Our God, Eager to Save

Posted January 10, 2010

Tomohisa had reached a coveted status in Japan’s vertically-ordered society: medical doctor. Along with the status came wealth, which he used to buy the affection of women…and lots of booze. His selfishness blinded... [Read More]

The Humbled Tsunami

Posted December 2, 2011

When the warning sirens went off, residents in a south Sendai neighborhood fled to the local school. Together with panicked children still in class they climbed to the rooftop. Some 600 altogether... [Read More]

Japanese Get "Bach" Hope

Posted September 21, 2011

Who would have thought Bach would be involved in 21st century mission work in Japan? I have frequently read with interest of the strong connection between classical music (particularly J.S. Bach) and Japanese interest... [Read More]

Tsunami Ground Zero

Posted April 7, 2011

I still haven't returned from tsunami ground zero. That is to say, although I've been back several days already, the reality of the scene is still with me. The incredible amounts of mud in once beautiful homes... [Read More]

"Nice Try, Kevin" File

Posted February 9, 2011

This one goes into the "Nice try, Kevin" file. I just thought it was a nice-looking bunch of flowers in the storefront and, on the spur of the moment, decided Kaori deserved to enjoy them. Chrysanthemums, however, are... [Read More]

The Gulliver Complex

Posted November 9, 2007

I'm a giant again. Well, not really. But it sure feels like it again since returning from the States. The first sign was bumping my head in the shuttle bus from the airport. By habit, I normally duck my head through any... [Read More]

Foreigners Don't Get the Point

Posted January 31, 2010

I'm standing in line at a drugstore with other shoppers. The woman in front of me has just pulled out a business card file. Hurriedly she flips through at least a hundred or more cards searching for the right one. It's a... [Read More]

More Powerful than Bombs

Posted July 5, 2008

Fuchida grew up loving his native Japan and hating the United States, which treated Asian immigrants harshly in the first half of the twentieth century. Fuchida attended a military academy, joined Japan's... [Read More]

Ready?

Posted September 14, 2010

I'd been putting it off. Although I knew it was important, taking inventory of our earthquake and disaster gear just wasn't getting done. Japan rests along the "ring of fire" in the Pacific ocean, a stretch of area that is... [Read More]

150 Years Later

Posted March 17, 2009

This spring marks the 150th anniversary of Protestant Christianity in Japan. The first protestant missionaries set foot in the port of Yokohama back in 1859. Now they were real church planters -- overcoming all... [Read More]

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I for Japan. Japan for the World. The World for Christ. And All for the Glory of God.

— Kanzo Uchimura, Japanese Evangelist

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Rambling Notes from Japan

Here are some blog posts that we hope will make you feel a part of things, and help you understand how to pray better for us and Japan. Please see our external blog in Blogger, if this page does not display correctly.

How Do You See the World?

"That's not how the world is supposed to look at all!"That's what I nearly shouted when I first saw that image on TV many years ago. The popular Japanese cartoon's intro theme had panned out from a Tokyo house, to gradually show the surrounding city, area, country, and then the entire globe...with Japan squarely at the center! My home continent was nowhere in sight.Doesn't every cartographer know that
[Read More of this Post]



Seasons of a Church Planter

The cherry blossoms are long gone. Scorching temperatures came in May. And now June begins the rainy season in Japan. Rain poncho and umbrella sales are booming. Seasons change. Even in the life of a church planter. Although there's still much finishing work to do at Denen Grace Chapel, we've started to look toward to our next church planting work in the area. It won't be easy.
[Read More of this Post]



The Forgotten Trawler

We're vision casting for more church planting out of Denen Grace Chapel. Here's a bulletin insert I wrote:Imagine you’re aboard a cruise ship. Together with friends, you’re enjoying a time of refreshment and inspiration. You’ve settled into a comfortable cabin. The boat is full of life and activities. You’ve even been asked to help out with things. Food and laughter fill the air. You’ve been
[Read More of this Post]



"Think Destination" Corner

Our 6 months in the States is coming to an end. Re-entry is tough. But it always helps with the transition to remember what good things are waiting on the other side of the world, in Japan. Here's my top 10+ favorite things in Japan.10 Punctual Public transportationWe set our watch to trains that take us comfortably (well, mostly) and quickly anywhere in Tokyo.9 Amusing etiquette
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Christmas is all about KFC

Japan spells Christmas with three "finger-lickin' good" letters: K-F-C. Move over sushi and wasabi, fried chicken is the main course on Tokyo tables at Christmastime.The roots of this craze go back four decades. On a Christmas day in the early 1970's, foreigners in Japan flooded the newly-opened KFCs, gobbling up the colonel's best recipe. It was a poor substitute for the visions of golden-brown turkeys
[Read More of this Post]



Why I Was Born


I was born naked, Jesus says,
So that you would know how to be stripped of yourself.
I was born poor,
so that you would consider me your only treasure.
I was born in a stable
So that you would learn how to sanctify every environment.

I was born weak, Jesus says
So that you would have no fear of me.
I was born for love
So that you would never doubt my love.
I was born in the night
So that you may believe that I am able to enlighten every reality.

I was born a human, Jesus says,
So that you would never be embarrassed to be yourself.
I was born human
So that you would be able to be divine.
I was born persecuted
So that you would be able to accept difficulties.

I was born in simplicity
so that you would stop being complicated.
I was born in your life, Jesus says,
In order to bring all into my Father’s house!

- written by Lambert Noben

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Things I Didn't Know to be Thankful for

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

Living in a different country and missing something for awhile makes one thankful for little things. Things I didn't know to be thankful for until leaving for Japan. Here's a few things -- in no particular rank or order -- that come to mind since we've returned to the States. These are just trivial sacrifices we gladly (usually) do without to serve God in Japan. They pale in comparison to what other missionaries gave up for the kingdom of God in history past.

But here they are. You won't find these in Japan. So, I'm thankful for:

* Room to get out of either side of the car.
* The cereal aisle in any grocery store.
* Christian radio. Christian Literature.
* Abundant parking.
* Church steeples all around.
* A western breakfast with pancakes and eggs.
* Corporate worship in English.
* Coupons. Sales. Easy Returns.
* Cheap electricity. Cheap gas.
* Instruction manuals in English.
[Read More of this Post]



Volunteering Once More in Miyako

Looking out from atop the stairways of the pristine Jodogahama beach, you wouldn't think that anything tragic could possibly occur here. The surroundings are simply too idyllic. <View Photo Gallery>

Clear blue ocean water laps gently ashore. Sun glints off gorgeous white rock formations and cliffs that enclose the bay. Sightseers laugh aboard the many boats exploring caves and shoreline. This scenic sanctuary is panoramic eye candy. You can easily see why it is the pride of Miyako. In spite of its remote location, the beach attracts many people to an area that is otherwise just another set of fishing towns along the Iwate coastline.

Looking out from atop another stone formation -- a manmade seawall -- just a few kilometers away, you quickly realize that something went horribly wrong here. The double wall expected to protect the town of Taro was crushed to pieces by the tsunami of 311. The town was washed away, people and property lost for good. Tall grass and weeds now cover barren foundations where houses once stood. You feel the weight of  sadness and despair that survivors have needed to work through these past couple years.
[Read More of this Post]



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We serve with WorldVenture, an evangelical faith mission. Our sending/home church is Cornerstone Church of Lansing, Illinois.
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