Friday, December 30, 2011

Psalm 67 Network Poster Donations for Texas trip

Mexico 2010


Alright everyone! Hopefully you've read some about the upcoming trip to Texas headed up by the Psalm 67 Missions Network. If you haven't, read about it on the blog post, or just know this - an awesome trip of a small team to a poor community on the Texas/Mexico boarder is happening Jan 11-16. (Schedule change! We are probably leaving this Fri! and then getting back on the 16th) We will be doing construction for the congregation there, VBS with them for the kids, and serving as the best servants we can be in whatever way God leads to. We will be going into Mexico for a day, and we will also be going to the Rio Grande Bible institute. I am going to be making a video or two of the trip Lord willing, as well as helping oversee the recreation for the kids (probably a little like I do at camp). 


Mexico 2010
So! We need your support! The Lord is faithful to provide for all we need to do his work and so often his blessing come through the body of Christ. Please support us with your prayers! Pray that God will produce fruit (he promises that his word will not return void!) and that he will establish a work in this Rio-Grande Valley in Texas.
Please prayerfully support us financially and with supplies. We have team members who could very much use help in this way. The cost per person is $315. Also, even though it is soon, please pray that God may provide one more person for our team if it is his will.


Here is where I want to help motivate you, and do my part to help. 


Mexico 2010
I want to give a 2011 missions collage poster to people who will help support our team.

Here's how it will work. Make a check out to "Psalm 67 Mission" and write "poster donation in the note/memo". For those who donate $50 or more I will give a 20"x 35.56" (yep, it won't be cropped) poster. For those who donate over $100 I will give their choice of size, up to a 34"x60.44" poster.

So what do you think? Like I said, make the check out to Psalm 67 Mission, mail it to 3761 Telegraph Road, Arnold MO 63010-4802 (don't forget to write "poster donation" in the memo!)
Mexico 2010
If you want to donate by credit card or paypal contact Debbie Ferrell at artistdf@sbcglobal.net (you can also contact her for more information). One more thing, you cannot specify the money towards a specific person if you want to receive tax credit.

If you have any questions please comment! Or email me at jacksonkds@gmail.com


Thank you for your support! However is comes it is a blessing!
God bless!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mission to the Rio-Grande Valley, Texas

If you want to read this as a Google doc instead click here.


This January I have the opportunity to go on a short-term missions trip in the Rio-Grande Valley, Texas January 11-16. The Rio Grande Valley lies on the border of the United States and Mexico. This area of The Valley is extremely different from any other area of Texas and is also distinct from the rest of the border regions along Mexico. The region is somewhat isolated from other metropolitan area of Texas. It is 236 miles south of San Antonio and 152 south of Corpus Christi. The Rio Grande Valley region's unemployment rate is 12.0%, which is almost 6% above the state rate of 6.2%. The per capita income in the Rio Grande Valley region is $9,337, which is less than half the state per capita income of $19,617. With high unemployment and low per capita income, it is not surprising that the region's poverty rate is 35.7%, more than double the state's poverty rate of 15.4%.  
(http://www.coserve.org/disc/lmi/section_1/section1.html)  Given the number of migrant workers in the area, the percentage of the population 25 and older with a high school diploma or equivalent is guessed to be less that 50%. Spanish is the most common spoken language (according to 2000 US Census) it is the primary language in approximately 75% of the households. There is a very large population of people under the age of 25 which present great challenges, yet opportunities for change and growth in the area. The predominant "religion" declared by those in this region are religions other than Evangelical Christianity.


Our mission team, coordinated through Psalm 67 Missions Network, will seek to accomplish the following goals. We first and foremost will be working under the authority and direction of the local congregation, seeking to submit ourselves as servants in every way. Our current plans include to assist them with minor construction detail/cleaning, of their facilities. Much of this congregation is over the age of 65 (approximately 10 people). The other part of their congregation is under the age of 12 (approximately 30 people). In order to assist all of the members, we have been asked to mentor/teach those that have regular teaching responsibilities and to "join with them" in leading a Vacation Bible School for their children and as an outreach to their community. We will also seek to serve the congregation in visiting families and sharing the Gospel both in groups and individually. Some member of our team will be delivering books and resources to Pastors inside the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. These book include Spanish-language copies of "The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan and "Desiring God" by John Piper. Member of our team will also have the opportunity to visit a missionary language school/seminary. This will allow this trip to also serve as a "visionary" journey for those who are considering future opportunities for work among those who speak Spanish.


Would you, your small group, congregation, or Sunday School class be willing to partner with us? We are needing those to partner with us in prayer that we might use ever moment to serve and not be served. We desire to live and speak the Gospel before our brothers and sister with whom we will minister as well as to their community in a demonstration of the power of the Gospel. The cost per person to go is $325.00. Any donations beyond this level, unless otherwise indicated, will assist the group as a whole in purchasing additional supplies, or with team members who have not raised their support. Should you request, you can view the accounting of the trip upon our return. All donations for the trip can be made out to Psalm 67 Missions Network "January 2012 Rio Grande Valley Mission". You can donate by cash, check, credit card, or paypal. For information of how to do this, please contact Debbie Ferrell as artistdf@sbcglobal.net or 314-602-3827.


You can follow our team and receive updates by "liking the Psalm 67 Missions Network page on Facebook, "following" us on Twitter or adding us to your circle on "Google+". Thank you for your prayerful support and consideration!


In Christ,


Billy Jackson


P.S. Look for pictures and video upon my return! (maybe sooner!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Taste and Send Workforce video

This is a short video of the Taste and Send workforce. Taste and Send is a non-profit organization started by Savannah Weber and Gennie Jackson. They currently are working towards a goal of raising $1000 for missionaries Michael and Erin Pfleegor who are going to Suriname, and they are well on their way to that goal! Praise the Lord for the work he does through his children.






To learn more about Taste and Send, and why they work so hard to make such awesome cookies, go to the Taste and Send blog or go to their Facebook page.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kitchen Pong and The Wedding Video

Here are two videos that I have completed recently. I am not sure what training or classes or learning that I will take next to improve my video skills, but I do know that I will continue to practice and take opportunities to use the skills I have. 


One day in one Samaritan's Purse base located in Tome Japan, this is what the kitchen was like. (awesome! to say the least)
A day in the life of the Tome Base kitchen.




I have a lot more Japan footage than I've used so far so if I have time I may put more Japan videos together.




This next video is a promotional video I put together for Will Jackson Photography
I think it turned out really well. I hope you like it.




Stay tuned for "The Taste and Send Workforce"!
A video introducing the team that makes Taste and Send possible.


Pray for me as I seek to improve my video skills and put those skills to good use.
In Jan. I will be going on a missions trip to Texas and Mexico for a week, and I have been asked to make some videos about the trip and the work going on/needed there.  


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A quick review of where God has taken me in the last year or so (In Pictures!)


I have removed this poster to the "2011 Poster Collage" page. 
You can click the page tab above or click here to see it.


In other words... there are not enough words!... or time. God is working all across this world in marvelous ways. These are just a few of the glimpses of that work that he has blessed me with. Just try to imagine the greatness of God's plan for the nations! 


Each of these pictures is part of a story. A part of a story I have seen and, given the opportunity, would tell it to no end. Many of you have experienced this first hand. There is not time to tell all the stories God has blessed me with. Well just think... God can see the story of ALL the nations! Every single person of the billions of people. Not only their story but how it connects with all the rest of the grand symphony that he is orchestrating. How long it would take to hear that story!


"Lord please continue to do your work in your children. Lord please reveal to me more and more of your grand master story, from beginning to end. Lord please use me to tell others of the your wonderfully great love and mercy and grace that was shown to us in Jesus Christ."


You know, right now the greatest point in the story is when Jesus, the son of God, came and took the punishment for our rebellion. BUT! The culmination is still coming. Jesus is coming back! Coming back to rein as king over his eternal kingdom.


If anyone want to hear more of this story tell me! I'll gladly tell you all I know.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Media" The Double-edged Sword

I had to write an issues paper to finish up my collage course. It could be anything related to media. I got a really late start on but the Lord led me to an interesting topic (for me at least).  So even though it's kind of rough I though I'd post it here to see what guys think about it. Please comment if you have thoughts about any of it (whether it rings true, whether I could have stated some thing strong, or whether something doesn't quite line up with the faith we have as christians)




“Media” The Double-Edged Sword


 The more I think about it the more I believe that media today is like a weapon, a weapon that can be used in both helpful and harmful ways, one that through misuse can actually hurt the one who wields it unwittingly. Today I would like to take a broader, three dimensional look at this tool called “Media” to examine its many uses, the harm it can cause, and the undeniable help it can render the one who approaches it with wisdom.
 First, what does a person think of when they hear the word “media”? I know I first think of the many facets of Internet use and of TV, but it seems that actually the work “media” covers any kind of communication that is meant to reach lots of people (“lots” as in more than two people). Bellow are two definitions that help us get a simple grasp of the word.

me·di·a
2 ( usually used with a plural verb ) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely: The media are covering the speech tonight.”

“In general, "media" refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and the newspaper are different types of media. The term can also be used as a collective noun for the press or news reporting agencies. In the computer world, "media" is also used as a collective noun, but refers to different types of data storage options.”

I think one of the reasons that the definition of “media” is hard to encompass is that media is always changing, growing, morphing into new areas. I do not plan on explaining any of these areas of media right now. I think we are pretty familiar with most of them. But, now that we have a definition to run with, lets quickly list some of the uses and formats (the way it is communicated) of media in order to refresh your memory.  
USES FORMATS
  • news
  • education
  • advertisement
  • entertainment
  • interaction
  • TV
  • Internet
  • Newspapers
  • Radio
  • Video games
  • Books (books still count right?)
  • Movies


Each of these categories could be further broken down. For example under “Internet” could be listed: websites, blogs, videos, Facebook. And while I listed “Radio” really IPods or mp3 players are just as popular so I should probably have just listed “Music”, but I think you get the idea. Everyone I know could look at this list and identify ways they benefit personally from these items listed, most of them probably on a daily basis. These benefits can be small or large depending on how we use this weapon of “media”. People can go to the Internet to educate themselves in a new skill. They can use Facebook to communicate with friends regardless of that friend's location on the earth. Or they can use media to express their ideas, call people to action, and change the world around them. As this article states Nonprofit organizations have begun to realize just how powerful some of these new media formats can be.


As the world has discovered through the grass-roots revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia —driven in part by messages on Twitter and Facebook—online social media can be powerful tools for spurring social change. And increasingly, both fledgling nonprofits and long-established charities are taking up those tools in issue advocacy.”

I cannot right now even begin to list all the benefits and good that can be done through media use. So now let us turn and discuss how the use of media is good and how it is bad.
 As with any weapon, I believe effective use of media depends on skill, knowledge, and position, BUT the greatest determiner of the effect caused is the will (or the intent) of a person. When a person picks up a weapon or tool they can use it for good or for evil, even when they are using it properly. A socket wrench can be used to put car parts together or to take someone else’s car apart (this would be evil assuming they did not want you to take it apart).  Similarly, media, such as a blog for instance, can be used to build a small business or to undermine and slander someone else’ business or reputation. So while media can be used for small or great good it can also be used for small or great harm. There is much media out there today, especially on the Internet, that is harmful. There are advertisements that lie to you trying to get you to buy their products, there are traps and schemes meant to steal your information and your money, there are porn sites that enslave your mind, there are lyrics with violent and perverted ideas, there is false slander of others that constantly flies around through newspapers, web sites, and email. These are examples of people using media to cause harm. The amount of harm varies depending on their skill, knowledge and position. You don’t have to look far to find articles titled like this  “The Top 5 Social Media Scams and How to Avoid Them”, or to find the results of studies done on Facebook overuse. Here are the top 3 negative effects that Facebook can have on an individual as shown in a study conducted by Dr. Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University.


  • Teenagers who use Facebook more often show narcissistic tendencies while young adults who have a strong Facebook presence show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania, and aggressive tendencies.
  • Daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens, and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems.
  • Facebook can be distracting and can negatively impact learning. Studies found that middle school, high school, and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades.

And so while we can see that media can be a benefit to society and to individuals, we also see that if can be a detriment, depending on how it’s used.
“So there is good and bad media. So what?” you say. We all know this if we think about it. What do we do with this information? Well back to the weapon analogy. As with most things in this life, we have a choice, a choice to do good or to do evil. We could pick up the sword to cut down and destroy. But I would urge the opposite. We have a job to do. Two things I would say, and then a third that I fear our world today is sadly lacking. First, just as the same sword can be employed to defeat the one who has used it (read almost any of the old stories and you can see that this is true), we can use media to speak out against the harmful media we see around us. Second, we can seek to use media as a tool to do the good work that has been put in our hearts to do. Whether this be to help a community in need, further our education, look for a job, create jobs, or to simply provide good wholesome entertainment for our families, we can use media actively and with thoughtfulness to do good for us and for others.
Recently I watched a short video about a story teller. A story teller with skills in media. A story teller with skills in media with a heart to tell the stories of people who do not have a voice. This man is skilled, and though I do not know much about him I can see some of the good his work is doing and I want to know more about it. I would encourage you to go see for yourself one way that media can be used for good. You can see it in this man’s work. The first and second links will show you the who, what and how. The third link will take you to his site if you want to see more.

vimeo.com/channels/270589#23510840
offthewall.tv/video/pass_the_bucket_with_crys_worley
www.eliotrausch.com

The Third thing we need to do is to educate the children of our society about this tool called “media”. This is one of the most damaging aspects of media in our world today. And while the government may try to develop regulations to protect children from harmful media similar to its regulations for possession and use of guns, ultimately it does not have much influence over what a child does with media. Ultimately it is up to the parents to teach their children how use media in beneficial ways, whether the media be video games, the computer, or books. Children need to be taught both what media is good and helpful, and what amounts of media are good and helpful. Children who overuse media are much more likely to have bad grades and to feel discontent, but children with parents who have rules in place (and enforced) about the use of media such as TV, video games, and the computer, are much more likely to abstain from the overuse of media, and therefore have better grades, as well as have better overall health and satisfaction with life.

“Children whose parents make an effort to limit
media use—through the media environment they
create in the home and the rules they set—spend
less time with media than their peers.
Children who live in homes that limit media opportunities
spend less time with media. For example, kids whose
parents don’t put a TV in their bedroom, don’t leave the
TV on during meals or in the background when no one is
watching, or do impose some type of media-related rules
spend substantially less time with media than do children
with more media-lenient parents.”

This misuse of media is like a child who has his daddy’s gun, and with no one to stop him goes outside and starts firing at the side of the house. It may be tons of fun, he may hit the side of the house every time, he may learn the mechanics of the gun very well, but eventually bad things will happen. People inside the house could get hurt, the house will be damaged more and more (it could become structurally unsound if it goes on too long), the child’s hearing could be impaired (this child has unlimited ammo by the way). Until this child learns what a gun is for and how it should be used he is a danger to others and himself. The same things can happen with the misuse of media. With no one to stop him a child may use the media 10 hours a day (statistics show that through multitasking the average child crams 10.5 hours of media exposure into a 7.5 hours time span), it may be tons of fun, he may learn how to use Facebook better than you do. But eventually bad things will happen. The more a child uses media the less he is personally involved with his (or her) family. The more violence and sexual conduct he is exposed to (even through TV news) the more numb he may became to the real needs and hurts and desires of his friends and family. The more children damaged by bad and overused media the more weak the foundation of the house of a family and this house of a nation becomes.

In the end, Media is in this world to stay, and the faces it has are ever changing. We can approach this tool casually and let it cause more casualties while passively being carried along in the temporary pleasure it offers, or we can use it actively for good and teach our children to do the same. This weapon of media can be used for great good or it can be used for great evil, and, whether intention be good or evil, it can cause harm to the one who uses it without care, without forethought, without knowledge.



Thank you for Reading! Here is the Link to my reference sheet if you want to read some of the sources of my information cited. (its a google doc)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lAh_LdirPBBDE9jVMwc1BgeZxH1ODq8gVu1wUfjzVUg/edit







Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Japan News Package (the one made by Billy)

Well its finally done! Some of you may have already seen it but for those of you who haven't here is the Japan News Package I've been working on for my collage class. It is not a master piece or any thing (I still have a lot of skill to learn) but it is done.

Some time during collage break it will air on the JCTV tv channel (whether anyone will watch it I don't know), but you can watch it here to make sure you don't miss it.

If you watch it on tv you'll get to see the anchor lead in the story. Here is what my instructor put down for a lead on the facebook page...


Earlier this year, Japan was hit with a major disaster ... the massive and destructive Tsunami.

The recovery process is still going on today, and JCTV's Billy Jackson was in Japan for a 
month helping people get back on their feet. It was all part of a mission trip funded by the Christian relief agency, Samaritan's Purse.

Billy documented his journey and now brings us the story of the Japanese finding new hope.

If you would like to find out more about Samaritan's Purse, visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org/.

If you would like to read Billy's blog, visit http://www.servantphotographer.blogspot.com/






So there it is! This is a YouTube video. Please feel free to share this with other people!
Whether I will now have time to make more videos about Japan (I have way more footage) or will have to move on to other projects I don't know yet.

Stay tuned for more videos regardless. They will come.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This Year I Press On Towards the Goal! Phil. 3:14

I don't know where I'll go next. But that is not the nagging questions for me. God will move me where he will. The question is what next step, big step, should I take to prepare myself for missions? I want to PRESS ON!




At the beginning of 2011 a desire was planted in my heart to use my photography skills in Missions to tell the stories of God's work among the Nations. This desire has grown a little, taken shape a little, and maybe born a very tiny bit of fruit. But! here I am a few more mission trips and a year later and I am still at home! Now some of you may be laughing at me (and I laugh at myself), I want to go somewhere. "You just got back from Japan!" (You say). Yes, that was an awesome trip (I've been praying about going back) I got to see God working in wonderful ways, but I went as a carpenter (a very poor carpenter at that) and though I did take thousands of pictures that was not what I was there for.


At this point I do feel the need for training, both spiritually and in skills needed, for the mission field. I think hands on training would be best. I've been reading about Cam Townsend the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators. He seems to have just gone out and started spreading the Bible, and then when he saw the need for translation he started the work. (It is an awesome story by the way!) But then most missions agencies recommend having a degree in something or 'nother. Sometimes the light seems to be both Red, Green, and Yellow all at the same time. I think sometimes I am woefully unprepared for the mission field. I don't know another language, I am not in a financial position to support myself, I don't read the Bible enough, I don't pray enough, I am unskilled in presenting the gospel, but then I read about people who just go and the Lord uses them in great ways. And then there is everything in between, all the choices.


Please pray for me as I look at the choices for 2012 (as I see them. There are always things we think we can choose and then the Lord takes that option out). Some of these are not so much choices as they are questions that the Lord will have to help me answer.




  • Should I seek to keep going on short term mission trips? (this is going to happen I think)
  • Should I try to learn another language? Yes? On my own or through classes ( like Rio Grande Bilble Institute)?
  • Should I seek to do an internship with a missions organization? Which one?
  • Should I seek Bible College training?
  • Should I go back to Japan to work for Samaritan's Purse
  • Should I begin missions work in some other capacity hoping to work my way into the field I want to serve in (Photography, Story telling)
  • Should I go to the christian photojournalism conference in Texas?  www.swpjc.org
  • Should I seek to become employed by one of these missions agencies? Or should I seek to be funded  by supporters?

Hmm... all these begin with "Should I". Is that wrong?
Well one thing that I think will help is to just look at what God has put in front of me at the moment. Right now I think this is to continue working for my family, take the steps that God gives me the wisdom to take, and seek to draw closer to him.


This afternoon I have a phone conversation scheduled with one of the volunteer organizers of JAARS. The supporting organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Please pray that I will get good knowledge and information from this conversation, and that God will open and close doors as only he can.


http://northcutt8.blogspot.com/
Last night I got an email from Gary Northcutt about a trip he is planning to England for construction work for WEC internation. The WEC Communication department is located on campus where this project will be going on.


Last night I also got an email for John Corley (Steppin' Out Mission) who was the leader of our team in Japan. He says they are praying about returning to Japan with another team to continue on the Tsunami relief there.


I am planing to go to Texas on a short trip starting Jan 11th. with Aaron Sutton and the Psalm 67 Network. Please pray for this that it will be a very fruitful trip, and that God will open doors of ministry there.


There are very many opportunities to go and work. All kinds of work. But I think I am searching for the calling, the work, that I can commit my life to. I've already committed my life to God. What work does he have for my life? I kind of feel what it might be, or maybe have a feeling for what the work might feel like (lol). So I am searching for the steps needed, and the right work to be done that might lead to what I have in my heart to do. Does that make sense? Is that right? 


So guess what! I know people from every continent of the World! Well... actually almost. As soon as the Orozco family and the Pfleegors leave for South America (Paraguay and Suriname respectively) I will know not only people, but missionaries from every continent. Wouldn't it be awesome to know missionaries from every country? I have a big poster map in my room now that I am going to use to start keeping track of all the missionaries I know of around the world. This is also to help me remember to pray for them. (I still have a lot of missionaries to mark on the map)


All my brothers and sisters in Christ. Find someway to remind yourself of the missionaries you know. Seek to find ways to encourage and support them. Now being Christmas time is a great time to go above and beyond in your support of missionaries. AND while giving to missions ageinces and offerings if good and needful, personal support and contact with your missionaries can be the most rewarding. Our brothers and sisters around the world should hear and see and know that they are not alone but are part of the body of Christ. And we their brothers and sisters are standing by them.


You know, if you are a missionary reading this could you please (PLEASE) leave a comment about how the support group of missions (us at home) can best support and encourage the missionaries we know? I think one of the ways is to build relationships, but how else? I do not think that I am naturally a very encouraging person so I need help with this.


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Go find a way to make Christ (the reason for Christmas) known to those around you!



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sachiko MATSUKAWA, a Hero (by guest blogger Yas Yoneda)

While I was in Japan I met Yas. He was volunteering at Tome Base as well.  We wrote down several of the stories that he heard from the people he was working with.  This is just one of them that he graciously gave me to post here for you all to read.


October 31, 2011
Dear Friends and Family at Sylvan Way Baptist Church,

This is a story about a remarkable woman, Mrs. Sachiko MATSUKAWA, who saved lives after the 3-11 earthquakes and tsunami that hit the Sendai area of Japan.

Sachiko Matsukawa

Galatians 6:7-10 came to mind as I thought about Mrs. MATSUKAWA.

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)
Mrs. MATSUKAWA is a 61 years old Japanese woman who is bubbling with life and tells tragic stories with a strong voice and with much laughter. She fell in love with the many after school activities in her youth and they became her “boyfriends.” She had no interest in men and was perfectly willing to be single all her life. She was also happy working as an accountant at a local hospital and was well in her 40’s when a relative tricked her into meeting a man for coffee. Even after the meeting, it never occurred to her that she had participated in a match making date. She was stunned when a proposal came her way soon after the first meeting. With some reservations, she agreed to marry Yoshihiro. They are happily married and live with her mother, Mrs. Chiyoko WATANABE (91).

When the tsunami inundated the first floor of houses in the Urayashiki area of Ishinomaki city, Mrs. MATSUKAWA was home with her elderly mother. She and her mother quickly found refuge in their second story bedroom. (Her husband was at work and was never in danger.)

Mrs. “Mini URESHII”, a young mother in her 20’s, was outside when the tsunami rolled in without warning. She had her four-year old by the hand and her mother had her infant tied to her back. They were swept inland but the waves only brought back “URESHII”. The waves took her to a tree in the backyard of Mr. and Mrs. “NANIMO.” As she clung to the tree for her dear life, the elderly “NANIMOs” were unable to provide any assistance. When “URESHII’s” cries for help got unbearable to listen too, the “NANIMO’s” closed their windows without ever acknowledging “URESHII’s” plight.

In the meantime, it was still light when Mrs. MATSUKAWA heard a commotion outside one of her windows. Mr. “TONARI”, a neighbor, was trying to help a couple, “OGII–san” (74) and his wife, “OBA-san” (70), who were floating in the contaminated water. The situation was dire as Mr. “TONARI” and Mrs. MATSUKAWA struggled for hours to pull their neighbors to safety using a make-shift rope. Mrs. MATSUKAWA yelled words of encouragement and told the couple over and over again not to give up hope. She and “TONARI” were able to get “OGII-san” into her second story bedroom. They then concentrated all their effort to save “OBA-san” who was overheard saying that it was too late for her. Mrs. MATSUKAWA yelled back at the elderly neighbor telling her to have courage, that she would be saved. Mrs. MATSUKAWA and “OGII-san” were finally able to pull “OBA-san” to safety but it was too late.

After this harrowing experience, another voice pleading for help was heard in the darkness. It was, of course, “Mini URESHII” who was still stuck in the tree.




Matsukawa’s house with carport is bellow, the tree is in the center and Mrs. “Nanimo’s” house is to the right.


“URESHII” had almost lost all hope of being saved when the people in the house nearest her closed their windows and made no effort to help her. Her hope was restored when she saw Mrs. MATSUKAWA helping the elderly couple.

Mrs. “URESHII” turned all her hope onto Mrs. MATSUKAWA and pleaded for help. Mrs. MATSUKAWA responded with words of encouragement telling her that the civil authorities or the military would be there momentarily to assist her. But the reality was that except for words of encouragement, Mrs. MATSUKAWA knew she could do nothing else as the contaminated water was still 10 to 12 feet high and they were separated by about 40-50 feet of icy cold, contaminated water. The situation was complicated by the fact that Mrs. “URESHII” never learned to swim and even if she could, she did not think she could swim to Mrs. MATSUKAWA’s house because she was chilled to the bone. Icy rain and snow fell all night and the temperature was hovering around freezing; still Mrs. “URESHII” hung on for dear life due largely in part to the hope that Mrs. MATSUKAWA gave her that somehow she would be saved.

It was midnight when Mrs. MATSUKAWA’s elderly mother had to answer the call of nature. Mrs. MATSUKAWA’s solution was to open a window for her mother. It was then that she heard tapping on her downstairs window below the carport and a faint voice crying for help. As silly as this may sound, Mrs. MATSUKAWA’s immediate response was typical Japanese; in the most polite Japanese wording, she asked, “Who is tapping on my window, please?”

Mini Ureshii” tapped on the first floor window located above the two orange floating devices. You also have to visualize a “clean” carport. At the time of the tsunami none of the “junk” was there.


It was, of course, “Mini URESHII”. By this time, she had clung to the tree for nine hours. As she was about to lose all hope of rescue, a log floated by. She knew it was now or never. In a desperate act of survival, she grabbed onto the log and kicked herself over to Mrs. MASTUKAWA’s house. The icy cold, contaminated water had receded but it was still well over 8 feet high.

Mrs. Matsukawa pretending to be “Mini Ureshii” to demonstrate how she and Mr. “Ogii-san” talked “Mini” to the rear of the carport and then lifted her up on top of the carport. The distance between the edge of the carport and the second story windows were too much for the rescuers to overcome.

Over the course of three and a half hours, Mrs. MATSUKAWA and “OGII-san” encouraged “Mini URESHII” to one side of the carport, used the make-shift rope to pull her to the top of the carport and finally around the corner of the house to the second story bathroom window. When Mrs. MATSUKAWA was finally face to face with “Mini URESHII”, she realized the window opening was too small to pull “URESHII” to safety. Mrs. MATSUKAWA said she finally came up with a solution; she cut off “URESHII’s” clothing that was acting like an anchor around her body.

The top bathroom window is where “Mini Ureshii” finally met Mrs. Matsukawa face to face.

It was 3:30 on the morning of March 12 when “Mini URESHII’s” harrowing nightmare finally came to an end. Mrs. MATSUKAWA said that they dried “URESHII” off and placed layers and layers of clothing and all the blankets on her but she shivered all night long; never able to get warm.

Mrs. MATSUKAWA knows that she was true to her character; she never stopped giving hope to those whose plight seemed all but hopeless. Perhaps it is for this reason that she tells her story with a strong voice and laughs at her silly responses during a life and death situation.

Mrs. MATSUKAWA, her 91 years old mother, “Mini URESHII” and “OGII-san” survived by hugging her pet dogs and cats for warmth, and ate one chocolate covered macadamia nut a day without water for three days. By the third or fourth day, military personnel came by in boats but Mrs. MATSUKAWA stayed behind with her elderly mother who had injured her hip during the tsunami and could not be evacuated through the window. She and her mother were finally saved on the sixth day.

The rest of “Mini URESHII’s” family was eventually recovered. “Mini URESHII” and her husband live quietly in the neighborhood. Mrs. MATSUKAWA said she happened upon “Mini” URESHII about a week ago. She said “Mini” is still grieving.

Having heard the story, I now realized why one particular family has never come outside to meet us as we “mudded” houses around her. It also explains why Mrs. MATSUKAWA is full of life and hope. In this life and death situation, two individuals took two very different stances. I imagine one woman is not very proud of her actions and the other has a face beaming with pride.

Yes, it is true “A man reaps what he sows.” “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Yes Lord, I will pray for Mrs. MATSUKAWA’s soul; yes Lord, I will work to restore her home as if you live there. Yes Lord I will be her friend for life and yes Lord, I will respond with the Good News when she is ready.

Dear Jesus, not sure why I got to go to Japan while others more worthy are left home to pray for me. Thank you that they love you so much that they shared in the expense of sending me. Yes, Lord, I will be faithful to you and to your children back home, especially those that call Sylvan Way their home. As long it is day, let me not falter, but stay on course and “mud” homes as if you are going to live in them.


Thank You,

Yas Yoneda


Your Humble Wilderness Scout (Senior Grade)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fishing Trip in Japan Video

A video of our Fishing trip in Japan... Plus Breakfast afterwards! Probably some of the freshest breakfast I've ever had.
Feel free to ask questions. It was a crazy cool morning.
The Fisherman was Sudo San (along with his brothers I believe). He was one of the first people helped by Samaritan's Purse in this area. Some of the fish that we had back at the base for dinner was given by him. We had Salmon, shrimp, oysters.

You just wait till you see the breakfast we had on this morning!...





I am working on my Collage project now.  Hopefully it will be something worth watching and will give you a better idea of what is going on in Japan.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Computer is back! And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

My computer is back up and running. Praise the Lord! It took a lot of work, but I was able to do all the work myself (with a helpful start from my dad and the use of the command prompt). Right now all the video and photos are being copied back to the computer from an external hard drive.

So while the computer was down I shared an update through email using Gary Northcutt's computer (thank you very much Gary!).  I would like to post that update now for anyone who didn't get the email...


Hello Church family,

I am emailing from Gary's computer because last night mine would not boot.  It does not look good so please pray that I will be able to at least get my video and photos off it once I get home. This also means I will not have those videos ready for a while and this is the last update from me.

Today was a good day of work but we did not get the house finished like we had anticipated. We still have about two hours of work left. 
Oh Yeah and we did get to go to the dedication of the second house we completed. That was yesterday. AND the house we just got done with this week, we will have the dedication for that one and the house we are on now tomorrow morning.  SO we are leaving early tomorrow at 6:15 or so so that we can get the house done before the dedications.  It is pretty awesome that we will be able to have three dedication when a two days ago I didn't know if we were going to see any of them.

The dedication we went to was good. Worship, hymns, and preaching of the gospel. It was not translated this time because we want nothing to hinder the sharing of the gospel to the home owners.

The story of the home owner who's house we are doing know is the craziest of any of them so far.  I'll have to tell you most of it another time, but two things now. Many of this couple's neighbors were killed. There are many places where there used to be houses where now it is empty. The other thing is this guy is a seaweed farmer. When the earthquake hit he actually got on his bike and headed to the sea to try and save his boat. I'm not sure what he realized at first and what he did not, but once he got the sea he saw for himself that he was in big trouble.  I'll have to tell the rest later.

Pray for us! Last two days! We will be leaving the base Sun. and then leaving Tokyo Mon.
Also Pray for Earl who is part of our team. He will be staying for another two weeks after we leave.  Pray for Japan that God's grace would continue to pour out here his Spirit would come alive powerfully here in the local church.  Pray for our team and for our churches as we come back and share about Japan.  Samaritan's Purse has been very pleased with our work, and each one of us is invited to come back as soon as the Lord would lead us.  Pray for more workers to come and continue the work that is being done. 

Each day we see and hear the reports of the love that is being shared and the relationships being formed between the workers and the home owners, and then from that the relationship between the home owners and the local church that is starting to grow here.  

You know, one more prayer request. Sorry for so many. I am kinda burdened for all the staff here.  They are kind of like their own little family away for their family.  Many of them have been here from 2 months to 6 months and will continue to stay on till March.  They all are seeking the Lord. They love to work for his glory, and alot of them don't really have a clue what they will do after this is over. They just want to serve the Lord however he leads them.  So please pray for the staff that God will continue to be their strength and that he will give them sweet times during the holidays coming up. 

Alright! Will be seeing the USA soon!

Billy  Jackson

Please remember to pray for my computer! I really would like to have my video and photos of the trip back. I had plans for them.


...



Also Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (Including you people in Japan! :-)  I will be praying for all you guys in Japan that you will have a very blessed Thanksgiving.  I think it is cool that for some of you it will be your first time.

Sorry there are no pictures or video for this post.  Once I get things sorted on my computer I will try to get back to video editing. Pray for that to please. The video news package for my collage class is due next Tue. My instructor has graciously given me more another week or two after that though.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last week in Japan

It is getting close. Our time here in Japan is running out.  We are all wanting to work longer and work our best because we want to see these families helped and we know we have limited time the we personally get to help.


We started a new house today and finish the third house that we have worked on. The new house is right across the driveway from the other one and the families are related.  Again, please pray that we go out strong.  


I have not been able to keep up with the pictures but I will post the ones I have ready.  The video I am working on will take me longer than I want it to so I am not sure when it will be ready.  


We are now not sure if we will be able to have a house dedication (of one of our houses) before we leave.  


Did I tell you guys how great the people working here are?  All the people here young and old are using their various talents to spread the gospel and bring glory to the Lord.  There are gifted, hard working, crazy people here.


Ok here are some pictures.

 The Circles mark houses that the Steppin' Out team has done. The number 57 house is the one we just completed today. If you click the map you can see you can see on google the location of the last house we worked on. At least as close as I can guess.

 The lady in the middle is the home owner of the second house we did. She is here sharing her story of the Tsunami along with her father and mother.
 The Father is a retired whale fisherman. 
 Morning Sunrise on the way to work

 A cook out at the local church. The building was just recently finished by Samaritan's Purse workers (I believe the last Steppin' Out team helped with this)




 Eating Lunch at the work site. This is Daniel. He helps head up the volunteer mud out crews.
 This is the house we just finished today. It is great that the next house is so close because the home owner here still brings us coffee! And today was a very windy cold day.
 This is Bruce. (he has a blog too) The newest member of our team. There should be a separate post by itself but time does not suffice.
This is Hero. Our head cook. He cooks very good food.
I would like you to take note of this room as well. Every other night or so we transform the space by the back door (where the two tables are) into our ping pong area.

And this is Hesedel who is the assistant cook. She cooks very good food too, even though she does eat raw squid from time to time. (LOL! you have to watch the fishing video)