Monday, October 3, 2011

YWAM Tokyo Team & DTS Outreach to Ishinomaki, July 27-August 5, 2011

Returning to Ishinomaki, we have been blessed to meet and build relationships with many people up there; many with whom we have worked before. During one of our trips, one man started a conversation with a team member about God and Christianity’s history in Japan. He expressed that Christians are a light because they believe that heaven awaits those who believe in Christ. He would like to try and read the Bible again, but can't find the time to do it. Another volunteer openly expressed his deep interest in Christianity. Another man expressed his desire to start reading the Bible; we were able to give him one by the end of the trip. We pray that our relationship with these friends would continue and that they may know the love of the Lord for them soon!
While we were there, a two-day festival was held. One DTS student who attended the festival was able to speak with someone about the loss of their loved one in the tsunami. On the 

Spirit’s prompting, he sensed that the widowed man just needed a hug. He offered him a hug and immediately the man broke down and began to wail on his shoulder, overcome with mourning and love. 

There is still so much we can do to help rebuild Tohoku -- not only for their physical well-being. Please continue to keep Tohoku, Japan, in prayer.
Candles at a local festival in Ishinomaki.

YWAM Tokyo Team & Hi-BA Outreach to Ishinomaki, June 15-24, 2011

Working with Hi-BA (Highschool Born Againers), we were blessed to be able to send a team for an annual high school outreach called Gospel Team. Three YWAM Tokyo team members were asked to lead this team of four high school students plus one of this year's DTS students. We cleaned and mucked out homes and buildings, prepared Takidashi (outside community cook-out) for a nearby evacuation center, and built relationships. Because of Jesus' example (that He came and lived among us), we wanted to stay at an evacuation center with survivors who share classrooms as their living space. We prayed for favor for one center in Ishinomaki to allow us to reside there for the ten-day duration of our trip. The prayer was answered!
The guys were in one room designated for male volunteers; the girls were placed in a room full of Japanese women survivors. When shown to their room, we all sensed a cold reception thus making the girls intimidated to stay. One teammate wanted to leave the center, but because we had prayed for this housing provision and God knew where they would be placed, we had to take this opportunity. Though they were quiet and kept to themselves at first, the ladies did warm up to our girls. They began to speak with them more, as well as leave the lights on for them in the evenings. On the morning of our departure, the girls wrote a thank-you letter with a Bible verse inside. That same morning, just before 5 a.m., we noticed that those same ladies were waving at us from their windows. 

Evacuation center in Ishinomaki where the team stayed.