Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Japan - Day 10

We faced the reality of the tsunami today, seeing hundreds of miles of devastated coast line today. Our day started after only a few hours of sleep, with a 7 hour drive to Sendai. We accompanied a truck loaded with supplies from a Japanese partner church in the Tokyo region. We passed through numerous check points on the expressway and made frequent stops at rest areas in search of fuel, then waiting in lines as when we found it. We knew we reached Sendai when we saw a massive expanse of debris covering miles of terrain.

Our team unloaded the truck at a local church near the coast in Shiogama. We were able to provide much needed fuel, food and other relief supplies. We sorted and organized the goods, and made plans to go with the local church today to displaced people's centers to get the supplies into the hands of the impacted people.

The church has mobilized many in their congregation and a few other local churches to help. We spent time with the associate pastor talking about the mission field opportunties in the wake of crisis and ideas for turning his relief efforts into longer term outreach. Having been so overwhelmed in the relief efforts, he was grateful for the discussion on longer term ministry impacts.

God continued to open doors for us as the day progressed. We made contact with another team of house church planters from Osaka, who have been serving in the community for a week. We were able to use the ReachGlobal church plant building in Sendai to provide housing for the team (and for us!).

The day ended late, as we shared a meal together with the group of Japanese church leaders and a Korean missionary. We spent several hours debriefing. One shared his visit earlier in the week with a pastor from Fukushima, in the shadow of the nuclear plant. The pastor had a church of 200, of which 40 died. the other 160 are displaced and he has been struggling to find them all. He has found about 40 so far. They had a service on Sunday, and prayed for the future, not knowing if they will ever be able to return to their homes.
We also discussed dreams and long term ministry opportunities. Another pastor shared his dream that many would come to faith. He shared about the deep rooted idolotry, with there being over 8 million God's. We prayed to close the evening that millions of the unreached people in is this region would come to know the One, the Living God.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your efforts for the people of Japan! Our prayers are with you.
--Sara F, former NOVA teacher and OMF volunteer in Tokyo