Last Friday we woke at 3:30am to begin the five hour trip to Aomori. It was time for the JBC Tohoku Baptist Retreat. About thirty of us from churches throughout Sendai rode a bus to the retreat. When we arrived at the hotel on the beautiful north shore of Japan, we were welcomed by the believers of the north side of Tohoku area. There were more than 130 attendees. We attended several worship services during the retreat. This year we helped with the children’s program. We took the children to the local aquarium, played games, made crafts, and the children helped lead worship services.
We also took the opportunity to give gift bags to the children including those from Fukushima. The BGCT team left gift bags for us to hand out to children. Pastor Suzuki was overjoyed to receive the duffel bag full of gifts for the children in his church. We pray that the generosity of Texans will bring a smile to the faces of children who receive a gift bag. They still deal will stress and anxiety daily as Fukushima continues to deal with contamination.
As always, we were so glad to see familiar faces and make new friends. Everyone enjoyed the time of fellowship. The churches of Tohoku are blessed to have so many wonderful members. It may be a year before we see many of them again but we know they are working hard to serve. We thank God for the way we were encouraged by others through this retreat.