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One week??? It’s only been one week since our arrival in Ishinomaki? We’ve had so many great experiences and met so many new people that it feels more like a month! After our arrival, we were Karuizawa for a few days attending a conference – I was tickled pink that my former team leader in Nagoya, Dr. Michael Oh, was the main speaker!

Michael preaching on the grace of God

On Sunday we joined Michael and three (of his five) children for lunch and ice cream!

We stayed in this lovely cabin for three nights

Matthias with two other German missionaries, Jörg & Christian

We left Miyota, near Karuizawa, on Monday arrived in Ishinomaki on Monday evening after a LONG drive. We are privileged to stay at the lovely home of missionaries Andy and Lorna Gilbert while they are on a much-deserved vacation. As you can see in this photo, this is a very special couple filled with joy and love for others! We look forward to working with them and getting to know them better.

There are so many things we could say about our first week in Ishinomaki, but the best part has been simply connecting with old friends and building new friendships. We look forward to seeing who God will bring into our lives in the coming years – hopefully many more wonderful people like the ones in these photos!

With a friend we met last May

With dear friend Edie Cummings, veteran missionary to Japan for 40+ years!

A mobile cafe offering drinks and snacks to those living in temporary housing
In Yamamotocho – A team from the US (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) that we met who was hard at work in the heat restoring a field for an elderly lady

Helping at a kids’ outreach event

Weekly outreach event with Grace Mission Tohoku featuring a “gospel enka” singer

After the concert there was a big barbeque for the neighbors – this is a short-term team hard a work in the heat, grilling yummy food!

We are constantly impressed and thankful for the sheer manpower and cooperation amongst the many Christian workers in this city to bless the people of Ishinomaki. We are so thankful for the hundreds of cheerful and loving hands that make events like these possible day after day, week after week. Young single mothers, families, children, and the elderly are being blessed by the work of many who are doing everything in the name of Jesus Christ. There are many tired and weary Christian workers here and we hope to be able to help relieve those who are feeling totally spent. Only God knows what lies ahead for us in Ishinomaki but we are privileged to be here and to witness the rebuilding of this broken city.