No Place to Go
On the day of the quake, Hiro and his wife, Mayumi, were at their café, called The Decision, in Kanda, Tokyo to prepare for that night’s show. When the nation’s transportation system was suspended, thousands of people had no place to go. People filled the café and Hiro kept it open all night. No one left—they all slept there.
Hiro and his wife served food and drinks free of charge that weekend. And they also served a message of hope and prayer. “Many who have been closed to the gospel in the past were very open,” Hiro said. As a result of their discussions with Hiro and his wife, many asked for Bibles to read for themselves.
Searching for Answers
We met Hiro in Madison several years ago, when he was a young Japanese artist traveling through Canada and the US searching for answers for his very confused and troubled life.
Hiro lived with our Discipleship Training School students and watched the way they lived and loved each other – and even how they loved and welcomed him. A Japanese YWAM staff member explained the Gospel to him, and by the end of the week Hiro decided to follow God, and was baptized in a chilly Wisconsin river.
Cafe for Artists: Decision Cafe
Now, Hiro is married and living in Tokyo with his wife. He runs an art café called The Decision to promote and support artists, to be a family to the lonely, and to eventually bring them to a decision: would they return God’s extravagant love?
When we spoke on the phone, Hiro said people are still scared of the nonstop aftershocks. Many of the aftershocks are stronger than the main quake that destroyed Christchurch, NZ last month. People are panicked at what is going on, and the grocery stores have completely run out of food. They don’t trust what they’re hearing on the news and feel like there is no one to turn to.
Going North to Help
Due to the quake, all events at The Decision Café have been suspended for at least a week. Hiro and his wife, a nurse, want to go to the hardest hit region in the north to help once the fuel shortage ends and roads open. They want to give aid and offer counseling and prayer. All they lack is the money to get there.
John LaDue, the former national YWAM chairman in Japan, works with Hiro to run a church and Bible study in The Decision café. His staff is housing a young couple and their newborn while they search for their remaining family members. The man found his sister dead and his mother missing after their home was swept away by the tsunami. The couple won’t be able to work as they scramble to care for their new baby and grieve over their severe losses.
We Want to Help
We want to help Hiro as he and his wife reach out to those who are grieving and devastated by this quake. And we want to help John as he identifies more families in desperate need of help. We have created a Japan Relief account here at YWAM Madison. Every dollar will go toward John and Hiro’s ministries, who will direct the funds where they are most needed. We will receive financial reports from them, so you can be sure it will get to the right place.
You Can Give
If you want to make a tax deductible donation, send a check designating the check to Japan Relief to:
PO Box 8503
Madison, WI 53708
You can also give via paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking:
You Can Pray
Please pray for Hiro and his wife as they pray and counsel with people, travel north to help relief efforts, and give generously to those in need. Pray that Decision Café will recover financially from the quake. Also pray for John Ladue and the young family his staff is caring for, that their hearts would be mended and they would reunite with surviving family.
(top photo by yolaglloq, other photos by Brandy Ramminger)