Happy Belated Resurrection Day/Easter! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
We were blessed to celebrate in-person at Oasis Chapel central. However, per Japanese government recommendations, people need to wear masks and socially distance in enclosed spaces. Thankfully, the COVID-19 infection rate is subsiding in our area. We are looking forward to the future. Christ has overcome death (including viruses) and we are walking in His light! John 8:12 NIV
During Holy week, the sakura (cherry) trees were in full bloom! Cherry blossom viewing in Japan has a special name, ohanami, Most Japanese can hardly wait to see the sakura blossoms. Not only are the blossoms beautiful, but they are a sign that spring has arrived! We visited Tateyama park along with friends from church and Pastor Makito and his wife. It’s just a 7 minute drive from our apartment. It was the peak of the season and it turned out to be a perfect day! The next day, the cold wind and rain came.
It was so beautiful, and we had so much fun, we decided to come back that evening. At night, in some parks the blossoms are lighted. Japanese call viewing blossoms at night, yozakura! Because of COVID-19, the park did not allow the usual gatherings sitting beneath the trees. But, we did sit down on one of the few benches for a few moments to enjoy sakura mochi together and to pray before returning home. Watch the video of our day and night of sakura viewing (1:42 min.):
Pastor Makito blessed me with two stories about Tateyama Park. The first story: around 100 years ago, a group of Christians visited this park overlooking the village. They prayed for a church in Rifu. This year, Oasis Chapel celebrates their 90th anniversary! The second story: while Pastor Makito was still in college, he visited this park with a friend. They prayed for the town of Rifu. Pastor Makito became pastor of Oasis Chapel in 1999! I think this park is a special place of prayer. Would you join in praying for the people of Japan and see the blessings of the Lord?
It is a huge honor to serve in Japan and hear these stories of blossoms and blessings. It is a privilege to pray with our friends and partners for the people in Rifu. We could not be here without your support and partnership. Thank you to to those who are praying and giving toward ministry in Japan!
With Love and Thanks,