The City No Longer Forsaken

"They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted." ~Isaiah 62:12

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What are you doing here?!

Cindy and I were crossing the train tracks when a man pulled his car over, got out and called from behind us, "What are you doing here?"

In India, people frequently called out from behind me: "Hello! Where are you from?"

But I don't think this kind of thing has ever happened to me in Japan. Yet so many foreigners have left Fukushima. Many mothers and children have left Fukushima too. Sometimes it seems like Cindy and Haidee learn of more young students leaving every week. Fukushima, as a missionary friend in Tokyo put it, is the most unpopular city in Japan.

The man came up to us, and I listened and prayed for his heart to be opened as Cindy told him in Japanese, "We're here because we believe in Jesus. He can protect us. And if we are harmed, even if we die, we will be with Him. He is the real God who created the world. You'd better believe in Him too!"

I thought of coming over prayers...prayers that God would allow our presence in Fukushima to be a witness of his love that is not lost with the shaking of the ground, or with the invisible danger of radiation. I think of Proverbs 10:25, "When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever." We live in the middle of many storms...some are very personal struggles that are very painful, some seem to just be huge storms we are swept into along with many other people.

Either way, I am blessed (sometimes bittersweetly) when God allows me to stand through it and witness that He is the rock that can be trusted. Some days this feels very weak to me...tears in public, spilling out the yucky inner parts and how God is dealing with them, letting people see (willingly or not) how I cling to Him when I can't find any other strength. But it's fun to have the other side of it too...of being able to smile in the face of radiation, of knowing that my unseen protector is far and away above the unseen danger, and being able to express joy in passing on the good news from Jesus: "In this world, you may have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world," (John 16:33) to those people who think that the world's troubles have the final say.

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