Just Getting There!

1 Comment » Written on July 4th, 2011     
Filed under: earthquake
“Go in all the world” Sometimes just getting there can be quite a task. It was certainly so for my parents’ generation when freighter ship was the standard means of transport and several weeks was the amount of time you spent on the cramped ship. And if you were prone to sea-sickness (like my dad!) it probably felt even longer.

Taken by my dad in 1955 on their first trip to Japan

My mom on deck in calmer seas

Things have definitely gotten a bit easier in the past half-century. But still, any trip across the Pacific Ocean is bound to be long, and when your final destination is Northern Tohoku it is just that much longer. On Friday, the first of June a team of 10 young people from Rolling Hills Covenant Church made their way to LAX and got on a plane headed for Tokyo. Given the time difference and that invisible line in the ocean called the International Date Line, they didn’t actually arrive in Tokyo until Saturday evening, the second of June.  And yes, I did hear one or two of them mentioned that it was a long flight. 🙂

I met them at the airport and we hopped on the train for a quick ride into the city and they all seemed to enjoy the ride… perhaps the most exciting aspect of which was the discovery that by stepping on the little pedal you can turn the seats all the way around and face your friends!

Sort of resembling a bunch of tourists…

Soon they were in the city, checked into their hotel and then we went out for a quick meal together. Sunday they navigated the train system by themselves and made it out to Higashikurume where we worshiped together at Kurume Bible Fellowship and then had a brief orientation session before they headed back to the hotel and dinner on their own.

Monday morning we met again in Higashikurume, were joined by staff members Tim Johnson, Paula Chen and Miho Buchholtz as well as Jonathan Wang, a seminary student from Taiwan, and managed to get on the road by about 9:30AM. All they knew was that there was a long day of driving ahead!

Ready for the next leg of the journey

And it was indeed a very long day of driving. Our first stop was Costco, where we picked up and loaded a huge supply of food for Tuesday’s BBQ at an evac center in Otsuchi, where we intend to feed about 200. Then it was back to the highway. A few stops and many hours later we finally arrived at our destination in Miyako at 9:30PM. Twelve hours of driving is probably a long trip in anyone’s book, but for us it was the joyful completion of yet another leg of the journey and it wasn’t long until they all fell sound asleep.

So what is the journey anyway? That’s pretty simple. We are just attempting to follow in Jesus’ steps, and right now his footprints are leading to the coastal areas of Iwate. Please pray as we begin our service here tomorrow morning with a big BBQ, that we would be able to do so with hearts focused on simply sharing the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

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One Response to “Just Getting There!”

Hey Jim
Have been enjoying the posts.. Keep them coming

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