“Miracles All Around Us” – Nagoya Team Update

This is the most recent post from our team leader’s blog

Everyone can see the miracle stories…like the amazing rescue seen here or the heart breaking pieces like this video.

But all of us working on the relief effort are experiencing our own little miracles each day. The other day I was having a conversation with someone, trying to figure out where we could find more poly tanks–18 liter tanks used for carrying kerosene for heat or diesel fuel for delivering supplies. Someone overhearing our conversation stopped to pray, asking God to provide the poly tanks we needed. Not five minutes later, the phone rang, and a total stranger, Mr. Hasegawa, was on the line to say that he was in Toyota at a home center, he had found 10 poly tanks, and could we use them? The next day he delivered those, and that night brought us five more that he had spent the day tracking down. More poly tanks poured in over the next couple of days, and today, two young men–brothers of a girl in our church–came by and took those tanks and filled them up as their donation. God answered that prayer in a way we never expected or could have imagined!

Late last night Wayne crawled into bed next to me, just home from his second trip to Iwaki, Fukushima. He was freezing cold–it took a long while for him to thaw out. He said they kept the cab of the truck really cold to help the driver stay awake. He and our precious brothers in Christ Moto Kannari and Hideyuki Goto bonded in a new way through this experience. In Iwaki we are partnering with Pastor Akira Mori, and the Taira Gospel Christ Church. I talked to Mr. Goto at one point while they were in Iwaki, and I could hear the quiver of emotion in his voice–they were along the coast, and were seeing scenes with their own eyes that up until now they had only seen on t.v. They visited a nursing home, where they gave food and diapers for the 100 residents who were living there. They gave 100 diapers, 100 bananas and 100 oranges. Those were the first fruits the residents had received since the earthquake. The director was overcome with thankfulness…no support from the government yet, only what Pastor Mori and the church had been able to bring to them.

Today was a national holiday, and the church was a beehive of activity–people bringing donations, others sorting them, packing a truck, answering the constant phone calls, writing letters and other paperwork, handling money, etc. One couple in the church went to a friends farm and picked a whole field of spinach–and then had some of the children work with them to trim, wash and package it for sending tomorrow. Others were out shopping for goods–we are finding that people are able to work through their anxiety and their stress from the ongoing crisis in Japan by getting involved . Countless people called after seeing our church website with an announcement of our relief work–months ago a seeker in the church had gotten the website started, and now God is using it as a tool to bring relief to northern Japan. We are amazed at the way all these things are coming together–once again, beyond anything we could imagine or expect.

Tonight we took our three drivers–teammate Peter and two Japanese pastors–down to the Hilton Hotel, where our partner Hope Int’l was conducting a drive to finish filling our truck with supplies. They are setting off for Sendai, further north than the two trips thus far, but the access point for some of the worst hit areas. We have contact with Food for the Hungry there, as well as our dear friends OPC missionaries the Cummings. The drivers will be in contact with them as they travel along, assessing the situation and deciding where their supplies will be best used. After all the ways we’ve seen God bring things together, we are confident that each thing in the shipment will be used and they will find the right place to distribute them.

Tomorrow we hope to put the children of the church to work making rice balls to take on the load that leaves tomorrow night. This will be our first trip without a missionary along–once again, we’ll partner with many to fill the truck, and send these drivers to Sendai.

We are just overwhelmed with thankfulness at God’s sustaining hand on us. We know that millions of people around the world praying for Japan, and we’re confident God is hearing those prayers. We’ve seen his work so many times now, that I’m not really even worried about the many worries we have–I have a great sense of peace that God is doing something here, and he is providing for every little thing. Every morning I am waking up with more energy than I have had in months. By the end of each day I am very tired, but sleep well and am ready to go for another day. Once again, God is hearing your prayers.

As I write this, I am watching the news. We are constantly aware of the long term recovery that is needed. More than the physical needs, are the heartbreaking emotional traumas that so many thousands of people have experienced. Oh, we pray for a great work of God’s mercy and healing hand to be on these precious people. Join us, please, in loving the Japanese and proclaiming the Gospel to them for the long haul.

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