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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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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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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Our Journey to South Korea

March 25, 2011

Greetings from Seoul, Korea! We arrived safely and are doing well.  It has been a long journey but we are thankful that God led our way.

After leaving Sakata, we took a train to Niigata.  Luke slept the whole time and we were  able to get some rest.










On Monday, we flew to Okinawa from Niigata.  It was Luke’s first flight and once again, he did great!  He was smiling at everyone around him.  Our suitcases were overweight (we packed everything that would fit in two suitcases, yet we had to leave so much stuff that we needed), but the airline staff didn’t charge us any fee since they knew that we had evacuated from Sendai.  Thank you, God!










When we arrived in Okinawa, we rented a car and drove to our friend’s apartment.  She is our friend from DBU who became a believer while studying there.  She is teaching at Okinawa Christian School.  We are thankful for her hospitality.  We talked a lot and were able to encourage each other.  We also attended the chapel service at her school.  We had an awesome time of worship and God reminded us how great He is.  When we sang “Our God”, our hearts were filled with our prayers for the people of Japan.  We want them to know our God who is greater, stronger, and higher than any other.








While we were in Okinawa, we went to the US Consulate to apply for Luke’s emergency passport.  They closed the regular services due to the recent earthquake, but they were willing to help us after we told them our situation.  We applied and waited for a few hours.  Thanks to God’s provision and your prayers, we were able to get his emergency passport!  Praise the Lord.

After we got his passport, we were able to visit some of the famous places in Okinawa.
























When we saw the beautiful ocean, we could not help but think of the same ocean that took so many lives.  There are so many that are still missing.  “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” This verse means so much to us right now.  We pray that we can praise God no matter what the situation is.








Our flight to Seoul was smooth and Luke even had his own bed!  We were welcomed by the staff of Dr. Billy Kim’s Broadcasting Company and he brought us to the church where we are staying.  The guest room is beautiful and we are so grateful that they are letting us stay here.  The church staff are very kind and we are enjoying our fellowship with them.  The pastor even brought rice, kimchi, and delicious dumplings for us!!! We are extremely blessed and thankful.

The director of GCPN (our sending organization) and our amazing friend are coming to visit us from Arlington this Sunday.  Words cannot express how thankful we are for their willingness to come help us.  Please pray for them as they travel this weekend.

As we stay in Korea until it is safe to go back to Japan, we pray God will use us in many ways.  Right now, we are planning to visit local churches and schools to share the needs of Japan and to ask them to pray for Japanese people, especially for their salvation.  We also want to find out if there are any Japanese people who evacuated to Seoul.  If so, we want to meet them and encourage them.

We will write more updates on the situations in Japan.  As we close this post, we will share one more photo (if you are wondering why we are taking a picture of him with Pluto, we take this every month to see how much he has grown).  His smile kept us going during our journey.  When we were overwhelmed and tired, we looked at our precious son and were reminded that our responsibility is to protect him even as our hearts remained in Japan.  We know God brought us here for a reason and His plans give us hope and future.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  We love you…

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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