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.|