Greetings! I hope this finds you well. Here in Japan, we are just wrapping up a set of holidays that are affectionately called “Golden Week”. During this week, I took a short personal trip to South Korea to visit a missionary family there. I have visited them many times on previous trips and it was great to spend time with the mother, father, and their three little daughters. It was a greatly encouraging time for me as I was able to rest, love on the family and receive so much from them.
The husband is one of my heroes. He has prepared for over 10 years to be a pastor and this last week, I was able to attend his ordination ceremony. This graduation coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the seminary that he attended and it was a great honor to be able to attend. Several hundred people gathered in the chapel and I was one of only two foreigners in the building.
This man is my hero because he is both faithful in ministry and wholehearted in being a husband and father. I was almost brought to joyful tears as he shared with me his personal journey of becoming a pastor the evening before his ordination. He talked about how God lead him to pastor but also how God had strongly told him that he is not to put ministry before his wife or children.
Being in this Korean family’s home for a week, I again was confronted with the wonderful ways that the two parents love their kids and each other. I am so excited for what God is doing in their family and I was able to share with them, that I believe God will use this family as an example to many others over the years. They have such a heart for discipleship and I believe that God is going to give them more and more influence.
Earthquake in Kumamoto
As you likely already know, one of the southern islands of Japan was hit by a large 7.3-magnitude earthquake. Then shortly after another weaker quake of 6.3-magnitude. Around 44,000 people stayed in shelters, over 800 people were injured, and 9 people died. You can read the detailed account here: The Guardian.
Thank all of you who contacted me immediately after asking to see if I was okay. That made me feel loved. As you can see in the image above, the earthquake hit an area very far south of where I live in Tokyo and my surrounding areas were unaffected. However, I do have one friend who lives in Kumamoto and after contacting her, I thankfully learned that she was safe. She did report that there were several buildings around her with lots of damage and asked for lots of prayer for the area.
My YWAM base prayed and decided to quickly mobilize a team that went down to the affected area and volunteered with relief efforts. This team of people is composed of hard working individuals that love God and people. And I know for a fact that they went with two missions in mind: 1) help in practical service 2) bring a message of hope and also lots of prayer for the whole region. I am excited to hear the stories from this team. I hear that after regrouping in Tokyo, they plan on sending a second larger team down to continue the work there. Please be praying for these people and those who live in Kumamoto.