As we approach the one year memorial day of the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster on March 11th, we would like to express our greatest gratitude to the global Christian community for continuous prayer and tremendous support. The number of Christians in Japan is less than 1% of the total population, but with the help from the global Christian community, we have been able to serve those who are suffering and bring the love and hope of Christ to the devastated communities.
As of Feburary 10th 2012, the number of deaths are 15,848 and 3,305 are still missing, more than 320,000 are living in temporary housings. Many of the towns which are devastated by tsunami have not even been able to come up with their rebuilding plan yet. Despite all the efforts of the government and private sectors, the process of recovering and rebuilding has been slow.
Tohoku region has been one of the difficult areas in Japan for evangelism. Before this disaster, there were not many churches in those small fisherman towns along the coast. The impact of Christianity was minimal in those places. But through the relief work by Christian volunteers and organizations, those local churches and Christian groups have made meaningful relationships with local people and communities. People have felt that Christianity is a foreign religion, but through these new relationships, God has opened up their hearts. We see a kind of paradigm shift in ministry here in Japan.
Also, through working together in relief work, denominations and church groups with different background have collaborated together and now we see more opportunities for working together for God’s Kingdom here in Japan.
We would like also to thank the WEA for sending Associate General Secretary Gordon Showell-Rogers right after the disaster in April, and Dr. Brian Stiller as Global Ambassador in October. In both occasions, we have felt the strong solidarity with the global Evangelical community.
Here are the prayer requests for 3.11 Memorial Day. We would like these to be global prayers, so when you pray for Japan on March 11th, please either e-mail to [email protected] or twitter to @JEA_office to make a “Prayer Chain for Japan”.
(1) Christ’s love and hope will touch those who are suffering from 3.11 Disaster.
(2) Japanese Christians and churches continue to engage in recovery and rebuilding of churches and people’s lives in disaster stricken Tohoku area, especially with the churches in Fukushima that are struggling with radiation related challenges.
(3) The unity and harmonious collaboration among existing churches and new churches to reach out and minister to their local communities with Christ’s love.
(4) Through all these, may God’s glory be revealed and Gospel of Jesus Christ be spread all across Japan.
Japan Evangelical Association
> 3-11-2011 Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan – One year later
> Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan – One Year Later (Pictures)
> "What God has done" – One year after the earthquake (Video)
> HOPE PERSISTS for JAPAN: One Year Anniversary (Video-Slideshow)