I recently wrote a post about Grace City Church Tokyo. A friend of mine who I met in Nagoya a few years ago was kind enough to write a testimony about his experience serving in this awesome church. If you’re ever in the Ginza area on a Sunday, be sure to visit Grace City Church Tokyo.
My name is Andy Yoo, and I currently living in the Tokyo area serving with a church called Grace City Church. Originally, I am from Los Angeles, and prior to coming to Japan I was working in Hollywood as an accountant. God compelled my heart to leave my job so I can serve with the Japanese church.
I moved to Japan on March 9, 2011, and immediately on March 11 an enormous earthquake of a magnitude of 9.0 hit Japan. I was in the Tokyo area at the time so the area was generally okay when compared to areas that were affected by the Tsunami. During this time, there were numerous strong aftershocks and many questions about the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima. While many people fled the country, many churches decided to mobilize together and to reach out to the ones suffering in the affected areas.
The church I am serving with, Grace City Church, immediately networked with the churches in the affected areas to figure out ways to communicate God’s love in a time of complete disaster. The relief was not the effort of a single church, but a combined effort of Christians from all over Japan and from all over the world. Grace City Church had the opportunity to serve with many cities and did various types of ministries, but a lot of work was done in Ishinomaki, a city that was one of most severely affected from the tsunami, by Grace City Church.
I had the opportunity to go on one of the relief trips with Grace City Church to a city called Minami Soma. This city is around 25 kilometers from the infamous damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima. Our connection was a hospital called Omachi Hospital. There is no Christian affiliation with this hospital, but during the earthquake this hospital got a lot of attention from the Japanese media. During the time of the earthquake, there were hundreds of people injured needing immediate medical assistance in city, but the Japanese government would only allow 5 people to get treatment because the supplies have been cut off. The hospital communicated this to the Japanese media, and a lot of attention was directed toward this hospital because it showed how the Japanese government denied help to people who needed it. Grace City Church communicated with the people at Omachi Hospital asking if there was anything the church could do to help. They kindly accepted the help, and a relationship was established. The hospital liked our church so much that they even allowed us to do a worship service and a gospel concert although they have no Christian affiliation. It was a huge blessing for me to see the gospel being communicated to people who would never have a chance to hear. Although there was so much despair that came from the tsunami, there were so much grace and gospel opportunities that opened up.
When I moved to Japan, I would have never expected a 9.0 earthquake to happen, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to see how God is working in this country.