Tomorrow afternoon, we leave for Japan. It is a short trip, just five days. We’ll be there to meet up with some friends in Tokyo and help with relief work in the area near Sendai. There is really not much we can do in such a short time but we do hope that our intentional going will provide a “being there” kind of support to our old and new friends in Japan.
Two Sundays ago, our local church’s congregants donated graciously and generously in an one event mission financing project – Hope for a Broken World: Japan. Churches and mission agencies will honestly and humbly admit that funding are vital for sustaining their operations in bringing hope to the broken. However, while mission financing must never be abandoned, it must not excuse us from going. Likewise, the goers should not excuse themselves from financial participation.
The seven peacemakers who are going clearly know that a tangible level of risk is involved in our trip. I am privileged to have the company of two colleagues, Alan Yeo and Ang Quee Beng, long-time and faithful congregants, Eric Chow and Jason Tan, and two youth leaders, Alex Lee and Clinton Shi, coming along. We go with the knowledge that the nuclear plant issue has not been resolved, the northeastern area was shook by a 7.1 a few days ago (latest news- another 7.1 this afternoon) and Jason telling us that two companies had declined travel insurance coverage for trips to Japan. So, we are certainly concerned about the
danger posed by the visible and invisible. To say we are not, we would be lying. My mortal mind even played with the word, Sendai. Are we sending ourselves to die?
No. We all want to return to our families and friends. But for seven of us, we felt compelled to go not by heroism but simply the act of going. Going to offer our empathy and encouragement to the Japanese people that we will meet during our visit. What does going mean for you? Is it going away from a depraved or destructive way of living? Is it going (finally) to give blood at the next donation drive? Is it going to someone and say that I’m truly sorry? Is it going to your neighbor to begin a conversation? Is it going the extra miles to rebuild a marriage?
Going is powerful. More than two millenniums ago, someone gave his life by going to the cross whose power continues to reverberate in our world today.
[The above is a post migrated from a previous blog]