Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tales From Japan: Kumamoto, a story of Healing Hands

I had the pleasure of meeting Takeko, and we talked about many things including how she said God saved her life during the earthquake.

After over a month since our last effort of assisting people in Kumamoto after the devastating earthquake in April, I traveled with a team of volunteers from both Osaka and Okinawa to the epicenter of the quake in Mashiki, Kumamoto.

This photo taken from the side of the road while driving to downtown Mashiki, Kumamoto.

Most houses are uninhabitable and residents are scared to even return to get their things in case the house might collapse on them while they are inside.

The volunteer tasks consisted of clean up of the debris which has remained for months.  We had a very special opportunity to spend time with many folks who are living in shelters.  These people don`t have homes to return to and sleep on cardboard boxes with a futon mat placed on top.  They sleep in stalls only inches away from one another.  Most of them have swollen feet and aches and pains incurred from the disaster.

We first tended to their aches and pains and giving them massages and just listening to them.  Many people literally began to see the swelling disappear and some even the pain simply left their bodies and they could stand up without pain in their lower back or hip etc.  Some cried tears of hurt remembering all they had lost.  Some cried tears of joy as they felt the love from our hearts to theirs.  It was simply unforgettable.

As you can see the living space is quite crowded and after months of living like this some people are really sore and in pain. 
This group of ladies were excited to see us and can`t wait for us to come back!

Pastor Rie from God Blessings Church helping a man who had severe back pain.  When she was finished he stood up walked around without pain and gave her hug.  He was overjoyed!
The same man as picture above, was overwhelmingly grateful!

One story I will share was with a woman named Takeko (in the picture at the top). She had never met a foreigner much less had a massage from one.  She kept smiling and saying it all felt like a dream to her.   She said, "When the quake struck, it knocked me down flat on my back and I barely got out of the house alive before it came crashing down." She exclaimed, to my surprise "God have must have done something because I was done for."  Since her stroke some years back she said it was very difficult to move and get to safety even after she managed to get out from her home.  She bragged how she was the fastest runner in her class in highschool and kept saying it was a miracle that she was still here.  I agreed with her.  "It certainly is a miracle!" We started to talk about God and I prayed with her I saw the swelling go down in her legs and I continued to rub her legs until the swelling was gone.  And she told me that was the best massage she had ever had.  I said, "You are a special lady and God is looking over you." and I walked her back to the rest of the group.

We ministered to over 60 people over the two days we stayed in Kumamoto.

Group shot of the team on our last day in Kumamoto.

And we plan to return and in the meantime we want to respond to the needs of these people by providing fresh clothes; mostly consisting of socks and underwear and even shoes.

Please consider donating $50 towards supplying these people living out their days in poverty in these shelters in Kumamoto.

Click the link at the top right of the page or go to and send to

God bless you and we plan to share more stories from Kumamoto in the days ahead.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Connecting Life with Faith: A Kingdom of People

Ohori Park in downtown Fukuoka
Over the past few weeks I have experienced a lot.  I have sense horrific scenes of destruction and scenes of people coming to together to provide for one another.  I have seen people become confused and disoriented and some angry or proud.

I have this reflection... What is the Kingdom of God? What is it that Jesus said would have no end and be established forever and ever.

When Jesus commanded us to pray for the purpose of this Kingdom what did he say? Pray for workers, laborers, not money, not power, not more of a particular anointing either...
In a way He said "people"

The kingdom of God is all about people and each one with their set of skills, abilities, resources etc coming together to make the Kingdom what is and essentially stronger.

Do we have needs in our churches or ministries?  Most certainly we do and the answer for continuing the harvest is more workers.

I think about the volunteer effort in the disaster area of Kumamoto and there are thousands of volunteers aiding now but in a week most will be gone.  There is a continual need for laborers there and in every field of His work for His kingdom around the world.

Me with two volunteers in Kumamoto

And laborers are the means of expanding the kingdom and they ARE the Kingdom as well.  All the externals of buildings, organizations, and systems sometimes can distract from the fact that all the really matters is people when it comes to God`s kingdom.

Hence we should know what we are working and fighting for.  We are not working to get a bigger facilities for our churches or for our organizations to grow larger.  Those may happen but I pray they happen as a result of bringing in the harvest and seeing God bring new laborers together for His purpose.... not ours.

His church, His organization, His body

Be blessed and love those around you today.  Let us all labor with joy so that God would send us more laborers to share in the work together.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tales from Japan: The Aftermath of the Great Kumamoto Earthquake

Near Mashiki the epicenter of the Kumamoto Quake entire blocks of houses have become rubble

It has been way too long since I have posted a blog.  But I promise you after recent events I have the determination in the midst of the busyness and storm of life to keep all of you readers up to date and informed on life in Japan.  At the moment I am still catching my breath from the last three days of non stop travel and supply runs and other volunteer work down in the devastated areas of Kumamoto Japan.

I have taken in a lot from this experience and I hope I have given back something worthy of a blessing for the people who have lost nearly everything.  My heart goes out to them... I didn`t shed a tear while I was there but I could not contain myself on the ride home. I watched and talked to little children in front of a collapsed house, not knowing that their parents may not have survived (I dare not ask).  Their grandparents or neighbors were looking after them at the time.  That`s just one of many scenes that had a dramatic impact on me.

This man lost his house you can actually see the fault lines in the pavement.  He is watching the crane demolish the house he built.

This house happened to be sitting on the fault when the quake struck.  The man said he was happy to be alive.

So looking at all this and all the wonderful people coming out to help or give of their finances and resources to aid all these hurting people I can`t help but feel grateful to be part of this.  As humans we are all linked and connected to one another, certainly Facebook and social media should make us realize how true this is.

We asked the local supply center if they needed any more things.  They were happy to see us and we talked about what we could do in the days ahead.

We spoke with people who are afraid to go back in their home and have been living for 2 weeks in tents in their yard.

Obviously people are asking the classic question of WHY? and while profound I think that isn`t an relevant question.  Perhaps a more helpful question is "What now?" People need forward motion and hope is a big part of that.  People reaching people gives HOPE.  And even more as Christians, do we carry the message of HOPE in the Gospel of Christ.

There is a lot of work to be done, but in this labor, LOVE will give birth to HOPE for many Japanese as volunteers rally together and experience what binds and connects us.  People will lay down their quarrels and their social barriers.  If anything I see something so beautiful in this mess: the power of LOVE and UNITY.

So in all we do let LOVE be our supreme purpose.  And LOVE is seen in our actions.

To donate to the work we are doing for KUMAMOTO go to and send to  or click the DONATE button at the top of the page.

Thanks for reading! ARIGATO!

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