(Day 9) This morning our devotions were based on 1 Corinthians 12 - spiritual gifts and one body, many parts.  We discuss the gifts that God has given us and decided that we are a pretty well balanced team.  We work well together, which is great as today we are re-joining Samaritan's Purse (SP) and we know we will be working hard.   

Masaki leads us back to the Otomo's and we are astonished (and very happy) to see how much...

(Day 8) Today we were hoping to begin volunteer work south of Sendai in the area of Yamamoto.  Yamamoto is right on the border of Fukishima prefecture (province/state) and was extremely hard hit by the earthquake and resulting tsunami.  There is still no electricity here.  Unfortunately, when we arrived in Yamamoto a job was not arranged for us and instead we were given a tour of the area by Rev. Hayashi.  The Rev. calls this area 'the black hole' because...

(Day 7) Sunday is here, a day of rest. Nothing was better than sleeping in even longer this morning. What a delight!  This morning our devotions were based on the Beatitudes of Jesus in Matthew 5. We found these verses fitting to our mission and also to the day as we are ready to worship.  George, Mike, Russ and I set off for an hour drive to a service in Watari, while Arnold and Lorraine visit a church they missioned...

(Day 6) Finally a day we can sleep in for a bit - we certainly need it.  We have been on the go since we arrived in Sendai and this will hopefully be a less strenuous day.  We are heading out to a takadashi in Ishinomaki, 90 minutes drive north from Sendai.  Roughly translated a takadashi is a rice cook-out, but in this case a community lunch.  Ishinomaki was also badly damaged by the tsunami (although re-building is happening quickly)...

(Day 5) This morning during devotions, we discuss building relationships with communities. A few of the ways we can do this is by listening and learning before we speak and acting in ways that are culturally appropriate. We all agree these are good points and that each of us are doing our share of listening (especially to George and Arnold as they constantly translates from Japanese into English). We aren't having too much difficulty following some of the Japanese culture...

(Day 4) During morning devotions, we read Ephesians 2:11-22.  My focal point for the day becomes 'Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone'.  We all agree to listen to and respect the diversity of others, spend time with community members and find ways to be mutually interdependent.   

We return to the O's farm house where we will continue to tear down walls.  First thing we need to do is cover up the god shelf as Mr. O does not want it...

Debts

(Day 3) It is Wednesday and we are up early, our team of 6. Larry and Ken leave this morning, back to Tokyo, as the rest of us head down and over the hill to Samaritan's Purse (SP) camp. SP has a huge presence in Japan and therefore much influence. We are blessed to be able to volunteer with them. One of the SP team leaders, Masaki, is going to take us to our job for the day. He leads...

Sendai

(Day 2) We awake this day with minimal jet lag and are treated to another wonderful meal by George. After we take a brisk walk around the town and beach of our host city, Hasaki, in an attempt to get some excercise before leaving for our long journey north to Sendai.  George says he felt the earthquake in Hasaki for about 2 minutes and it created several smaller tsunamis there also.  In Sendai, 6 hours north, the earthquake lasted about...

(Day 1) I write this just after 7:00am on Tuesday, November 1 from Japan.  Team #3, consisting of Mike Heinen and Russ and Corin Vandergraaf, have stayed the night at George Young's (a 29 year Christian Reformed Home Missions veteran) beautiful home, a 1 hour drive from the airport last night.  We awoke this morning to bright light, the sounds of ocean waves and birds singing. Is there anything better? 

Before our journey began on Sunday, we received disappointing news that...

It has been almost 4 weeks now since we left Grimsby and arrived here in Jos to a very warm and hospitable welcome into the CRC community and into a warm climate.  The Nigerian people are very friendly and appreciate it when you take time to talk with them.

We are living in a 3-bedroom duplex in the SUM-CRC Administrative Compound.  Contrary to expectations, the “Becks” are in the Mountainview Compound, 5 minutes by car away, or a 15 minute walk....

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