March 14, 2011
Horror and Hope in Japan
Missionaries offer help and healing after the earthquake.
The images and stories emerging from Japan are terrible, and with the threat of nuclear meltdown still looming there may be more to come. But amid the rubble and mud, the church is offering a perspective of hope.
Message from two mission leaders reached us over the weekend. First these remarks from Dr. Michael Oh, president and founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan.
Over the years I've often described our mission in Japan as praying and preparing toward the day of opportunity in Japan. In the back of my mind I've often thought of the possibility of great suffering being a part of the opening of the heart of the great nation of Japan. A massive earthquake or a nuclear missile from North Korea topped the list of possible devastating ways the Lord might awaken that nation that I love. This, perhaps, could be one of the ways the Lord pierces the darkness of Japan with His light. Would you join us in praying toward that end for the largest unreached nation of the world?
Another message came from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access, who is currently in Japan.
I am with our Asian Access/Japan staff on retreat near Nagano, where another quake (7+) hit early this morning. Everyone is okay, but the quakes certainly gave us pause and concern. We have been praying fervently and are convinced that this is a "kairos" moment for the Church in Japan. This is an historic opportunity for the Church to be the Church and rise up to serve the needs of the country in the name of Christ. We at Asian Access believe that God has called us similar to how Mordecai spoke to Esther centuries ago, "you have been called for such a time as this."
The Lord has uniquely positioned us with one of the largest and broadest networks of churches across the country. We believe the Lord would have us serve as a catalyst to "unite the church" to "extend the transforming power of the Gospel" as our mission statement directs. Interestingly enough, our new VP for Japan, had been planning a luncheon for this retreat to help us look at disaster preparations—on March 12, the day after the earthquake hit! In addition, several of our staff just went through a special course to assist the country in situations just like this one.
So, we are poised and ready to respond and now looks like the kairos moment for the church to rise up and make a difference, and in so doing, see transformation happen on multiple levels (spiritual, physical, social, etc.).
As we continue to watch the news from Japan, let's stay in prayer for our sisters and brothers there who are serving as God's healing and compassionate presence to the suffering.