Japan Quake Rpt: Stephens Aug 24 ’14
On August 23, a group of students from Ibaraki Christian University along with some teachers, alumni and members of Mito Church of Christ and Omika Church of Christ helped put on the third annual festival at Kudama-Nishi Park (Panda Park) in Ishinomaki. Panda park in the Minato Kaduma area was renovated with the help of the Eastern Japan Disaster Relieve Committee and Be One Tohoku Aid after the disaster of March 2011. The festival was in danger of not being done this year due to changes in local community leadership, but at the last minute it was decided to make it happen. This last minute decision left Chad Huddleston and Be One in Ishinomaki with little time to put together a team to support it. However, with the support of Mito Church of Christ and Omika Church of Christ a team was put together to travel to Miyagi for the weekend. The team brought carnival games, made balloon animals with children, and just spent time relaxing and playing. Additionally, the team brought a therapy dog to spend time being cared for by the local children and adults at the festival.
The team from Ibaraki was able to add some extra energy to the mix at the festival, but what they received through the experience that weekend was even better. The five Ibaraki Christian University students were not believers in Christ, but they went with the leaders of the Be One house church for worship on the Sunday after the festival. During worship, one of the students was touched deeply by the Holy Spirit and began crying. One of the Be One team talked with her about her experience at the time, and her teachers in Ibaraki will continue to walk with her and pray for her to lead her toward a relationship with Christ. It is this kind of blessing that God lavishes on those who offer themselves in His work. Please pray for more of this work to be done.
– Patrick Stephens, Ibaraki Christian University teacher, Omika church member