Tohoku Ministers’ Retreat

April 2, 2012

Last week, we went to Iwate prefecture for the Tohoku Ministers’ Retreat.  The ministers in Tohoku area have been having this retreat every spring, but they were not able to meet last year due to the earthquake.  When we had a disaster relief meeting back in January, we realized that the earthquake and tsunami had affected many of the ministers emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially.  They have been working so hard to meet the needs of the people in the disaster areas and also their church members.  They haven’t had any time to get away and rest.  But we also knew that it would be difficult for many of them to pay for the retreat.  This retreat is not only for the ministers but also for their families.  It means they would have to pay for the whole family.

Then, we remembered the sweet faces of the BGCT (Baptist General Convention of Texas) leaders that we had met back in November.  They were concerned about the ministers who were working in the disaster areas and shared their desire to help them. We wrote them and asked if they would be able to help by covering some of the cost of the retreat.  They wrote back immediately saying “YES”.

Thanks to their huge help, we were able to host the ministers’ retreat and everyone had a blessed time together.  We had plenty of time to worship, to pray, to share, and to rest.  As one of the newest families in the area, it was great getting to know all the ministers and their families.  We were encouraged to feel their love for God and for people in Tohoku area.  Everyone shared about his/her experiences with disaster relief work, and it was evident that God has been using each one of them in many ways.  Even though it has not been an easy journey, we all agreed that we want to continue loving and helping those in need.

We took the kids to the nearby snow mountain and we all had a blast! One of the kids was from Fukushima and it was good to see him have fun outside.  Please pray for him and all the other kids in Fukushima.  Even though they live outside of the evacuation zone, the radiation level is still high and they can’t play outside.  Many moms have left Fukushima with their kids, but there are still many more that cannot leave due to different reasons.  Please pray for God’s protection and guidance.  Also, pray for parents as they make important decisions for their families.   We are in the process of planning a new program for the kids that go to churches in Fukushima.  We want to invite them to places outside of Fukushima for a week or two during their breaks and give them a chance to be away from high radiation level.  It will require lots of planing and money.  Please pray for God’s wisdom for us and also for His provision as we work on this.

Here are some pictures from the retreat!

Opening worship service.










Prayer time.










Dinner time!










Getting ready to ski!










Little kids enjoyed sledding.










Don’t you love his smile?












BINGO time!










Please pray for this family from Fukushima.










Luke loved playing with him!












Snowball fight!  All the adults had fun, too!










Group photo.  There were more people who came after this photo was taken.  We all had such a great time together.










Thank you, BGCT, for making this retreat possible!  We are so thankful that we were able to be a part of this time of fellowship.  Thank you for touching our lives in such a special way!  Please continue to pray for the ministers and their families in Tohoku area as we keep ministering to those in the disaster areas.

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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It has been 6 months…

September 24, 2011

September 11th was a special day for us in many ways.  We remembered those who died in New York on September 11th, 2001.  It was also a day to remember those who died in the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.  It has been six months since that day and many people are still hurting and grieving.  In fact, some of our church members lost their relatives and the girls in our youth group are having a difficult time accepting their grandparents’ passing.

Many people in the tsunami-hit areas have moved to the temporary housing, but it’s hard to get used to this new living environment, especially for older people.  They don’t get food and supplies from the government anymore.  Many of them live alone.  They are too old to drive or their cars were washed away by the tsunami.  They have to go to the stores, doctor’s office, bank, and all the other places by themselves.  THEY NEED HELP!!!

That’s why we keep visiting them.  Many of them are lonely and hopeless.  We want them to know that we love them and care for them.  Even though we may not be able to do much, we know our GOD can save and heal them.

Here are some photos from our visit in August.










It was the last time we visited this temporary shelter (middle school).  These ladies have moved to the temporary housing and live alone now.










Luke loved playing with them.  The lady on the right lost her husband in the tsunami and misses him a lot.










We helped with the yard work and gave those ladies some time to rest.  There was a lot to do!










Poster from the kids in the US.










We delivered some children’s clothes that were donated by our FBCA family.  Please pray for Miyuki.  She has many questions about God.










We visit this family every time we go to Oshika Peninsula.  Their relative (this old lady’s nephew) is a strong Christian and we want them to come to know the Lord.












We love Shuri (girl) and Raiki (boy).  Their grandfather is a leader in the community.  Shuri shared that most of her friends had moved to other cities after the tsunami.  We  try to give them a gift every time we go there and we love seeing their cute smile!

Please continue to pray that the seeds that have been planted will grow someday. We know God has a special plan for each of them!

We will post another update next week!  Have a blessed weekend!

Categories: Aid for Japan.

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March 14, 2011

Many of you already know this, but we had a massive earthquake in Japan on Friday.  We live in Sendai, which is about 80 miles from the epicenter.  We were at our house and it shook for a while.  I ran to get our sleeping baby and Michael went to help my grandmother who could not move because she was so scared.  It seemed like it would last forever.  We lost our power and water immediately, and then we completely lost our phone service.  My dad was 4 hours away and didn’t know how he could come home.   It was snowing outside so we tried to stay warm inside while we kept having aftershocks.

We thought we would have to evacuate but community leaders decided only old people who lived alone would go to the nearby elementary school because there would not be enough room for everyone.

We were up all night long praying.  At that point, we didn’t even know what was happening.  Only source of information was a radio and we could tell that the news reporters were in shock as they saw the damage from the helicopter.  We heard a crying mom and a baby because she could not feed her baby.  There was a small child who was left at his school and he had no idea if his parents would ever pick him up.  An old man was just crying and asking “why, why???”  The news said many towns on the coast were completely washed away by tsunami.  We couldn’t even believe what we were hearing.  Only thing we could do was to pray.

We started to have water again on Saturday which was a huge blessing.  Since many people still didn’t have any, we delivered to those in need.  We also waited in line for several hours at 3 different stores to get food.  At this point, we should have enough for a week and we are sharing what we have with our neighbors who don’t have anything.

On Sunday, we headed to our church without knowing if the church building was okay and if anyone would show up.  Thankfully, the church was okay and about 12 members showed up.  Since we didn’t have power, we had a worship service outside of the church and had a special prayer time.  We cried out to God for His strength and protection for those who were still waiting to be rescued and also for His comfort and peace for those who lost their loved ones.

It is Monday morning here and we still don’t have power at our house.  We came to my dad’s house to charge our laptop and phones.  We were so encouraged by all the messages and phone calls that we have received from you all.  Because of limited internet access, we are not able to write you back individually.  We sincerely apologize.  But please know that we truly appreciate your prayers and support.  Just knowing so many people are praying for us and Japanese people comforts us.

Damage in Sendai is minimal compared to the coastline.  We have some cracks and water damage, but we are thankful to have a place to live.  In our neighborhood, there are broken walls, windows, roofs, water pipes, and pavement and foundations are uneven.    There are a few people who have minor injuries but they are okay.

Damage on the coastline is devastating.  In a few seconds, all the houses were washed away.  Many people didn’t have enough time to evacuate even though they had left their home right after the earthquake.  We still don’t know how many lost their lives and how many are missing.  As I write this, we still don’t know if my grandparents and aunts are safe.  My grandparents live in a city by the ocean and both of my aunts were visiting them on Friday.  Thankfully, they live on a hill but all the surrounding areas have been flooded.  The city officials said the area my grandparents lived look okay from the sky, but they haven’t had a chance to send a helicopter to rescue people.  We are praying for everyone’s safety in that town.  Since the phones are not working, my cousins tried to go there to rescue them, but the roads were closed.

The power plants in another prefecture are having so many problems and some are exploding.  It is scary.  Government is telling everyone in that area to evacuate immediately.

We are thankful for God’s protection, but we are heartbroken for those who have lost their lives, loved ones, homes, and everything else they had.  We are trying our best to help those in need.  At this point, we are delivering food and water to people in Sendai.  We are not allowed to go to the coastline right now but we hope to find out what they need the most so that we can buy and bring them to those people.

Many of you have asked how you can help.  Words can’t express how thankful we are for your willingness to help Japan and Japanese people.  Some of you have offered to send supplies, but we don’t know how long it will take for us to receive them.  So we are asking for monetary donation so that we can buy what people need the most and deliver those items.  You can go to “Our Story” page on our blog and learn how to give.  We can promise you that your gift will be used to minister to those who are in need.  Our prayer is that God will use us in mighty ways during this difficult time.  Our hearts hurt so badly knowing many people died without hearing about Jesus.  As we help others who are hopeless, we want them to know God’s love and hope.

Please continue to pray.  We believe in the power of prayer and we know God will answer our prayers.  We know God is in control and we will continue to trust in Him.


































Categories: Aid for Japan.

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