Greetings from Teshio!! Summer time will quickly wane, we think since it is now August but we pray not, as it came so late this year!! Crops and hay were about 2-3 weeks behind!! Now we have the opposite problem and haven’t had rain in a couple weeks. Now I am not complaining!! Every day is a blessing and an opportunity! Just praying for those affected by so many ‘adverse’ things in this country this year. We know we are going to see prices continue to go up due to the earthquake and tsunami this last March. It’s just a fact of life. So is the yen/dollar value and so many other things..but what is harder is that even though people here have seen in ‘living color’ either right before their eyes or via television and internet how suddenly life can be taken away from them, they still might not open up to the truth of the Gospel. Japanese are very resilient and have depended on themselves for so many years that even a disaster this extreme does not immediately open their hearts. We DO know that within that ‘we can make it OK’ attitude for most, there are those who hearts have been burdened by what they saw or had happen to them. Here is one example:
A female college student from the Japan 3/11/2011 disaster area, wrote to a well-known Psychiatrist, J Umihara, the following letter (shortened):
“Whatever I do, I can’t help but be strongly reminded of the events of March 11! That day, I tried to escape with my grandmother as the monstrous tsunami hit our town, gulping up everything in its path.
At one point grandma sat down and said she couldn’t run anymore. I wanted to carry her, but she firmly refused, and forcibly told me, ‘Go, go!’ Apologizing for leaving her, I ran away alone. Three days later, her body was found some distance from where we had separated.
Grandma was such a graceful and gentle person, and I admired her greatly. But in the end, her body was left lying on the floor of a gymnasium like a fish at the market. It was as if her dignity as a human had been totally neglected.
I abandoned her to her fate and fled alone. Do I have to live the rest of my life cursing such evil?
How can I make up for what I did? I cry every day, and everything is so difficult for me. Please help me.
Psychiatrist, J Umihara wrote her as follows:
“Dear Ms. A,
I couldn’t help but cry as I read your letter. Living with such pain! No wonder every day is so difficult for you. But I disagree that you abandoned your grandmother to her fate.
Your grandmother was lucid and able to make a snap decision during a terrifying situation. She exercised her own will and demanded you flee alone. She must have thought both of you would die if you tried to escape together.
She instead believed you had a better chance of survival if you escaped alone. That is why she firmly refused your offer to carry her. Her judgment was correct as you were able to survive. You live now as a reflection of her will.
Also, no matter what appearance one has in the end, it can never ruin one’s dignity during life. Even if your grandmother was left lying on the gymnasium floor, she lived her life with dignity and pride.
Please don’t forget you have inherited her wonderful spirit. Living your life in such a manner will allow her memory to live on!”
There is much in what he said that is true…the grandmother DID make an instant decision in order to help her granddaughter and she should live with the memory that her grandmother loved her so much as to say, you go on! It’s OK. But how sad that her grandmother probably didn’t know Christ; couldn’t say to her granddaughter “use this to remember I love you and I’ll be waiting in heaven for you! Learn about Christ, who loves you even more than I do!” And this doctor wasn’t one who could also give the young lady hope that he could have passed on from God’s Word:
Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Although we have not been able to make a trip down to that area to help others there due to Ken’s health, we have been able to pray and pass out special outreach pamphlets that were made up as a result of this ‘disaster’. We trust the Lord will open each person’s heart to know the truth of the comfort of God that they truly can have. There is no one in the world like Jesus, who can take away our burdens and give us lasting rest! Eternal lasting rest!
We will try and keep more up to date with current affairs and trust the rest of your summer is a blessing and safe especially with the recent events of the hurricane.
Serving Christ Together,
Ken & Vicki