I found this information on Gizmodo.com. It’s an amazing story. To read the original article click here.
The man in the picture above is Susumu Sugawara. He is 64 years old and lives on the island of Oshima along with 3500 other Japanese people. When he heard the tsunami warnings, he headed toward the sea. He’s not a man who pursues adrenaline rushes, but he loves his people. You see, people travel from his island to the mainland by boat, and he knew that if there were no boats they would be completely isolated. So he got in the best boat of his fleet (the “Sunflower”) and faced the 20-meter waves. For the first two weeks after the tsunami, his was the only vessel making the trip and ferrying people from his island to the main island.
Interesting story… very touching. But what does that have to do with Jesus? I was pondering this and it occurs to me that the Apostle Paul deals with this issue in Philippians 2:6-7. “Though He (Jesus) was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.” I am not saying that Mr. Sugawara is Jesus, or that his heroic act even comes close to approximating Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our lives. However Susumu Sugawara had a choice to run up on a hill with everyone else and save himself; or run to a boat, risk life and limb to save others, and establish the only link back to the main land.
Val and I recognize that we will be one of the links present in Okinawa to help the Japanese encounter Jesus. In many ways we are like Mr. Sugawara. While everyone is fleeing Japan, we want to jump on a plane and get there… and soon! We do not consider this to recklessly or needlessly dangerous; the waves we will encounter are nothing in comparison to the great spiritual need of the Japanese people. We trade the transient for the eternal. We love those Jesus loves. And Jesus loves the Japanese.
"Grandma, Jesus Brought Us Food!"
I’ve just listened to a podcast of a talk given by a Japanese pastor from the Fukushima area. It was so incredibly touching to hear more of the stories coming out of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear zones. This is about 1 hour and 20 minutes long...