St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
From the Associate Pastor’s Desk


It Makes a Difference



              It was early in 1945. As United States forces pushed deep into Okinawa they came across

a village unlike any they had had ever seen. Here at Shimabuku they were met and welcomed by

two old men who Invited the troops in as "fellow Christians."

  Correspondent Clarence W. Hall described the hamlet like this: "We'd seen other Okinawan

villages, uniformly down at the heels and despairing; by contrast this one shines likes a diamond

in a dung heap. Everywhere we were greeted by smiles and dignified bows. Proudly the old men

showed us their spotless homes, their terraced fields, fertile and neat, their storehouses and granaries,

and the prized sugar mill.

             Searching for an answer as to why this one village was so different from all the rest, Hall un- covered

an incredible story. Some 30 years before, an American missionary on his way to Japan

had paused at Ahimabuku and stayed only long enough to make two converts and leave them a

a Japanese translated Bible. These new converts, with only instructions to read the Bible and live

and for 30 years had been following the Bible completely.

              They had adopted the Ten Commandments as their legal code, the Sermon on the Mount as

their guide in social conduct. In their schools they taught the Bible, and in their courts made decisions

on what God's Word said. -

              Hall noted that they managed to create a Christian democracy at its purest. The result was that

their were no jails, no drunkenness, no divorce, and a high level of happiness.!

              The young war correspondent was so moved by the experience that he later requisitioned a

jeep and investigated this town more fully. He attended a primitive but deeply spiritual worship

service and came away more impressed.

              After the war came to an end, Hall began to wonder what had happened to the tiny hamlet.

Fifteen years later he went back there to find that while modern civilization had swallowed Okinawa

the spiritual influence of Shimabuku remained.

              On leaving the town many years before, his jeep driver had said, "So this is what comes out

of only a Bible and a couple of old guys who wanted to live like Jesus." Then with a glance at a

shell hole, Hall recalled the driver murmuring, "Maybe we're using the wrong weapons to make

this world over!"

                 Might this be true today? Could we build a better world with these better weapons !


 In His Service,