It was a rude awakening at 11:30 last night.
Jarring, shaking, the building was swaying. A bottle of vitamins tumbled off my desk and crashed onto the floor. Two or three people were shouting something just outside our building.
The largest earthquake I've experienced in seven years got me thinking:
- "Praise God; I only live on the 4th floor."
- "There is no way to fully prepare for a larger earthquake; it's so unpredictable."
- "No human plan can stop the hand of God."
In Japan, the housing market revolves heavily around one particular detail:
The construction date of the building.
The newest properties always fetch a price x2 or x3 more than similar properties 20+ years older.
Earthquakes regularly require older homes (30-40 years) to be demolished to make newer houses. Considering the aging dormitory I live in, I wondered momentarily if the foundation was secure.
There was nothing to do but say a quick prayer before going back to bed. Other than that 2-minute event, it wasn't a particularly challenging evening for me.
Please pray for our team member John Eisenmann.
He experienced the same earthquake yesterday.
However, it was 6 hours after surgery to fix his severed collar bone with some metal plates. It's been a tough week for their family of seven since his left arm was out of commission. The surgery was successful, praise God. But the hospital has not been generous in prescribing pain medicine for him. As our admin, he pretty much makes sure our missions team works.
It's going to be a rough few weeks while he recovers.
Thank you for your prayers and continued financial support.
With your help, this Sunday, we are meeting again in person as a church! Thank you.
To ensure we have Kids Church each week, we have shifted our service to 10:00 am on Sunday. This change helps save volunteer hours each Sunday while simultaneously broadcasting a high-quality live stream service.
You may not know this, but our service is translated into Japanese from the stage *and* into Portuguese every Sunday through in-ear devices.
Please pray with us that this will be the last time we need to stop our in-person worship services.
We are excited to meet as a family group in person again. I'm excited to lead our group again after our 10 am service. Many members have not been attending online, so I'm praying they will be encouraged to worship with us again. My role on Sunday will be serving as a sound tech for our in-person service and live stream.
Realizing a particular difficulty of missions work:
That is, doing good deeds to be seen by others.
Philanthropy, NPOs, and mission work all risk doing good deeds merely to be seen by others. It is challenging to inform others about our job without doing it for the wrong motives.
Often our motives are not clear even to ourselves.
Our team here must give credit to God. He alone provides growth in response to our watering and tending. This Sunday, we are again encouraged to see the many who have responded to Jesus' call in faith.
How are things going in your church community? What do ministry and faithfulness look like for you in this season?