I’m sitting in Tokyo’s Narita airport as I write this. The last time I was here was March 11th and Kay was with me. And together, we experienced the massive earthquake. (Click here to read the story again.). Thousands died. Over 4,000 are still missing. Extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. Significant accidents at nuclear power stations.
But there is more to the story. So, on this revisit to Tokyo, I’ll share some of the amazing things that God and His people have seen happen.
In the days following the tsunami, a team of 8 Japanese Campus Crusade for Christ staff and students went to Tohoku to help. Tohoku is a region in Japan where the gospel is slow in spreading. It is an area where they do not want to accept Christian volunteers. They shun off the volunteer efforts from churches too. A member of the team wrote:
Despite these obstacles, and through the prayers of many, we are thankful we were able to have this opportunity to be close to them, cry and laugh together with them and encourage them. And, of course, all these are possible because dedicated leaders and the Kesennuma Bible Baptist Church members have been sowing seeds in this neighborhood, which resulted in good relationships built up.
Those whom we have met told us to come again. For people in Tohoku to say, “please come again”, they are not saying it to be polite, they really meant what they say. To be able to earn the trust of people in “closed” Tohoku in just 4 days is only by the grace and the work of GOD. The local pastor was overjoyed and said that he has more families to visit from now onwards.
When I visited and helped the last house during this trip, I asked if I could pray for blessing for this household. The elderly lady said, “Yes. Thank you.” She kept saying thank you repeatedly. With tears, she said, “Just when I felt I was going to go under…” When we were cleaning her house, she acted strong. But I felt that she had been pushing down her feelings of pain and distress. We were able to give her daughter a copy of the Manga Search (manga Knowing God Personally booklet).
A little later, another team worked in a nearby area. They were able to store supplies at the local church. A team member reported:
A house owner whose house had been cleaned by an earlier team heard about the supplies at the local church and went to pick some. One of our team members helped her carry the stuff back home.
The home owner was so thankful for the help from the earlier team and kept talking about it with tears in her eyes. Our team member took the opportunity to say, “God loves you, and has kept you alive and provided help for you. When I face difficult times, God helps, encourages and comforts me. Through a simple prayer, you can invite God into your heart. Would you like to pray a prayer to invite Him in?“ The home owner said, “Yes” and they prayed together!
When the earlier team heard this good news, we all shed tears of joy. The Lord has opened doors in mysterious ways and sent us there in His exquisite timing. As we witness the work of His hands, we can’t keep from praising Him.
Our amazing God uses all things to draw people to himself. Do we view everything as opportunities to tell people of God’s love?