Christ is Risen!!!
As Evening Descends upon Japan this Resurrection Sunday, we greet you all in the Hope of Jesus’ victory over the grave!
As many of you know and have shared, this Easter and Lent have been like nothing many of us have experienced in our lifetimes. It seems surreal and like a nightmare at times. At ARI, we are praying for the people who are affected y the disease, by the lockdowns, by unemployment and by fear.
Our area has still had very little known effect from the virus thus far. It was announced on Friday that a woman and her husband tested positive for the virus in our city, the first so far. Partly because of the lack of cases in our area, we have not had so much disruption in daily life thus far. We have been careful and sought to go out as little as possible but much of life has continued as normal.
The big changes at ARI was that 2/3 of our incoming class had visas or flights canceled and several volunteers have not been able to come. But much of life continues as normal. WE still meet for morning excercise, do farm work, share meals and devotions daily and continue our work to make this program happen. Some of you might be wondering, but isn’t that dangerous? Well there is one catch that makes us different from most folks situation around the world.
What is different, you ask… We all live in community and grow our own food. You tell us to stay at home and this is our home, the land we work and the places we share are our home. It is because of this situation that we are able to continue our program.
What this meant was that today we gathered in the Koinonia House and celebrated the Resurrection together. It means that we had a big celebration meal, thanking God and one another for all of the hard work and wonderful joy.
It reminds us of the hope that ARI gives. This was the same feeling we had in 2011. Although the world around us was falling apart, we were continuing and welcoming people, feeding people and loving people.
Again I am reminded of what the church can be when we share together our gifts, our talents, our lives and our food. What we lose in individual freedom, we gain in shared joy and salvation.
I pray that you also are able to be encouraged by Christ in this season. Take heart for He has overcome the world!
We continue to pray for you and ask that you do the same for us. We have many new young volunteers, some of who are seeking their futures and pondering the interactions they are having with people from around the world and people who believe in Jesus. Pray that their lives will be touched and our witness will be a blessing to them. Pray also for the class of 2020 that because of being small, will be able to learn deeper and grow closer as they try to unpack the dream that God has put into their hearts for their communities in villages and towns across Asia and Africa.
Pray for us, that we can support this program and the local church in Japan, proclaiming boldly that Christ is Risen Indeed!!