After various setbacks, translation delays, and last minute technical tweaks, we finally launched our Tokyo Life Church website last week. Thanks to Squarespace, we received a $100 Google Adwords credit to promote our site. This has allowed us to connect with new people and be found by those searching for churches in Tokyo.
On Tuesday, I received an email to the church account (which I have yet to use much). Given the amount of random and seemingly suspicious emails in the past, I read it with skeptical eyes. I held off from telling anyone, even Miho, about it until I checked it out.
The email was from an American guy who came to Japan over the 4th of July weekend and hiked Mt. Fuji. On the way to the airport, he forgot his backpack on the train. Turns out they found it (which is quite common) and had it waiting at Tokyo Station to be picked up. Only he was now back in Colorado. I imagine he was quite stressed about this loss when he got to the airport without his bag of valuables. As a Christian, he decided to find a local church and offer the contents to them. This was a chance to turn this tragic experience into a blessing for someone. Somehow, he found us.
My doubts about the validity of the email faded with the amount of specific details he gave including claim number, scanned driver’s license, etc. Turns out his bag contained some hiking clothes and snacks. But, the main thing he wanted to give to the church was a nice Nikon DSLR camera with a 55-300mm lens (together worth over $1,000).
Since I had to go to Ikebukuro this morning, I swung (a bit out of the way) by Tokyo Station. At the Lost and Found, I filled out some forms and this old man handed me a bag. I was caught off guard at first, since it was a feminine looking Rip Curl bag (not quite the hiking pack). He handed it over, so I took it. As I walked away, I check inside and found makeup pouches and books; no camera. I found a flight itinerary for a woman named Natalya. I went right back to the guy. “Ummm…I don’t think this the bag.” Sure enough, he gave me the wrong one. Poor lady :( After giving the claim number again, he found it. What an unexpected blessing!
These are those moments when we stand amazed at how incredible God is. Without the launch of our website last week, he probably wouldn’t have found us. Without the Google promotion, we may have been buried in several pages deep of other sites. Yet, God connected us. Just another reminder how God is mysteriously working around us and connecting us with people. Our prayer is that this resource will capture memories in our community, take beautiful photos that display our worship and fellowship, and be used to further impact lives here in Tokyo. Sorry Daniel for your unfortunate ending to your Japan trip. But, thank you for reaching out and offering this gift to our church.