On our way home…

June 5, 2011

Hi, this is Luke!  Thank you for praying for me as we stayed in South Korea.  God protected me and I am doing great!  I made so many new friends there and everyone smiled at me!!!  When we left South Korea, my parents took me to Hokkaido (northern island in Japan) on our way home.  As you may remember, I only had my emergency passport so I had to go to the US Consulate to apply for the real passport.  I also needed to get my birth certificate.  My mommy told me there is a lot to do to become an American citizen!  Hokkaido is a beautiful place and we had such a relaxing week.   My parents were happy to be away from their busy lives.  We enjoyed God’s creation and our family time!










By now, you may already know that I love to smile.  I had my own bassinet on the plane.  I entertained my parents during the flight!












First time to be in the pool.  I look confused in this picture but I loved playing in the water!










First trip to the zoo!  I think daddy had more fun than I did.  I didn’t know what to think about some of the animals I saw, so I fell asleep.










I got to meet my parents’ friend, Masa.  He became a Christian in the US and he is helping a Christian band in Japan now.  My parents enjoyed hearing about his ministries in Hokkaido.










Mommy loved all the pretty flowers.  She asked daddy to plant more flowers in our garden.  We will see if that happens!










We took a cable car to go up the mountain.  It means I have already taken a cable car twice in my life.  I think my parents really love mountains…










Do you see snow on the top of the mountains?  My grandpa loves skiing (did you know my grandma was a ski racer?) and he wants to take me skiing next winter.  I think it would be fun but my daddy doesn’t think so…










I had fun looking at my daddy’s sun glasses!










We visited one of the oldest houses with a beautiful garden.










I fell asleep again!  I can sleep anywhere and it makes my parents happy!










Daddy and I!  As you can see, I LOVE my hands!












Mommy and I!  I smiled really big because my daddy was trying to make me laugh.  I love his funny faces!










Last picture- I was so bored on the plane to Akita so I decided to learn how to read.  I love it when my parents read books to me.  I hope I will be a good reader!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip.  We had a wonderful time there.  But we kept thinking about people who lost everything because of the tsunami.  It is really hard for them to go somewhere to have fun right now.  Please continue to pray for them.  Please pray that all the babies will be as happy as I am.  My mommy says I make everyone around me happy.  Thank you for praying for everyone in Japan!

Categories: Family.

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God’s Blessings in South Korea

June 3, 2011

Sorry for not updating for a while.  We have been super busy lately.  As our sending church told us that we could go back to Japan, we started to visit our Korean friends to say thank you and good bye.  It was so hard since they had become like our family.  God truly blessed our time in Korea and we can’t thank Him enough…  We know that it was Him who led us to Korea and we are so thankful that He provided everything we needed.

Here are some examples of how He blessed us while we were in Korea (they are in chronological order).

1.  Eunpyeong Jeil (First) Church in Seoul and Pastor Sim.












We stayed in their guest room for two weeks.










Pastor Sim made sure that we were comfortable and had everything we needed.  We were so thankful for his hospitality!

2. DBU friends who welcomed us warmly.










They traveled from other cities to welcome us.  They took us to the cell phone store so that we could buy a phone and also taught us some Korean phrases so that we could survive!  We were so happy to see them several times during our stay in Korea.

3.  Friends from Arlington who came to South Korea to encourage us.










They spoiled us by loving and taking care of Luke ALL the time!  Going on a date (just two of us!) is one of our favorite memories!  We never had to buy any diapers for Luke thanks to their gifts!  Luke misses Aunt Cathie and Aunt Cindy!

4.  Far East Broadcasting Company and Dr. Billy Kim.










One of the reasons that our sending church selected South Korea (under God’s guidance) was because our former pastor, Dr. Wade, knew Dr. Billy Kim, who is a founder of Far East Broadcasting Company.  Dr. Wade asked Dr. Kim to help us find a place to stay in South Korea, and that’s how we found Eunpyeong Jeil Church.  While we were in South Korea, we were able to visit their company three times.  We were welcomed by their wonderful staff, and we truly enjoyed getting to know them.  We also had a chance to speak about the needs of Japan and they raised funds for the disaster relief efforts in Sendai.  Words cannot express how thankful we are to receive such special gifts! We will be able to help so many people thanks to their generosity.










We had an opportunity to meet Dr. Kim and he encouraged us so much.  We are looking forward to seeing him and his staff again!

5.  Grandma Wen and her family.










She is a member of Eunpyeong Jeil Church.  When we attended their worship service for the first time, she came to talk to us in Japanese.  She used all the Japanese words that she remembered to help us and to make us feel loved.  The reason why she knows Japanese is because Japan made all the Koreans learn Japanese when they occupied Korea.  As you can imagine, that is such a painful memory for many people.  However, Grandma Wen never said anything negative.  She just told us how much she cares and prays for Japanese people.  We learned about God’s forgiveness through her.  She also invited us to her house to feed us and to her great-grandson’s 1st birthday party.  As we said good-bye to her, she said “Remember that I am Luke’s Korean grandmother.  I will never forget about you all.”  We can’t wait to tell Luke about her and to take him back to see her again.

6.  April and her wonderful home!










April is Yu’s friend from DBU.  She took good care of many international students at DBU and when she found out about the situation in Japan, she wrote us and invited us to South Korea!  Her friendship meant so much to us and we made so many great memories together.










Can’t you tell Luke loves her?  She let us stay with her for a month and her apartment became our second home in South Korea!  She taught us how to get to places and we enjoyed exploring around her neighborhood.  We are waiting for her to come visit us in Japan!

7.  Onnuri Church and Young Adult Community Group.










Onnuri Church is one of the biggest churches in South Korea.  They have branches all over the world!  Since April goes there, we attended the young adult worship service with her.  We could see their hearts for God and for the world.










After we shared our stories and prayer requests with the young adult community group, they took time to pray for us and for Japan.  We were encouraged by their powerful prayers. Their church sends several groups to Japan to help with disaster relief efforts, and we are looking forward to working with them in the future.

8. Luke’s 100th day!










We are so grateful that Luke was healthy during our time in South Korea.  He was such a happy boy and smiled at everyone he met.  Whenever we were tired, we just looked at his cute smile and that gave us strength.  We thank God for Luke’s life and we pray God will help us to be godly parents.










Even though we missed our family in Japan, our friends from DBU made Luke’s 100th day VERY special!  We had a party for him and they came to celebrate with us!  They all took turns to hold and entertain him so that his mommy and daddy could relax and enjoy yummy food!  We ended our party with a prayer time and God answered all our prayers in amazing ways.  We can’t wait to have another reunion!

9.  Suwon Disciple Baptist Church, Pastor and Mrs. Lee, and Young Adult Group.










This is a church where our friend’s father serves as a pastor.  It was just like our church in Sendai (everyone knows everyone and it’s like a family!) and we just loved being there.  They gave us several opportunities to share our hearts for Japan and many people told us they would be praying for Japan.










On our last Sunday in South Korea, Pastor Lee led a special prayer time for us.  Mrs. Lee was so sweet to Luke.  We knew he was safe in her arms!










We just fell in love with these young people!  We became good friends so it was difficult to say good bye.  But they promised to take a group to Sendai this year so we know we will get to see them again!  What a blessing it is to be able to pray for each other even though we are far away!

10.  Choi Family and Easter in Daejeon.










Mr. and Mrs. Choi lived in Sendai and attended Taitomi Church when Yu was in high school.  When they found out that we were in South Korea, they invited us to their house to celebrate Easter with them.  We had a nice visit and Luke had fun playing with their kids!










Seven people were baptized on Easter Sunday.  Needless to say, it was an amazing Easter!  Luke even got a Korean traditional egg and he was so happy that he shared it with his parents!

11.  Esther and her mom.










Esther was one of Yu’s student assistants at DBU.  She invited us to her home to have dinner.  Can you see all the delicious food that her mom cooked for us?  Everything was SO yummy!










We enjoyed hearing about her memories of DBU and her life in Seoul.  She is preparing to go to the Law School and we know she will do great!

12. Time with Yu’s dad.










Yu’s dad visited us for a week.  Since he had been super busy with disaster relief efforts in Japan, we had hoped that he would be able to relax, but we had something to do every single day!  We were happy that we didn’t have to carry Luke everywhere since her dad volunteered to hold him all the time.  We also enjoyed sleeping in while he took care of Luke in the mornings!  Thank God for grandparents!










It was nice to spend time with him and to find out what was going on in Japan.  We are so thankful for our friends who helped us by buying food and delivering them to people in the temporary shelters on our behalf.  We look forward to going there to meet and help them in person!

13.  Central Christian Academy in Suwon.










This is where April teaches and the headmaster of this school is Dr. Billy Kim’s son.  We had an opportunity to go to a few classes to talk about Japan.  They listened so well and told us that they had been praying for Japanese people.










Praise God for children who love and care about those in need.  We hope to tell Japanese children that someone they don’t even know is praying for them and we pray that they will feel God’s love.

14. LOTS of family time!










We were supposed to start our new ministries in April, and everything changed after March 11th.  At times, we were discouraged since we were looking forward to our new journey.  However, God gave us another journey to take.   Instead of being busy trying to figure out what to do, God gave us time to reflect on our lives and enjoy our time as a family of three.  He also gave us time to reunite with our old friends and to make new ones.  We know everything was in God’s plan and we give thanks to Him.  Our experiences in South Korea will be something that we will always treasure.  We can’t wait to tell Luke Kai where he has been and whom he has met.  We want to say a huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who made our time in Korea so wonderful!   We pray God will give us a chance to see you again.










We also want to say thank you to those who prayed for us from all over the world!  Your prayers meant so much to us.  Thanks to your prayers, we were able to come back to Japan safely.  We are happy to be back, but there is still so much on our mind.   There are so many needs here and it is overwhelming.  We are also doing everything we can to keep our son safe.  We are trying to process everything and prepare for what God has for us next.  We don’t know where this new journey leads us, but we trust that He will guide us wherever we go.  Thank you for taking this journey with us!  We love you all!

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Mother’s Day

May 8, 2011

Today, we celebrated Mother’s Day. It has been a bittersweet Mother’s Day because it is the first one without my mom and also as a mom. My mom went to heaven after battling with cancer for a year. She was the best mother that anyone could ask for and I still miss her so very much. I often wish I could ask her for help and advice as I raise my son. I think of her when there are ministry opportunities because she was so gifted when it came to serving God and ministering to others. As I remember her, I am especially thankful for five things.

1. She loved God.

She put God before anything else. There was no question about it. She lived to glorify Him. She taught me to know Him, to love Him, and to make Him known. Even though it was hard for us to let her go, it was God’s time and she was ready to see Him. Her strong faith really inspired me.

2. She loved family.

It was such a blessing to be raised by such wonderful Christian parents. My mom was always there for me and we had a close relationship. She was there to rejoice and cry with me. She expressed her love for me by praising me and also by correcting me when needed. I always knew she loved me. As I raise my child, I always want to remember how she loved me and taught me.








3. She loved church.

She was at church 4 to 5 times a week. She was not a paid staff, but she was there because she loved helping and ministering to others. After she passed away, several ladies told me that they always knew they would see my mom if they went to church. They shared that my mom always took time to listen to their stories and concerns and to pray with them. I always enjoyed seeing her smile when she was at church. Her love for the body of Christ is something that I will never forget.








(Preschool Sunday School that she taught. That was her favorite time.)

4. She loved missions.

Growing up, my parents drove 4 hours (each way) to the west coast of Japan to help the small mission church twice a month. They went without knowing how many people would show up. Sometimes, nobody showed up. They even went on snowy days. As a child, it was hard to understand why they spent their Saturdays going there instead of taking us to fun places. But now I do. It’s because they wanted to share God’s love with people who had never heard about Him. Now, that small mission church has their own pastor and is growing. Praise the Lord. God called me to do missions, but seeing my parents’ love for the lost helped me to have a heart for the world. I am thankful God gave me such a great example like my mom who showed Christ’s love and hope in her actions.








(With Mr. and Mrs. Boatwright who lived in Japan for over 30 years as missionaries. She respected them and told me what she had learned from them.)

5. She loved children.

Anyone who knew her would say “oh how she loved kids!” and that is so true. She loved every single child with ALL her heart. She knew how to love them and to reach out to them. And the kids knew they were loved so much. There were several kids from broken families and they knew my mom would protect them and love them no matter what. When I was in college, I called her almost every week, and she shared a lot about each child she knew, and I truly enjoyed listening. Ever since we moved to Japan, I have heard so much about how she touched and changed the lives of the kids (and parents). Several girls told me how much they wish they could see her again, and it made me cry. As I raise my child and get involved in the children’s ministry, I want to follow her path. I want to love children like she did.








(Don’t you just love her smile?)








I miss you so much, mom! I will always treasure what you have taught me. I am so thankful for my mom’s life, but I am also SO grateful that God gave me a son so that I could be a mom. Becoming a mom was always my dream, and it finally came true this year. Words cannot express how much I love Luke. He is the best gift that Michael and I have ever received. Even though being a mom is not always easy, I love being a mom and I never take that for granted. I pray every day that Luke will know how much God loves him. I know I am not perfect and I still make so many mistakes, but I pray God will help me to be the mom that He wants me to be.










I love you SO MUCH, Luke Kai! Thank you for being my son.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in the world!

Categories: Family.

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Update on May 6th

May 7, 2011

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for Japanese people.  After we shared our last update, we heard from some of our friends who read this blog and were encouraged to know that our blog updates help them to know how to pray for Japan.  Sorry we can’t update as much as we want to (we have been busy sharing our stories at different churches and companies.  Praise God for these opportunities!), but we hope our blog will help you understand how great our God is and how much Japanese people need Him!


-We are still talking with the leaders of our sending church and organization to decide when to go back to Japan.  They have spent lots of time researching the situations in Japan and they approved us to go back!  This is an answer to our prayers!  Please continue to pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as we decide when and where to return.

-Our missionary friends and one of our friends from DBU (he came all the way from Osaka!) went to Oshika Peninsula to visit temporary shelters.  They delivered food and clothes, and people were so thankful.   They also handed out the Bible tracts.  Please pray they will take time to read them and feel God’s love for them.










(Our friend, Yuta, sorting items to be delivered.)

-We were encouraged to read an article about our Christian friend, Mr. Yamaki (http://www.baptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=35105).  We are thankful for believers like him who are working hard every day to share hope with the hopeless.  Yu’s dad told him that so many people from all over the world are praying for him, and he was so grateful.  Please keep remembering him and his team in your prayers.

-Our church members, Mrs. Kimura (her husband is in Japanese army) and Mrs. Yonezawa (her in-laws died in tsunami), are doing better.  They told Yu’s dad that coming to church on Sundays gives them peace and strength.  Praise God for His comfort.










(The lady on the left is Mrs. Kimura and the one on the right is Mrs. Yonezawa.)

-Thanks to your prayers and donations, we were able to get MORE rain jackets for kids in Japan.  Our friend, April (she graciously offered to let us stay with her), gave us 50 of them as well!  Yu’s dad is taking them to Japan and giving them to kids in Sendai and Fukushima.   Thank you for helping them to feel safe and protected.













-Yu’s dad visited us for a week.  We had a great time together and Luke was happy to see his grandpa!  Since he has been helping with disaster relief effort ever since the earthquake hit Sendai, he was asked to share his experiences at the Christian radio station in Seoul and the church in Suwon.  God truly blessed his time in South Korea.










(Photo with Dr. Billy Kim, who is a wonderful pastor and founder of Far East Broadcasting Company.)












(Proud grandpa!)


-Some people are staying in a crematorium shelter, but they have been told that they would have to leave by the end of this month.  Please pray that they can find a place to live.










(This picture was taken by our missionary friend.  They visited this place and gave them food and clothes.  They also spent time with them as these people shared their stories.)

-Sendai city government is trying to build many temporary houses for those who lost homes.  Please pray for a speedy process.










(Temporary housing in Sendai where we will be visiting when we go back.)

Thanks again for keeping up with us!  Please write us at michaelandyu@gmail.com and let us know how you are doing and how we can be praying for you all! We also love hearing from those we have never met.  We are looking forward to getting to know you!  Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.





Categories: Aid for Japan.

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Luke Kai’s 100th Day Celebration

May 2, 2011

Wow, we can’t believe it’s already May! In April, we celebrated Luke Kai’s 100th day. In Japan and South Korea, a baby’s 100th day is very special. In Japan, the ceremony called “Okuizome” is performed in hopes that the child would never have to worry about food. As Christians, we know God will take care of Luke’s needs! In South Korea, a small feast is prepared to celebrate the baby’s having survived this difficult period. Long time ago, it was believed that a baby’s chance for survival increased after the 100th day. Once again, we thank God for protecting our son during the last 3 months.

Since we are away from our families in Japan and America, we invited our friends in South Korea to celebrate with us. We are blessed to have this “special family” here in Korea. They have been such blessings!

Luke was so happy to see everyone! I cooked Japanese food and we had a delicious ice cream cake for dessert.










We couldn’t find “Happy 100th Day” decorations so we put “Happy Birthday” instead…










His Korean girlfriend came!










Having fun but the babies were not interested in having their picture taken.










Getting sleepy… He will regret this someday!












Yummy ice cream cake!  He was asleep so mommy had to blow out the candles!










He got lots of gifts!












Mommy was excited to get more clothes for Luke!  He is getting so big!










Group picture!  Do you see our babies looking at each other? So sweet!










Before we ended the party, everyone prayed for Japan and also for us.  It meant so much to us.  We have been encouraged by all the prayers and we know our God hears them.  We are so thankful for our friends who are making our time in Korea very meaningful.

Luke Kai, words cannot describe how much we love you!  We thank God for you every single day.  You make us smile and give us strength when we are tired.  You may not remember what you went through the last few months, but we hope you will always know how much you are loved.  So many people from all over the world are praying for you.  We pray that you will always trust our Lord who loves you and cares for you.  Thank you for being our son!


Categories: Family.

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Update on April 22nd

April 22, 2011

God continues to work in the lives of Japanese people.  The disaster relief team in Sendai had a busy week.  Many volunteers have arrived in Sendai and Yu’s dad has been busy hosting them.  What a blessing it is to know that so many people want to come help with the disaster relief effort.  It is hard not being able to be there physically to help, but we are doing everything we can do to share the needs of Japan with people in Korea and those who are praying for Japan from all over the world.


-A team of Christian men was able to go to the elementary school that is being used as a temporary shelter to feed 180 people.  Yu’s dad reported many people said they had not had such a nice meal in over a month.  Usually, they only have breakfast and dinner.  They were blessed to have lunch!  Many women were tired from cooking every single day, so they were happy to have a day to take a rest.









-While walking on the coastline in Hanabuchihama, Yu’s dad and our missionary friends met a girl who graduated from Miyagi Gakuin (see the old posts).  They found out that she went to school with one of the missionary kids that we know.  Her grandparents’ house was completely destroyed by tsunami but they were safe because they ran to the hill behind their house.  As you can imagine, they are desperate because they lost everything they had.  Since she went to a Christian school, she remembered some of the things that she had learned in the chapel and Bible classes.  They talked about the Bible and she said she would read it again.  They were blessed for this opportunity to encourage this girl.  Please pray that God will draw her closer to Him and she will be able to encourage her grandparents by sharing about the Bible.










-We have been going to many stores to buy rain jackets.  We are still concerned about the radiation leak in Japan, and we want to do everything we can to help people who are facing such a serious challenge in Japan.  Yu’s dad found out many parents wanted to get rain jackets for their kids.  He looked for them in Sendai but they were sold out at most stores.  So we decided to buy them here and ship them to Japan.  When we went shopping, several people asked why we were buying so many of them.  We explained that they were for kids in Japan and the staff of the stores went to the back to get more so that we could buy everything they had.  A huge “THANK YOU” to those who have donated.  These rain jackets will help many children and their parents.  Your donation also helped us to buy mattresses for people in Japan (Sorry we don’t have many pictures of the people we are helping.  We found out that many people in temporary shelters are really sensitive about having their pictures taken.  The news media is there almost every day and they feel like they are monitored all the time.  Please be assured that your help is making them smile).












-We are partnering with several schools, churches, and organizations to work on special projects so that we can help those with the greatest needs.  We have been so amazed by people’s hearts for Japan and God’s faithfulness.  We can’t wait to share more with you all!

Prayer Requests:

-We are working with our sending church and organization to discuss when to go back.  We are patiently wanting for God’s timing.  Please pray for God’s wisdom and guidance.  Also, pray for our leaders who are working so hard to support us.  Please continue praying HARD so that the serious situation with the nuclear power plants will be under control as soon as possible.  Pray for the people who are working there and their families.

-Please pray for students whose school was damaged by tsunami.  Many schools are still closed and they don’t know when they can start school again.  Some schools decided to meet at a different location but it means many students have to walk further to get there.  They are already under so much stress and we don’t want any more stress to be added.  Please pray for these precious students who are hurting.  Also, pray for city/town officials as they try to help these students.  Another concern is the people who are staying in the schools that are used as temporary shelters.  As some of the schools started, many people were asked to move to another shelter.  As you can imagine, they are going through a lot.  Please keep them in your prayers.










(Second floor of Arahama Elementary School.  The tsunami came through the second floor windows.)

-Please continue to pray for Mr. Yamaki (chief of the local fire department) and his team.  They have been working without taking any rest for over a month.  Several firefighters started to have health/mental problems.  Mr. Yamaki shared many of them want to go see a doctor or a counselor, but they choose to keep working because the need is so great.  Yu’s dad goes there to encourage them and to pray with them every week.  Please pray that they will find rest and strength in God.  We are still praying that they will come to know Him.










(Mr. Yamaki looking at flowers people had left by the ocean that took so many lives.)

This video was made by our friend’s friend.  It is powerful.  We hope you will take time to watch this.



“The light of the world”_After the Earthquake in Japan(English ver.) from Dear.Japan on Vimeo.


During this Holy Week, we have been thinking a lot about God’s love and sacrifice for us.  There are SO many Japanese who don’t know Jesus died and rose again for THEM!  Please join us as we pray for their salvation.

Happy Easter!









Categories: Aid for Japan.

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Speaking Opportunities

April 19, 2011

As we wait for God to take us back to Sendai in His timing, we have been blessed with many opportunities to share about the needs of Japan with Korean people and to ask them to pray for Japan. We have been touched by kindness and powerful prayers of Korean people.












The first sharing opportunity was at Eunpyeong First Church where we stayed for two weeks. There were about 300 people in the service and many of them stayed to talk to us after the service.










This is Pastor Sim. Even though he has a busy schedule, he took time to get to know us and to take us to places.  We were blessed by his hospitality.










This was at Far East Broadcasting Company. This is a Christian radio station that Dr. Billy Kim. We spoke at their chapel service. After we shared, they took time to pray for Japan. They are already helping those in need with financial and prayer support.










With such wonderful staff. We will always treasure their love and friendships.










We went to church with April (we are staying with her right now and we are SO thankful for her kindness), and it is a huge church called Onnuri Church in Yangjae.










They had a special prayer time for Japan. What a blessing it is to know that so many people are praying for the salvation of Japanese people.










We spoke in the Young Adult Sunday School class. They sang and prayed for us which brought tears to our eyes.










Another opportunity at Max’s church. Max is our friend from DBU and his dad is a pastor of Disciple Baptist Church in Suwon. We were the main speakers of the service and Max translated our message.










After the service, we had dinner with the young adult group.  They have been praying for Japan for such a long time.  They are planning to take a mission trip to Sendai this year.  They asked us to join the upcoming retreat and we are looking forward to building relationships with them.

We continue to receive invitations to share about Japan at schools and churches. We praise God for using us in so many ways here in South Korea. He is good ALL the time! Thank you for your prayers!

Categories: Aid for Japan.

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Update on April 11th

April 11, 2011

It has been a month since the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.  Since that day, so many lives have been taken and changed forever.  For the past month, we have heard and read so much about the damages and losses from the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation.  We may never understand why things like this happened, but we can rest in God who is in control.  We just had prayer as a family and asked our Father to give everyone in Japan peace and hope.


-Thank you for praying for the Kimura family.  Yu talked to Mrs. Kimura today. Thankfully, school and kindergarten started again today.  The kids go there only in the morning.  Mrs. Kimura prays getting back to their daily routine will help them release some stress and they will be able to have fun with their friends without being worried all the time.  The kids’ rashes are better.  Please continue to pray for physical and emotional healing.

-We received an e-mail from Mr. Yamaki (chief of a coastal fire department).  His team is working so hard and everyone is encouraging each other.  He said they are finding many bodies under collapsed buildings.  It is sad that many people have died, but ever since the tsunami hit this area, people have been praying to see their loved ones’ bodies once again even though they are no longer alive.  This is a very important mission for his team, and he knows he can rely on God who gives them strength.   Praise God for such a godly leader.

-Yu’s dad and the disaster relief team from the local churches have visited Ishinomaki again.  Praise God for the relationships that have been built.  Tokyo Baptist Church (one of the big churches in Japan) has also sent a team there to cook for people who lost homes.  So many people have been blessed by the supplies and food that have been given to them.  It has been encouraging to see so many Japanese people hearing about Jesus for the first time.  Keep praying for their salvation.








(Before the tsunami- this picture was taken at the park by Yu’s grandparents’ house)








(After the tsunami- the white building in the middle of this photo was the city hospital.  Water came to the second floor.)

-All the pastors and leaders from the local Baptist churches met with the team from Japan Baptist Convention (JBC).  JBC is planning to send personnel who can move to Sendai to lead the disaster relief effort.  It is an answer to our prayers.  We will partner with JBC and the local churches to meet the needs of those who are waiting for help (JBC’s disaster relief information- http://baptist2.exblog.jp/).


-We received an official request from Miyagi Gakuin.  Please read this letter (http://www.mgu.ac.jp/01news/2010/2011-0318-1220-39.html).   As we receive more donations, a part of the money will be donated to help these students.  We appreciate your continued financial support.





(Chapel at Miyagi Gakuin- this school really blessed Yu while she was in high school.)

-Mrs. Yonezawa’s (our church member) father-in-law was found dead.  They have not found her mother-in-law.  Please pray for their family as they grieve.  Mrs. Yonezawa and her three children are members of our church, and they have been praying for Mr. Yonezawa’s salvation for a very long time.  Please pray he will find God’s peace during this difficult time.








(The lady in the middle is Mrs. Yonezawa)

-We are working with our churches in Sendai and Arlington to have a clothes drive to help the children who lost everything.  We think it will be a great opportunities for both churches to work together to share His love.  Please pray for guidance and wisdom as we lead this special project.

-Please pray for us as we prepare to speak at a local church on Sunday.  We have spoken at 3 different places already and we are grateful that God continues to use us here in South Korea.  We have been touched by the hearts and prayers of Korean people.  We will write about how God has used us and blessed us.

As we close this post, we want to ask you to take a few minutes to pray for Japan and the people of Japan.  Today, many Japanese Christians are getting together to pray.  As I type, they are having a special prayer meeting at Sendai Baptist Church.  This month has passed so quickly, but we know it can take years for many people to have their normal life back.  Please pray God will draw them closer to Him and they will find hope and peace.

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

Categories: Prayer Needs.

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Blessings from God

April 11, 2011

Last week, we were blessed to have two special friends from Arlington, Texas!  Cindy serves as the director of our sending organization (GCPN) and she is also our pastor’s wife.   For about two years, we spent our Monday nights at her house to have a training session to learn about missions.  It was such a great learning experience for both of us, and we also made some close friends who all have hearts for the world.  After we found out about the radiation leak, Cindy and Dennis (our pastor) spent several nights without sleeping in order to come up with our evacuation plan.  We are so thankful for their leadership and wisdom.  Another friend, Cathie, has been such a blessing to Yu ever since she first met her.  When we were still in Arlington, she invited Yu to her house to have lunch or take her to nice restaurants, and it was always a special time for her.  She prayed for us as we went through difficult times and also encouraged us as we prepared to become parents.  She has an amazing husband, two sweet kids, and a precious mom from Japan.  Please pray for her mom as she is away from her family in Japan.

They came all the way to South Korea to encourage us and to take care of our baby!   As you can imagine, Luke LOVED spending time with Aunt Cindy and Aunt Cathie!  They blessed us and encouraged us so much.  We had an amazing week together and words can’t express how thankful we were to have them with us.

Here are some pictures!










They arrived in Seoul safely!  The girl on the far left is Yu’s high school friend who lives in Seoul.  She took care of us last week (another blessing from God).












Clothes, diapers, wipes, toys, food, towels… It was like having another baby shower!










So excited!










A huge “THANK YOU” to those who gave these gifts!










Happy to be together!












We took a cable car to go up the hill.












With the guard in front of Seoul Tower.










We got to see an awesome show (Koreans really value their traditions).










City of Seoul is huge!










We had to take this picture!










Our favorite tea room.  Luke was spoiled by these beautiful ladies!












We visited this place called “Secret Garden”.










Such a beautiful palace where Korean kings and queens used to live.










Love this photo!










With the pastor, deacon, and translator at Eunpyeong First Church.   They were so kind to us.










At Far East Broadcasting Company.  It is a Christian radio station that Dr. Billy Kim started.   These girls are his assistants and they welcomed us so warmly.  They invited us to share our story at their company.












So comfy in her arms!












Look at his smile!  She took care of him while we had a meeting with Cindy.  We had a devotional and talked about our plans.  We are blessed to have a church family that cares about us and prays for us.  Even thought we don’t know what will happen, we know His plans give us hope and a future.










One of the deacons of the church took us to have a feast!  Cathie and Cindy were so brave to try some seafood that they had never seen.












We tried on the traditional Korean dresses.  It was such a neat experience.










We learned so many parenting skills from these experienced moms!  They babysat Luke while we went on a date!  We had such a great time but we sure missed our baby boy!










We had lunch with our friends from DBU.










We also had a special prayer time for Japan.












Saying good bye (and see you again) at the airport.












Doesn’t he look sad in this picture?  We already miss them both!










Cathie and Cindy, thank you so much for loving us, encouraging us, and ministering to us.  Both of you are such blessings from God.   We are also thankful for FBCA for sending them to see us.  We are blessed more than words can express!  Thanks be to God!




Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Update on April 3rd

April 4, 2011

We are overwhelmed by prayers and support that are coming from all over the world.  Thank you for remembering Japan in your prayers.  God is answering your prayers.  It is encouraging to see the Japanese churches and Christians working together for His kingdom.  God is touching and changing so many lives.

We were able to talk to Yu’s dad on the phone and he shared so much information.  We will try to summarize what he has shared.


-He took several pastors and Texas Baptist Men volunteers to Arahama (destroyed town on the coastline).  Yu’s dad’s close friend (also a wonderful Christian) is the chief of the local fire department there so he allowed them to enter the restricted areas.  They were able to encourage the firefighters.  They also discussed how to meet the needs of those who lost homes.








As you can see, it is devastating.  The government officials predict it would take years to rebuild the cities.








They had prayer together.

-Tony and Marsha Woods, our missionary friends who are just like our family, came to Sendai over the weekend.  Yu’s dad took them to Ishinomaki (Yu’s grandparents’ city) where tsunami washed away half of the city.  They were able to deliver the supplies that they had brought from Tokyo.  They also visited people in the city to encourage them.  In the midst of such a busy time, Yu’s dad was able to have a good time with his best friends.

-Yu’s dad was able to meet with the President of Miyagi Gakuin, a Christian school that we mentioned in the last update.  They discussed how to help the students who can no longer pay tuition due to their loss from the earthquake and tsunami.   They are in the process to find out how many students need help and how much they will need.  When Yu’s dad shared that some of your donations would be given to them, he repeatedly said thank you.










This picture was taken when we visited the campus.  We were planning to visit this school weekly to build relationships with the students.  Some students and their parents are still missing.  Please pray.

-Local churches in Sendai are working together to minister to others around them.  Two Baptist churches in Sendai just welcomed their new pastors this April.  With their new leadership, they are praying that God would use the Christians in mighty ways.  Please keep praying for revival!










Recent worship service.  They are still praising God in this difficult time.  Pray that they are able to help those who are asking lots of “why” questions.

-Countries around the world are helping with disaster relief.  Here is the picture of American soldiers cleaning the tsunami-hit school in Ishinomaki.







-Please continue to pray for Kimura family (read our old posts to know more about them).  Yu talked to Mrs. Kimura yesterday.  They are thankful to have food, water, and power so that their physical needs are met.  However, they are struggling emotionally and mentally.  Their kids are scared of the earthquake and start crying when they have aftershocks.   Some of them started having rashes because of the stress.  The kids still don’t know when they can go back to school (school year in Japan starts in April) because the textbook factory was destroyed by tsunami and they don’t know when they can get the new textbooks.  Due to continuous aftershocks, the city officials are still deciding when it is safe for the students to come back to school.   Mr. Kimura is in the Japanese Army, and he is only allowed to come home for a few hours once a week.  His job is to find the dead bodies, so Mrs. Kimura can tell he is having a difficult time mentally, and their kids know their dad looks different.  It breaks our hearts to hear what they are going through.  There are so many families like this one and they need your prayers.  We are thinking about delivering some toys to the kids like them.










The boy on the far left and the boy on the bottom are their sons.








Two girls on the left are their daughters.  Aren’t they precious?

-Pray for the firefighters. Mr. Yamaki, the chief of a local fire department, told Yu’s dad that they had lost several firefighters who were rescuing people.  Obviously, many of them are grieving but they have to keep working without having time to rest or mourn.  He also shared he is concerned about their mental health.  They have to see so many dead bodies every single day.  Many of them feel helpless.  Please pray they will find peace and comfort in Christ.  Mr. Yamaki is a strong believer and he is trying to reach out to them.








-Continue to pray for those who lost their loved ones.  Many people are still missing and their family members want to have their bodies back so that they can have a funeral for them. Also, the people who are staying in the temporally shelters are starting to have health problems due to lack of nutrition and sanitation.  Many cities are trying to build new homes for them.  Pray that they can move there soon.  One of the local Baptist churches is letting people come to use their shower.  Please pray for this special ministry.

-Our last prayer request is for Yu’s dad.  He hurt his foot while helping with tsunami relief.  He says he is okay, but we are very concerned.  He goes to his regular job from 8 to 5 and then goes to help people after work.  He buys food with some of the money you have donated and delivers them to people on our behalf.  Since he has many connections with the city officials in the tsunami-hit areas, he has been asked by many volunteers to take them there (people are not allowed to go to those areas without a special permission).   In addition, he is taking care of Yu’s grandmother and our two dogs that we left behind.  We know he has been so busy but we have never heard him complain.  When we talked to him on the phone, he just wanted to make sure that we are okay.  His selfless attitude and heart for others remind us of Christ’s love.  Please pray for God’s strength and protection.










Many of you have asked how we are doing.  We are doing well in Seoul.  The church where we are staying and believers here are taking such good care of us.  We had our special friends from Arlington last week and they ministered to us in many amazing ways (we will write about them soon).   We are reminded of God’s goodness and faithfulness every single day.  This week, we will be going to the Christian broadcasting company to share our story. We praise God for this wonderful opportunity.  Thank you for your continued prayers.










Categories: Aid for Japan.

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