I am exhausted as I write this post, but it’s a good kind of exhausted! Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of the 3/11 triple disaster in Japan. I wasn’t sure what to expect at the open house event but I was overwhelmed by God’s abundant blessing on the entire day. It was awesome from beginning to end! It was awesome to see such cooperation among all the various Christian groups in Ishinomaki to help make yesterday such a success.
We showed up at 1pm and we were amazed to see the “Kamizoku base” (a large space that is often used for large events) decorated so beautifully. All throughout the day people came in and out to be together with friends and neighbors. I felt that even though open houses are not common in Japan, it was very fitting for 3/11. I imagine that nobody really wants to be alone on such a day and the open house gave people a safe, warm environment to be in the midst of such heaviness. To our joy, many people came and even better, almost everyone allowed a volunteer to pray for him or her at some point.
I invited a dear friend, Y, and she had a terrific time. She must have said, “I am so glad I came!” at least a dozen times. 🙂 She insisted on staying to the very end which is why we didn’t leave until after midnight. Many Japanese Christians came up to her throughout the day and read the Bible with her and prayed for her. Y is a new believer and she loves to learn about the Bible.
Right before 2:46pm (when the massive earthquake hit Tohoku) we made a circle and joined hands. We sang “You Were Born to Be Loved” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Then the sirens went off at 2:46pm. I couldn’t help but glance at a lady in attendance who lost her dear mother and pregnant sister in the tsunami. The sound of the siren was very scary and I started to cry imagining the terror of the people as they realized a tsunami was coming. We prayed for a while through our tears and the day continued on.
Here in this photo you can see the wall of encouragement as well as a list of the over 200+ people all over the world who were praying for Tohoku!
A Japanese Christian shared her favorite verses with my friend YJoining together to sing before the sirens went off at 2:46 pm
Photo taken at 2:46pm
People came freely to talk, relax, and receive prayer. Here the ladies are seated at one of the traditional Japanese tables (kotatsu) that were set up:
It was so good to see people of all ages chatting together
With my friend Y and two other sweet friends
There was a special time for youth – lots of loud guitar music & drums!
Young people being goofy
I am so thankful for the Body of Christ in Ishinomaki! When we all work together, God does extraordinary things. It is truly a privilege to be in Japan and to be His light in a dark world.