16 Jul 2011

On July 10th, Pauline Wu shared about her short missions trip to Japan via Crash Japan. Through the arts and crafts fair and our special offering, we raised $3766 for CRASH Japan. Thank you very much for all the hard work and generosity.

UPDATE: here are some more thoughts from Pauline. For more, check out her blog.

Major Takeaways:

Even amid loss and hurt, the hope we find in Christ stands tall: God opened the door for me to go to Sendai, the epicenter of the 3/11 earthquake, and help with cleanup efforts there. It was emotionally taxing and shook my faith. I was shocked at the devastation I saw: entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble, cars twisted and bent into strange shapes, houses packed with mud and rotting fish following the tsunami. I was really challenged by the concept of a loving God co-existing with such hurt and loss. It took me some time and crying to process it, but in seeing disaster victims praise God and cling to His promises, and seeing people from all different nations bound together by the love of Jesus Christ to do His work, I came to a greater understanding of how God is enough even when material things or even loved ones are taken away. In these trying times, we develop a stronger faith! The attached photo of the Seaside Chapel’s cross amid the tsunami’s aftermath is iconic. After the disaster, the congregants straightened the cross back up as a symbol of how the hope of Jesus Christ stands tall.

Letting go and letting God is key: I arrived in Tokyo raring to go, and I saw a lot of unmistakable need. I am the type that simultaneously wants to do everything and accomplish a lot, yet am also terrified that I will let everyone down. Fortunately, God never lets anyone down! After arriving in the disaster area and seeing how much needed to be done, I was very discouraged. There was so much damage, and the work seemed to be proceeding super slowly. I cried out to God – what am I doing here?? I haven’t accomplished anything! However, I am learning to rejoice in my work as an offering to God and trust that He is working even when I don’t see it or I feel useless. I understood this lesson when a disaster victim thanked our team for coming all the way to Japan: “You came in spite of everything.” In a time where foreigners are mostly fleeing Japan amid fears of radiation or another earthquake, the mere presence of volunteers who came from around the world to help has provided emotional encouragement, and it was so gratifying to again see proof that God knows best even when I don’t see it at first.

Every part of the body of Christ is essential: In both working at headquarters in Tokyo and also going out to the front to help with cleanup hands-on, I saw how every member of the body of Christ makes an important contribution. It is tempting to want to be the one scoring the goal, but assists are crucial! Office work might seem less relevant or less interesting, but without office workers in headquarters to send the teams, the teams could not get out to the field to help. As I prepare to go back into the working world, this is an important reminder that whether we are sending or we are sent, everyone has a part to play in God’s plan.

I can see that God is moving in Japan and I am so thankful that to have had the chance to be part of it. I hope to stay involved in the future, and please let me know if you are interested in further supporting or joining CRASH Japan’s ministry! I would love to hear how you are doing, and please send me any prayer requests you would like prayer for =D

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