I recently made a one week trip to volunteer in Iwate. To be accurate, it’s more like I tagged along with a colleague of mine from the American company I work for. In short, there’s a lot of stuff that I was made aware of because I volunteered and for those of you who are stil not sure about volunteering….well, I’d like to give you a gentle nudge to go and give it a try.
One day, I hope to own my ideal house in my dream neighborhood and live comfortably and be fully content. I am a type of person who can only rest comfortably in my own bed. I am a super sensitive person in many different ways and up tight, so I always need to be living comfortably in a perfect setting. With that being said, I was sort of amazed at myself that I made it through this mission trip to Japan for 5 days! I really appreciate this opportunity to share my testimony with you today.
I moved to Iwate last April. On March 11th, 2011 when the disaster struck, I was in Sendai and onboard the Shinkansen. It was another 20 hours before we were able to get off the train. Although I was living in the western part of Japan at that time, this disaster became a personal encounter.
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. (Jeremiah 1:7 – NIV)
I was nudged towards coming to Iwate after having experienced two short-term volunteer trips here through which I gained an understanding of the importance of the role mid-long term staff played, and through this passage in the Bible. There was no particular event that caused me to come here. God prepared my heart for the survivors and His word for me to understand, and through this, I was able to take a step forward.
To be honest, I found that my own personal memory and interest in the disaster zone was fading, and the lack of information about the disaster zone wasn’t helping. So, I wanted to find out how life was like there now, what the volunteer work there was like and to learn about the needs on the ground today. Additionally, having found that I was not really able to offer anything in particular since the day of March 11th, I was moved to email you to see if there was any way in which I could be of use to you.