Japan Disaster

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brokenness beauty signNozomi のぞみ = Hope

Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Nozomi Project and wow, I didn’t expect how powerfully God would move in my own life. As we were sharing together I heard the amazing story shared in this video about an autistic boy: https://vimeo.com/164225374 Thing is, I didn’t expect it to hit me personally. You see, I have an autistic sister so I shared a lot in common with the family in the video. As you’ll see in the story, the mom was encouraged through the Nozomi team, and particularly by my colleague Sue Takamoto, that her son’s life has purpose and meaning. That led me to share part of my own journey growing up with my sister. You see, I’m not naturally a very compassionate person but growing up with my sister, there were times where...

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joe and nakamurasPastor Yoji Nakamura, who leads the Kyushu Christ Disaster Relief Center in Kumamoto, is an amazing pastor. You can learn more about him in this post from last fall: Mr. Christ… Christ, Christ, Christ! I had the privilege of spending a few days with him in Kumamoto following up on the earthquake that hit the region about nine months ago. He was so inspiring and as he shared in church that morning before I preached, he told the congregation another amazing story that brought tears to all of our eyes!  As they’ve led the relief efforts, they have tried to adopt people from the disaster areas who live in temporary housing and Pastor Yoji adopted a little girl who has been particularly challenging to work alongside. Most people avoid the child because she’s so oppositional. But, Yoji just...

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Kent and Yuko Muhling 2015Being with Kent and Yuko Muhling last week in Sendai inspired me. They are trying so many different ways to reach out to their neighbors, I was deeply impressed. You would be proud of them! One story in particular captured my imagination. They shared about a man who has been watching the Christian relief teams not far from Sendai City. He lived through the disaster and has seen the relief teams come and go. But, he was particularly inspired by the ongoing efforts of the local churches, missionaries, and believers from all over the world who keep coming and serving. As he thought about these people and what they were doing, he watched them very closely. He noticed that despite all the trials they suffered in serving, all the challenges they face on a daily basis and even the difficult circumstances through... 

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joe with nakamura senseiHow would you like your church to be called “Mr. Christ”?

That’s what people are calling the Church in action in Kumamoto, Japan following the devastating disaster that occurred earlier this year. As the collective Church sprung up and has been serving the community, people have not seen them as cults or different denominations but rather simply by the name of Jesus. How cool is that! Pastor Yoji Nakamura shared this week at Asian Access Japan National Conference his journey of living through the disaster. His story extends way back though, starting with the Kobe quake through the Tohoku quake of 2011 and then this past year in his city, Kumamoto. 

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“When we do mission, we need one heart. So we can do it together.”

These two sentences best sum up our commitment to live and work in community. Pastor Yukimasa Otomo shared this with me to describe his partnership with A2 missionaries Robert and Roberta Adair. The partnership between Japanese pastors and A2 missionaries is deep. As Yukimasa Sensei added, “Having Robert [here] is good for me, because I can share my heart.” Robert was excited to partner with this pastor, too...

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KumamotoEarthquake100k 565x327Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access reports that there are over 100 churches in the Kyushu earthquake disaster area and surrounding vicinity in SW Japan.

Those churches together created the "Kyushu Christian Disaster Relief Center" and it's already functioning. One of the on-site leaders is an alumnus of our leader development program, Pastor Yoji Nakamura. Together, they are distributing relief goods and helping out individual victims by removing debris from their houses...

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KumamotoEarthquake100k 565x327I felt an urgency to get this letter to you immediately! A generous, kindhearted donor has just offered a $100,000 matching gift for earthquake relief in Southwest Japan. So now I want to give you an opportunity to respond to this huge need, starting with assisting Pastor Yoji Nakamura of Kumamoto Harvest Church. But let me provide some context for you… As you know, the Island of Kyushu in Southwest Japan was hit by two very large earthquakes and multitudes of smaller tremors continue to rock the area. Here are some current reports from the quake zone...

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Epicenter near Kumamoto, Japan (graphic courtesy BBC)Japan (MNN) — Over 500 aftershocks have followed two major earthquakes near the Japanese city Kumamoto since last Thursday.

“The continuous earthquake is making the situation worse and…rescue work has been delayed,” Asian Access’s Takeshi Takazawa says. “So it’s fighting with the time because [the] first earthquake has happened the fourteenth and it’s been more than three, four days has passed. So it’s getting difficult.”

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