Monday, April 8, 2013

Old Friends - New Places

Old Friends – New Places:

In March 2011, Emi and I experienced of the Great East Japan Earthquake from the safe distance of the mountains.  Our mission, Asian Access, has invested many great families to be of the healing presence in Tohoku. We’ll share a bit about several of them.

We went to Tohoku to see the Adairs and the Brown Family. Dan and Casi Brown have two adorable girls, who warm the hearts of all they encounter.  Seeing Geneva, and the Brown Girls play embody the hope we families desire to bring to Japan, and the joy serving as a family. The will be partnering with local Japanese churches to serve and multiply small churches in Northern Japan. They live in Rifu, and have begun hosting youth nights and prayer meetings at their house. A really solid family who are learning the culture and serving everyday.
R, A, and G enjoying
 lunch from Casi Brown
G and R doing language
 learning (also known
as watching Anpanman)

The next day, Robert Adair, invited us to join his church’s outreach to the refugees in temporary housing. In 2011, many of you supported a short term mission trip to serve in Tohoku.

It was a lot of fun to see Geneva serve alongside the adults from Shiogama Baptist Bible Church.  This is the home church of Robert and Roberta Adair,since 2012.  SBBC has hosted summer teams, and planted numerous house churches in the area north of Sendai. Robert invited Geneva and I to join him, and his Japanese ministry partners, Nozomi, Hikari, Otomo (yukimasa)-sensei and others.  We went to a kasetsu, or temporary housing unit, north of Sendai. It was near where EBLCA had served in Dec 2011, but this was a different community. 

They hosted kids games, sang some songs, did some story time, and played a game of tag.  There were about 12 boys and maybe three girls that came out for the activities. It’s a little chaotic, but life in the kasetsu is chaotic. 

Near the end of playtime, Robert got the popcorn machine going, and of course the whole community can smell the popped goodness.  These kids who may or may not have been listening before, were SUPER attentive now.  Hikari and Nozomi got them to behave and passed out ‘shio-battah aji’ (butter salt flavor) or ‘karamaru!’ (carmel corn).
Geneva from her

There were some little old ladies sitting in the community center room nearby. They poked their heads out to ask for the pop-corn, but the little boys were definitely not going to give up their bounty.  Geneva and I went into the room and passed small bags to the ladies. Geneva gave a deep bow, and a ‘dozo’ (please have some) to the women. She sang a couple songs, and then busted out her Japanese songs catalog.

She made quite a few smiles.   I think the little guys in the community probably get yelled at for being noisy from some of the ladies (not unlike myself at church when I was a trouble maker). However, the women hadn’t seen us before, and asked where Geneva was from. Yukimasa sensei shared that we were a missionary family from Japan that would be here for the next three years. The women were surprised that we would come as a family.   I think they’ve gotten used to short-term teams coming and going.

Sensei talked with them some more, and explained that it was a loving God that called us to serve. While we aren’t in that community everyday, I see how God uses Geneva to open up new opportunities.

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