Whether you travel for the excitement of seeing a sunset over a foreign ocean or look forward to observing diverse cultures, everyone agrees traveling abroad creates lifelong memories. In the case of Body Weld Assistant Manager Keith Moore, not only has he made lasting friendships through his missionary trips to Japan, he’s left a longer- lasting impact on the places he visited.
Moore and his wife Eriko, a native of Japan, make yearly visits to the areas devastated by 2011’s earthquake and resulting tsunami.
“I’ve lived in Japan and my wife has family there. Japan is very dear to my heart and we’ve always made it a habit to visit often,” said Moore. “After the tsunami it really hit home that I wanted to help these people so deeply in need. Outreach is a conduit of hope and I felt like there had to be some way I could reach out to them.”
Moore has since taken several 2-3 week trips with each one aimed at helping a specific hard hit region.
In 2012, initially Moore joined a mission trip and went door to door at a temporary housing village distributing hand -made bags filled with personal hygiene items, inviting the residents to a hot lunch and music at the village gather center. In 2013, Moore was joined by his son Joshua and the two used their construction expertise to help build a daycare for special needs children. This year’s trip, or as Moore calls it his “volunteer vacation”, consisted of construction of a church, visiting temporary housing, handing out CDs, and connecting with many local ministries. Every year since their initial visit, their work has grown and expanded across several regions in Japan. The one thing that remains consistent is sharing and giving hope to those depressed by life’s circumstances.
“My wife is a musician and we’ve visited several temporary shelters sharing God’s love through her music,” said Moore. “The common thread I’ve found is that no matter your religious beliefs or what part of the world you come from, everyone appreciates knowing someone else cares and they have not been forgotten. That’s the message we want to share.”
Next year, Keith and his wife plan to return to Tohoku, Japan and participate in the construction of a Christian community center , as well as travel to other cities to visit temporary housing and work with the homeless. You can see more details at www.erikomooremusic.weebly.com where you’ll find PowerPoint presentations on their trips from 2012-2014.