In less than a month our team will be in the city of Ishinomaki to help with tsunami relief.
Where is Ishinomake? What will we be doing? Below is a map of the city and local news of the devastation left behind.
For more pictures visit: http://www.dannychoo.com/post/en/26208/Ishinomaki+Tsunami.html
As you may know, I have attempted to visit Japan six times in the past (as a mission trip or a vacation), but every plan has fallen through. However, God has given me a new opportunity to reach the Japanese people this July. The devastation from last year's tsunami is no longer in the news, but still runs the length of Japan's eastern seaboard. So I have been invited by a church planter in Japan with the mission agency Christar to join a small team to help provide support.
The Details: I will be leaving for Japan on July 5th 2012 and staying for over three weeks. Two weeks will be spent in the northeast city of Ishinomaki to join CRASH Japan (Christian Relief Assistance Support & Hope) clean up and rebuild. The work in Ishinomaki (pictured) will likely consist of cleaning out and helping to rebuild homes that were damaged but not completely destroyed by the tsunami.
There is still much hopelessness and frustration in Japan as the efforts to rebuild cities and towns are hampered by bureaucratic red tape and lack of funds. There is also a nationwide electrical shortage due to the shutting down of all 50 nuclear reactors in Japan for maintenance and repairs. By coming alongside the local Japanese during this difficult time, we will be able to show them the love of Christ and the healing power of the Holy Spirit. A final week will be spent in Ube City of the Southwestern Yamaguchi prefecture with local churches to teach English, encourage believers, and share our testimonies.
Japan is an Unreached People Group. Japan is the world’s seventh largest nation with a population of 126,319,000, but less than 1% are Christian in a society where consensus is important and everyone wants to be part of a group. There are very few complete families who come to faith, thus the majority of believers are women. In Asia, the greatest number of missionaries is in Japan, but the fruit of their labors is disappointingly small.
Japanese are bound by human tradition, materialism, and are spiritually blind to the Gospel. The economic decline since 1989 and the tsunami have shaken the country’s sense of self-sufficiency. Thankfully, Japan is blessed with complete religious freedom, but much prayer is needed if lasting fruit is to been seen.
Your Partnership is needed: I have never been on a mission trip before, so I need your support. It will take special gifts from God’s people to make this trip a reality. I have been asked to raise ten prayer partners and between $3500 and $4000 dollars which includes airfare, immunizations, room and board and local transportation for the trip.
If God leads you to donate, please use the enclosed form to send checks to Christar or visit www.christar.org to give electronically.
Myth: Reaching that nations for Christ requires a passport
Recently I feel like I've been living out Acts 16:6 in real time when Paul's team is diverted from Asia by the Holy Spirit to reach Phrygia & Galatia. For God changed plans for a 2012 outreach in Japan (tsunami relief and church planting efforts in Miyako). I think this makes it the 4th attempt to visit Japan in which God has diverted us.
However, what's been impressed upon me is that despite the circumstances I haven't been granted a "free pass" on evangelism. I think a Christar Missionary put it best: "Nothing magical happens on the plane to another country. If you're not a missionary here, you won't be a missionary there."
Fortunately, I was invited by a classmate to visit HIS International ministries, where international students are invited to lunch each week. Joining them for lunch I've been able to meet several students from China who don't know Christ as their personal savior. Its been a learning experience to sit and listen to them tell me about China, food, and faith. Language barriers abound too. Since I can't speak a word of Chinese, we're having a good time making sure we know what we're saying to each other. Fortunately, the students I've spoken with feel it's good English practice.
Be praying that God would continue bringing international students to HIS International's great ministry and that God would establish divine appointments for internationals to meet with believers while they study here in the states. Please be praying for me too, that I would have the boldness to share my faith despite the language barriers. It's a blessing to see what God is doing right in our own backyards and be invited to tag along in the process!
The Gospel in 120 seconds
HIS International Inc.
Brett & Beth record their milestones in academia and medicine as they roam far and wide with Jethro, Edessa, and Genevieve in tow.