Caleb, Meissa, Katia and Gideon hanging out at our base
A few nights ago we had our friends from Osaka, the B-1 Network Tohoku Aid Team, headed up by Chad and Jennifer Huddleston, over for a bbq. Their church has been up here since the beginning tirelessly loving and serving people. In fact, they renovated a house near our office and are working out of it. It was a wonderful time of fellowship. God is working through their ministry as well and we really value their friendship.
Three of Chad’s kids were up here with them as well and we had fun time running around and playing with them.
Yesterday we finally got to play tennis with Mr. Miyamoto. We had been talking about it since we met him almost 4 months ago. Tomo-chan, Mr. Miyamoto’s oldest daughter was in town so she came out and played with us as well. We had such a great time hanging out with them and playing tennis.
Now you may ask, “why post about playing tennis!?” Well, we value relationships and we enjoy having fun. We want to continue to love and further the relationships that God has given us up here.
Everyone at the tennis courts were so nice to us. They just opened back up a month or so ago. I have never ever played tennis right next to rubble and debris. It was a great time with great friends. Mr. Miyamoto even though he is in his late 50’s kicked our butts. We hope to play again very soon!
check out the location of the tennis courts
I am so sorry I have not uploaded pictures in a while now. Here are batch of photos from the last month or so. All of the links are to our flickr account.
Art workshop for kids
Theater for hope
In the mud with KJ and CVC Team
Onagawa and beyond
BBQ, Fireworks and Festival
You guys forgot the "e"!? oh wait...joy to japan!
Last night, Kaito brought over a bunch of fireworks and we invited the Togashi family over for dinner and fireworks. All of the adults were into the fireworks just as much as the kids. We had a great time playing and sharing with our friends.
A few of us wrote out “JOY” with our sprinklers. We need so much more joy in our lives! We want the people up here to experience the joy of Lord.
Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Meissa, KJ and Ai at the Festival
The thing that struck me most about being here is the community which has been and is being developed. The last time I was in Japan the church of about 20 people only had about 3 that wanted to be involved in a community. It has been great spending time with people and trying to talk to them with my broken Japanese. The people here are incredibly nice to us and it has been easy to start relationships in Ishinomaki.
The city has been cleaned much better than I expected it would have been by now. There are still broken houses that are filled with trash but it isn’t nearly as bad as I thought. The economy is struggling though. I am hoping that our presence here is going to be a light to the people here so they can see Christ in us. That they place their trust in Jesus rather than safety or money, which has been ripped from so many people.
If you could please be praying for my language ability I would be grateful. I so want the people of Japan to submit to and accept Christ as Lord and Savior. I am currently unable to tell them much about Him though.
Kawabiraki is a Festival Marking the opening of the river (boating and fishing). This past Sunday and Monday was Ishinomaki’s Kawabiraki. During the last day of the festival, we got to see the largest fireworks show in Northeastern Japan. It was beautiful.
For the festival, last night, the Satou family invited our church/team over for a BBQ, where we had scrumptious food, a great view of the fireworks and great conversations with many of the Satou’s friends in attendance. All ten of us had a wonderful evening. Here is Ai’s reflections from the night.
Ai: I had such a great evening getting to know many new people and playing with their children. The most significant encounter for me was meeting an 8 year old girl named Mana. She was so nice playing with our daughter, Meissa for most of the evening. I was, however, so shocked and could barely keep my composure when I learned from Mana’s grandmother that Mana had lost her mother during the tsunami. I could not find words or anything in myself to share with her. As I sat there in tears, I prayed, “Lord, please help me to share Jesus with her.” That is all I could do. I can’t wait to share the love of and hope of Jesus with the hurting children of Ishinomaki.
Celebrating with flower pedals and bubbles
On July 29th, John and Chaco from our church got married! John and Chaco are the most stylish couple in our church and great friends and ministry partners for us. It was a beautiful ceremony and a fun filled reception and after party. The wedding was a wonderful opportunity for us to gather together, see old friends and enjoy fellowship. Not only that, but the wedding offered us valuable time to think and talk about marriage, church and our relationship with God. I really felt that it was a day to reemphasize the fact that in relationship, in family life and in church God has to be our number 1, our numero uno. The weather turned out to be nice and Chaco was so beautiful.
Congratulations to both John and Chaco!
We can’t wait to see how God uses you to in the future!