by Gayle, outreach team leader

I was sitting on the roof, talking to the young couple on our team, when the building started to sway and shake. We were in Iwaki, Japan, when the earthquake hit. This one “only” measured about 6.8. It shook us up a little (pun intended, especially if you know my husband) and made for another one of those memorable outreach experiences.

Our goal in Iwaki was to simply “love and serve” by working alongside a disaster relief organization that has been here since the earthquake and tsunami devastated the area in March.

We prayed, cleaned, hauled stuff, washed dishes, washed chairs, cooked, moved soggy furniture, played with children, prayed for the sick and for the sad-hearted, and then repeated it all again the next day. It was a privilege to work alongside those who have been doing this for months without a break.

“Thank you for serving us,” they said, as we packed our things to move on to Tokyo, our last stop on this 3-nation tour. “We’ve hosted many teams these last few months, but you are truly the best we have had!”
Before we leave Iwaki, we have one more big event — a barbecue for 500-600 people on the waterfront of Iwaki’s formerly busy port. I am so proud of our team that they were obedient to God’s direction to simply love and serve!