then -vis
ited the home of Ogden and Elsie
Robbins in Yuma, AZ and the church
there. Mr. and Mrs. Robbins started
theYokosuka Churchas a home Bible
study for Japanese employees at the
Naval Base there where he was serv
ing as a cook. He put up a large
percentage of the money to buy the
property on which the church now
stands. Yokomizo-san had heard
about them, so was most delighted to
finally meet them (both now in their
late 70s and infirm). He went on to
Cincinnati, OH and, while taking a
few weeks of summer courses at the
Bible seminary there, visited a num
ber of churches in that area with the
assistance of missionaries Paul and
Kathleen Pratt.
She called us the following morn
ingoverflowingwith happiness about
the events of the previous day - espe
ciallyher husband's goodimpression
of the church people. The day before
our final Sundayat Mejirodai (May 5),
we received a large bouquet of flow
ers from him, with a note saying,
"Thank you for your kindness to my
wife."
l.c) April 2, 3 Shingo Tsuda
(graduation and ordination men
tioned in previous issue) moved into
the Joel Home to take care of the
buildingwhichhad been emptysince
Jonathan and Verla had moved out in
January. It is some distance from the
Machida Church where he is now
serving as associate minister, but
being rent free, it is a help both to the
church and him financially.
l.d)On April 30 I signed the con
tract and made the first payment on
the construction of a new church
building at Arakawa. The local au
thorities had pronounced the build
ing in danger of collapse if a major
earthquake occurred, because it was
over 40 years old and the parsonage
being upstairs and the church meet
ing room downstairs, gave too few
wall supports. Also there were ter
mites, plumbing, andother problems.
l.e) OnMaySatMejirodai church
we had an engagement ceremonyfor
Ryusuke Akioka and his girlfriend.
They plan to be married on Sept. 14.
He is working now for an insurance
companyinAsahikawa on Hokkaido,
the northern island.
l.f) On May 71 went to NHK stu
dios indownto^wnTokyoandrecorded
a half-hour program to be broadcast
on short-wave radio on May 21 world-
wide. The interview dealt with my
nearly 50 years of mis
sionary work, my im- r~"
pressions of Japan and
ofthe religious attitudes
ofJapanese people, and ^
other things. Iwassur- J01M
prised at how they en- . ^
couraged me to freely
express my religious i
motives and convic-
tions on that public,
secular station. I could
notfindanyscheduleof i
short-wave broadcasts ^ ^
inne^wspapers,etc.,dui>
ing that day when we
were in Arizona, so was
unable to hear the
broadcast. I would be
interested in hearing
from anyone who might
have happened to hear Ayakaand
it. atNaiitaAiiDC
Ayakaand Masakl Shioyasaying, 'Good-byeanddon't forget us,*
at Naiita Airport.
Left: Harold and Lois with Lara and Michelle in front of Dan's bouse in
California.
Below: Harold and Lois with Og^en and Elsie Robblns at Shraders' house in
Yuma, AZ.
Dave and Sylvia Smith with son Joshua Ben at High School Graduation in Iowa.
Harold and Lois on Earl and Willa's back porch with Joel,
Amanda and Joanna, the children of Bob and Helen.
Joshua and Benjamin, our oldest and youngest grandsons.
Left to right: Bob Cunningham, Earl and Willa Sims, Margaret Cunningham, Lois,
Donna and Harold. (Ralph Sims took the picture.)
2) Now, to answer some ques
tions people have asked us as we
have beentravelingthroughthe East
and South.
(1) "Why do you have to go
ba'cl^" There are some important
matters connectedwiththe adminis
tration ofthe Mission properties and
funds in Japan that have not been
settled yet, and I am still the Chair
manofthis "Zaidan" (non-profit hold
ing corporation, wldch was estab
lished after the death of Mr.
Cunningham in 1939). We were
hopeingJonathan would fill this po
sition, but with his leaving, someone
else must be selected and it should
be done with care, prayer and due
consultation. Also, I promised to
serve on aninterimbasis as minister
at the Joel Home until they can get
someone else. This gave some peace
of mind and encouragement to the
small group downthereinYokohama
after Jonathan andVerla left, and for
which I felt some sense of responsi
bility. I estimate these 2 things will
take until the end of May 1997.
(2) "Where are you going to re
tire?" Just recently we have made a
pretty firm decision to make our re
tirement home in Sunshine State
Christian Home in Tavares, FL. The
plan is that the ChurchinEustis, FL,
whichhas beenourforwardingagent
for a longtime andhas beenaccumu
lating a retirement fund for us from
funds designated for this purpose
from our 2 younger sons and other
supporters and from interest on CD
deposits, will buyone ofthe units yet
to be constructedthereforouruse. It
Mr. andMrs. StanleyButtray(rstirod),
RD. 2, Box 180. MeadviUe, PA 18335.
Mr. andMrs. AndrewFatton (rstirod).
#6 Tanglewood. Carl Junction. MO
64834.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sims. 4-17-30
Rokkaku-bashi,Kanagawa-kuYokohama-
shi 221,Japan. FbiwardingAgent: First
ChurchofChrist. 315E. OrangeAvenue.
Eustis. FL3272&4104.
One year donation$2.00
Tokyo Christian (USPS 776-320)
Published four times a year inJanu-
aiy, April. July, and November for the
missionaries of the Church of Christ.
CunninghamMission, Tokyo. Japan by
Mission ServioeB Association. 7525
Hodges Ferry Road. Knoxville. TN
37820-0731. Periodical postage paid at
Knoxville. TN 37601-2427. POSTMAS
TER! Send address changes to Toliyo
Christian. c/oMISSlONSERVICESAS
SOCIATION. PO Box 2427. Knoxville.
TN 37901-2427.
is calleda "life-lease." Thiswill avoid
tax and other problems and compli
cations for us, and will, of course, be
a major financial help to us. The
biggest problem in this plan is the
great distance firom all of our chil
dren. But, ofcourse, it is muchnearer
than Japan has been all these years.
Other places we looked at were quite
a bit more costly in both original
payment and the monthly mainte
nance fees.
(3) "When are you going to re
tire?" The target date for movinginto
the Florida location is July 1, 1997,
and for closing the books on Sims
Tokyo Mission about Dec. 31,1997.
(4) "Didn'tyoualreadyshipsome
of your furniture and belongings to
the U.S." We shippedveryfewpieces
of furniture. Most of our things had
been used for 30 years or more and
were not worth the high cost of ship
ping halfway around the world. But
we did ship 94 cardboard boxes and
20 other packages from our house in
Mejirodai onApril 26. The shipment
arrived inShelbyville, KYonJune 24
and is now stored in Bob's garage.
Most of our clothes and a few small
things areatJoel HomeinYokohama
and still in the Mejirodai house, and
some of those will go later ina much
smaller shipment next year.
(5) "HowandwhatareJonathan,
Verla and Benjamin doing?" They
recently were called to the ministiy
of the Christian Church in Goldfield
(NW) Iowa. We askthat you prayfor
them during this time of another ad
justment and ^rpe of work.
Notices
Malcolm McCall, a retired Sher
iff of Lake Coimty, FLhas been serv
ingmost faithfully as ourforwarding
agent for a goodnumber ofyears. He
is now retirement age and is busy
taking care of his aged mother's af
fairs, so wishes to give up this job.
We thank himfor his zeal and faith
fulness and carefulness during this
long time, and, of course, he served
totally on a voluntary basis.
The newforwarding agents will
be Mr. Reuben and Mrs. Connie
Nichols, who are also members of
the First Church of Christ in Eustis,
FL. He is the son of the late mission
ary Edgar Nichols, who served in
Tibet, S. Africa and other areas ofthe
world and she is the daughter of Dan
andJo Rothwho have served as mis
sionaries inHawaii andinothermin
istries in the U.S. They bothwork in
dailyjobs in Eustis, but have agreed
to do this work for us also.
The address of the Sims from
September will be:
4-17-30 Rokkaku-bashi
Kanagawa-kuYokohama-shi 221
Japan 413
Tel. (from U.S.): 81-45-413-2200
Tel. (inside Japan): 045-413-2200
We don't have space here for a
report on our trip so far, so perhaps
that will have to wait imtil our next
issue orthe Christmas letter. We are
onthe schedule outlined inthe April
issue, and still plan to return to Ja
pan on Sept. 17.
Before you move, please send the mailing label with a copy of your new address to
MISSION SERVICES ASSOCIATION. PO Box 2427. KnoxvlUe. TN 37801-2427.
Form 3579 Requested, PO Box 2427, KnoxvlUe, TN 37901-2427.
Christian
'Co ye into all the worid and preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15
Volume 95
November 1996
Number 4
SIMS' NEWS
Back in Japan
New Arakawa Church Building Dedicated
During the 4 months we spent on
a furlough in the U.S., the workmen
were going on steadilywith construc
tion of a new building in crowded,
working-class Arakawa ward on the
north side of downtown Tokyo. Be
fore WorldWar II, there was a church
there for some years which was de
stroyed, alongwith the neighborhood,
by the bombings during the last year
of that war.
During our early years in Japan,
when we lived and worked at
Mikawashima, about 10 or 12 blocks
fromthis place, I usedto go overthere
sometimes to Sunday Evening meet
ings inthe home of a pre-war member
of the congregation. They were poor
and had several children who would
usually be sleeping at the rear of the
crowded "upper room" where the
group met for Bible study and prayer.
But Mr. and Mrs. Ushiyamawere zeal
ous and devout. One daughter was
named Ruth (pronounced "rutsu" in
Japanese). When the little girl en
tered first grade the mother and fa
ther both worked, so they sent her
alone. The teacher didn't know that
was a Bible name and concluded that
the child had gotten the sounds back
wards and her name was
"tsuru," which means "Crane" HB
inJapanese.andisconsidered ^H|
aprettyand even lucky name. ^^9
The mother discovered this
when she attended the
daughter's graduation from
elementary school. The
daughter hadenduredthe mis-
takeall thoseyears, because it HH
is not educationally OKin the HH
Orient to correct a teacher. I
also, onone occasion, was able
to meet the aged former pas-
tor of the church. All of these
folks have passed onfromthis
earthto eternal life manyyears
ago, but the fruit of their lives
continues.
The former building was
erected in the early 1950s. But in
recent years, it hadbadlydeteriorated
and the ward fire department and
other officials hadvisited andwarned
that it wouldnot standanearthquake.
We concluded that it should be re-
builtinstead ofmerely"repaired." The
church could not afford the cost, so
the Yotsuya Mission, which owns the
land and building, signed the con
tract to build a somewhat smaller
building.
There were two unexpected "hap
penings" afterthis decisionwas made
- one bad and the other good. The
good one was that a neighbor (non-
Christian, but friend of the Suzuki
family) had renters move out of an
apartment just three or four houses
down the street from the church and
offered to let the preacher's family
live there during the construction
periodand evenchurchservices to be
held in the apartment for a very low
cost - most convenient and much ap
preciated offer. The bad thing was
that the building companies are now
required to take soundings and
borings of the land to determine if it
will support the building, and the
conclusion was that this land did not
New Arakawa Church building.
qualify. It is sandy, because a major
river runs not far away, and this was
part of the original basin. So they
were legally required to mix concrete
with the soil to a depth of several feet,
and the cost of about $15,000. The
small church of about 20 members
had been saving up some money to
buya cemeteryin the future, and they
sacrificedthat andgave some more to
meet that need, and the work pro
ceeded.
The new building has a small au
ditoriumthat will seat 36 people com
fortably on the pews and a few more
in the aisles, entrance, etc. The fam
ily living room doubles as a cry-room
for mothers and small children, and
the family kitchen can also be used
for church meals - they put a pass-
through place in the wall for that
purpose. Also, the toilet and bath
room are downstairs. The Suzukis
have 3 children: a boy in 7th grade, a
girl in 4th, and a boy in 1st.
The father's name means "First
Grace," so each of the children's
names contains the Japanese charac
ter for "Grace," which is, of course, the
daughter's name. The three children
have small bedrooms upstairs. Also
upstairs are a study for the
I preacher and a room for the
wife (a Jr. High School
teacher) to teach piano les
sons. It is compact, but well-
designed and built. They are
_ very happy and thankful to
Shavethe nice newhouse and
we are happy for them.
The building was com
pletedonSept. 20 andthe dedi
cation was Sunday, Sept. 22.
That day the biggest typhoon
in some years hit ToIq'o with
very high winds and heavy
rains, hittingthe peakinearly
afternoon as peopleweregath
ering. We left Yokohama
shortly after noon, but the
train was going much slower
thanusual becauseoftheweather, and
we barely got there in time for the
service atwhichI wastopreach. Mr. S.
met us at the trainstation. But as I got
out of the car in front of the church, a
giist of windcaughttheumbrellaI was
opening and ripped it to shreds in a
second. Iwassoakingwetbythetime
I got in the door, and the preacher's
wife tried to diy me out a little with a
small hair diyer before I spoke.
As usual at dedications, the chim:h
was filled withpeople. All ofthe mem
bershadpreparedweUandwerehappy.
But the best thing is that they had
invited the non-Christian neighbors
on all sides, andtheyall came. One of
themtold me theyhad beenwatching
and wanted to see the inside. That
little gesture should count for some
thing in evangelismin the future, be
cause it was the first time for most of
them to see a Christian worship ser
vice. The text I chose was "Salt of the
Earth, light of the World."
After the service was over and
most had looked through the build
ing and gone back home, they or
deredin eel for Lois andme and other
special guests to eat. As we were
leaving the church the typhoon weis
going on north and the western sky
was a beautiful orange. The trains
were still running very slowly, so we
were a little late getting home. The
whole area near the station was just
carpetedwithhundreds ofbrokenand
discarded umbrellas, but it was a
memorable andhappyfirst Lord's day
back in Japan.
Yokomizo (Yokosuka
Church) News
The July issue told about the
preacher of Yokosuka Church going
to the U.S. with us la.st May at his own
expense and visiting the couple who
started that church who now live in
retirement in Yuma, Arizona.
He went on to Cincinnati, Ohio
and was able to audit three different
one-week summer courses in the
Seminaiythere. Withsome helpfrom
missionaries Paul andKathleenPratt,
he was also able to visit a number of
churches of various sizes in that part
of the countiy. But he received a
phone call from his wife duringJime
that his father was seriouslysick, and
had to change his plans to visit other
people and places in the U.S. and
make arrangements to fly back to
Japanas earlyas possible. He arrived
in Japan the day after his father's
death, but was able to attend the fu
neral. We were traveling and heard
the details of this much later.
Not long after we returned h:om
the U.S., he came to visit us, and told
us that his two children had asked to
be baptized, and he had done that on
Sept. 15. Of course we were all veiy
happyto hear about that. He also felt
his trip to the U.S. was veiy worth
while and educational in everysense
in spite of the unexpected call to re
turn to Japan and the lost money in
changing discoimt tickets, etc., that
he had to do.
Saku Christian Center
Begins
Warren and Eileen Christiansen
have lived and worked in a small
town in Nagano prefecture (where
the 1998WinterOlympicswillbeheld)
for some years now. The largest city
in that area is called Saku, and they
have wanted to start a work there for
a long time, but rent costs have been
a big problem.
This summer the owner of a 2-
stoiy buildingWarren had been look
ingat toldhimthat hewouldgive him
a special price - less than half ofwhat
he had been asking - because he
couldn't find suitable renters at the
higherprice. Sotheynowhavetheuse
of a location near the city office with
some parkingand a location that any
one would be able to find easily.
Warrenhas beendoingthe neces
sary carpet laying, dividing wall con
structionandotherworkhimself. This
includesfommoveablebookcasesthat
will divide themainupstairsintoclass
rooms duringthe weekand serve as a
back-drop for the pulpit for Sunday
services. The first floor will include a
coffee house on one side and a ping-
pongtableonthe othermakingit easy
for yoimg people to come for the first
time and mixtogether.
Theyare alreadymakingplans for
using the space almost eveiy day for
various classes andotherevangelism,
including moving some English
classes they have been teaching at
home andother places to the newcen
ter.
This place is not too far from our
camp and we hope that some young
people reached through these meet
ings vrill also go to the camp.
Fifth Sunday Rally at
Minato Church
On Sept. 29, from 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.,
the Minato Church hosted a Rally
attended by about 50 people. That
church is much closer to where we
live nowthan it was from Hachioji. It
is on the north side of Yokohama -
same city. They had asked me to
speak about things I had seen and
experienced during our 4-month trip
to the U.S. I used the text from Isaiah
54:2, "Lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes," which was
the theme of the MarUe, IN Faith
Promise Rally in August. I also told
them about several of our living-link
churches which have supported us
faithfully for half a centuiy, which
was an inspiration to all of them.
It was a great joy to see a good
number of old friends we had not
seen for half a year or more and visit
with them briefly and be welcomed
with open arms and hearts on this
side of the Pacific also. It has been a
most blessed year. Several chiurches
had veiy few representatives there
because of various activities at the
local places. Forinstance, one chiirch
had men comingto remove roof solar
panels, which had been dislodged by
the typhoon winds of the previous
week and were about to slip off the
roof.
The organist was NaokL Akada,
thesonofthepreacherat Ontachiurch.
He is nowa Senior in college and has
takenup pipe organ studies thisyear.
It was annoimcedthat he has decided
to enter Seminary and study for mu
sic related ministry next year. (His
father once told me when Naoki was
in high school, he "only plays the
guitar and doesn't study" and was
worried that he wouldn't be able to
pass the entrance examination for a
good college.) But it seems that his
music appreciation has improved
quite a bit in the meantime.
Hosting the meeting for the
Minato people included preparing
rice and noodle dishes, fresh pears
for dessert and a g^eat bigpot of pork
seasoned vegetable soup for supper
for all after the preaching. Stephen
lijima was there and looking very
well at 75 after several operations
during the past year.
Visiting Mejirodai
Again
On Oct. 6, Lois and I left Joel
Home about 7:30 a.m. for the bus and
train trip to Mejirodai to attend the
worship service there. It was Lois'
first time to see the house, church
and people there since early May. (I
had been once on a week day to load
andmove somemore ofourstuffdown
to Joel Home.) It was a very great joy
to us toseethosefamiliarfaces again,
and to visit briefly with many before
and after the worship service.
Mr. Saito was in Egypt on busi
ness for his company and Mr. and
Mrs. Ito and some others had other
engagements and had left word they
could not attend. But even so, there
were 32 people present, which was
about the average before we left. It
was encouraging to see that the
people are keepingfaithful andthere
are few changes. God has blessed
with a smooth change-over.
Many of the people brought cov
ered dishes - macaroni saladwas the
most popular that day - and we en
joyed a good fellowship meal with
lots of talk andlaughs until near mid-
aftemoon. Then Bro. Kishimoto took
us to the hospital to visit Mrs. Morita,
who had suffered a stroke on August
6. Her left side does not function, but
her mindwas clear and conversation
happy and her face showed the joyof
seeing us again. After that we were
taken to the nearest railroad station
and made our way back home. An
othergoodwelcome home again day!
Making Ourselves at
Home at Joel Home
We left Portland, Oregon about
2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 16 and,
after a 10-hour routine flight, with
out any night, arrived at Narita Air
port about 4 p.m. on Wednesday,
Sept. 17. The International Date
line is the only explanation for that.
Bro. Kishimoto met us and
brought us to Joel Home, where Mr.
and Mrs. Oka were waiting to greet
us. We put our suitcases down,
visited a little while about the trip,
and then they took us down to a
Chinese restaurant at the bottom of
the hill for supper. When we fin
ished it was before 9 p.m. in
Yokohama, but according to Cali
fornia time by which we had gotten
up at 4:30 a.m., it was now almost
exactly 24 hours since we had been
abed. So, when we got home, we
just dropped into bed and off to
sleep.
For several days we would wake
up in the middle of the night and we
were always sleepy before normal
bedtime, but we soon got over the
jet-lag. We began unpacking and
settling in right away, of course, but
it is hard finding places to put stuff
and deciding what to put where.
Lois has been doing very well in
getting the kitchen organized, and
we have emptied a good number of
the boxes we used in packing for
the move from Mejirodai down here
4 days before we left for the U.S. But
still there seems to be a lot to do. So
we just try to do a little every day
and be happy about that.
The greatest inconvenience was
not being able to find our knives,
forks and spoons. Finally, when we
had some rainy and cool days and
felt the need for umbrellas and rain
coats and other shoes than the ones
we had taken to the U.S., I called
and asked when Bro. Kishimoto had
some free time. On Oct. 2 I went up
to Mejirodai by train and we filled
the van we used to use with the
above-mentioned items and several
boxes of the number we had been
unable to load on the truck back on
the moving day in May. In one of
those boxes we finally found the
"silverware." So almost every day
has an added joy of finding some
thing or finding a good place to put
it.
We have worked out a schedule
for me to preach here eveiy second
and fourth Sunday. Mr. Oka will
preach on the other Sundays. Lois
will take turns with Mr. Oka's daugh
ter in playing the piano for the ser
vices. One Sunday a month we plan
to visit Mejirodai, and the other Sun
day we will leave open in case I am
asked to preach at another of the
area churches. The attendance now
is averaging from 7 to 9 per Sunday,
counting us.
We don't have a caryet. There is
a chance we may be able to rent one
for these months from a missionaiy
family we know that has 2 cars, but
we have felt we are getting good
exercise by walking more than
usual, and we are saving the ex
pense of toll, parking, taxes, etc.,
related to owning a car in Japan.
The only trouble is that all the steps
in the stations getting up to the
platforms and changing trains are
hard on Lois' knees.
The neighborhood here is dif
ferent from Mejirodai in that houses
are much closer together, there are
many more hills and valleys to walk
up and down and the streets seem
to be so much narrower. But we
have been pleased and surprised at
how people greet us in stores and
along the street and seem to know
that I am Jonathan's father by the
resemblance. They are also helpful
about delivering things, telling us
where stores are located, etc. So we
want you to know that we are get
ting along all right and getting ad
justed well.
Summary of Sims'
Summer Furlough
I have a one-word reply to the
Japanesefriends who askme howthe
U.S. trip was. In Japanese the word
"yokatta" means something like, "it
was verygood," andthat wouldbe the
best summary. We needed a break
from the tensions of the final year at
Mejirodai; we wanted to attend the
first wedding of one of our grandchil
dren; and we felt the time had come
to decide ona placetoretire. Wewere
able to do all of that and had way
much more than anticipated of good
laughter, memories of old times and
newexperiences day after day.
We were away from Japan 128
days. Of those we spent 48 nights in
the homes ofour 5 children, 29 nights
in the homes of brothers, sisters,
nieces, cousins and other relatives,
37 nights in homes or motels which
had been arranged for us by the
churches we were visiting - many of
themwithfolks about ourages (which
made for good conversations, meals
that matched our ages, etc.), 6 nights
in the homes of personal Mends of
long standing but not directly con
nectedwith our supportingchurches
and only 8 nights in motels where we
paid. Talk about the gift of Christian
hospitality! We received it in abun
dance and style! This is inadequate,
but we want to thank each one again
for putting up with us and our heavy
luggage, and going the second mile
in truly entertaining us and sharing
your homes and lives with us.
We were privileged to visit 26 dif
ferent churches, ranging in average
Simday a.m. attendance from less
than 50 to 700 or above, and got the
feel of a cross-section of our brotheiv
hood in 16 different states. We were
also on the campuses of four of our
Bible colleges (during summer vaca
tion) andat LakeJames. Wesawmost
ofourfellowJapan missionaries who
nowlive in retirement inthe U.S. and
sawJonathan and Verla at their new
place of service in Goldfield, LA.
Again, it was veiy good.
We bought a 13-yearold Buick
Riviera from an elder of one of the
churches inthe Des Moines areawho
keeps Sylvia and Dave's family fur
nished with used cars, and drove it
over9,000mileswithout anyaccident
andonlyroutinerepairssuchasbrake
linings, shock absorbers, etc. At the
end of the trip we sold it to Dave and
Sylvia for half of what we paid for it,
and both sides were happy with the
deal. Averaging over 100 kilometers
per day of driving amazes the Japa-
We know that many people on
both sides of the ocean were praying
for us, and we thank God for His
gracious guidance, guarding pres
ence and good care. We do not feel
we suffered reverse culture shock, as
someJapanese feared for us sincewe
had been over here so long, and we
also did not feel indanger of our lives
from criminals, as we might imagine
after watching news. In general,
people were gentle spoken and kind
to us in service stations, restaurants
and other places not connectedwith
church and, of course, this was true
in churches.
We were able to watch part of the
Atlanta Olympic games and the 2
major party conventions on TV also,
although that was not a main goal of
the trip. We think we didn't even
gain anyweight this time, which will
please our doctors. The whole sum
mer reminds us ofthe oldstoryabout
thefourth gradegirl inSundaySchool
who was asked by her teacher what
she wanted to become in life. Her
answer was, "A missionary on fur
lough."
Hope, MelindaandTomSchmidt onAugust 3 (Melinda's wedding
day) at South Milford Church of Christ in Indiana. The groom was
Brian Mayo of Greenwood, Indiana. Both are students at Cincinnati
Bible College.
Part of our family gathered under the old apple tree onTomand Hope's farm after
the wedding.
Stanley and Mabel Buttraywhen we visited in
their home in Meodville, PA on July 17. This fall
they both will be 82 years of age.
Mr. and Mrs. StanleyButtray(retired),
R.D. 2, BoxlSO. Meadville, PA 1B335.
Mr. and Mrs. AndrewPatton (retired),
#6 Tanglewood, Carl Junction, MO
64834.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sims, 4-17-30
Rokkaku-bashl,KanagawarkuYokohamar
Bhi22i, Japan. ForwardingAgent: First
Church o(Ghrist,3iS E.Orange Avenue,
Eustis.FL327284104.
One year donationS2.00
Tokyo Christian {U8P8 776-320)
Published four times a year in Janu
ary, April, July, and November for the
misaionarleB of the Church of Christ,
Cunningham Mission, Tokyo, Japan by
Mission Services Association, 7525
Hodges Ferry Road, KnoxviUe, TN
37920-0731. Periodical postage paid at
Knoxviiie, TN 37901-2427. POSTMAS
TER: Send address changes to Tokyo
Christian, c/o MISSIONSERVICESAS
SOCIATION, PO Bo* 2427, KnoxviUe,
TN 37901-2427.
L.toR.: FosterSizemore.RichardBurtonand
Dan Eynon, veterans of the Lake James School of
Missions, present for its 60th week at the end of
July. It had been 50 years since my first visit there
as a recruit in 1646.
Harold Sims with Andrew and Betty Patton at
Ozark Christian College on Labor Day weekend.
Andrew is now 76.
Before you move, please send the mailing label with a copy of your new address to
MISSION SERVICES ASSOCIATION, PO Bo* 2427, Knoxviiie, TN 37001-2427.
Form 3579 Requested, PO Box 2427, KnoxviUe, TMT 37601-2427.
CHRISTMAS LETTER 1996
Dear Friends,
Our memories of this year divide into 3 distinct, different &good
parts: 18 final weeks in Mejirodai and the preparations for moving out
18 weeks visiting family and friends in the United States
8 weeks (at this writing) back in Japan settling in to Joel Home.
We joyfully acknowledge our loving Heavenly Father's guidance and
care during the thousands of miles traveled and the hundreds of varied
experiences, and are also thankful for the host of family and friends
new and old who opened their hearts and homes to us. May God's loving
care be ever more deeply recognized by all of us as we celebrate the
birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, and approach the start of a
new year and the end of the second Christian millennium,
t Jan. 1-May 10. Winding up at Mejirodai.
- Preached 8 times at Mejirodai, and 4 times at other area churches.
- Baptized 2 people. Participated in the ordination of Shingo Tsuda.
- Had 4 deacon's and 2 congregational meetings about various business.
- Attended 8 meetings with missionaries and Japanese preachers.
- In April had final meetings of Hon. afternoon and Tues. AM Bible
study groups. Lois finished her Eng. classes, and her ladies chorus
group of 8 closed with a very happy birthday party for her on Mar. 4.
- Attended 3 Board meetings and March Graduation Ceremony of Japan
Missionary Language Institute, and resigned as Chairman after being on
the board for over 20 years.
- Attended 11 small committee, 3. large comm. and 1 general meeting of
the Neighborhood Association, as well as 6 funerals and 6 other public
functions as Chairman & Representative. Duty ended April 28,
- Went to Osaka Bible Seminary for my final meeting of the Counsellor
group, on which 1 had served some years as secretary and also the
graduation ceremony for 3 young men on Mar. 29.
- Mejirodai Church held a "Thank You" luncheon for us on Mar, 20 at a
rented hall, with attendance of 160 friends and a memorable program.
- Just before this a 100 page book about our years in Japan which 1 had
written during last year was published by the Mejirodai church, and a
copy given to everyone who attended the meeting and other people.
- On April 18 Harold was invited to a luncheon with President Clinton
and Prime Minister Hashimoto, along with 100 other Americans and 100
Japanese who had "contributed to Jap.-Amer. understanding and good
relationships during the post-World War II 50 years." My name was
mentioned in the Prime Minister's speech, much to ray surprise,
- This led to interviews with 3 newspaper reporters and articles in
them about our lives and work, and also a 30 minute radio program 5/21.
- Jon and Verla and Benjamin left for the U.S. on Jan. 9. 1 took over
temporarily his treasurer job with our Yotsuya Mission Corporation, and
spent some time on business connected with that, including the annual
business meeting on Apr. 9, making the report to the government office
arranging for a Mejirodai member who works in an office to do the
bookkeeping, and signing a contract for a new church house in Arakawa.
We appreciated the help various people volunteered in sorting,
packing and moving, Sylvia came on Jan. 12, and stayed until Feb. 5,
packing and listing contents of 30 cardboard boxes of pictures, dishes
and keep-sakes from Lois' almost endless accumulation of those things
in drapers, boxes and closets. Also we had a lot of laughs and she was
able to visit a good number of personal friends in addition to the work.
Daniel came Feb. 9-11, and spent most of his time packing our records
and other music tapes etc. Robert came on business April 19-29, and
was a great help in sorting through my tools and other things in the
shed and packing the final stacks of books and doing some heavy lifting.
He was here to see the stuff loaded on the truck, so he could size up
the job to come when it got to his house in the U.S. on June 24. It is
now stored in his garage.
I worked increasingly long times in the study from early in Feb.,'
sorting through 12 filing drawers and the desk and all those shelves.
We kept to the system Sylvia began, and reached box #60 on Mar. 21, our
49th anniversary, #79 on Apr. 23 and #94 the night of 4/25, before the
Allied Truck came the next morning. They packed 10 additional pieces
of furniture and boxes of best dishes, and that part was taken care of.
As soon as the truck pulled out, we began filling our packing room
and other space with boxes of things to move to Joel Home, and some of
the ladies from Hejirodai church spent hours helping Lois pack stuff
from the kitchen, throw out many things and prepare for the move to
Joel Home in Yokohama. Also the Rishimotos began moving some of their
things into the now almost empty study, the church, yard etc.
Sun. & Mon. May 5,6 is like a blurred fast-forward tape in our
memories, and it would take another letter to describe everything. I
preached at a well-attended morning service, and following that the
people had a carry-in lunch and a sort of farewell meeting for us with
speeches and a sizeable monetary gift. A good number remained to help
with the final packing etc. for our move, and also many people from the
neighborhood came with gifts or for brief farewell visits with us, and
there was some picture taking.
Mon. morning early I went to pick xip a truck Lhad rented for the
move. When I got back home with the truck, the house was full of folks
there to help us. Some younger men carried things down from upstairs
and started stacking our bed and some other furniture into the truck.
After the truck was packed, and they were tying the ropes, Lois opened
the upstairs window and called that they had taken her high-blood
pressure medicine. She probably needed it more that day than any other,
but we couldn't get into it then. One van had already left, and the
truck pulled out well before noon. Lois came in the second van load.
When we got to the Joel Home in mid-afternoon we had great difficulty
in even getting all the stuff under roof. The bed-room was stacked
with boxes to the ceiling, and we could barely squeeze by them into bed
that night, but at least we were moved. We had left 20 or so boxes in
Mejirodai. When I went back by our former house on the way to return
the truck at dark that day, we definitely didn't live there anymore.
The remaining days were very busy trying to get a little settled into
the new and smaller house, and taking care of necessary Mission
business before leaving. Also during that time I had an interview on
the Japanese radio about my impressions after 50 years living in Japan.
We spent all day May 8 packing our suitcases for the coming trip.
On May 10 some friends from Mejirodai came down here and drove us out
to Narita airport where we checked in and left on time,
n May 10-Sept, 16 Visiting Family and Friends in the United States
(This was our longest time spent in the homeland since way back in 1968)
5/10-16 we were in Danny and Jean's home in Orange County, OA. getting
over jet-lag, swiniraing and playing with the 2 little girls, shopping
and sight-seeing. We were in church with them at Mission Viejo on
Mother's Day, and also waded in the Pacific at Newport Beach after that.
Kensei Yokomizo, the minister at Yokosuka Church was with us until there,
and ru^hied on to Yuma, Ariz, and Cincinnati where he attended 3 weeks
of the summer sessions at the Seminary there.
5/17-19 was spent at long-time supporter First Christian Church in Yuma
Ariz. I preached at the 3 morning services there on a topic suggested:
[Why I Went, and why I Stayed] and we greatly enjoyed the hospitality
of the Shraders home, including eating grape-fruit from the tree in
their yard and stimulating discussions with them and the Missions
Committee, of which she is a very active and capable Chairlady.
5/20 we were driven to Tempe by Ogden Bobbinsa retired Navy cook who
was instrumental in starting the Yokosuka Church when stationed in the
base there over 40 years ago and is still deeply interested in it.
There we visited old friends Lester and Donna LeMay, and enjoyed
talking of days when Donna was one of the girls in the dormitory Lois
was overseeing at C.B.S. in 1953,54. The following day they took us to
North Phoenix to visit Rheba Pratt Bledsoe, who has supported and
prayed for the work in Japan for many years, and kept up correspondence
with one of our Japanese preachers regularly through his long ministry,
5/21-23 Lois' sister and husband Alex Havelicsek picked us up there and
drove us to their home in Cottonwood for a good but brief visit: Walks
in the morning, going by the church they attend, where the minister is
the son of former missionary A1 Hammond and was born and raised in Japan.
5/24 we flew to Kansas City. Not one empty seat on Memorial Day week
end. Sylvia met us and drove 3 hours up to their home in Cumming, Iowa
that night. This completed the first half of our round-trip air-plane
tickets for the trip. We were greeted with the shocking news that Dave
had recently been fired by the church where he had been for some years,
but they seemed to be coping well, expressed no bitterness, and
certainly had many other things to think about in those busy days,
5/25 Sylvia took me over to the auto repair shop on the other side of
Des Moines operated by an elder in one of the cities Christian Churches
where they buy their used cars and get them repaired. She and the
elder had picked out a car they thought would be suitable for our
travels from that point: a 1983 Buick Riviera. I wrote a check for
$2,000 on the spot, and went home with the light blue car that many of
you saw us using for about 9,000 miles of summer travel in 15 States,
5/26 we worshipped with 28 people in an organ store in Des Moines
(which folks who had left the former church because of dis-satisfaction
about the way they treated Dave and other things had arranged to use as
a temporary meeting place). After a quick sandwich lunch at the house
we went in several cars to the High School Graduation Ceremony for son
Joshua. It was a small-town school, with 46 Seniors, and a very good
down home spirit among all attending. All 4 grand-parents were there
to share in the celebration, and we were proud of his part in the music
and that he received a $500 scholarship to Iowa State University.
5/27 there was an open house reception planned, so from early AM Lois
and I help Sylvia and the 2 children clean the living, dining rooms and
kitchen and preparing the refreshments. From 1 PM various friends,
(including some of Sylvia's Japanese lady Eng. students) neighbors,
class-mates teachers and church peopletotal of 67people visited the
home and brought gifts and congratulations. A very good day.
5/28 we had Japanese style lunch in the nice home of one of Sylvia's
friends, met several of the others whose husbands work for Bridgestone
Tire Co. etc.
5/29 Lois had arranged through a Japanese doctor both she and Sylvia
know to have a medical check-up at the large Methodist Hospital in Des
Moines, and she got some prescriptions. That afternoon we went to the
"Madison County" seat to get the license plates for the car. That
evening we took a walk and picked wild asparagus beside the road which
was part of daughter Rachel's birthday supper.
5/30 we drove up to Ames to visit Jonathan, Verla and Benjamin in the
apartment they were renting and talk about job possibilities etc,
5/31 on a cool, rainy day we began our many miles in the car. We spent
that night with long-time friend Velma Held in Davenport, lA.
6/1 we crossed the Mississippi at flood stage and drove for miles just
inches above flooded fields in the Rock River part of Illinois and on
across Indiana in rainy weather to brother Earl and Willa's house in
the western side of Cincinnati, Ohio. A little late for supper because
of the time change, but wonderful talking when we finally arrived,
6/2 we attended Clovernook Christian Church Dorcas/Everyman (Senior)
Sunday School Class and the large worship service. Yokomizo-san was
with us for the day. Lunch with people from the class. In the after
noon we went to Paul and Kathleen Pratt's apartment for a visit, and
that evening we attended Western Hills Church,
6/3 I did some business in Cincinnati, banking, registering to vote by
absentee ballot, replacing head-light on car etc, and in the evening we
went back over to Clovernook for a meeting with the Missions Committee.
6/4 Lois and Willa went shopping and I went to CBS to walk around the
familiar but changing campus and talk with some who were there on those
summer days. We ate lunch at Skyline Chili.
6/5 we had lunch with the D. Langs and talked about retirement matters
and other things and stopped by Chr. Rest. Assn. for some business.
Earl and Willa showed us around possible living places in that area.
5
6/6 Helen and the 3 grand-children came up to Cin, to visit, and they
wanted to play checkers with Grandpa. The littlest one (Joannah 5)
beat me. That night Earl's son Scott & family came over to visit some.
6/7 we had lunch with old friends Charles & Velda Matthews and drove in
rain out to visit Mason Christian Village and some friends there.
6/9 we were at Alexandria, Ky, for the morning services, and that night
we went down to Rising Sun, Ind. to attend the closing program of their
large Vacation Bible School and visit nephew Andy and family who at
that time was dressed in a borrowed Delta Airlines uniform as^Captain
of the airplane". He is the minister of the the growing church there.
6/10-12 the 4 children of Alfred and Grace Sims and their spouses met
at Wonderland Hotel, near Pigeon Forge in the Smoky Mountains for some
good times talking together on the front porch and around the table in
the dining room, and seeing Cade's Cove, Dollywood and some other shows
and scenery and heraring some very good music while in the area. A
black bear came out of the woods and got into the garbage dumpster in
back of the hotel almost every night.
6/13-16 we stayed with Ralph and Donna in Johnson City, and were able
to visit both of their children and the 3 grand-children. We had
breakfast with the Missions Committee of First Christian Church on Sat.
A.M. and then were at the 2 morning worship services on Father's Day
and gave brief updates on our work and future plans. We met several
old friends there, including cousin Bert Allen. That afternoon we
enjoyed a visit with Nellie Leigh Brown at the Appalachian Christian
Village, and were surprised at her memory of all our children's names
and other things from years ago when she lived in Charlottesville.
That evening we visited the church in Greeneville where Ralph ministers
part time and spoke about our work in Japan to a large group.
6/17 we drove to Atlanta Christian College, looked over the much
improved campus, and spent 2 nights in the lovely lakeside home of
President & Mrs. Ed Groover. Supper that evening with them and his
parents who have been close friends for half a century.
6/18 Mrs. Ruth Groover took us to Christian City to see the facility
and so we could ask about things connected with retirement there.
6/19 we drove down to Bainbridge where the church folks had prepared a
supper that included peach cobbler pie and ice cream. We spoke to a
good group of interested supporters there, including Mrs. Belote (96).
Good renewal of fellowship after the passage of some years.
6/20 we drove down to Eustis, Fla. through heavy rains part of the way,
and forwarding agent Malcolm McCall and wife met us and escorted us out
to Sunshine State Christian Homes where our friends had arranged for us
to stay in an eim>ty apartment there, and had even stocked the refriger
ator for our use.
6/21,22 we relaxed, checked in at the church office and spent some good
times with Kenneth and Ethel Bain, who lived across the street from us
there. I walked with some residents there in the mornings. Sat. AM
all who were there that week ate breakfast together and we met many.
6/23 I preached at the morning worship in Eustis to a large crowd.
It was 53 years (to the day, I think) since I had been ordained on the
same spot, and a great reunion with some old friends. We were invited
to lunch with Bains and McCalls, and in the evening service we heard
the young people report on their trip to a ClY Conference at Milligan
College. Two girls had decided to go to College there, and 2 of the
young men sounded like good preacher candidates. After the service a
good group went together to a Wendy's place for food and fellowship.
It recalled the "Friendship Circle" we used to have there every Sun. PM
over 50 years ago. A happy day.
6/24 1 drove down with Mr. Bain and McCall to the Church Development
Fund of Fla. office in Altamonte Springs to talk about our Tokyo
Mission business and our retirement plans. Bill Twadell there is a
former minister in Eustis and old friend also.
6/25 Lois had a h^ad-ache. Mrs. Bain had been measuring her blood"
pressure with her machine, and it was too high, so a doctor's appoint
ment was arranged for that afternoon. She went every day that week
before it began to go down to somewhat normal levels, but we were
appreciated very much the attitude and help the doctor gave us.
6/26-28 we had meals and visits with friends from years past, and on
evening we went with friends to Mid-Lakes Christian Church for their
supper and Bible study and some fellowship with the folks there.
6/29 we drove up through the national forest to Jacksonville. We
stayed with Bill and Betty Halliday who were new friends and wonderful
hosts for several days. He served in the China theater in World War 11,
and was an interesting person and interested in many things.
6/30 we visited 2 morning services and a Sunday School Class at Engle-
wood Christian Church. Again that night there was a report by a youth
group on a trip they had made to KCC.
7/1,2 we wrote letters etc. during the day, and Tue. PM we had a
meeting of the Tina Circle at Halliday's house, with 18 present for the
meal and some talk about Japan. Lois wore her kimono. It was the
first time that a real live missionary had visited one of the circle
meetings in the church there, and they had prepared well for it.
7/3 we drove up through Georgia to Athens and the home of Brad and
Polly Allgood. She was in school with us, and we exchange Christmas
letters, but we hadn't met face to face for 50 years. We spent the 4th
there with them, sight-seeing around the area and watching local fire
works at night, and meeting their relatives and friends, including the
brother-in-law of Donna. She arranged for us to talk by phone with
other friends from days at Atlanta Christian College days.
7/5 we drove across to Raleigh, North Carolina all day, and spent one
night with my cousin, Welford Sims and family. First time to meet his
wife and daughter and see their nice home.
7/6 to Charlottesville, Va. Church had reserved a Hotel room for us.
7/7 AM 1 preached at First Christian Church which has supported us from
the beginning of our work. The number of young people who don't know
us has noticeable increased, which is encouraging. They serve donuts
coffee and juice before services, and had a covered dish lunch for us.
7
Another cousin from Louisa also came to see us at church that day.
That afternoon we drove to Northside Church in Newport News, where I
lived from age 3-13, and was baptized 62 years before. I spoke at the
evening service at 6t30 PM. There were a few present who were old
enough to remember back that far, and many went to a nearby Waffle
House to eat and talk after the service. We spent several nights with
old friend Louise Butler in Hampton.
7/8 we visited some old friends in nursing homes in the area,
7/9 we spoke at a combined ladies Circle meeting in the morning, and
enjoyed lunch with them before driving up into Louisa County to the
farm home of distant cousins, the Wares.
7/10 I spoke to a large Prayer Meeting at Bethany Christian Church
where my grand-father had been an elder.over 100 years ago. It is the
oldest of our churches in that state, arid still a country church.
7/11 we enjoyed a drive through beautiful northern Virginia and around
part of the Washington D.C, beltway to the home of Mark and Gayle Brooks,
Lois' niece where we stayed 2 nights. The first night we ate dinner at
the home of her brother Bruce Havlicsek in another town in Maryland.
A happy visit with some of the next generation who are active
Christians and their children whom we hadn't seen for some years.
7/13 at mid-afternoon we got to Lois' sister's home in Irwin, Penn.
I preached at Turtle Creek church the morning of 7/14, and we enjoyed a
lunch and fellowship time in the church basement following that,
7/15-19 I got some needed repairs and service done on the car, and we
caught up a little on letter-writing etc. as well as some rest. We
could only talk with Norma when she was home from her real estate work.
We enjoyed a wonderful evening with one of Lois' girlhood friends, and
contacted some other friends by phone, including one couple from Japan.
7/20,21 we went to Warwood Church in Wheeling, W. Va. I was shocked
when they looked up their records and said it had been 17 years since
our last visit there. We stayed with a member who lived near the church,
and a young couple took us out to supper Sat. PM at a place beside the
rain swollen Ohio River. The next day they had a baby boy. I spoke at
the Bible School hour and at both morning and evening services on Sun.
7/22 we went down to Kentucky Christian College, and spent the night
with Penny Boggs who used to work with us in Japan and is now Dean of
Women there. We also enjoyed some time with Missions Professor
Gemeinhart looking at his extensive files and records.
7/23 about 4 PM we got to Bob and Helen's house, and saw our boxes
which had arrived from Japan on June 24 and were neatly stacked in his
garage. Her parents were just ending a visit there, so that night we
all ate out on their deck, and the children were happy with 4 grand
parents, I played a little catch ball with Joel in the yard till dark.
7/24 we went to a puppet show with the children in the AM, and did a
little record keeping etc.
7/25-27 we drove up to Lake James to attend part of the School of
Missions. I was the speaker on Friday night. I attended that meeting
for the first time way back in 1946, as a recruit. We had brief visits
2
with Hope and girls during that short time in northern Indiana. Got
back to Ky. in time to watch a large hot-air balloon launch in late
afternoon. Watched some Olympics on TV during those days also.
7/28 we attended SS and church with Bob, Helen and family, and at PM
that evening I spoke about our lives and work in Japan to a good group.
7/29 we went with Helen and the children to a park called Kentucky
Kingdom, where we swam and got wet in a sudden rain storm.
7/30 Bob and I went to see Joel play in a little league baseball game
which they lost in the last inning.
7/31 we drove down to Bardstown, Ky. and after seeing the well
-preserved home that inspired Stephen Foster's song "My Old Kentucky
Home" we saw the dramatized musical story of his life in an outdoor
amphitheater on a beautiful summer night. Home about mid-night.
8/1 we all packed and did other work in preparation for going to the
wedding in northern Indiana. We drove steadily up to Rendallville, Ind,
by about 3 PM Aug. 2, and 4 couples stayed at the same Motel overnight.
The rehearsal was that night, and afterward the bunch of us got
together and had a lot of laughs. It was Josh's 18th birthday also.
8/3 was the wedding day for Mindy (Hope's second daughter) and Brian
Mayo. The weather was fine, the ceremony was beautiful, and we were
happy that so many of our family were able to be there for the happy
event. It was good to meet his parents and many others there in the
small town of South Hilford, Indiana.
8/4 we all gathered at Hope's for a "house church" worship service.
The group of 19 filled the living room chairs and floor and sang with
good volume and harmony one after another many old hymns we could
remember one verse of, and we also had the Lord's supper, prayer and a
short sermon. That afternoon most left for various destinations,
8/5 there was a big rush to get borrowed things taken back to where
they belonged, stuff delivered for the girl's 4H contest etc. Sylvia
and her 2 children who had come started back to Iowa that afternoon.
Tom was busy combining in the fields all day.
8/6-10 we stayed at Hope's place doing some letter-writing, phoning in
connection with plans for the rest of the trip and also helped some
with the house-work and enjoyed talks with them when opportunity came.
8/11 we spoke at Garrett Church in the morning. Grand-daughter Becky
is on the Missions Committee there. We spent the afternoon with her
and attended their VBS program in the evening.
8/12 I got some repairs done on the car and watched the opening night
of the Republican Party Convention on TV.
8/13 we went to Becky's apartment for supper and visit, and watched TV
again after walking around the neighborhood.
8/14-18 we were in Markle, Ind, for the annual Faith-Promise Rally. I
spoke at the Fri. evening session, and we were thrilled at usual at the
promises made after the Sun, AM service. We enjoyed spending time with
old friends there, and making new friends also. One afternoon a group
went up to Ft, Wayne to visit the Lincoln Museum there. Interesting.
We ate lunch and supper each day at the church there.
8/19-23 we stayed at Hope's house. The 2 girls started school on lues,
and Becky also enrolled for part time graduate study 2 nights a week in
Ft. Wayne. Hope applied for a job as Teacheer's assistant at the local
school where her daughters attended, and is now happily doing that.
Tom's parents came over one day and we enjoyed visiting with them. A
couple of calls and some mail came from Japan, starting us on plans for
return and even some schedules for after we got there. One night we
drove up to Lake James for a Senior Citizen's program, which we enjoyed
very much. Several members of the family and some friends called from
different places to wish us well on our trip back to Japan.
8/24 we drove across Indiana to Munster. In Gary we got lost on a
detour, and saw some of the "lower side" and felt in some danger before
getting back on the right road and going the rest of the way safely.
We spent 2 ni^*with Tappersnew friends near our age who took us
out to Cedar Lake and Michigan Lake shore to look across to the Chicago
skyline in the sunset The time we had for talking with them was prime.
8/25 I spoke at the First Christian Church at Munster that morning, and
we enjoyed lunch and visiting with the Missions Committee at a
resturant in the area and sightseeing in the afternoon.
8/26 we drove down 1-65 the long way across Indiana and into Kentucky.
Stopped at the Visitor Center to get a map, and were persuaded by the
man there to go to Abraham Lincoln's birthplace which was right on the
way to Campbellsville, Ky. where we were to spend the night with Ray &
Mattie Mings whom we hadn't seen for 15 years. We really enjoyed that
night in their nice home, with Japanese cherry tree in the front yard.
8/27 we directly through the country "over hill and dale" to Mammoth
Cave. After eating lunch we checked the tour times and decided on a
cruise along the river where we saw some blue herons, deer and other
wild life and a short cave tour. During thelatter, a thunder-storm
turned off the electricity for a while, leaving us in total darkness
and hearing rushing water. We spent that night in Bowling Green, Ky.
8/28 we drove all day, through heavy traffic around Nashville, and on
across to Memphis. We got to a Motel there in late afternoon, to find
out that our friends from Mississippi who were to meet us there had not
been able to come because of illness. But we were too tired and out
and unfamiliar with the area to attempt any sight-seeing or Jazz
listening that night. We called our friends and talked a while.
8/29 we drove across The River, Arkansas and all the way to Carl
Junction, Missouri and Andrew & Betty Pattons place by about 5 FM. He
was getting over a laser operation for kidney stones, but was feeling
well enough to enjoy some good laughs and talking about time in Japan.
8/30 we went to the Ozork Christian College, attended a faculty lunch
as they were starting another school year and visited with some old
friends there and at the nearby Spring River Christian Homes.
8/31 Patton's son Phillip came from Oklahoma and I helped him clean up
the yard and we enjoyed a good visit. Also Stephen stopped in briefly.
In the evening we visited the Tibbs Maxeys and had more laughs.
9/1 we enjoyed speaking both AM & PM at Iron Gates Christian Church and
h
also lunch with Sharon and her children after the church services,
9/2 (Labor Day) we visited John Hill, former missionary to Korea, Don
and Mrs, Whitman, who taught music to Lois 50 years ago and she hadn't
seen him since and in the evening we went to the home of Cloyd and
Helen Christman who lived in Japan over 40 years ago and showed us some
most interesting slides he had carefully saved from those days.
9/3 we drove up Sylvia and Dave's place. We had driven 8440 miles
since pulling out of that drive-way on May 31. Over the next few days
we did some sight-seeing of John Wayne's birth-place and locations for
the movie "Bridges of Madison County", some letter-writing and sorting
and packing for the trip back to Japan. Sylvia and Dave were busy with
their jobs and Suzi was started in school. I even went to their first
High School foot-ball game of the season on Fri. night. Josh was in a
fraternity house in Ames busy getting adjusted to college life, but we
managed to see him a couple of times, at-home and at the University.
9/7,8 we drove from Gumming up to Goldfield where Jon, Verla and one
year old Benjamin are now living in a nice parsonage next to the Park
Church of Christ in Goldfield (about 100 miles north of Des Moines).
We enjoyed hearing Jonathan preach in the morning worship to the
congregation of about 40, and also teaching a Bible study at night to
about half that number, and getting to know a few of the people there.
9/9 we finally had an appointment with a dermatologist to look at some
spots on Lois' face she had been worried about for a long time. He
operated on the worst one right then, and treated the others.
9/10 was a local election for school board, and the neighbor for whose
election Dave had been working won. Lois went with Sylvia to her class
for Japanese ladies. We were packing for return to Japan daily then.
9/12 in the afternoon Sylvia drove down to Kansas City with us, and we
spent the night in a Motel, and played a farewell game of Scrabble,
9/13 we went by fully loaded plane to Salt Lake City, changed and on to
San Francisco a little delayed because of the weather there. As we
stood to get off an announcement said,"Passengers Harold &Lois Sims:
the agent is waiting for you at the top of the ramp with a message."
It was from Donna Crane in Napa, saying they could not come into the
city to meet us, but telling us to come by bus and time and place for it^
We got our baggage and went to the place. When the bus showed up I
waved ray hand saying we wanted to ride, and then in excitement turned
around quickly, tripped over the curb-stone and fell flat on my face
shattering the right lens of my glasses. But we got the baggage on and
made the trip to Napa OK and were met by George Crane, who had just
been out of the hospital a few days after some heart trouble. That
night we ate a supper of salmon he had caught, vegetables raised in
their garden and rice (returning to Japan) on their patio. LIVING!
9/14 we drove up the Napa Valley to Calistogagreat scenery, good
company, perfect weather. We ate a picnic in a park up there.
9/15 I taught an adult Bible School Class and was introduced in both
crowded morning services and met some people in between those times.
9/16 we left on the bus before daylight for the, return plane trip.
The first day in Napa, by the way, I was able to buy temporary
glasses that served until I could get back to Japan and get the others
repaired. Napa has given us good welcomes and send-offs often.
Ill Back in Japan, Settling in at Joel Home.
9/16,17 we had a long and routine day in airplanes to Portland and then
Tokyo, with no empty seats. There was no night-time, but because of
the date line it was Tue. afternoon when we arrived. Delta Airlines
had notified Narita that Lois' legs were bad, so they had 2 girls with
a wheel-chair waiting for us at the top of the ramp, and we breezed
through the Customs process with much better than normal speed, and
were met by Bro. Kishimoto and driven to Yokohama in our former 8
passenger van, arriving at Joel Home not long after dark. Mr. & Mrs.
Oka T?ere' waiting to greet us, and after unloading our baggage we all
went down to a localTChinese Resturant to eat supper and answer their
questions about our trip. By the time we got home and into bed we had
been up for 24 hours, by California time, but this is now Japan time.
9/18 we spent all day sorting through mail that had accumulated over 4
months, and straightening things up in the house. In mid-afternoon the
Japanese version of UPS delivered a bunch of flowers from a Japanese
friend and a package we had mailed from Hope's place.
9/19 we went to the local Ward Office and started the process of
changing our residence from Hachioji to Yokohamaneeded for health
insurance and various other purposes.
9/20 I spent the day in Tokyo doing important Yotsuya Mission business,
including making the final payment on the new Arakawa Church building.
Felt we were quickly getting back into the pattern of life in Japan,
and we were eating more and more Japanese food regularly.
9/22 we were here at Joel Home for the morning service, and soon after
the service left for Arakawa Church, where I was to speak for the
dedication of the new building at 3 PM. The center of Typhoon 17 was
to pass over Tokyo in early afternoon, so it was pouring rain when we
left the house, and the electric train was running very slowly because
of high winds, but Mr. Suzuki, the preacher met us at the station, and
took us to the church. When I got out of the car and raised my umbrella
a gust of wind tore it to shreds, and I was soaked by the time we got
in the church door, but we made it. The church was full, in spite of
the weather, and the best thing was that quite a few were non-Christian
neighbors whom the members had invitedmany in a church for the first
time in their lives. Mrs. Suzuki tried to dry my suit coat with her
hair dryer, and we went ahead with a service full of thanks and Joy.
No one will forget the weather that day if this building lasts over 40
years as the previous one did. When we started home from the church,
the setting sun was shining brightly under the still gray overhead, and
when we got off the train in Yokohama the sidewalk was paved with many
dozens of discarded, broken umbrellas from the winds of the typhoon.
9/23-28 we spent more time getting settled in the house here, and some
pulling weeds in the yard. One large bush was blown over in the storm.
25th I again spent most of the day in Tokyo on Yotsuya Miss, business.
IZ
On my birthday (27th) we went to a Hotel to talk about a temporary job
they wanted me to takeperforming weddings in their Chapel on
Saturdays for the remaining months of this year. After I accepted that
temporary job, we went to hear a classical music concert at the Suntory
Hall (our first time to be in that famous place with the large organ).
9/29 I preached here at Joel Home, There were 8 attending, including us.
In the afternoon there was a 5th Sun. Rally at the Minato Church, and I
was asked to tell them about our trip to the U.S. There were about 50
people there, and we enjoyed seeing many of our friends for the first
time since returning and also the good supper served by the local
church people. I used the Theme of the Markle Faith-Promise Rally
[Lengthen your cords. Strengthen your stakes] (Isa, 54:2) as the text.
9/30 we had cold rain all day, and it was the first day to use heaters
here. The approach of fall was in the air.
10/2 I went back to Mejirodai for the first time since Hay, Rishimoto-
san helped me to load up the van with some of the things we had left in
the house there since spring, including coats and other things we would
be needing soon. He drove down here with me, and helped unload the car
full of stuff into our house and ate supper and visited with us a while.
That day the refrigerator here quit on us, but we soon got it fixed,
10/5 I did the first weddings at the Hotel on the waterfront of Tokyo
Bay, and have done a few every Sat. since then.
10/6 Lois and I left here early and went by trains to Mejirodai where I
preached for the morning service, ate lunch with the ones who were able
to stay and then some of us went to visit Mrs. Morita who was in the
hospital recovering from a stroke, but able to talk and happy to see us.
10/8 we carefully marked out absentee ballots for the U.S. election and
sent them off at the P.O.
10/9 I went to Hachioji and did various business at several offices
that was necessary for changing our residence, tax-base etc. to Yokohama.
10/11 we had the a missionary prayer meeting at Tim & Lisa Turners place.
10/13 I preached again at Joel Home. Nine attended. That week I sent
material for the fall issue of the Tokyo Christian,
10/15 Lois went to a hospital in this ward, easy to get to by bus, and
established contact with doctors for her blood pressure and knee
problemsdifferent sections of same hospital. She is going regularly
now and seems to be doing OK, She gets good treatment one of few
foreigners, it seems.
10/25 Tim 8 Lisa came down to visit in the evening, and are lending us
their small car to use during the winter. The stairs when changing
trains are hard on Lois' knees, We were planning to get along without
a car, but appreciate very much this kindness, and have used it a lot.
Perhaps this will be sufficient to let you know that we are settled
pretty well into life here in Yokohama, and keeping busy and things are
going along perhaps better than we expected, We value very much your
friendship, letters and prayers for us.
Yours sincerely,
r o I d ._a.n d . L Q i s..