The epicness of yesterday started from the morning at the public hall. We did not know how many would come, but we were prepared with salted egg yolk fish skin and pineapple buttered rice with cashews for serving lunch. And we were excited to step out in faith that our paltry offerings could bring a blessing to the co-workers and to the participants.
Yet again, faithful pastor Iwasuka arrived bright and early to Shalom House to lead us to the first public housing, where we had done flyering on day 2. It was so good to see the elderly people come, some 20 mins before the start time of the event. Some in their best clothes, as we were aware that these gatherings were the highlight of their week or month.
The songs flooded the otherwise silent hall, and it was heartwarming to sing “God Bless You” to a curious watching crowd. Who are these Singaporeans who travelled for 7 hours to enter into a world many have forgotten?
Without our Japanese translator, we were concerned that we wouldn’t understand the pastor’s instructions that day. We didn’t have to worry! 👏🏼
Our drive back to Morioka unveiled the incredible beauty of the Japanese countryside. After a while, it stopped making sense to capture the beauty in pictures, because the vastness if sea and density of forest just could not be adequately captured.
Back at Morioka
Karage and sushi dinner with Dave Robinson (the American missionary), Kondo sensei and their families was a welcomed break. It is beautiful to see families thriving in the work of the Lord, and to experiencd the peace and joy that flood these households.
I continue to ask for the Lord’s protection on their children as they grow up in a society that is increasingly intolerant of the Christian way of life and living. May they never resent the courageous countercultural choice their parents have made – in opening hearts and home to strangers from all over, and in living as resident aliens in this world.
The 7pm English Cafe started off with a bang: I didn’t know my brother could so put everyone at such ease during the icebreakers. Indeed, there are many things I am learning about him in this trip, and I realised that our faithful God continues to mold him into an unassuming and thoughtful leader. Praise God from which these blessings flow. Praise Him for answered prayer.
Pastor Kondo told us he had borrowed money from a student at Iwate University. He told his student he would only return the money to him if the student came last night for the English cafe. (Pastor Kondo admitted this was a risky bargain, but he figured he could take advantage of a forgotten wallet). Student M came last night, nervously, but he came nonetheless.
The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Lord, I continue to ask that You prove strong for the Christian community in Morioka.
I ask that You work through the international crowds, to show the Japanese that You are the God of all the nations, not only of the Jews or the ‘white people’.
I ask that through the good work of English language teachers, Your gospel will go forth, if not in words, by sincere actions born from love.
We constantly taste and see that You are good here. You are working and You continue to set hearts aflame to step out in obedience. Jesus tell us that the harvest is so plentiful, but the workers are few. Lord, I ask that You continue to call and send workers into the ripe fields of the Iwate University and Morioka city. Your Spirit moves like the wind; come down upon this land.