114 adults and children came together on the afternoon of 11th March 2018 (Sun) at Kitakami Bible Baptist Church to hold a memorial service for the 3.11 disaster for the 7th consecutive year.
The gathering followed the same pattern of past years and was held as a worship service. A video depicting the activities at our various locations as well as prayer items was shown. We also held a time to remember Ps Gerd Strauss who passed away towards the end of last year. (his wife Heike who had just returned from a short stay home in Germany also joined this service). The choir from Morioka Tsukigaoka Christ Church and Catherine Porter offered up praises through song and harp. Ps Shingo Sakanishi, who will be ending his time with Ippo Ippo this spring to begin preparations as a missionary, shared his testimony about his encounter and experience with one elementary school child.
This year’s sermon was given by Ps Yoshiya Kondo (Morioka Bible Baptist Church), who spoke from the passage of the five loaves and two fish. As he spoke reflecting on the ministry work of the past, we were able to reconfirm that when we offer up with thanksgiving what little we think we have, this insufficient offering will nevertheless be blessedly used.
The 3.11 Iwate Church Network will enter its eighth year of ministry. We will continue to serve where we are sent by serving the people, and labor with prayer, expanding our ring of cooperation, to see churches established in the communities hurt by the disaster. Please continue to pray for us and to support us.
It’ll be 7 years. That disaster inflicted much sadness and pain. But, it also made us aware of many things, and gave us an opportunity to notice the bonds that we have with one another and an opportunity to serve. This year’s Memorial service will take place on 11 March (Sun). For those of us who have been called to serve alongside the disaster-stricken communities in Iwate, let us come together and be quiet before our Lord who sent us forth, pray together. And, we can once again go forth from here. We will also hold a time of remembrance for Ps Gert Strauss who passed away suddenly towards the end of last year.
Missionary Gerd Strauss was called to be with our Lord on Saturday night December 9th. Gerd had been serving as a long time missionary to Japan with Liebenzeller Mission, and had been working together with the 3.11 Iwate Church Network as our collaborating missionary based in Ichinoseki, covering also Kessenuma and Rikuzentakata areas, providing support and outreach mainly at these locations. We are at a loss for words at his very sudden passing. Please pray along with us for his wife and missionary Heike and their three children. His body was transported to Tokyo within 10th Dec (Sun). The funeral service will be held at Okutama Fukuin no Ie on …