Texas Visits Iwate

July 20, 2012

The June typhoon was not all that headlined for us here in Sendai.  We were pleased to host a great group of Texans from the BGCT.  Twelve individuals from all over Texas came to help the people of Japan.  One of the areas we visited was Tono in Iwate Prefecture.  The BGCT has been in contact with the Japan Baptist Convention since the March 11th earthquake. The BGCT has supported the JBC with their disaster relief work in multiple ways.

One of the needs of the temporary housing units is a place to meet.  Although displaced, the housing units have become vital communities and having a place to meet in large area’s is crucial. We pray that the friendship between the convention and the warm heart people of Otsushi Town will continue.

The Texas team handed out hand crafted bags of gifts donated by the generous churches of Texas.  Iwate is not one of our usual areas of ministry due to its three hour drive.  But, we are in close contact with the church leaders in the area who are working with the temporary housing units.  They were so blessed by the Texas team.  It can be very lonely at times to be away from other churches.  We are glad the Texas team members met the Christian leaders in that area.

The team also got a chance to see one of the schools destroyed by the tsunami.  Yet to be demolished, the baseball diamond behind the school is still used today.

Thank you Texas for loving on the people of Iwate and we would ask that you remember to pray for the ministry of the church leaders as they minister to the people there.

Praying together in front of the destroyed school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In front of the temporary housing where we delivered gifts from Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Aid for Japan.

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Trip to Hawaii

July 20, 2012

Hello! Hope you are all having a wonderful summer.  We have been super busy hosting mission teams from America! It has been fun to spend time with them!

While we have a short break, we will try to catch up with our posts! This one is about our time in Hawaii.  You may remember that we hosted a wonderful team from Hawaii in April.  We really enjoyed getting to know them and kept in touch with them after they went back home.  They invited us to visit them but we didn’t think we would be able to go so soon!  God provided everything we needed!  We were able to stay at the beautiful mission house provided by the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention, and our friend who works for Delta let us use the buddy pass which allowed us to fly super cheap! We were there for two weeks and it went by so quickly! We enjoyed EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Our friends in Honolulu and Pearl City blessed us so much!  They planned a dinner with all the mission team members who had come to Japan and we had so much fun sharing our special memories!

The main purpose to visit Hawaii this time was to speak at several churches about the disaster relief work.  Many Hawaiians have already given so much to help the Japanese people in the disaster areas.  We wanted to thank them in person and ask for their continued support and prayers.  The church members welcomed us warmly and we felt their love!

Here are some photos of our trip:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as we arrived in Hawaii, Yu was asked to be on a radio show to talk about Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worship service at FBC Pearl City.  The lady on the right, Lynne, was one of the mission team members that came to Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking in their Japanese service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke had so much fun at the Children’s Discovery Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, he enjoyed playing on the beautiful beach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restful time with our little family!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke was spoiled the whole time!  Mommy and Daddy were happy to have a break from holding our BIG baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandpa got to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were invited to speak in our friends’ Sunday School class at Waialae Baptist Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking at their worship service.  It was great to see our friends again!  We had a meeting with Pastor Robert and we look forward to partnering with their church!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reunion with all the mission team members.  We had such a special time together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael enjoyed hiking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We thank God for this wonderful opportunity!  A big THANK YOU to all of our Hawaiian friends! Thank you for making our time VERY special.  We miss you all!

 

Categories: Family, Hope for Japan News.

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Update

June 20, 2012

This is a quick update to let you all know that the team from Texas has arrived here safely.  After such a LONG trip, they got here around 2 AM this morning!  We know they were tired but they were up early and ready to start a new day!

It has been fun getting to know them and serving with them!  We hosted a Texas themed party for the children this afternoon and so many kids and their moms came!

We have a lot more to share, but will end this post with one photo so that we can get ready for our trip to Iwate.  We are leaving early in the morning to visit the disaster areas in the north.  Please pray for our safe trip and fellowship with those in the temporary housings.  Thank you for your prayers!  We will post more when we come back!

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

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Urgent Prayer Request

June 19, 2012

Hello everyone. We would like to take a moment and ask for your prayers.  As many of you know we have been planning and anticipating a team from Texas.  We are thankful to say that they arrived to Japan safely.  However, they are now caught in a typhoon.  They began their trip on the Shinkansen (Rapid Train) but were forced to stop due to power outages.  We praise the Lord for their safety.  Please pray for their continued safety and strength as they wait for the power to be restored.  At the moment there is not a lot that can be done other than to wait and pray as the storm passes.  Also please keep in mind those forced to evacuate their homes due to high winds and flash floods.  We thank you so much for your commitment to prayer and to the work being done here in Japan.

Categories: Prayer Needs.

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Volunteers from California

June 17, 2012

Last month, we hosted a team from California Baptist University. Our missionary friends, Tony and Marsha Woods, brought them to Sendai and we served with the team for a week. They were well-prepared, energetic, and had a BIG heart for those in the disaster areas. We were blessed and encouraged by them!

We took them to the west coast of Japan to have a fellowship with children at Sakata Mission Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was like a field day and we played tons of fun games!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using her chopstick skills!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don, who teaches at DBU, came to visit us and he went to Sakata with us. He shared his testimony with all the children.  He also brought lots of Texas Rangers gifts for them!  The kids were super excited!!!  Many Japanese cheer for Rangers thanks to Yu Darvish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group photo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for all the new friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had lunch at Sakata Mission Church and Pastor Fujii shared his testimony.  It touched and encouraged us so much.  We finished our fellowship with prayers for this church and its community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We invited everyone to our house for dinner.  Michael did a great job grilling!  We were happy to have our friend, Joey, whose parents are on our advocacy team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several young adults and students from the local churches joined us as well.  We all had fun getting to know each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone was so sweet to Luke!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We loved having them all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took them to one of the preschools that was damaged by the tsunami.  Since they lost their building, they are using the community center right now.  The kids looked so happy to play with the college students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loved seeing their cute smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, Luke was thrilled to be surrounded by the kids!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CBU team and Don brought lots of gifts for people in the disaster areas.  Most of these kids lost everything in the tsunami and some lost their family members.  They looked so happy to receive such special gifts from America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One last group photo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They helped us with our English class at our church.  The kids did a great job introducing themselves to the CBU students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, we went to the temporary housings on Oshika Peninsula.  We had an opportunity to serve with the Japanese believers.  We delivered fresh vegetables to each temporary housing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a chance to pray with this lady whose husband is in the hospital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our little missionary who opens so many doors for us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed singing with people in the temporary housing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People in this temporary housing were so welcoming and sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After spending a week with us, they served with the Samaritan’s Purse to rebuild houses in the disaster areas.  They all worked so hard and it was evident that the home owners were blessed by them.

Thank you, CBU team, for coming to serve with us!  Thank you for the ways you encouraged and helped us.   We will continue visiting people and children that you met here.  We pray that the seeds you planted here will grow in His timing!  We miss you guys!

Categories: Aid for Japan.

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We are back!

June 17, 2012

Hello!!! We are sorry we haven’t been able to update our blog for a while. We just came back from our trip to Hawaii. We visited our friends who were on the mission teams to Sendai and spoke at their churches. We had a wonderful time meeting people and sharing about Japan. We will write more soon! Please pray for us as we get ready to host the mission team from Texas that will arrive tomorrow!

Categories: Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

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Thank you, FBCA!

May 15, 2012

We want to take this time to say THANK YOU to those who have donated children’s clothes for Japanese children.  If you are new to our blog, you may not know what we are talking about.  Our sending church, First Baptist Church Arlington, has sent many children’s clothes to us, and we delivered them to people in the temporary housings and churches.  A special thanks to Cheryl Turner and Linda Templin who sorted all the clothes and packed them!  Every time we received more boxes, we felt so much love from our church family!  We are sure that the people who received those clothes felt loved, too.

Here are some photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also sent several boxes to children in Fukushima.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These snacks were given to Luke but he wanted to share these with babies in Fukushima.  We sent these snacks along with all the clothes.  We pray these made other babies smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Aid for Japan.

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Disaster Relief Update

May 15, 2012

Here is an update on our recent trip to the disaster area.  We went as a family and spent quality time with our friends in the temporary housings.

We took water bottles for adults and goodies for children.   We bought these gifts with the money that was donated for the Christmas Catalog that was made by our sending organization GCPN.  People donated for specific items that were listed by the missionaries in Africa and Japan.  We were blessed by many generous donors who purchased things for the Japanese people in the disaster areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a photo of Michael giving water bottles to each of the temporary housing units.   Visiting individual temporary housing units gives us a chance to meet the residents and to have conversations with them.  Many times, they invite us into their home!  They have a lot to share (many of them are lonely) and we spend lots of time listening to their stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael giving a box of water bottles to Miyuki.  We have become great friends and we always visit her when we go to this area.  This photo was taken in front of the house that is used as a dorm for the fishermen that work for her husband.  They own a fishing company and lost all ships except for one.   They ordered new ships right after the tsunami, but they haven’t received any.  They live in the temporary housing right now and would like to build a new house.  However, the town officials have told them that they would not be able to rebuild on the previous site.  Now they have to wait until the government finds land on higher ground.  Please pray that this process will go quickly so that people can start rebuilding their new homes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a photo of a little boy whose mother left the family after the disaster.  They still don’t know where she is.   He was happy and smiling as usual, but we know he misses his mom.  Please continue to pray for him and his grandparents who take care of him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of you have been praying for this sweet girl, Miyabi.  She lost her father and grandfather in the tsunami, and she recently lost another grandfather from cancer.   Needless to say, she has gone through more than we can imagine.  You may not know that she is hurting because she has the cutest smile and is so talkative, but when we visited her this time, I found her looking at Michael as he was holding Luke, and she looked sad.  We know she misses her dad so much and wants him back.  Her tender heart is still hurt from her loss.  There may not be much that we can do for her, but we will continue to pray for God’s comfort and we commit ourselves to do what we can to love on her and her mother.  We invited her and her mom to stay with us for a few days to spend some time with us, and they said YES! We can’t wait!  Please pray for Miyabi and also for her mom, Emi.  I gave her one of my favorite books by Ayako Miura (Japanese Christian author) and she loved the book.   She is learning more about Him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have heard or seen on the news that Japan has done a great job cleaning and rebuilding in the disaster areas, and that’s true in some ways.  However, if you drive around, you see these…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a LONG way to go.   That’s why we still need your prayer and support!  Thank you for remembering Japan and its people.

Categories: Aid for Japan.

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Newsletter March-April 2012

May 5, 2012

Mar-Apr 2012 Newsletter

The past two months have been so exciting.  We’ve been very busy.  Thank you everyone who help make our ministry possible.  Your messages of encouragement, prayer, and support have sustained and energized us during our hard times, long nights of preparations, and as we continue to serve beside the Japanese and volunteer teams.

All blog and newsletter updates are distributed through Mail Chimp.  If you know anyone who would like to subscribe please be sure to tell them about us and our ministry.  We would love to meet them.  To read the newest newsletter go here:  Mar-Apr 2012 Newsletter

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Blessed by the Hawaii Team!

May 4, 2012

Last December, we stopped in Hawaii on our way from the mainland to speak at the church that sent a mission team to Japan last year.  During our stay, we were invited to meet people from another church who were interested in coming to Japan as volunteers.  When we met them, we could tell that they all had a huge heart for Japan and Japanese people.  We shared about our ministries and needs of people in the disaster areas.  We kept in touch, and they decided to come to Japan!

It was such a blessing to serve with them the last two weeks.  They did such a great job with the preparations and we were all amazed by all the things they brought for people in this area.  More than anything, we were so blessed by their willingness to serve God and His people.

Here are some highlights of our time with them:

Visiting Sendai Kita Baptist Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbeque Fellowship at Yoshioka Mission Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distributing flyers for our event at one of the temporary housings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting one of the kindergartens in the disaster area.  Out of 220 students, more than 140 of them were affected by the tsunami.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They sang some English, Hawaiian, and Japanese songs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving a gift from Hawaii to all students and teachers.  Hawaiians are SO generous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke was a big helper!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were so happy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First temporary housing we visited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doing craft activities.  These girls were precious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the second temporary housing we visited in Oshika Peninsula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They loved spam musubi (Hawaiian food)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at these beautiful leis they made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We delivered fresh fruit to people in the temporary housings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We worked with these wonderful missionaries.  We have learned so much from them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The perfect time to see cherry blossoms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynne’s beautiful hula at the third temporary housing we visited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They enjoyed hula dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guys talking to people outside while ladies led the craft activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These ladies seemed to have a great time making all kinds of stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellowship with the community choir (non believers) at our church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next few photos are from the Hawaiian Festival.   We decided to host a fun event for the kids (and their families) in the community.  Even though our area did not get much damage from the earthquake, many kids went through a difficult time due to continuous aftershocks and radiation threat.  All the kids seemed to have an awesome time!

In the beginning of this event, the kids in our English class did a presentation in front of their parents.  They did a great job and we are so proud of them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone enjoyed their songs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hula time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frog race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing game!  We were happy that Luke caught some American snacks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golf!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the cool prizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying Hawaiian food such as teri burgers and spam musubi.   The Hawaii team brought SO MANY cookies and other homemade desserts.  Of course, they were a great hit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group photo after the worship service on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church-wide picnic after the morning service.  We all enjoyed singing together.  We are ready for Luke to learn how to play the Ukulele!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke had fun playing with all the girls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night in Miyagi.  We had a delicious meal and shared about our experiences.  We were touched by their stories and desire to continue being involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo of Masa and Luke makes us smile!  We are SO thankful that everyone loved on Luke the entire time.  It gave us some break from holding/chasing him!  Luke was thrilled that he got lots of attention.  He is blessed to have many Hawaiian grandpas and grandmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last group photo.  We were so sad to see them leave.  We thank God for such a great team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, they did SO MUCH!  They touched and changed countless lives.  We have already heard lots of positive responses from the people they had met.  Many of them asked when the Hawaii team would come back!  We look forward to hosting more teams.  Not only the Hawaii team encouraged many people in the disaster area, but they also blessed us! Hawaii has become a very special place for us.  They invited us to their churches in Hawaii and we hope to visit them soon!

A big thank you to all the team members for sharing God’s love in so many amazing ways!  We miss you!

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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