Friday, December 07, 2007

Random pics...

When I was a little girl my Mommy used to wash my hair this way every once in a while. I LOVED it. I don't know why but there was something so sweet and special about it. While we were gone it was easier to wash her hair like this instead of getting in the shower where it was really COLD! She loved it too, and was so happy when I would do this. I loved doing it for her too!!!


Her eyes looked so sweet when she was eating her ice cream. I love this pic!

Newsletter December 7, 2007

Christmas Christmas Christmas!

Christmas REALLY snuck up on us this year. We did some Christmas concerts over the last week and it doesn't really seem real that it is ALREADY that time of year again. It isn't that cold yet this year, and it just seems like summer was over yesterday. But what a blessing the season has been so far!

I am so thankful for a Christmas party we were able to have with my Bible study ladies from Shionzan kindergarten. Everyone brought something to eat, and we had a great time singing, discussing the story of Mary getting news of Jesus from the Angel Gabriel, and EATING! There is nothing like sharing food to draw a group together for fun and fellowship. Please keep praying for these ladies, they discover something about the Bible and God at each Bible study. And the group is growing! We had 10 in attendance for the Christmas party, when we started the year with just two ladies!!!

We will be having our Kitakyushu Community Christmas worship this coming Sunday! Next week we will do a concert for a Christian hospital facility. Next weekend we will travel a few hours by bullet train to the Okayama area for a Christmas concert, and then it is back home to do several Christmas events in our own church. Please pray that all of these events will be used in a huge way by God so that many Japanese would realize the true meaning of Christmas!

Also praise the Lord with us for his protection during our travels and his incredible provision for us. On our last trip we accidentally left a bag on a train, and it had valuables in it that were important. We were able to get the bag retrieved by a train employee before it was discovered by anyone else and all our belongings were returned to us safely! Thank you LORD! Please continue to pray for safety as we travel some more over the next weeks.

Below are some pictures from our last big trip to Aomori prefecture...

Our friends we met in New Zealand years ago who were the connection that brought us to Aomori! It was so great to see them again!

HALF of the audience at one of our concerts!

The cafe/bookstore attached to the church.

Hana's little buddies! These guys were great entertainment for her all week (or was it the other way around???)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Newsletter November 28, 2007

Fall is moving into winter, and we are moving on into the Christmas part of our concert schedule.

We just returned from one AMAZING week WAYYYYYYYYY up North in Aomori prefecture. It was cold and snowy, but full of blessing and fun. We did 12 concerts in 9 days, and ate lots of lots of Thanksgiving dinner (most of the concerts were dinner parties with turkey and all the fixings)! What a blessing to see the amazing ministry of Martin and Ruth Ghent, their 5 church plants, and more! We learned some of that area's dialect of Japanese too which is sooooo different, I couldn't believe it was actually the same language. But most of all LOTS of seekers and first time attenders were exposed to the Gospel. Please pray for those who were in attendance that God continue to work in their hearts and allow those churches to reap a harvest of many new believers in the months ahead, for the Kingdom and glory of God!

Now we move into December and Christmas concerts. We have something every weekend, and special Christmas meetings on weekdays too. Please pray specifically for the Christmas party with my Mother's Bible study at one of the kindergarten's where we teach. This little group of ladies have really enjoyed the Bible study as we meet monthly and I am hoping that this simple little gathering for Christmas will give us more of a chance to get to know them and share more with them.

We always appreciate your prayers for safety as we travel so much this time of year. May the Lord be glorified in all that we say and do!

For Him in Japan,
Rocky, Marla and Hana

Friday, October 26, 2007

Newsletter October 26, 2007

This week we just want to show you a little bit of us in action! We had a charity concert for Pro-Life Japan and here is the highlight video... ENJOY!!! (oh and please leave us a comment, we love to hear what you think!)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Newsletter September 30, 2007

The weather finally seems to be seriously cooling off for fall this week. Just in time for us to head into our fall concert schedule.

We just finished two days of concerts for a revival at Rocky's parent's church. It was great, and this sort of feels like the starting line. From here on out (until Christmas) we have concerts pretty much every weekend, and some scattered throughout the weekdays also.

We appreciate prayers for health. As the weather cools down, days are comfortable and warm and nights sometimes are cool. This constant change in temperature can sometimes get some of us down with colds. Something we don't need during the busy fall season. And on top of that, for the first time in over two years Marla is suffering from some kind of pollen allergy (we think). Praise God, it has not turned into an infection, but the constant sneezing, stuffyness, sinus pressure is exhausting. It also sort of gets in the way of singing! We survived this weekends concerts but complete and total healing would be our prayer! Would you pray along those lines, that God either heal the allergy or take away the allergen!!!

And last, but certainly not least, since we did not make our regular yearly tour back to the US this summer to tell everyone about our ministry here in Japan, we have begun to run low on support! We praise God for all of you who support us on a monthly basis or with regular special gifts -- THANK YOU SO MUCH! You are such a blessing, we could never express how thankful we are. Usually our yearly trip to the States brings in lots of special offerings as we speak and sing at churches each week. Without that income, this year our funds are lower than we'd like to see them. We would like to ask you to prayerfully consider giving to Aroma Ministries! A special gift, or begin supporting us on a monthly basis, whatever the Lord leads you to do? If you'd like to know more details about our budget needs, please don't hesitate to send me an email...

If you'd like to give, here is a link to PayPal where you can send support online.

Or send checks to
Aroma Ministries
801 XIT Dr.
Littlefield, TX 79339

Friday, August 24, 2007

Newsletter August 24, 2007

WOW! How do I even begin to sum up all that we experienced on the road the last two weeks!?

We just returned from about two weeks on the road and it was an amazing trip! We made our way, 10 hours by car, up towards central Japan by car and stopped for the weekend to do ministry at one church in Toyohashi. The Sunday morning worship and Sunday evening concert were a huge blessings. We were so blessed to meet and get to know this wonderful church full of really strong believers. God is obviously at work in their church.

Then we made our way 5 more hours by car to Karuizawa, a popular summer vacation spot for the Tokyo area. There in Karuizawa, is a Christian conference center and we were blessed to be worship leaders for a missionary annual meeting there. We had a GREAT week! Karuizawa is supposed to be really cool temperature wise, in the summer, but it was pretty HOT this year. But we had an awesome time of worship and fellowship with the T.E.A.M. missionaries in Japan for almost a full week! What a GREAT mission, filled with incredibly faithful, awesome missionaries. We were sooooooo blessed!

Then we made our way back to Nagoya for 4 days of ministry with our friends Shinichiro and Shoko Saito at Hirabari Baptist Church! WOW, this was an action packed four days! We had morning and evening events EVERY day. From Asanagi and RaM's Voice concerts, to a "Let's Play in English" meeting, a child raising seminar and a cookout! We were so blessed to watch as the whole area Baptist association joined forces to make all those meetings possible. We even passed out flyers every morning at the local train station. In all, over the four days, 200 people total attended events at the church. WOW!!! MORE and MORE blessings!

Thank you for your continued prayers. We are back home and hoping to recover in the next few days! Don't forget to check out Hana's blog if you get a chance, she turned 3 years old on the 22nd! Can you believe she is already three? We can't believe how fast the years have flown! We are still so thankful for this precious daughter the Lord brought into our family!!! She did so well on the trip and had so much fun, she did NOT want to come home!

More news soon! Thanks for reading and praying.
With Love from HOT and HUMID Japan!
The Ayatsuka's

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Newsletter July 22, 2007

A VERY Blessed Summer (and it has just begun)

We were so blessed over the past week to have CMA with us! WOW, what a blast. This group of girls absolutely loves the Lord and rejoice in using their gifts and talents to praise Him and spread the Gospel. They had a Worship Dance Workshop in Fukuoka, which was a great blessing over there. They then came to Kitakyushu do dance ministry. They danced at schools, churches and had one big event at a concert hall. All of their activities were so blessed. They also led two purity seminars! It is such a joy to know a group who loves so serve and praise God with their whole lives, just as we do. To watch them dance will give you "Jesus bumps" ALL OVER, and brings tears to my eyes through out every song. Some pictures of their major concert here with us can be seen here at Check out more about them over on their website, CMA! There is a video of their ministry here in 2006 that is awesome, and check out the Japan 2007 link and read their mission log to keep up with them while they are in Japan!!! They left today for their next destination... (Tiffy, Lysa, Mimi, Gwen, Hannah WE MISS YOU ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!! Hana cried after y'all drove away)

From tomorrow, we are at it again! We go to a three day camp with Seinan Jr High/High School! Pray for us as we worship, teach and play on the beach with the girls from this school that is so precious to us. This is a rare opportunity for us to minister to the girls up close since they usually see us only from the stage during chapel once a month or so.

And last but not least, don't forget to order your copy of Rocky's new CD! It is awesome and will bless your socks off!!!

We'll be in touch soon...
Love from Japan,
Marla, Rocky and Hana

Sunday, July 08, 2007

***Official Release***

The day you have all been waiting for has finally arrived! Rocky's new CD is hot off the presses! It arrived today...

Artists: Asanagi (Morning Calm)
Rocky Ayatsuka - playing 1980 Martin D-28
Shuhey Nishino - playing 1994 Gibson "Gospel" Reissued

Although several years apart in age, Rocky and Shuhey were born and raised in the same area and attended the same church where they both came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Although they were on different paths in life, they both developed a passion for praising the Lord and sharing His greatness through playing the guitar. These two have come together to record their debut album, a work of instrumental praise and worship music. May this CD be your companion as you spend time alone in prayer, share a meal or special time with family and friends, when you are preparing to end your day, or as you start out each morning. May it especially encourage you in dark and stormy times as you journey through and at last experience the "morning calm" on a beautiful "peaceful morning".

CD Title: peaceful morning

Genre: accoustic guitar - traditional hymns

01 We Praise You, O God
02 This is My Father's World
03 Holy, Holy, Holy
04 Amazing Grace
05 Tsumi yurusareshi (forgiven sins)
06 Old Rugged Cross
07 O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
08 Christ, the Lord Is Risen Today
09 I'd Rather Have Jesus
10 Redeemed
11 Great is Thy Faithfulness
12 God Be with You
13 Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

In Japan - 2,500 yen (plus shipping and handling)*
In the US - Suggested donation $15 (US$)*** (plus shipping and handling)*

Payment may be made in US dollars through check or online with a credit card or money transer through PayPal. In Japan, postal money transfer. When you place your order, further payment information will be provided.

When placing an order, please copy and paste the following "form" into an email and send it to...

Address: (please include full address including country!)
Number of CD's:
Method of payment: check, Paypal online, Postal Money Transfer (in Japan), or please specify if none of these are possible from your location.

***This CD is made availabe in the US through Aroma Ministries a non-profit religious organization. All donations are tax exempt in the US and welcome for the use of furthering the Gospel in Japan and to Japanese people around the world

* Shipping will originate from Kitakyushu, Japan. Cost may vary according to your location.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Newsletter June 11, 2007

Things are heating up, not just with the weather, but in our ministry too. We are busy little bees around here!

Rocky's CD project is very near completion! The recording is done! YIPPEE!!! The design for jacket cover, CD cover and all the other bells and whistles are almost done. They had a photo session yesterday and that went well. And I can hear him upstairs doing some last editing on the sound in the studio right now! They will hopefully have it all off to the printer and press in a week or so! You guys are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE this album! The music is incredible. The notes just dance and play with each other, and it just makes a grin spread across your face! Pray for the last minute details, AND get ready to order YOUR copy! We'll let you know how you can do that very soon.

This summer is gearing up to be a very busy one, as usual. One exciting aspect of the summer is the return of our favorite dance ministry CMA! Please pray for the process as they prepare from Colorado, raising support for the trip and all the ministry to be done here. And also pray for the Japan side of things as we prepare for events, sleeping arrangements, meals, travel logistics, etc. It is going to be an amazing couple weeks of ministry again. Please check out CMA's website of their ministry with us last year CMA Japan 2006! The 2006 Highlight video is awesome, we especially recommend that!

Thank you so much for all your love and support!

Blessings from Japan,
The Ayatsuka's

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Newsletter May 30, 2007

May has simply flown by! Where did the time go? We have been very busy and are so blessed with so many opportunities to serve God!

A couple weekends ago the Family Band did a concert in a city five hours drive from here. After that concert I had the priviledge having a long, deep conversation with a woman who is really seeking. She had lots of questions about difficult issues, like why does God allow some terrible things to happen, how can we believe creation instead of evolution, etc. I really enjoyed talking with this candid and brutally honest lady and by the end of the conversation we both agreed, we felt like we'd known each other for years. Would you please lift her up in prayer. She is so close to believing, I think all her questions are just a last ditch attempt to talk herself out of taking that one step of faith! I know she will believe, or actually I think she already does, she just hasn't realized it yet! Please lift her up in prayer.

We are still busy with chapel services and concerts and appreciate your prayers for effective messages and witness, protection from illness and while traveling, and for wisdom in using our time wisely.

Lastly, I mentioned a few weeks ago that a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses were frequenting our home. We met with them once, and they have become so curious about our faith, one lady in particular shows up often with questions FOR us! It cracks me up. Anyways, she is dilligent about visiting our place and we often don't have the time to talk with her. Please pray that we can continue to be a witness to her!!!

Blessings to all, we'd love to have you make a comment here on the blog or get a personal email from you from time to time. Thank you for praying!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Newsletter, May 9, 2007

Sorry it has been so long. There is so much going on here! I don't even know where to start.

First of all praise and thanksgiving for God providing us with new kitchen cabinets and stove! We REALLY needed it, especially the stove, since the old one was dangerously old and rusting. We are so thankful because the Lord provided it with perfect timing and a miraculous price! You can "see" the kitchen over on Marla's blog.

The new school year has begun and that makes us busier for some reason! We have also been asked to speak at another Christian school's English chapel on a regular basis. So now we speak twice a semester at the school I was originally employed with, and twice a month at another Christian school in town! It is such a blessing to get a chance to speak to young people and connect with them. Please pray that God provides opportunities for us to meet and interact with the students outside of chapel as well!

Rocky is nearing the completion of his newest CD project, an accoustic CD of hymns done as a duo with another very talented guitarist! You guys are going to LOVE this album. It should be out by early July, so get ready to get your copy. I get to listen to them practicing and recording all the time and let me just say, this album is powerful!!! Please pray for all the details involved in wrapping up the project, the last few recording sessions, mixing and mastering, Cd cover design and finally printing and pressing. You'll be the first to know when we have the finished album in hand!

I'll leave you with those two requests this week although there are so many things the Lord is doing around us, I'll save some for the next newsletter! We would love to hear from you if you have a chance leave a comment or send us an email!

Many blessings,
Rocky, Marla and Hana

Monday, March 26, 2007

Newsletter March 26, 2007

Wow, what an awesome weekend we had!!!

Our good buddies Takako-san and Gen-san were married!!!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!! We are always so excited when God creates another Christian home. Not only that but the ceremony and reception were powerful witnesses to all in attendance. Jesus was so glorified on their wedding day before many friends AND family members who do not yet know the Lord. Pray with us for the many seeds that were planted this weekend through these guys. Especially pray they can continue to be a witness through their marriage, to their families!!! We are so excited for you Auntie Tako (and you don't know it yet, but Gen-san, you are now Uncle Gen, Welcome to the family!!!)

The next item of business is the exciting thing happening through Afureru! March's Afureru! was on Sunday evening and it was awesome. I was most excited to hear a testimony from one of the participating pastors. Today he baptized a young man in his church. During the young man's testimony he shared that it was at an Afureru! meeting he confirmed his faith in Christ! We often don't know when these things happen, and it is always such a pleasure to hear that God is using the things we do in this way. PRAISE GOD!!! Please keep praying for this ministry as God works through it in so many ways!

Blessings and Love from Japan,
The Ayatsuka's

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Newsletter March 3, 2007

I can not believe it is already March! It is already started to warm up in Japan after an unusually mild winter and we are doing great!

We are continuing to work on the Purity ministry that I mentioned in our previous newsletter. Please continue to pray as we meet monthly and work on how best to get started. God must work to make it all happen and to draw the people in to the seminars, so please pray that He will guide us and make the way.

March in Japan is when the school year ends and there are a few weeks of vacation before the new school year begins in April. Our work at the two kindergartens where I teach English and Bible, will warp up in these next few weeks. Pray for the students and Mom's of students that we will lose contact with as they move on to elementary school and outside the realm of our ministry. Pray that the things of God that they have learned will stay with them and they will continue to seek Him, mother and child alike!

Since we moved to this area we have had Jehovah's Witnesses visit often. They ALWAYS seem to come at a time that we can not talk to them, because we are too busy or on our way out the door, etc. My heart goes out to these ladies that so diligently go door to door to share what they believe. They are so bogged down in the law and works of that religion's teachings. This last week, I finally just made an appointment for them to come back when I can sit down and talk with them. Rocky has agreed to be here and help me out too. It is sort of comical, because they think they are coming to "evangelize" me, but it is really the other way around. Would you pray for us, as they come this Thursday morning to talk with us. Pray that our peace and joy, our faith and assurance in Christ will shine through as we relate to them.

May God bless you all!
Rocky, Marla and Hana

Friday, February 16, 2007

Newsletter Feb. 16, 2007

Happy belated Valentine's Day everyone!

We are so blessed to be living in Japan sharing the one TRUE LOVE with the people of this nation. Thank you for praying for the first meeting regarding our new purity ministry with Afureru! The meeting went REALLY well, and we look forward to preparing the materials for this ministry. As we have talked with other leaders and ministers in the past weeks about this ministry, everyone is so excited to hear that we are taking on this topic and can't wait to get their hands on the materials we develop OR have the team come and do a purity seminar for them. This ministry really has the potential to make a huge impact, please keep praying!

As I have done research over the past couple of weeks, I have been painfully reminded of the devastating consequences of not following God's guidelines for sexual purity. It has hit really close to home for us this week, as we recently found out that a friend is in a very difficult situation regarding this very topic. I can not give the details in order to protect this person's privacy, but would you pray! PLEASE PRAY for this person and the difficult decisions that have to be made.

I want to end there this week and thank you for your prayers and constant love and support of our work here in Japan!

Blessings from Japan,
The Ayatsuka's

Friday, February 02, 2007

Newsletter Feb. 1, 2006

Time just flies by, I'm so sorry it has been an entire month since I posted a newsletter. Just when I thought things were slowing down, we have stayed steadily busy!

Just a couple of prayer requests for you to keep in mind...

The monthly worship meeting called Afureru! that we lead is really being blessed. The leadership team especially is becoming a solid group with strong bonds and unity in our passion for ministering for the Lord. The girls have decided to embark on a new ministry... purity! Last summer when the ballet team from Colorado was here, they lead a couple of purity seminars and we all saw what an incredible need there is for this type of ministry in Japan. The Afureru! leadership team girls will be meeting tomorrow evening to begin to lay the ground work for this ministry. Please pray, we are starting from scratch and need to develop materials, decide HOW to get the word out about the program, when and where to hold seminars, etc.

I have been having a small weekly English preschool group with Hana's friend Corkey and some of his Mom's friends. We are restructuring the preschool meeting to twice a month on Saturdays so that children starting preschool this Spring can still attend English preschool. We are also planning to introduce more intense Bible story teaching, prayer time and some Bible time for the Mom's too. Please pray that the changes will be positive and that all of the currently established group will continue to attend. And of course pray that more exposure to the Bible will reach the children's hearts and especially the heart's of the Mothers. Pray as Yukie, Corkey's Mom, and I, try to evangelize these Mom's!!!

Blessings everyone, we hope to hear from you also!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Newsletter January 4, 2007

WOW, what a CRAZY month December was. Oh, by the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We had a pretty full concert schedule for the Christmas season, not to mention kindergarten activities a the two schools where we teach Bible and English, our own church's activities, and more. At each event God was working in powerful ways, and we trust He will continue that work.

It didn't all end with Christmas day either, we had a three day retreat just before New Years and THAT was awesome too! The worship was amazing and we connected with some other believers from all over the country including some awesome people also in ministry.

While at the retreat the television station that did a show about us 2 1/2 years ago called and wanted to come do a follow up, THE NEXT DAY! So we returned home from camp to a house full of cameras and television crew. They stuck with us for three days and the show will be on next week. Pray that God uses this show to speak to many Japanese about FAMILY and Christianity, plus ADOPTION! Many Japanese know nothing about adoption and have never seen a family like ours, a house full of love with God as the center. I can't wait to see how the program turns out. We'll update you on the response.

I was especially excited about how much we got to share with the camera crew. Seeing our lives up close really spoke to them. I had a great conversation with the director who confessed that she felt nervous coming to film us since Hana is adopted, she didn't know how to act or what to expect. She said that it was so refreshing to see that we were such a normal family and Hana is obviously loved and cherished. The host comedian who shared a couple meals with us an interviewed our family asked lots of questions about Christianity and cried when she saw Hana's adoption video. She seemed really touched and affected by getting to know our family! Please pray God continues to work in the hearts of the crew!

If you are receiving this newsletter in Japan and would like to watch the show, it will be on at 7 pm Jan. 9th, the station is TeleV Tokyo. It will NOT show in Kyushu unfortunately, but will air all over the rest of the country.