Praise the Lord.
Thank you for all of your prayers for the relief work that is occurring at the Higashi Matsushima Amazing Relief Support Center and for the salvation and healing of souls in the disaster area. With your prayers we were able to hold the 27th meal distribution on Saturday the 21st.
The cherry blossom front has finally pushed its way up north to Miyagi prefecture and so the cherry trees in and around Higashi Matsushima and Ishinomaki have begun to bloom. Up until the day before the event we had been having rather chilly temperatures but for the event the weather turned to a nice spring day which led to people gathering at the center two hours before the start time; an hour before we started the event the 120 odd chairs that we had set up inside the center had already been filled. There were also a number of people sitting in the seats outside and standing about.
This time we had Mr. and Mrs. Fuse who pastor the Yamagata church, Mr. and Mrs. Okubo who pastor the Yonezawa church, Mr. and Mrs. Yokoyama who pastor the Kitakata church, 6 members from the Hachioji church, pastor Dan from the Yokota church and 2 of his members, 2 members from the Shinohara church, 1 member each from the Fujisawa and Shin-nakano churches as well as 20 members from the Izumi church and the normal center volunteer staff. In addition we had 5 local disaster victims whose heart's have been opened to the Lord and through the relief work and Bible classes have come to Christ, join with us making for a group of about 50 person ministry team.
Up until the meal distribution’s start time we were blessed to have pastor Nozomu Yokoyama from the Kitakata church share in worship and a testimony, pastor Dan from the Yokota church shared a short message and Emma Trale, an administrative staff member from the "Hope Festival" give an encouraging greeting. There was also the Chinese spinning top performance by brother Isonuma from the Hachioji church which was a big hit with everyone. I am so thankful that in this way, even before the meal distribution began, we were able to have so many guests boldly share testimonies of God's grace. I praise the Lord for I truly believe that these meal distributions are a work of the Lord as I watched all those who attended; not one left their seat, they sang praise songs with us, listened intently to the messages and prayed aloud with us.
By 11:45 we were pretty much right on schedule and so we had pastor Tsutomu Fuse from Yamagata share a short message, pray and then we began the meal distribution. The main dish was pan-fried noodles with sausages. Some people took their “meal packs” (disposable chopsticks, napkin, bottled green tea, a dessert and a tract) and ate at their tables while others took their food home but regardless they were all very grateful.
Also, as people were returning home we were able to give them a “relief goods pack”(tissues, bath powder, detergent, food seasonings etc.) which was provided by the Hachioji church. And for the children that came we passed out a kid’s present along with some snacks that the Yokota church provided.
This time around we prepared 450 servings of food and relief items and in 40 minutes we were completely out. I believe that because of the good weather that God graciously gave us and because of His presence we saw a large number of people turn out. I am thankful that through the food and relief items which were examples of God’s love, as well as the feast of the Gospel message; many people were drawn to the Lord. I am also thankful first for those who came and ministered, as well as for those who prayed and also for those who helped in various different ways.
Currently there is a great need for spring clothing at the support center. The season for warm winter clothing is over and now many people are asking for spring appropriate clothes. We would appreciate any help that you can provide.
Tomorrow, Tuesday the 24th, we will hold the second“Word and Tea” event. Please pray that many disaster victims will come to this event, that the presence of the Lord will be there and that we will see the work of salvation among those that come. Also please pray for the anointing to be upon those who minster (the volunteer staff and 15 members of the Izumi church).
I give all of the glory to God.
Thank you so much for your ceaseless prayers.
To view more photos of this event please click here and scroll to the bottom and click on the thumbnail images.