by Hiro & Eryn Bamba
Greetings from Japan!
Just like the apostle Paul, “we thank God on every remembrance of you.” We are so honored to have you as partners in bringing the Good News to the Japanese people. The fulfillment of the Great Commission is a monumental task and we are blessed to be able to work with you to spread God’s love and mercy around the world!
The Japanese have no concept of Easter. For Christmas, they have heard of Santa Claus, but for Easter they have no idea at all. We were able to have a special Easter service at our church. Katayama, one of the ladies in the church, made banners to use in the service. She does not get to attend church very often, because though she is a Christian, her husband and son are not and her husband does not want her to go to church. She is only able to attend when her husband has to work on Sundays or is out of town. She was very excited to be able to do something for the service and it made her feel more a part of the body of Christ. Our sons, Justin, Ax, and Hunter, made a six foot cross to use in our service as well. We invited many of our English students and acquaintances who had never been to church before. We celebrated Easter morning with videos clips from the Passion, special scripture readings, songs, and a message explaining the meaning of Easter. We concluded everything with a potluck meal. Eryn made an Easter cake for the potluck; many people said they had been looking forward to seeing what cake Eryn would bring this time. Everyone took pictures to show their friends, which gives them an opportunity to talk about church and the meaning behind the cake. Pray with us that the seeds planted in the hearts of the people who attended will grow and they will be drawn to the One who gave everything for them.
On April 14th, there was an earthquake with the magnitude of 7.3 in the southern part of Japan in Kumamoto prefecture. The fact that this initial earthquake was followed by a second larger earthquake the next day made it even more devastating. This is the first time there has been a larger earthquake following the original one. This second quake caused even more damage after many people had already started to clean up, but more than the physical suffering, the mental strain this has caused is immense. There are still many people living in tents and staying in evacuation facilities, some because they have no other place to go and some because they are fearful to return home, apprehensive of another even bigger earthquake hitting. Though Japan is rocked with earthquakes on a regular basis, that area of Japan has not been hit with an earthquake for the past 120 years. Eryn’s sister and her family live right in the middle of the hardest hit area. Their house was left standing and they were all safe, but they said it will take a long time to rebuild the city and for the people to recover from the mental stress. Please pray with us for the city of Kumamoto and that the Christian volunteers will be able to share God’s peace and comfort with the Japanese people.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. You have touched the lives of so many Japanese people through your prayers and giving!
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Photo Credit: Hiro & Eryn Bamba