Travel

Heart for Japan

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It was 1989 that I first traveled to Japan and fell in love with the people and their country. It is incredible how the Japanese people hold to their traditions and modern technology at the same time. After serving in Japan with my family for a year in 1990 I returned for several short trips the following few years. But then ministry took me a different direction while I served as the Missions Pastor at CC Moreno Valley. It wasn’t unto the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that I returned with teams from CC Perris Valley. The devastation in the was overwhelming as our teams assisted other ministries with relief efforts in northern Japan on the oceanside area of Ishinomaki called Watanoha-cho. This gentleman in the photo and his mom (right), were those who experienced the loss of their store in the disaster and I was overjoyed to take the photo 2 years later, with my translator, when they reopened their store.

The area is returning with new and restored buildings and homes. The population that reduced by half after the event has returned to almost the same as before the tsunami. However, the people still feel the pain as and loss. When our missionary, Cherry, was speaking to a woman about her being in Japan and our church coming every year since 2011 brought tears to her eyes. Cherry joined Rich and Emi in opening J’s Cafe and CC Ishinomaki, whole we are return each year to support.

There are so many stories I can tell of the people I have met over these years, but I look forward to returning this trip to have new experiences in ministry to tell. I especially expect I will learn something new from the Lord for I am always in his classroom. Follow our upcoming posts as we share about our team and their 2019 mission trip. We leave on August 8 and return August 17th so please keep us in your prayers.

Blessings

pastor bob

Tsunami destroyed homes 2011

Tsunami destroyed homes 2011

Japan Trip 2019

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Hard to believe we have our 14th mission trip to the coastal area of Ishinomaki, Japan planned since the devastating earthquakes and tsunami hit the northern region in 2011. Those images of buildings destroyed, homes torn from their foundations and large boats resting in the middle of a city street will ever be etched in my memory. But most impacting was the pain of the people we ministered to.

The buildings are now repaired or rebuilt. The population has returned. Businesses reopened or are new. But ministry to the people continues. What began as a relief effort has been for several years a church plant meeting in the cafe that we and other teams established. At first a building was acquired as a place to feed and comfort the community and today continues to be a place of outreach and home for Calvary Chapel Ishinomaki. The couple leading this ministry were residents of Japan and three years ago we sent our own Cherry Oqundo to serve along side them. You can read earlier blog posts to read of the more recent trips we have taken.

In this coming trip we will continue to faithfully support the work that was begun and come alongside those who continually serve the community of Ishinomaki. You prayers are so appreciated for our missionaries, our coming trip and most importantly for the Japanese people.

If you would like to join us for our next mission trip August 8-17, 2019 please contact Mario our missions coordinator. We presently have ten going but always will welcome others. Don’t delay as flight tickets will be purchased in June.

Blessings

pastor Bob

The Mission has begun-ventures in missions

Ventures in Missions

The Team

The Japan Mission Team caught their morning flight out of LAX today.  It was not without a little tension as there was some error in the ticketing that did not allow the team to check in online and was an issue when we arrived at the ticket counter at LAX. This error became an issue at the counter as they had to override the ticketing for each one of us though all were on the same conformation number.  

In Line at LAX

So delayed we were at the ticket counter and getting to customs which was smooth but for one of our team members  that had to have his bag looked at.  This is not an issue typically but when you have a number of people ahead of you to have their bags checked and you are already delayed due to ticketing, this becomes an inconvenience that can test your patience.  Then there is the added surprise that though we were at the new Delta terminal 2 we had to take a tram to catch our flight at the Bradley Terminal at the end of the airport.  This adding more time to our present delay.  No fears, the team was composed and we all got to the plane just at the tail of the boarding.  

Traveling can have its moments and this was a minor one. Yet it will be a learning opportunity reminding us that we must always be ready, flexible and trusting the Lord.  Continue to pray for us and keep watch as the team members share their experiences and thoughts on this blog.