Entering a famous shrine in Kyoto (near Osaka).
Made of stone, this "gate" is the largest in Japan.

"We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one." 1 Cor 8:4 Though sceptical of realizing results, millions of Japanese visit these shrines and temples throughout the year to literally bow down and pray to gold statues of Buddha. Of course the true God does not live in something made by human hands but is known through receiving Jesus. He is the bridge to having a dynamic relationship with the one God of the universe.

I'd like to take this moment and give David Wenzel a great big round of applause.   Isn't his updates and commentaries excellent?   Our summer in Osaka Japan has truly been wonderful.   You've seen some of the highlights via our friend the digital camera, but perhaps the most significant effects can not be captured on the internet...

Feeling the affirming love of a brother after hours of conversation, the smile of a long-term missionary encouraged, the exhilaration of secretly reuniting two lovers 7,000 miles apart, the refreshment of learning how to rest in Christ, the high privilege of explaining Jesus to new Japanese friends, the joy of contributing to the lives and ministries of each other. This is what will be remembered.

Other images that come to mind...

Sweat (man it's hot here), John Piper books, family bike rides (not to mention wrecks, impoundment, and sabotage), Mister Donuts theme song (can I buy the soundtrack?), storytime with Greg Durgin, the flaming birthday cake, and David "the Ladies Man" Wenzel. Ask him later.

Finally, we request your prayers as we travel to China from here to learn about the people, culture, and religion. Looking forward to sharing more with you later. Re-entry into the United States will occur on August 21st.

And now, back to David...