Today we had the pleasure of attending a homeless ministry with our chapel community on base, in conjunction with a Japanese Christian church. I thought it would be a good way for the girls to learn service to others. The Japanese church asked for rice and cooking oil donations, and our base community stepped up in a BIG way!
We headed to Ueno Park, which is a very large park in downtown Tokyo, very similar to Central Park in New York City. Upon arrival we had a quick break for lunch, and were of course stopped by several groups of Japanese schoolgirls for pictures. We are beginning to refer to these groups as the “kawaii club”. Some of them even wanted ME in the picture. I laughed out loud at this!
My job was to chop up daikon (a mild Japanese radish) for use in a salad. They were VERY specific on the method of chopping and wanted a very thin julienne, a few guys were fired from this position. Haha!
Interestingly, there were no homeless women or children at this event. I asked about this, and was told that it is the Japanese culture for family, even distant family, to care for women and children. Men are possibly too proud to accept care from family and therefore, try on their own.
As we were setting up, we felt a few rain drops. Oh no! I didn’t want this service to be interrupted due to rain. A few of us said a quick prayer that the rain would hold off for these men to get what they needed, spiritually and physically. The rain held off until the very moment we finished up, then it was a DOWNPOUR with thunder and howling wind! You can’t see the rain in this picture, but it was coming down!
This is the wonderful pastor of this Japanese church. What an amazing ministry! He also said that in 14 years of doing this (four times per week), weather has never stopped them from serving these men. Not even once. There is no doubt that God has had a hand in that!
We felt so blessed to be a part of this and the girls would like to serve again. Afterwards Ella said “I like working”.