Hawaii Team 2014

May 27, 2014

For the Japanese video go here.

This year we had another great team from Hawaii come to Sendai.  As always, they were an encouragement to everyone they met.  They loved on our boys and we were truly blessed by all the team members.  We hosted another Hawaiian Festival at our church and several new faces came to win prizes, sing songs, make leis, eat spam musubi, fellowship, and more importantly, to hear about God’s love.  The faces of the people in Ishinomaki were lifted as many rekindled friendships from two years ago.  Everyone was deeply moved by the team’s testimony.  Thank you again to First Baptist Church of Pearl City and Waialae Baptist Church for sending these messengers of God’s love.

Categories: Hope for Japan News.

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Hosting a mission team from Hawaii!

May 1, 2014

We are hosting a mission team from Hawaii this week and next week.  They are from Waialae Baptist Church and FBC Pearl City.  Eight people are coming and seven of them were here two years ago.  We are excited to have them back again!  They will be serving at local churches and in the disaster area.  The following is the prayer calendar that the team has made for this trip.  We appreciate your prayers as they minister to so many people!  We also want to ask you to pray for extra strength for us and our boys!

May 1: Pray for safe travel to Sendai, second ministry area.

May 2: Pray for missionaries Michael and Yu Towery at Taitomi Church. Pray for the mothers and children as the team interacts with them. Most of them do not come from Christian backgrounds.

May 3 Pray for the Hawaiian Festival community outreach to families around Taitomi Church. Pray for good weather, a great turnout and the opportunity for the team to share the Gospel.

May 4 Pray for the Sunday Worship time at Taitomi Church. Pray for the work that missionaries Tony and Marsha Woods are involved with in Ishinomaki and for the English Bible Study and worship at Sendai Baptist Church. Pray for Lynne as she shares her testimony.

May 5 Pray for those involved with the Nozomi Project. Pray for people still living in temporary housing in Oshika. Pray for Miyuki and her daughter.

May 6: Pray for the people in the temporary housing in Ishinomaki. Pray for the team’s sensitivity to the people as they listen to the residents’ stories and as they minister through music, games, and crafts.

May 7: Pray for the Tokyo Baptist Church ministry in rest home in Ishinomaki with Tony and Marsha Woods. Pray for safe travel back to Sendai.

May 8 Pray for missionaries Tony and Marsha Woods and Michael and Yu Towery and their ongoing work in Japan.

May 9 Pray for the team’s safe return home and the ongoing work in Japan.

Thank you in advance for your prayers!  Looking forward to sharing the photos and stories!

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News, Prayer Needs.

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Disaster Relief Update

February 6, 2013

As the new year begins we continue visiting the disaster areas.  God has blessed us with some wonderful friends who live in the temporary housing.  They are like our family.  We enjoy spending time with them!  There is one temporary housing in Ishinomaki where we have been visiting for a while.  It’s the place where we have taken many volunteer teams with us.  We were able to build close relationships with many of the residents and they always welcome us warmly.  Recently, our pastor asked us if the church could start helping them regularly.  After visiting them with the pastor and his wife and having a meeting with the leaders of this housing unit, we both agreed it would be great if the church members could start visiting them.  The leaders of this temporary housing have been so good to us and we just love them so much!

We took several members in January and we all had a wonderful time.  We all met in the gathering room and enjoyed our time together.  The residents were very open and shared their stories (which is a blessing because it usually takes so long to earn their trust).  We all had fun talking, having tea, and singing!  Two old ladies showed us the Japanese traditional dance.  One of them was a lady with Parkinson’s and she usually sits in the corner and listens as others talk.  We were all surprised to see her stand up and dance!  And she was smiling and having a great time!  That made all of us smile!

Singing time!

Singing time!

Luke helped us to put the oranges in the bags.

Luke helped us to put the oranges in the bags.

Michael shoveled the snow with other men.

Michael shoveled the snow (and ice) with other men.

We also visited one of the preschools to deliver some gifts for the students and teachers.

Aren't they precious?

Aren’t they precious?

Of course, Luke had so much fun!

Of course, Luke had so much fun!

This is another temporary housing that all the Baptist churches in our city have been helping every month.  It has been great serving with other believers.

Delivering fresh vegetables.

Delivering fresh vegetables.

Pretty flower pot that was given to each family with a hand written card.

Pretty flower pots that were given to each family with a hand written card.

Making candy leis together.

Making candy leis together.

Group photo after the fellowship.

Group photo after the fellowship.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for those in the disaster areas.  It has been such a cold winter and many of them have told us they are so cold in their temporary housing units.  Please pray they will stay healthy during this winter.  Also, please pray their needs are met.  The fact that you still remember them means a lot to us.

Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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Day 5- Visiting Friends in the Temporary Housing

November 26, 2012

Day five was a FULL day! We all woke up early to go to downtown Sendai.  The team distributed flyers for the ministry held at Sendai Baptist Church.  This was one of the most challenging tasks!  Even though most Japanese people are kind, they do not take a flyer from a stranger!  But the team worked hard and the pastor of this church was thankful for their help!


Handing out the flyers.

We drove to Ishinomaki city on the coastline.  This city was damaged by the tsunami on March 11th and many people lost everything they had.  We have been visiting several temporary housings and building relationships with the residents, and we are so glad that the team had a chance to meet them!

Buying fresh vegetables and fruits for 70 families!

Signing individual cards to let the residents know that we will continue to think of them and pray for them.

Mr. and Mrs. Hiratsuka serve as the leaders of this temporary housing. They are so sweet and we always enjoy spending time with them!

The team did a great job preparing for this visit.  They sang Amazing Grace, did a Thanksgiving craft, played BINGO, and more than anything, they shared their love with them.  They also brought LOTS of gifts for the residents.  Our dear friends from Arlington had donated many items as well and it was great to see the residents’ smile!

Everyone loved BINGO!

Singing “Amazing Grace”.

Playing card games with men while ladies enjoyed getting a manicure!

We ended our day by having dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Hiratsuka and their daughter.


Categories: Aid for Japan, Hope for Japan News.

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Texas Team Visits Ishinomaki

July 30, 2012

As you have read before we do a lot of work in Ishinomaki City and the surrounding areas.  One of the blessings of going to meet with people in the temporary housing units is that many times other places will hear about us and ask us to visit them.

We are so grateful that the Texas team was able to help with our ministry at one of our newest contacts.  The team brought a craft for everyone to make and then sang Texas songs. They even did a line dance which was a was a hit.

This particular unit has expressed their openness to Christianity.  We are thankful for this opportunity to serve and pray for many more.  The Texas team also helped with our English ministry.  We had a Texas theme with crafts, sketch drawings, bandanas, Texas songs, and a lot of laughs.

We can’t thank the BGCT and the team members enough for all they have done.  We pray you were blessed as much as you blessed us and the people of Japan!

Enjoy some of the photos!

We visited Oshika Preschool.









Each child received special gifts from Texas. A huge thank you to everyone who donated these gifts!









Love their smile!










Sang some fun songs in the gathering room at one of the temporary housings.









The residents sang with us!










Everyone enjoyed line dancing!










We delivered fresh vegetables to each family.










The leader of this temporary housing. She is so sweet and we love getting to know her and her husband.









So thankful for a blessed time of fellowship. We look forward to visiting them again!










Categories: Aid for Japan.

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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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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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Update on March 15th

March 15, 2011

We have received more messages and calls from many of you! We realized so many people that we don’t even know are praying for us and supporting us.  Words can’t express how thankful we are!  Your prayers and encouragement mean the world to us!

Many people prayed for my grandparents.  God answered our prayers, and my grandparents and aunts are safe.  They were staying at my grandparent’s house which is  on a hill and everything around them was flooded.  They saw the tsunami washing the city away and my aunt said she can’t even describe what she had seen.  My grandfather requires dialysis so he had to go to the hospital.  Since they could not take him there, my aunt went down the hill to ask for help.  She walked in water to get to the nearest hospital.  Thankfully, they were able to send a truck to get him.  The phone service in the entire city is down so my aunt decided to come back to our city to let us know that they are all safe.  She was able to find a person who was willing to give her an one hour ride home (most of the way, Japanese people have been very helpful and polite).  She is taking my cousin to go back to my grandparents’ place in a few days to bring them to our city.  We will be asking them to take some food and water so that they can give them to the people in that area who don’t have anything.  Please pray that the roads to go up the hill will be open by then.

Power was restored last night so we were able to stay in a warm house.  We are very thankful for this, but still heartbroken for those who don’t have anything.  Many temporary shelters do not have power so people there are still staying in a cold place.  We were up most of the night watching the news, and we are very concerned about the explosions of the nuclear power plants.  They are located in Fukushima prefecture (like a state) which is south of us.  The Japanese government is telling people in that area to evacuate.  As of now, we have not been told to evacuate.  We also called the US Embassy in Tokyo and they said they are not telling Americans in this area to evacuate as of now.  However, it is obvious that threat of radiation contamination is very serious and we are doing everything we can do to protect ourselves and help others to understand the seriousness of this situation.  Many people are panicked and they don’t know what to do.

Since we can’t evacuate to the south or north without a car or public transportation, we are staying home today and tomorrow (or until we know it is safe).  Our car is almost out of gasoline.  We went to all the gas stations around here but none of them had gas.  Their workers didn’t even know when they would have some.   Major highways are closed to the public and only emergency vehicles are allowed to use them.  Most of the train systems in northern Japan are shut down.  At this point, we have no way to get out of this city.  So we will do our best to help others in need while we do what we can do to take care of our health.

Since we have been advised to stay home today, we are trying to make it productive.  Our house is still a mess since we haven’t had a chance to clean without power.  The boxes that were stacked up are everywhere in one of the rooms.  We have some plants, picture frames, books, and decorations that fell from the shelves, and there are also some broken glasses.  We are also trying to clean water damage in the house.

My friend in Canada asked me to help her friend who supervises English teachers from other countries.  She has not been able to make sure if all of them are okay.  Since I have internet and cell phone service, I hope to help her locate these teachers.  I can’t even imagine how terrified they are without knowing enough Japanese to understand what is going on.  I know many of them want to evacuate or fly home but they can’t go to the international airport at this point.  Please pray I can minister to them during this time.  If you know anyone from other countries who are still missing, please e-mail us.  I will do our best to contact the local government officials/schools/shelters to find out if they have any information.

While the Japanese army, aid from other countries (we are SO thankful), and volunteers work very hard to take care of the people on the coastline (they are working nonstop- please pray for them), we will do our best take care of the people here who need help.  There are still so many people at the temporary shelters.  I saw an old man on a street who was on his way home from the shelter.  I tried to comfort him and encourage him, but what he said really encouraged me.  He said, “What I went through is nothing compared to those who lost family and everything else.”

We met a family who evacuated from Arahama town that was washed away by the tsunami.  They have some relatives in our neighborhood.  Their house was destroyed and they lost everything.  The only clothes that two girls have are their school uniforms.  We offered clothes that we have.  We are trying to find out what else they need.

We are also trying to help people around our church.  Our church is located in the suburb of Sendai and most of the houses are okay.  However, they still don’t have power (it means no heat!) and water.  When we went to church on Sunday, we saw our dear friend who came with her four kids.  Her husband is in the Japanese army and has not come home since last Friday.  She can’t stay in line to buy food because she can’t leave her kids at her house due to severe aftershocks.  They have been staying in a house without heat and the kids don’t even have water to drink.  She was very optimistic and said they would be okay, but we have been thinking of them and praying for them all the time.  We haven’t been able to reach them by phone since Sunday.  As soon as we get gas, we are going to deliver food and water, and we will invite them to stay with us until power and water are back.

There are some of the situations locally.  There are so many others in need, but we are starting with what we can.  All the stores around here have nothing, but we will be in line as soon as they have something.

We just heard from Cindy, Director of GCPN (our sending organization).  She called us to let us know that they would do anything to help us (we are working on the emergency evacuation plan with them).  Our pastor sent a special message to all the church members asking them to pray for us.  We are SO thankful for FBCA and GCPN, and also for all the other churches and organizations that are helping us and praying for us.  There is so much to be done and we can’t do this alone.   Let’s partner together and let His light shine in this dark place.


Categories: Aid for Japan.

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