Eric left on Saturday morning to drive the van up to Ishinomaki. Last night he shared that during the onsen (public bath) time, Chad had a chance to hang out with a young guy who was sort of watching the team of volunteers. He went over and they talked for awhile. Chad found out this guy had been working IN the Fukushima nuclear power plant on the day of the triple disasters. He has since been transferred to the one near Ishinomaki, but has been living with a lot of guilt and blame for the things that happened that day. So thankful for the timing and the team being there just then…
Today they had a really special worship service in which a number of members of the community attended. Eric was really touched – again. Tomorrow the five who are up there are going to help some families move out of the evacuation centers where they have been living for seven months into the temporary housing that the Japanese government has built for those who lost homes. It will be a neat chance for them to love on these families who have been through so much…
Tomorrow night a team of ten from Hawaii will be flying into Kansai and taking the bullet train up to Tohoku. They have been recruited by our friends Dr. Sharon and the Kawates. Randy, who came and worked with Be One for several weeks in the spring, will be bringing the team – yeah Randy! He and his wife had come about five years ago and spent a week ministering with us in Sanda. He is retired and has been using his gifts and time to serve.
Here is a photo and the individual testimonies of the team that is coming. I love how God is weaving some of their lives back to Japan to do service like this. Praying for God to use them each in special ways to minister to hurting people.
- Jackie – I feel called to Japan this fall because I was in Japan experiencing the earthquake that caused all this devastation. I told myself that I would never go back, but knowing that I’d be a help in cleaning up and having a chance to minister to these people really changed my mind. I believe this will not only benefit the families who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami, but that I would grow in my own life, my walk with God, and also cross-cultural work and sociology. We are blessed to have the life we live and seeing the destruction in Japan really showed me that the life we have isn’t the one to invest in, and the material things are nothing but temporary. Something better waits for us in the end. We were put in this world to do exactly what we are going to do in Japan, to help others, to fellowship and to minister, to give people hope, trust and most importantly love. People say that Love hurts but in reality, it’s the only thing that can conquer all.
- Emily – To be honest, my whole life, I have always pictured myself going to Japan, and now I’m going! But what’s interesting is I never dreamed of going for a reason like this, I never thought it’d be to help a devastation, or anything, I just thought I’d be going because that’s where my parents met, and that’s where they have so many memories! At first, I was a little scared, and I’m still a little nervous to be going to Japan to help, but I’m very excited! I want to just make someone happy. I feel called to Japan, because I feel inside that God needs us to help others, and to love on people, and that’s exactly what he wants us to do there. I know this will be a great experience because this is where God has chosen to put me, for a small time, but important reason.
- Mary – We have had this NEED to return to Japan to help at whatever capacity we could. It’s been on our minds and dreams for the past 6 months and our prayers were answered when Kathie mentioned you and your wonderful missions. Just wanted to add that…lol..traveling is NOT one of my favorite pastimes!…go figgah! But I’m looking forward to this mission of love and hope we can all travel and arrive at the same time.
- Pastor Tom – I was born and raised in New York, where I was teaching Karate and working. At 22, I joined the Marines, became an Embassy Marine, and my first posting was in Tokyo where I met my wife and got saved. We have always had a heart for Japan, loved and enjoyed it while we lived there, and also the Japanese people who are so very closely linked with Hawaii. We met and fell in love in Japan, but more importantly we met and fell in love with Jesus in Japan and have always desired to come back and serve in some way. This trip will be that blessing for us as a family, to come along side the Japanese people and help. We hope to see what we can do in the future, to continue the work that is being done, so we may return with others to extend Aloha and the Love of Jesus. We are very excited to return and just love on and bless the people.
- Tom – I want to go to Japan because it has a special place in my heart. My parents met, got married, and even got saved in Japan. If my parents hadn’t become Christians, I probably wouldn’t have either, so in a way I owe Japan a big debt. I want to go to Japan and help the people out there however I can, and in my own, small way, return the favor they gave me and my family so long ago.
- D’Lissa – I lived in Japan for about 5 years as a model and eventually became a co-host on a weekly television show called Do! Sports. When I was at my highest point in the world, I was spiritually bankrupt and corrupt. smile. The Lord truly rescued me. Japan has a very special place in my heart for all the reasons above. This will be our first true mission trip and I marvel that it begins with Japan. It is almost 25 years to the DAY that I met my husband in Tokyo and began my journey with the Lord.
- Dondi – This opportunity to be apart of this experience means a lot to me. Japan, as a country, has always been on my heart because my parents met each other there, and that is where they gave their hearts to the Lord. Hearing this story growing up has made me want to go and visit Japan, and what better way to go then to go and be apart of helping-out and serving the people of that country. I want to make a difference in this world, I want to be able to give something instead of always taking in life. I know the people of Japan have gone through so much this year, and I would be blessed to be able to bless them.
- Brandi – Volunteering to go back to Japan has always been on my mind since I returned home after living there for 8 months as an exchange student. I’m excited for this opportunity to give back and help the families who are still in need. I appreciate those who were able to give me their time, knowledge, and patience during my exchange. I’m looking forward to this mission of Aloha!
- Kathie – My mother who passed away in 1999 was born and raised in Japan. She married my Irish father after they met when he was stationed in Japan. We were fortunate to visit Japan 2 times as a family and get to know my mother’s family. For years after she passed away, I asked my husband and daughter Jackie if they would like to travel to Japan to visit my aunt but both always said no. Then, this past year Jackie’s good friend Brandi, the granddaughter of my good friend Mary, was in Japan as an exchange student. I asked my husband and Jackie if they would want to go to Japan and he said no but she said yes.
We arrived in Japan on the night of March 9th. The morning of March 11th, we were picked up by my aunt and uncle in Hachioji, and taken to their house in Tokyo. Mary and Brandi ventured on their own as Brandi knew her way around. 5 minutes after arriving at my aunt’s house the earthquake began. D’Lissa had prayed with me right before we left for Divine Protection from earthquakes, so when the earthquake began and Jackie was terrified I recalled her prayer and reminded Jackie that Jesus was with US! I had peace knowing we would be okay. Since that day, I prayed, “LORD I know you took us there for a reason”. Why else would we travel to be there for that time?I had just started a new job that put me in Dr. Sharon’s office when she was leaving for her mission to Japan. I asked her if in the future she planned another mission to Japan to let me know in advance and she emailed me about this