bon voyage!

23

Thursday, December 22, 2011

       So we're currently playing the space-a waiting game.
       We're trying, Lord willing, to hop on the first avail flight to any of the surrounding countries
       to go travel for the next two weeks.
       Destination: unknown!
       Packing was hilarious... we could end up some place hot, cold, in-between - 
       we really have no idea but that's part of the fun of it.
       Our great hope is to somehow get to New Zealand but we're up for anywhere of course ~
       will let you know where we end up.. SO excited.
       We love you all!!!! 
       MERRY CHRISTmas!!!!!

Santa CAM Came to {Yomitan} town

6

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yes this really happened and it was AWESOME! 
The cutest kids in our town of Yomitan got their very own Christmas treat last night - Santa Cameron! 
you should have seen their little faces light up when he came in.
they all asked "WOW! You marine!? How TALL you!? 7 feet?!"
totally mesmerized.
We talk about our favorite yakatori {terriyaki chicken on a stick} restaurant all the time 
but I realized I've never actually shown you a picture of the magic we eat atleast once a week.
they're FAR yummier than my iphone captured last night!
David Cooper, ladies and gentlemen.
 Mama Wayne, this is Kinuko-san, your Okinawan counterpart! Obviously
not in looks.. but in her personality and the way she feeds us, it's almost like 
having you here!

The amazingly adorable babe is the Coopers' one-month old, Stella. We're in love with her.

Blue

15

Monday, December 19, 2011

{LOVE waking up to this!}

It is breathtakingly beautiful here right now. 
And feels even more so since it's been raining non-stop the past few weeks.
It's in the high 60s/low 70s, sunny & breezy. 
Cool enough now at night that we can sleep with our doors and windows wide open,
(screens on of course. learned that lesson already!)
so we can fall asleep to the crashing waves.
Even though I'm sick & sans voice
we wish you could all be with us for a beach walk to watch the 
GORGEOUS sunsets we've been having!


Christmas Season in the Tropics

14

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{my homemade Advent calendar for my Christmas baby Cam!}
{my parents just sent us this awesome Nativity set from Bethlehem, made out of olive wood.. we love it! thanks Mom&Dad!!}


~~~
Yesterday, Cam's Grandma went home to Heaven. 
We miss her already but are rejoicing for her 97 years of life
and that she can now sing Christmas praises to God Himself!

I love them!

13

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We partnered with a local church in Fukushima to put on a kids day for about 60 children who haven't been able to play outside due to the proximity to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. The constant low dosages of radiation are most harmful to kids since they're still developing. 
Ontop of losing homes and family members to the tsunami, there is even more added stress and anxiety for the families in Fukushima.
We took two buses up to the mountains where the air is beautifully fresh and clean so they could swim in the hot springs, craft, play outside, and along with their parents ~ forget the worries of their current situation.. even just for a day.
They are the most precious little loveable souls with so much life inside of them!
{this sweet little guy was born after the disaster. though his Mom was subjected to radiation, he is healthy and perfectly beautiful!!! another little boy born around the same time was named "Raiki," meaning "joy will come"}


One of the most incredible parts about this trip was watching joy come amidst so much sorrow and devastation. The Lord God LOVES Japan!

If you would like to give a Christmas donation to any of these children or their families, you can do so here.

Another big need is for blankets and quilts. 
We spent each day in temporary housing units and they are little more than aluminum walls.. and are freezing inside.
If you, your church or group of friends or family want to donate warm blankets, please email me.
amanda.suzanne.marshall@gmail.com

Thank you so much!!

Hi from Mainland Japan... again!

20

Thursday, December 8, 2011

{flying over Okinawa}
{snow-capped Mount Fuji above the clouds}
where to even begin?
this week up on mainland working with CRASH again has been totally different from when I was up in Sendai with them in September. 
This time, instead of doing cleanup along the coast from the massive damage caused by the tsunami, we have been in the Fukushima area visiting survivors in temporary housing units provided by the Japanese government. 
CRASH is partnered with local Japanese churches and together we're providing blankets and supplies, clean drinking water and other essentials to these beautiful people who cannot return to their homes ~ either because their home was washed away or because the radiation levels from the nearby Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant has made it too dangerous to return.

Can you even imagine living through that?!
{a temporary housing unit in Fukushima... with sweet little Yu showing me that she's three years old!}
The entire drive behind CRASH is to be the hands and feet of Christ, utterly devoted to these survivors who lost everything in the tsunami.
Traditionally in the Japanese culture there is little to no concept of redemption, and because of this, suicides are considered honorable. 
The post-tsunami suicide rate is the highest in Fukushima.

We have the amazing opportunity to bring the hope and joy of Christ to many of these lovely people. We set up something called a mobile cafe where we bring food, tea, coffee & they can gather together and feel somewhat normal for a few hours. We also give hand massages which they LOVE. It's a way to help them relax, and every woman (and one sweet sweet 80 year old man!) that I've given them to this week have all opened up and told their devastating stories of what happened to them. 
Today I had the most precious 85 year old woman tell me through one of our translators that she lost her husband and her home and cries every single night all alone. We spent hours together; she was laughing and gifted me with Japanese apples and we hugged tightly twice before she left. She had joy in her eyes when she did.. and choking back tears, asked us to please come back again. 

Do you know what is so amazing??
I'm only in the process of learning Japanese but by God's grace He's crossing the language barrier, for His grace is sufficient in my weaknesses. The Lord is using all of us and proclaiming to these incredible people that they are not forgotten and that there is hope! The greatest hope.

We're visiting more survivors tomorrow and then putting on a camp for their children.
I don't know a better time to bring the love and joy and hope of Christ than this Christmas season!

Love to you all from Fukushima,
Mands

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