BIMI

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Facility, and Pastor Dick Hall came to visit us with one of the men of the church and told Michiko that she was the answer to his prayers.   He had been praying for four years for an old Master Sergeant with a Japanese wife who would be the church secretary.  Michiko tried to beg off by saying that she was a baby Christian but he said her job would be easy and he would help her.  Little did she know.  She was at it for the rest of the seven and a half years we were there.   It was at Yokota Baptist Church that our family grew as Christians, and I received my call into Military Construction. David Williamson and his wife, Mary, are the other half of the Military Construction aspect of Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI).  We met at Yokota Baptist Church in the fall of 1987 and were part of the original six deacons Pastor Hall called for the church. While Brother Bill Griffin was our Interim Pastor, Brother Dave was impressed that we should finish the 36' by 44' upstairs room that was known as “The Hole.”  It had one small door, one bare light bulb, and years of dust on the steel I-beams in the room.  After a year and a half with Brother Dave leading and doing much of the work, we had a completed room, four 8' x 12' rolling walls to give us six Sunday school or ABEKA video school rooms, and an AWANA circle inlaid in the linoleum tile floor.  One day while we were working, Brother Dave said to me, “Wouldn't this be fun to do when we are retired?”  I said, “It would.”  People have asked, “Why did it take you over a year to complete that room?”  We could only work on it Saturday, Monday and Tuesday nights after work and on holidays. Other days we were busy with church, visitation, and AWANA.  That “Hole” is now known as the Webster-Hall Fellowship Room and is still being used for school, Sunday school, fellowships, and AWANA. Brother Dave got into military construction in 1995, but I did not get on board with BIMI until June 2004.  Since then Michiko and I have been privileged to be used by the Lord to help churches in Puerto Rico, Japan, and Germany, doing whatever needs to be done. What do we do? We frame walls, classrooms, church auditoriums; we put in lights, switches, outlets and circuit breaker boxes; we take out floors and walls; we roof picnic and storage areas; we remove and replace kitchen counters, cabinets, cupboards and plumbing; we put up drywall, suspended ceilings; we mud and tape, install doors, windows, showers, toilets, bathroom sinks and baptisteries, and almost anything the pastor wants us to do.  We don't paint or do windows.  Why not?  The people in the church where we work are capable of doing that and should participate in what is being done.  If you have some sweat equity in something, you appreciate it more than if it is just given to you on a platter. Sometimes people ask, “What do you charge for helping a church?”  The answer is “Nothing.” We do ask that we are given a place to stay and that we are fed or help to feed us.  Since we are retired from the military, we can get a Space Available hop on military cargo or contract flights at minimal or no cost from either the East or West Coast, depending on which way we are going.  It is not as reliable as a confirmed airline ticket, but even commercial airlines have delays and cancellations  and we will need to be picked up when we arrive.  This last trip we left the States on 13 October 2013 and I had a ninety-day visa to stay in Japan.  The 7th of January we hopped to Singapore for a week, visiting a lady who had been in our wedding party and whom we had not seen in 15 years, getting another 90-day visa when we arrived in Japan on the 15th.  After doing what I could at the Japan Bible Home, we flew to Kadena AB in Okinawa, where the Lord  allowed me to do some electrical work, and Michiko was able to minister to the Japanese wives of military members and some other Japanese women.  We then hopped to Iwakuni Marine Air Corp Station (MCAS) near Hiroshima, where I was able to do  some plumbing work, gutter work,  and help them install a fence to help keep children from falling into a drainage ditch.  Michiko worked with Mrs. Parker, giving her testimony to some Japanese ladies and one made a profession of salvation!  We then hopped to Yokota AB for a few days and then on to Osan AB in Korea to help a church near Camp Humphries with some electrical work.  I believe that Michiko was a great encouragement to the missionary's wife in the short time we were there. On my last trip helping at the Japan Bible Home, I did a few things the Lord had never had me do before. I used a leaf blower and a snow thrower, and I removed a honeybee hive from a wall— only getting stung once.  I processed the honey and we got about 35 pounds separated for Brother Tom Tierney.  When we were in Korea, I got to repair the arm of a couch that had been broken, which I had never done before.  The most important thing that we do is not the physical labor but our interaction with the people with whom we come in contact.  Those people are the Missionary Pastor and his wife, their church members, and the lost local nationals we meet.  We are blessed in that everywhere we go, we get to meet family members of the Christian variety. Michiko and Mary have full-time jobs taking care of Dave and me while we are out on these trips; they are a help and an encouragement to the wives and ladies in the churches and those whom they meet while out shopping as well.  It is almost “sinful” how much fun we have when we are on these trips. Editor's Note: The Ludekings and Williamsons have saved our military missionary churches hundreds of thousands of dollars.