Trinity students travel to Japan
In May, a team of students and professors from Trinity traveled to Japan for a short term missions trip. The following is a compilation of emails sent by Tony Salisbury, team leader and Missionary in Residence at Trinity Bible College.
We have made it to Japan! Thank you for praying for us before we went it means so much to us! After 3 hours of sleep we stayed up all day and the "boys" went on a prayer walk at Waseda University while the "girls" helped teach an English Bible study with Susan Ricketts (Missionary from Georgia).. When we landed at Narita they had guys in Hazmat suits come and check us all for swine flu before we left the plane. They had these big temperature scanners that looked like cameras (big ones) then we took the express train from the airport and about 5 minutes into the ride there was a loud bang and a katong katong katong down the train. They had hit a person on a Bicycle. Apparently so many people have committed suicide this way that the government now fines the bereaved family for damages. Oh Lord, Japan desperately needs a savior that can give them hope. We were then stopped for two hours on the train, during which time Susan was waiting for us at Shinjuku train station. It suddenly occurred to me that there probably was a phone on the train and I went to look and there was a green phone! I am so glad that I took my bag because I had a phone card in it. Called the chi-alpha center and talked to April who had made a nice spaghetti dinner for us...finally got to Tokyo station and they made us change to a local train to Shinjuku. It was about 11:30 local time when we got to the center and after 12:30 before I got to bed. Susan had missed the last train and had to spend the night with the girls upstairs. She is such a gracious host. Apparently we are the first team to stay at the Chi-Alpha center since it has opened! It is a great honor! Got up at 6:00 to get ready to go to CBC and got the rest of the team to get up at 6:30. Lee discovered that someone had opened up his bags at the airport and taken out his camcorder and his omiyage Ichiro Bobble Head dolls. Ugh...He has been a real trooper though. We ate the rest of the spaghetti tonight when we returned home and I made a nice salad to go with it. I introduced the team to eating tofu with dried fish flakes and soy sauce. Some liked it and some well...they were troopers though and ate it all up. I couldn't be prouder of our team. I woke up at 3:00 and figured I would type emails. We will be at Yokota Air force base Church this a.m. (Pastor Alvarez) then on to the other side of Tokyo for a meeting at ICA Tokyo at the GAP (Gospel and Praise) then home to the Chi-Alpha center.
On Sunday while we were ministering at the Yokota ICA church. A lady recognized Chuck. Apparently she and her husband had been in the Air force down in Okinawa at the same time that he had been there. Chuck prayed for her and her family. One lady came forward for prayer for her daughter she prayed and asked the Lord who to go to and he led her to Tony and said she should ask him to pray for her (usually women pray for women and men for men when possible) she was prayed for and was slain in the spirit. Casi Smith came over and prayed for her as well and we ministered to her. We had a quick lunch and then headed back for Central Tokyo where we ministered at GAP Church (Gospel and Praise) After the service we hung out for fellowship and many new friends were made (The church also bought the team hamburgers and sandwiches that were HUGE!) God has really been leading our footsteps and it is so exciting to wake up each new day just waiting to see what he is going to do next!
Monday we have scheduled some R and R to go sightseeing and catch up on some sleep and washing clothes etc. Susan Rickets (AG Missionary Georgia) took us downtown to see the sights of Tokyo. After a nice lunch at a Tenpanyakiya where we had (Yakisoba) fried noodles and Okonomiyaki (cabbage pancakes) the team went sightseeing. One of the neat things that happened while doing this is that while they were at the 100yen shop (like a dollar store) Casi walked around the corner of an aisle and saw a young lady (college age) crying and talking on her cell phone. Apparently she has been getting bullied at school and they were able to minister to her in prayer and invite her to the Chi-Alpha meeting on Monday! PTL!
Lots of good news to share! We have officially cleared the seven day period of gestation and are declared swine flu free! Yeah! Tuesday and Wednesday we were at Tokyo and Waseda Universities ministering to students at Chi-Alpha outreaches. Thursday we got up at 6 a.m. and had a hurried breakfast and caught the train to Saitama prefecture outside of Tokyo. We were riding the trains during rush hour and they were really packed! We made it to our Tsurugashima train station and Pastor Mikami picked us up. We played with about 60 children at the church's daycare and made many new little friends. They loved playing tag and showing us the church's rabbits. We then went in for Bible story time and Tony shared with them about Noah and the ark. We did a quick check for comprehension (question and answer with American candy for the right answers, it was great to hear all the kids shouting out the answers Noah, God, etc...) We also sang the song "God's word is an itty bitty seed" for them. After our time with the children we broke for lunch with the Mothers of the children. Renea wore her Huterite outfit and spoke about life in the colony. Afterward we went with pastor Mikami to downtown Kawagoe and went to the cities historical museum and walked around the castle district admiring the old buildings and cobblestone like streets. We then went back to the church for the evening service for young adults and did our skit about how God relieves us of our burdens and then ministered to them in song and word. After a short time of fellowship we left for home at the Chi-Alpha center and arrived shortly before midnight. Up early the next morning to take the train to Koma-gome where CBC and the Japan AG headquarters are. We ministered at the 8:30 a.m. chapel and were blessed to have the president of the college come. We then had to hot-foot it back to the Chi-Alpha center to clean the place up, because there was another team that was coming in just a few hours from America (did I mention that we are the first team to ever get to stay at the center? What a privilege!) We went back to the CBC campus and moved into the guest housing. We were privileged to meet Don Smith a retired missionary to Japan and now head of the Fire Bible project for Japan. He shared with the team a little bit about what is happening with the project and how they are up to Nehemiah in the translation of the notes and cross-references.
We were also blessed to meet Jim and Brenda Dickey. Jim is the former business manager for the Japan field and Brenda is currently serving as the education specialist for Asia-Pacific. They were able to share several insights with the team on ministry in Japan and educational needs of MK's. The next day we took the Bullet train to Niigata and prepared for our time of ministry there.
On Sunday Kanako san helped the Amy, Renea, and Casi dress up in Kimonos and we gave our testimonies to the church at the morning service. In the afternoon service we did our music skit on deliverance from burdens and Chuck brought the message.
Monday and Tuesday we were passing out tracts at the train station and in front of Niigata U. We also went to Shibata and passed out tracts door to door near Tony's church/house. On Tuesday night we had a special evangelism party at Grace Chapel in Niigata. The several people who came and seven were new people (first timers). Everyone had so much fun and many emails and facebooks were exchanged.
Wednesday we took regular trains to Joetsu city and visited Mrs. Sakuma (Ryoko's mother) who is very elderly and prayed for her. We then took a slow train through the mountains (Japan Alps) to Nagano city where they had the Winter Olympics in 1998. From there we took the Bullet train to Tokyo and spent our last night in Japan.