Halfway: Settling In and New Beginnings

Today marks the halfway point: I departed Chicago three weeks ago and I will depart Sendai for Chicago in three weeks. I cannot fathom the fact that I have been here for 21 days already. It doesn’t quite seem real. I have kept you all up to date, for the most part, on many of my happenings and adventures thus far and I wanted to take this time to share my first ever vlog with you! I’m not sure if it was somewhere between having so much alone time when I am not working or that I just watch too much YouTube but I decided that I am going to start sharing my life in video format as well as prose. This is my first video ever so I am sorry if it is a little shaky…this is all new to me.

I wrote you last week leaving you with the joy of working with a huge group of crazy kids and the frustrations of hosting a not-so-great group. In the vlog I go into a bit more detail about that so you’ll have to let me know what you think.

In other news, however, a man at our church who experienced severe loss in the tsunami has come to Christ, reconciled himself to God, and made a public declaration of that by getting baptized yesterday. What a blessing it was to see someone who struggles with PTSD and mental stability (due to the disaster) to find solid ground and community in Christ. Here’s a little picture into how it went:

He stood up and slowly made his way to the microphone in the sanctuary. The congregation giggled mildly as he goofily stumbled by the microphone and settled himself down. He began to speak with confidence, sharing his life prior to the disaster. Soon, however, he grew contemplative, then quickly teary-eyed and shaky. He explained how the disaster had taken everything and everyone away from him and that he had nowhere to go. One day he found himself coming to church, then getting involved, and eventually finding Jesus. Through muffled sobs and long pauses he explained that it has taken him four years to come to terms with God but still struggles with the pain of his loss every day. However, while he experiences that pain, the people of the church have come around him and embraced him, becoming his new family.

Witnessing this man’s conversion and baptism was a true testament to the work that Shiogama Bible Baptist Church is doing here and I am so happy that I get to be a part of some portion of it. Anyways, this was a pretty short post but I wanted to update you as much as possible. Let me know what you think of the vlog and the rest of my posts!

Until next time, friends.

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