As a little kindergartner who was sad to be losing friends who were moving back to Tokyo, I vowed that I would learn the language and someday travel to their homeland. Thus began a journey that included years of language study (much of it resulting in tears and frustration), a strange call to ministry that I still don't fully understand, and two trips overseas to visit the land that God had placed on my heart. All these years later and my heart aches for the people of Japan--of whom only about 0.5 percent know Christ--in a whole new way.
This week, I am thankful that my friends who serve in Japan with Asian Access are okay. The entire mission was gathered together in the Nagano Mountains, just 200 miles from Sendai, for their annual ministry retreat. A time that was meant for reflection and refreshment became a time for prayer in the midst of total devastation.
On Friday, my friend Sue Takamoto wrote:
God’s timing is strange. Last Saturday Eric and I attended an all-day training to help Christians in Japan be prepared to respond in case of earthquake. Eric was supposed to teach that day, but we felt this was really important. We both sense that it is likely that Eric will go and be part of relief efforts. How thankful we are for God’s timing in preparing us to be able to more practically help. We will pray and wait to see how God may use our family, our mission, and the Church to bring much-needed relief as the days unfold. Our prayer is that God will quickly move and unite the Church to reach out during this terrible tragedy. The news that we are hearing is that it may be the worst earthquake in the history of Japan.
We also believe that God has our mission gathered at this time for His purposes. Pray that God will give us wisdom and allow us to be strategic in what will be challenging days ahead. We do pray that the God of Psalm 46 will bring hope to those who right now are buried in tragedy. (More on Sue's blog.)
Asian Access president, Joe Handley, writes along a similar vein:
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." (Read more at the Asian Access blog.)
I am praying Psalm 46 along with them:
Psalm 46:1-3, 10
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