|Volunteer Story: "Gift of Prayer"|
A Volunteer Story
Twisted pipes. Bent, rusted poles. Homes totally destroyed.
These are just a few things from the aftermath of the tsunami that startled Lynn Kobayashi, a Japanese-American volunteer from Hawaii. At the same time, Lynn felt God's ultimate power and control as the Creator of this universe. Although her team of volunteers consisted of only 5 people, they each had significant roles in fulfilling God's work. Lynn's team visited one of the temporary housing units in Kamaishi to distribute warm clothes and blankets to prepare for a cold winter. There, she met Mrs. Nagasawa - a lady who owned a flower shop that was washed away by the tsunami. Mrs. Nagasawa told Lynn that she misses having small and delightful conversations with her customers. "I feel very lonely at times. I barely know anyone here..."
Mrs. Nagasawa opened up to Lynn and spoke about her experiences. She couldn't eat or sleep for days after the tsunami, and her heart was filled with sadness. In hopes of cheering her up, her husband convinced her to knock on the door of a local church. There, Mrs. Nagasawa met wonderful people who listened intently to her stories. She felt truly cared for by people she had just met. Lynn knew some Japanese, so she was able to pray with Mrs. Nagasawa before she left. Mrs. Nagasawa thanked Lynn for her sincerity, kindness, and the gift of prayer.
As Lynn listened to Mrs. Nagasawa's stories, she was convicted of how fragile and insignificant material possessions are. "Wealth in this world is temporary and can eventually be lost. Material things aren't permanent. They can't give us true peace nor relief," shares Lynn. "We can help rebuild as many homes as we could – however, it's more significant to provide true recovery that will last forever." For Lynn, it was an experience that reminded her strongly of the task that Christians have to be a witnesses of Christ.