Explode With Praise, Japan: Part 3

Global Mission Center: Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Within a day of the tsunami crashing up against the shore, residents of Iwaki and Pastor Akira Mori of Global Mission Center were praying and responding. Just two days later tons of supplies were sent to the church building. Mori and his team received donations from all over Japan, to then distribute and clean-up, a process that continued for 6 months and truly hasn’t been completed a year later. Since March 12th of last year Global Mission Center has been receiving volunteers from all over Japan, all over the nations. Their facilities are abuzz with life, joy and thankful hearts, people willing to serve in whatever way they can, just wanting to love Japan. From holding bbq’s to cleaning out seaweed factories and parading joyful music through temporary housing units, volunteers do whatever the Lord leads them to do, dropping unexpected blessings throughout the city and among the survivors.

The scene: May 2011, A woman lies lifeless under her blanket. Her room, just long enough for her body and wide enough for two feels too large. Although she’s 72 years old she’s always lived with her sister. Unfortunately, due to the lottery system, her sister and she were selected for different housing units. Now they’re 45 minutes apart, farther than they’ve ever been, and with no car, no knowledge of their surroundings they might as well be nations apart. She tries to be grateful that her sister survived, but some nights it’s easier to mourn a loved one rather than acknowledge that her lifeblood is still out there, alone. Guilt takes hold and the tiny housing unit feels less like a home and more like a cell, a prison from which she can’t escape. Doesn’t want to escape. Although many people have come by and knocked on the, door she never opens. Volunteers and neighbors leave supplies and fliers outside. From the outside you’d think the place was abandoned.

Until one day a strange thing happened. Young people come with guitars, with drums, a flute and with song. It was a distant sound at first as they marched up the hill to where the survivors had been relocated. But the noise grows and one by one the joyous parade of worshipers sings and dances their way through the aisles of steal doors. Children join the chorus first, playing and shouting as the worship spreads. Curious residents poked their heads out of the door and pulled their shade open. What was this? From the small crowd of believers their melody rises,

Let the silence be broken, and the winter be done
Will you come out of your hiding, kiss me sweet warm sun
Let the wind of your spirit blow the dust off my feet
I ran to you broken but now I am complete

They sing their prayers to the desperate ones, the lonely ones, the sisters shut up in their homes, too tired to hope for a better day. They sing for healing and wholeness to be restored to Japan

We know you’re in there, you children of the Most Holy God, we know the days are dark and the nights even darker

Today the silence is broken, the winter is done

Come out, young and old, come out of your hiding. Kiss him, Son who’s rising over Japan

He’s coming with the wind of His Spirit to blow the dust off your feet

Run to him, all you broken, and He will make you complete

She slipped on her shoes and stood up as tall as her 4’8″ body could allow. To see the commotion. To come into the light. It was too bright at first. After 6 weeks in the dark, six weeks in sadness, six weeks in hiding. And the parade came around, the song rose loud. Her blood began to flow. The flute went wild and the children twirled round. First her head poked out and then with a single step her 90lb frame shook heaven. They stopped for a moment to welcome her out, to welcome her home and welcome her back,

Hello Promise Land, we’ve waited for so long
To see what we’ve believed in, to sing this Promise Land song
Explode my soul, explode with praise
What he promised is what he gave

Back at the Global Mission Center the group of young people reported on their activities during the nightly meeting.  “It was fun. We met some survivors and had a good time praising the Lord.” A couple old people came out to listen, there was this one lady who seemed very interested. I guess we’ll never know the fruit…”

Back on her futon, alone again, numbness trying to creep in. She sang the song she heard that day,

Now the silence be broken, and the winter is done
I’ve come out from my hiding, kiss me sweet warm Son
Let the wind of your spirit blow the dust off my feet
I run to you broken, now make me complete

As the nightly testimonies wrap up, the voices rise from GMC,

Hello Promise Land, we’ve waited for so long
To see what we’ve believed in, to sing this Promise Land song
Explode my soul, explode with praise!
What he promised is what he gave!

To listen to the song by Jonathan and Melissa Helser follow the link below.

Explode My Soul

Continue to pray for Japan. The issue of loneliness, hopelessness and depression isn’t restricted to temporary housing. Many survivors have returned to their homes without their loved ones. Others haven’t been directly effected but are still under the heaviness that lies over all of Japan. Pray that the Church would explode with praise and cause darkness to flee!


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