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Ishinomaki Team#3: Testimony

Ishinomaki Team#3 Mission Trip : April 9th to 11th, 2011

I usually remember important dates, like birthdays of loved ones and anniversaries among others, but the 3-in-1 disaster of March 11, 2011 in Japan enlisted itself in my ‘unforgettable dates’ without any permission!

And then there’s April 9 to 11, 2011, God burdened me to step forward and help the TBC team who went to Ishinomaki, Miyagi to distribute relief goods, serve hot meals, and most of all to share God’s love and compassion, especially to those who do not know the hope that is in Christ Jesus yet.

One of the things that struck me most on this Mission Trip is how the disasters speak of how organized and disciplined the Japanese are even in the middle of a calamity. The survivors become so open in communicating – putting in words what they went through, who’s left and who’s gone in their families, how they escaped the tsunami that killed thousands and ravaged virtually everything in its way, how life is in the shelters – to some without nothing but only the life that they have at that very moment. This seems to go against the idea of a Japanese culture of ‘few words’. Now, they suddenly have many stories to tell. There was a young man (in his twenties) who passed by our van and saw that we are with the team who fed people, he greeted us and thanked us for the meal, and openly told us that though his family is fine, their house with everything in it was washed away. I have never felt like a gaikokujin in my whole 10 years in Japan. I felt like I am one with them, beyond hurting just like them.

In each piece of rubble and debris that I saw, I saw a life of a person – displaced without a choice. But I thank God that He personally offered me a choice, whether to stay in darkness, displaced, confused and with imminent death or to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him as Lord and Savior and eternal life. I chose the latter. I know God is offering Japan the same offer!

In my heart, I know He is not done with the unbelieving culture of the Japanese and in my little way I will be one of the many that will pray for Japan’s salvation, and that God will be in the middle of the Tohoku rebuilding.

As we went back to Tokyo, on April 11, exactly a month after the 3-in-1 disaster, the enemy was not happy at all by what we have done in glorifying God’s name in Ishinomaki, he tried to scare us with a big swerving truck who almost hit our 4

vehicle convoy as we were passing Fukushima, but God protects those who are His. All the time.Praising God for our team leaders for their passion for Jesus. God also reminds me of His daily unending miracles in the lives of each member of the team I went with, especially my husband.

I will never be the same person again with what I saw in Sendai and Ishinomaki.

Giving back to God all the Glory!

M.P.

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