2010 Leaders Summary

From 2010 Men's Team-Day 5-Live

Notes from Craig Kakihara, leader of the 2010 Men's Team...

Pictured here with Calvin Harris, the HFH construction driver for whom he prayed at the job site....

After three years of leading Evergreen men to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, one question I am frequently asked is “How was this year’s trip compared to last year? Usually, my answer is “Every year is different.” However, one thing remains the same: God always gives me reason to thank and praise him.

1. Praise God for safety on the job sites –only one near miss as Peter, by the grace of God, was spared from falling off of the roof.

2. I thank God for team unity and the commitment each man made to ensure that this trip was all about Jesus and not self.

3. Praise God for people who received prayer from our team – Kathy, a future homeowner putting in sweat equity, received prayer at the job site. Calvin, a Habitat for Humanity construction staff member received prayer that God would continue to use him as a positive role model for Mississippi’s youth. Brad was our site supervisor for whom we prayed that God would develop as an effective leader. Loren, our wonderful Habitat Volunteer Coordinator, walking restaurant guide, and friend for whom we prayed over a personal situation.

4. I thank the Lord for allowing us to travel with and serve alongside our brothers from Lifesong Community Church. It was a blessing to see the Evergreen men reaching out to the Lifesong men and offering encouragement. From their blog:
“Yes, we have done many things separately. Things like team training, fundraising and commissioning. And yes, we are working on a different house than they are. But, we still feel a deep kinship with our brothers from Evergreen SGV because they are exactly that: our brothers. Psalm 133:1 reads, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” Indeed, how sweet it has been to dwell with our brothers in Christ from Evergreen! We have been encouraged by their humility, by their faithfulness, by their generosity and by their love.

Yesterday, during our afternoon break, one of the Americorp members working with us asked if we were with those guys from Evergreen. Gregg said, “We’re separate but the same.” Those wise words from our team sage (we affectionately call him “Gii-Chan”), summarized this relational and theological reality so well. We are separate teams. We registered separately. We have separate team leaders and different church names on our T-shirts and name tags. But in Christ, we truly are the same. We serve the same Master with the same purpose for the sake of His glory. And in that, we truly are “brothers.” We share a bond and a love that runs deeper than blood. So every time we look two houses over and see our brothers working on their house, we genuinely feel how good and pleasant it is to dwell with them in unity.”

5. Praise God for the inspirational devotional messages shared through brothers like Craig Wakamoto, Brian Williams, Gary Murakami, Keith Fukuyama, and Pastor Jon Hori. These messages set the tone for the men “doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus” as Col. 3:17 teaches.

6. I thank the Lord for the testimony of Chris Chan who, because of a family situation four days prior to our departure, wasn’t able to make the trip and thus blessed his wife and family because of his obedience to God.

7. I praise God for the positive impression made upon fellow volunteer team Mandarin United Methodist Church who expressed their appreciation for the camaraderie shared with Team Evergreen. We even prayed together in the parking lot as our MUMC friends boarded their bus for the trip back to Jacksonville, FL.

8. Famous quotes from the mission trip: “The trip is over but the mission is not.” “When we’re in the Lord’s will, we feel his pleasure.” “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the present.” “I’m just sayin…”

9. Praise God for Gary’s thoughtful multimedia show and inspirational sharing by Peter and Bu at our Presentation Luncheon.

10. There is so much more for which I can thank and praise God, but I don’t want to forget the over 200 kind and generous supporters, family members, co-workers, and friends. Thank you for sending us on this trip. May God bless each of you.

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