Beauty from Brokenness- Katie’s Trip to Japan

Katie has been back from Japan for 2 weeks now.  We have learned so much from her 2 months there.  She stayed in Ishinomaki, an area that was severely affected by the tsunami in 2011.  This trip was her internship for college.  She is a senior this year majoring in Cross Cultural Ministries (Missions).  She was able to work with the missionaries already in Ishinomaki.  Katie had the privilege of seeing how these missionaries lived and worked. She worked very closely with the families and spent many hours with them and  their children.  She loves working with kids and hopes to combine this passion with her future mission work.

Katie got to see Nozomi Project up close and personal.  These women make “Beauty from Brokenness”.  They take tsunami-broken pottery and make beautiful jewelry from them.  This has given these women something meaningful to do as they are recovering from devastating effects of the tsunami.

This is the necklace Katie picked for me!

Here is some information from the Nozomi Project’s website:

“Nozomi, which means ‘hope’ in Japanese, is a social enterprise bringing sustainable income, community, dignity and hope to the women in Ishinomaki, Japan and the surrounding region by training women to craft unique jewelry products.  One third of these women are single mothers and grandmothers; most of these women and their family members lost their livelihood when the tsunami crashed through half of their city in 2011.​

Nozomi women are creating one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry featuring broken pieces of pottery left in the wake of the tsunami (called the Shards of Hope product line), as well as other beautiful products such as kimono accessories.  Each of our product lines has been named by a Nozomi woman in honor of a loved one in her life.

As broken shards are being transformed into beautiful treasures, so too lives are being filled with renewed dignity and hope.”

There is also a recent article about them in Christianity Today.  You can read it online here.

Katie and one of her little Buddies washes pottery that was collected from tsunami hit areas, getting it ready to be made into jewelry.

The church that Katie was working with baptized a women who works with the Nozomi Project.  How awesome to be able to witness baptism anywhere, but Katie was able to be there and witness a baptism in the very ocean that brought in the tsunami.  How unbelievably powerful the ocean (or any water) is.  It can be life sustaining or life threatening .  God made baptism a choice for us to make to obey him.  He specifically made it be with water.  When you are immersed in water you are close to death, you can’t not breathe.  He makes you new as you rise out of the water into life, a life with Him.

I have never been on a mission trip myself, but at this time in my life I hold down the home front and pray for those abroad.  One thing I hear time and time again, is that you don’t always end up doing exactly what you thought you’d be doing once you get there.  God has a way of directing you right where you need to be.  Katie connected with the children around her.  This is not surprising at all, being the oldest of 7 she is used to being there.  Her intention when headed to Japan was to help wherever she was needed.  God put her with the children of the Nozomi Project women.  In a culture that relies heavily on family and not outside help, Katie was able to quickly gain the trust of these women and spent hours with these children.  She was able to minister to them and plant seeds about her God.  These kids will remember her as those seeds germinate.  God also put Katie with the missionaries’ children.  She got an up close and personal inside view of a missionary’s life!  How awesome of an opportunity she had to learn so much!!  It’s one thing to help do the missionary’s work, but another to also see how they live! What an immense privilege Katie had to do both!!

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