by Amy Lachica
Christian Surfers Ryukyu, located in the southern islands of Japan, recently held a mission trip to their neighbouring island Amami. It was a significant time. It was the first inter-island mission, led by David Lacar to help jumpstart the Christian Surfers Amami chapter, with Satoshi Osa as chapter director. Satoshi received Christ just four years ago and has since attended Japan's National Conference and now is stepping out in faith to start something where he currently resides in Amami.
A Category 5 typhoon hit Amami just a few days prior to the main event. Luckily for us three we were able to score some epic waves the three days before. It provided us the perfect opportunity to hand out Beyond Sight DVD's and invite surfers to a movie night where we screened Walking on Water.
To say the weather got out of hand would be an understatement. We redeemed the time by befriending our fellow guest house guests. David whipped out his ukulele and sang and and taught a couple of others how to play Amazing Grace. It was really moving. Being on lockdown, we all ate our meals together and entertained each other. The guest house managers were amazing hosts. I gained a mother and father...Mom said that in her four years of working here that we were the most interesting group. I really enjoyed our nights breaking bread together.
The day of the main event we were planning to provide SUP lessons to a few high schoolers, but the wind was a howling 40+ mph, so that was a no go! Satoshi, being the most thoughtful host ever, instead took us to the poisonous snake museum/shop. Joy! Beautiful creatures despite their sting.
The typhoon passed and the event had a great turnout. Although mostly Satoshi's church members attended, we trust that this laid the perfect groundwork for his church to step up in their support of this ministry. We had a bilingual father and son also join us. He was conveniently placed in our hands to translate for us! Unfortunately the rest of the team, which included our translator, could not make it due to the typhoon, yet God provides.
Satoshi shared his testimony and David shared about Christian Surfers and what being a Christian is all about. Our translator friend did not take his role lightly, but took extra measures to make sure David's message was accurately delivered. We ended the night with rounds of rock, paper, scissors to give goodie bags away filled with surf paraphernalia. Following the event Satoshi was able to deliver a Japanese Surfers Bible to the translator, who also happens to own a SUP Shop, burger joint and inn. Imagine the potential he can reach if he alone makes Christ Lord!
This place has made such an impression on me that I haven't left as of this writing. I was supposed to have left 2 weeks ago. In the meantime, I've been studying Japanese. There are virtually no English speakers here, and they even have an Amamian dialect that differs from Tokyo, so language is a barrier. However, I am compelled to minister here as the population is 45,000 with far less than 100 believers in total. I believe only a love that comes from Him can compel me in such manner. After all, the tropical heat and humidity is debilitating and my oh my, spiders! They're huge! Oh and did I mention poisonous snakes?!?
There were a handful of believers who came to visit Satoshi from New Hope Tokyo two weeks later. He was able to provide SUP lessons to them. Mission accomplished!
Please pray for the Amamian people, along with the rest of the nation of Japan. Lastly, this is a big step for Satoshi as he is THE only known Christian surfer. So he is the director, member, and all the other roles. Please keep him in your prayers; that he grows in his faith and represents Christ well as His ambassador.