Japan Mission: Sometimes the End is really a Beginning

Posted on May 03 , 2012 in Blog & Ongoing

Thank you all for your support and prayers for us for our time in Japan. It is hard to put into words the breadth of the experiences we shared, the people we met, and the hope we see for the Tohoku area of Japan. While there are signs of hope and movement forward, there is still so much evidence of the long road of recovery ahead, so we ask that you all would continue to keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers.

One of the most common questions or sentiments we encountered during our time interacting with all the survivors was something like, “You came all the way from America to be here with us?” and it became a question which, by the end of our time, each one of us could answer with “There’s no other place I’d rather be right now” and even though we didn’t all speak the language, it became clear that Love needed no translator especially when it comes from God.

Many of the survivors were so touched that the team members took off time from work and other responsibilities to come to Japan. We told them that we were able to be with them because of the support of so many generous and amazing people and that even though you were not able to join us on the trip you all were with us in spirit and helped make this trip happen. After hearing this many of them bowed and said, “Doomo Arigato Gozaimashita—Please say, ‘Thank you very much’ to all those who made it possible for you all to come be with us.”

So in that same Japanese tradition, as a team we also bow to you and say, “Doomo Arigato Gozaimashita.” It was an awesome privilege to be in Japan and we give praise to God for the amazing work He is doing and will continue to be doing.  We had the blessing of working with dedicated passionate people who are focused on bringing God’s hope and love to the people of Japan.

They are doing a mighty work and lives are being touched. Please continue to pray for them and that God would continue to raise people for the ongoing work. Thank you for allowing us to participate and experience God’s glory as we served in Japan. We truly felt all your thoughts and prayers.

None of us will likely forget the devastation we saw and the testimonies of pain and loss that were shared with us, but we will also always treasure and remember the smiles and laughter and glimpses of hope that we were able to be a part of.

Our two teams in Ichinoseki and Tono had very different though equally amazing experiences and we look forward to sharing about them with you in person on May 6 during the worship service at New Life. We are excited to also be helping our summer team prepare for their upcoming time serving in Northern Japan—please be keeping them in prayer as well because though our mission time has ended, we see God’s greater Kingdom work is just beginning for Japan!

Thank you all for helping to make this ministry a reality.

On behalf of the Spring Japan Mission Team,

Stacy and Beverly

Ichinoseki Team

Tono Team

A few more photos from our time in Japan:

The battered sea walls of Kamaishi

Dyeing eggs in Ichinoseki

Clearing the roads in Ichinoseki

Temporary Housing Units (Kasetsu)

Communicating through art

Celebrating team birthdays

Cherry blossoms

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