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Japan is always on our minds and in our prayers. I often check the blogs of friends living in Japan and stumbled upon two memorable videos. I am really happy to share these beautiful videos with you! I’m sure you’ll be inspired by the resiliency and grace of the people of Tohoku.

The first one is called “Arigato (Thank You) from Japan Earthquake Victims.” I do not consider myself to be a weepy person but it was simply impossible to hold back the tears as the people of Japan thank the world for their support (in different languages) and for sending help in the grim days after the 3/11/11 disaster.

The second video is entitled “Then and Now.” Description: “During a trip to Ishinomaki in November, 2011, we interviewed a number of survivors and let them tell us about how the recovery is going.” This video does not seem to be an overtly Christian, but there is so much that followers of Jesus can gleam from watching this video.

Matthias and I were captivated by the beautiful camera work but especially by the thoughtful interviews with several individuals, mostly men, who survived the tsunami. In fact, I was so moved that we took time to pray for the people named in the video. My favorite interviewee was the funny ramen guy, Takahiro Chiba, who does a funky little dance at 9:12. I really want to go to his ramen shop when we are back in Japan this summer. I also liked the middle-aged guy with the sunglasses who expresses his frustration with the Japanese government: “In a sense, to the government, we survivors are like baggage.” A third interviewee, Gota Matsumura, opened a bar to provide people with a safe place to dialogue and share dreams and hopes for the future. Maybe we’ll drop by his bar and meet him as well. I am really curious to see what the new Ishinomaki will look like in a few years, and my hope is that God will bring splendid beauty from the ashes of their suffering.