We have just had a really wonderful week with two new special friends from Hilo, Hawaii. Karen and Randy and two other friends, Yukie and Tim, had written and asked if they could come and serve with us in Sanda for five days or so at the end of their mission trip to India. We were excited to have all four of them come.
Their ten days in India were anything but dull…a car crash, illness, flat tires, and a strong sense of darkness were all part of their experiences. It was a special Hindu festival the week that they were visiting. Their last day in the village, they were traveling with an Indian driver to go back to the hotel for debriefing, when the driver made a poor decision to try and beat a truck across a small bridge. They hit a pole, and then the truck, and the car ended up perpendicular in the stream down below. The photos are amazing:
All four miraculously walked away from this crash, but Yukie needed to have surgery in India the next day for a severely broken arm. They all had various cuts and bruises, but were thankful to have been alive. They then continued on their journey as planned to Japan, but the second day here Yukie’s pain was so severe that she and Tim decided to return back to Hawaii early. Please pray for God to heal her arm and the nerve damage that was done during the accident.
Karen and Randy continued with the ministry we had planned, and we have been so blessed by their presence with us these past few days! They have served and loved and ministered along side of us. Because we had had two homestays planned for both couples, Karen and Randy agreed to go to two different homestays. The first night they went to one family’s home; and then the next two nights to our friends the Ms. (See previous posts about Ats., my silverware friend).
One of the funnest events during their time was yesterday, when Karen taught a wonderful Korean/Hawaiian cooking class. The class favorite? Pumpkin Mochi (mochi is rice cake). It was addictively delicious! There was a really special feeling in this class. We had it in a smaller facility than in the past, which limited the number of people. But we were able to really have good conversations with the twenty ladies who came, and Karen with the translation help of our friend Yas. really create a fun environment for everyone.
Last evening, we had a small gathering of church friends at our pastor’s home. Karen and Randy shared about some of their experiences. I was touched by Randy’s statement that several years ago, he just decided that he wanted to give his whole life to God. Even though he’d been a Christian for many years, he had never just given it all to God. Now, they use their vacation time each year to do missions work.
This morning, our missionary friends had our bi-monthly meeting at our home. As we gathered around Karen and Randy to pray for them, I sensed the Lord’s pleasure in their ministry and our partnership together. As they went to two homestays and slept on stranger’s floors in futons, and sat around Japanese dinner tables making conversation until late at night, we believe that Jesus came into these homes. Both of these special families experienced the aroma of Christ.
We are very thankful for the sacrifices and commitment of these four special friends, and continue to stand amazed at what God will do when we offer Him everything.