As I walked around in the cold today directing traffic and collecting keys (i’m currently working as a parking valet) i couldn’t help but feel a bit strange. Two years ago I experienced one of the most tragic and frightening moments of my life. I remember the anticipation as we waited to hear if our friends up north were ok and the shock and dismay as I watched the lives of thousands of people washed away to sea. The trembling of buildings became a regular occurrence, basic necessities began to run out, gas grew scare and the tv showed only news 24/7 for a month. As Megumi and I worked to make a dent in the relief efforts we saw a glimpse of God’s sovereignty amidst the tragedy. Japan’s hardness of heart had grown so tremendous that it seemed it would take something as great as a tsunami to break it. And yet, God did just that.
Though all of Japan was affected by the disaster, Tohoku was the region most affected. Today, two years after the disaster, thousands of people are still displaced, many are still living in temporary homes. Most of the cities have yet to rebuild. The areas around the Dai-Ichi nuclear plant are now barren wastelands. I spent the evening reading through the various news articles related to the two year anniversary. Underneath all of the talk about Japan’s current status and the future of the disaster zones, there was one central theme, Hope. The people of Japan need hope. They don’t need hope in a home, a place, a car, job, spouse, or any other thing. They need to find their hope in the only thing that lasts and sustains, Jesus Christ. Now more than ever before the Japanese are opening to the Gospel. Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is plenty but the workers are few” This truth is evident in Japan as there are 127 million people who need to hear the Gospel. This week, on the anniversary of the March 11th, 2011 disaster, would you pray for the people of Tohoku.
- Restoration would continue to happen both physically (the rebuilding of homes and cities) and spiritually (mental heath due to trauma and stress, and hearts longing for hope that only the Gospel can bring)
- God to raise up churches and church planters to take the Gospel to Japan
- Those who are alreay ministering in the Tohoku region would be strengthen and encouraged by the hope and joy that the Gospel brings.