Greetings from sunny Ichinomiya! I only point out the fact it is sunny because there was supposed to be a 70% chance of rain today, on one of our two beach cleaning days. But as we prayerfully petitioned the Lord for good weather, He gave it to us in abundance. Today was a beautiful sunny day, a break from the overcast we’ve had the first couple of days.
As we cleaned the beach today, Pastor Yuya showed us the high water mark of the tsunami last year, close to the ridge of the sand dune. Had the water been any higher, it would have breached the dune and from there, it is a largely unobstructed run to the main highway and Bull Restaurant, where GCI church meets every week. The dune represents in a very real way the grace given by our loving God to GCI and the community of Ichinomiya they serve.
Last night, we had the privilege of being invited to a karate class taught by Waseda-sensei, a man we can only call a “person of peace” in the community. His enthusiasm for our attendance at his class was evident when he greeted us with handshakes and hugs, very unusual for Japan and especially for a teacher in front of his class. We were treated to a demonstration of their karate forms, a bit of practice sparring, and even invited to participate in the warm-up exercises (not the sparring).
Waseda-sensei gave our team the last half hour of his class to teach some simple English to his students. We broke the class down into children and adults and split up our team. The children, of course, were easy to draw in with simple questions and an English song. The adult group started off a bit slowly, but as the ice was broken there were more and more smiles and laughing until finally at the end, everyone was having such a great time we ended up going overtime. The joy of the time we shared was evident in our group picture where everyone was laughing and joking around.
Tonight we have English Bible study with fellow missionaries and ministry workers and prepare our crafts and food for the California Festa going on for most of tomorrow (Saturday). Gloria should be arriving from the airport any time now. We are looking forward to a great weekend of ministry with the community members.
- For our California Festa and other community outreach events we will be hosting with GCI.
- For Waseda-sensei and other “persons of peace” who have been receptive to our team and open to attending our events.
- For continued protection over our team and our families.