So the gist of many of my posts is to relay the reality of the Japanese lifestyle and the need for Christ. Once this idea is grasped, where does the story go from here? You get it; the people need the hope that only Christ can give. And they need people who won't give up on them with short term relationships. What can you do?
It depends entirely on God's direction for your life but there are several options.
- For those prepared to actually go, experience, and share in the culture in Karuizawa there are needs for short term workers to help at a counseling center. Check it out in more detail here. It's important to make the time about a learning experience and not a 2 week "I'm going to save them"-type of trip. So make sure the follow the necessary heart preparation.
- To those bloggers and internet surfers out there, maybe you'd like to participate in the skype bible study. Learn more here. I've mentioned the women's Skype bible study, but what about the men? There is a bible study for both women and men that is managed by Akihiro Ito, the minister in Shioda. However, for obvious reasons, it is discussed in Japanese. You'd be welcome to listen in especially if you know some Japanese or are learning. Comment below if you'd like more details.
- Feel called to help the tsunami victims? Don't know how? I'm putting together a plan where anyone, especially kids of all ages, can make and write encouraging cards. They can then be sent to me or the Tokyo church. Once in Tokyo, the ladies in the congregation will translate the cards and send them to a doctor in the tsunami area. He has offered to release the cards to his home visit patients and the many people in temporary housing facilities. There will be more details posted so keep checking my blog for more updates about this project.
- Are you a crafter? Or do you love art? You might recall a post about an origami flower bouquet. I learned this craft in Minamisoma, an area deeply affected by the March 2011 disaster. Most of the people left in the town were once farmers that can't even touch the soil now because of radiation. To stay active and hopeful several women in the temporary housing come together to make different origami projects. They've decided to sell their origami online and donate the money to the few kids left in the district. Many kids are scared to go outside fearing the effects of radiation. Even though, the residual radiation hardly registers on a scale. You can be a part of helping the community by supporting their origami art. Once the website is up and running I will post it here!
- Everyone can help through prayer and remembrance. Just because Japan doesn't need money thrown at the people doesn't mean we should just move on or only look at countries in financial poverty. There's much poverty of community, poverty of self, but most of all, poverty of spiritual intimacy. If you'd like to remember the church whether it be through prayers, cards, and/or visits, you will be eternally blessed. The people here are very sweet and want more relationships. I pray we can continue to bless the people by sharing Christ's name through whatever means available.
- Also, ideas for prayer can be found at the above page "Prayer Journal".
- Ideas for other methods of inspiration and communication are always welcome, just leave a comment below!