The last few days have proven to be memorable and horrific. It has been overwhelming to watch the images in Japan. We are called to act to bring the love of Christ to this hurting world. We trust that it will be a special moment for the work of God in Japan.
On March 11, Japan was jolted by the largest earthquake to ever hit this country, creating a tsunami of devastating impact. You've seen the reports of cities around Sendai that have been nearly completely destroyed. Other towns and villages along the sea coast are in the same horrific situation. As of Friday, March 18 (JST), Japan's National Police Agency reported that 6,406 are confirmed dead, and 10,259 missing in the aftermath of this destructive force.
That week (March 10-14), I was with our Asian Access/Japan staff on retreat near Nagano, where another quake (7+) hit early that morning. Everyone was okay, but the quakes certainly gave us pause and concern. We had been praying fervently and are convinced that this is a "kairos" moment for the Church in Japan. This is a 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 "for such a time as this" just as He called Esther centuries ago.
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" and 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 catastrophes 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.). We are networking with the Church across the nation to mobilize the body of Christ for action and we invite you to join us in this 'kairos" opportunity. Pray for Japan, for the Church and for us as we prepare to come alongside the Church and other partners to deliver aid and respond with well-prepared teams as the opportunities arise.
In this effort, we have set up a special Japan Tsunami Relief Fund in which you can help (see below). This will provide aid to hard-hit areas, delivered primarily through local churches. There may be no greater opportunity for the gospel’s advance in Japan than this very hour. In the coming weeks, we'll also inform you of service opportunities, but we need to plan these in cooperation with others to maximize our efforts.
Asian Access missionaries and Japanese pastors in a strategy session planning how we can respond practically. We will first deliver aid through our extensive network of churches, as well as participate personally in relief efforts in cooperation with other organizations, such as Churches Helping Churches, and C.R.A.S.H. (Christian Relief Assistance, Support, and Hope).
Please join us in praying and in giving to help the people of Japan in the midst of this enormous crisis.
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