During various times this week, we have found ourselves doing some sort of work for preparation of crop planting. Working in rice fields planting and weeding, helping to clear out rocks for a field being prepared for paprika planting, or working on building new greenhouses for strawberry fields. Someone on the team mentioned that it would be great to see everything growing that we had a part in planting, but unfortunately, we are not going to be here to see all that. Later, during our team devotions, we reflected on how all the work being done by various individuals and groups here serving in this area of Japan is a perfect picture. While we may not be here to see what will happen after we travel back to our homes, the Lord of the harvest will take whatever small things we were able to do and grow them into something for His purpose and glory.
I know that sometimes while we have been here, it is a challenge not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the rebuilding task that needs to be done. You find yourself wishing you could do more and thinking that what we are doing is just a tiny drop in the bucket of work that needs to be done. But the point of us being here is not in how much we think we can do while we are in Japan, but being here for whatever God enables us to do and turning over our time and energy to Him as we serve in our different ways.
In addition to the field work, we have also been provided with many opportunities to connect with people here in the area who are working hard to get their homes and daily lives going again. One of our team members and a ministry worker at the Nozomi Center has been able to connect with an elderly woman who lives down the street from where we are and it has been a wonderful time of relationship-building that will hopefully continue to grow. I have been asking our team members to provide any thoughts or summaries of their experiences from this trip and once I have those, I will post them on this site later this week.
Thanks to all of you who have prayed for and supported this ministry team during this time. We have felt really blessed by all of you and we ask for your prayers as we finish up this week with our work and travel back. I would also ask that you pray for the full-time ministry workers here in Japan. We have been able to meet a number of servants here who are doing an amazing amount of work and are traveling many miles each week in reaching those who need help and ministry. I have been humbled by their dedication and witness as God's servants and their work for His Kingdom.
Written by Chris Olson, Team Member for Japan Team - June 2012 (Crosspoint Church - Chino, CA)