Japan Disaster Update from NAB Field Director Paul Ewing
Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ Jesus,
Greetings from Japan! As Paul wrote in Philemon, I thank God for you because your love has put your generosity to work and through it good things are being done for Christ. (Philemon 1:4-7). In particular your response to the unimaginable disaster that struck Japan in early March has refreshed the hearts of many and is helping to lead even more to a knowledge and faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
As many of you know, the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011, left a 300 mile-long path of destruction along the eastern coast of Japan’s Tohoku region. While I am happy to report that all North American Baptist Conference missionaries here are safe, as we live a distance of 500 miles from the disaster area, tens of thousands of Japanese people were killed and even now hundreds of thousands of people are displaced due to the loss of their homes and the ongoing crisis of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Immediately after the disaster, aid from the NAB was sent to the area through the ministries of Baptist World Aid and CRASH Japan (The imbedded links will take you to the latest updates from these ministries) which went to provide immediate assistance with food, clothing and shelter for many.
In April, NAB missionaries Rev. Ron and Joan Stoller visited the disaster area, in cooperation with CRASH Japan, and were overwhelmed by the magnitude of destruction they witnessed. Here is an excerpt from their report, “The loss was much more than what we could ever imagine. There is so much yet needed in the way of clean up, restoration, and recovery to this massive district of Japan. Hauling items, transporting people, and helping to carry the burdens of those in this grief stricken area of Japan is just part of what those of us who are close can do, while praying for and sending financial resources from far away places to the local churches and individuals through supporting agencies are the right and left hand help we can offer at this time.”
In May, NAB Missionary Yuri Nakano volunteered for two weeks at the headquarters of CRASH Japan in Tokyo. She wrote in her latest newsletter, “I’m thankful for good organizations like CRASH that are at work to bring not only immediate relief but long-term aftercare and Christ’s hope to the survivors of the quake.”
Thanks to your generous giving, we will be able to continue supporting Crash Japan, which works directly through local churches, by direct giving and the sending of teams to help in the relief and rebuilding efforts. We have heard many reports of people turning to Christ in the areas where Crash Japan is working and we are prayerfully anticipating the privilege of helping others find immediate comfort and eternal salvation as we work with this ministry in the coming weeks and months on your behalf.
In July we will be sending the first of many teams to assist in the relief efforts and sharing of the hope we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We know that this can happen only because of your support and even now covet your prayers for the following items.
• Pray for the hundreds of thousands of people who are still living without daily necessities and yet carry the painful memories of lost loved ones and everything they owned.
• Pray for the teams that will be going to help with relief and rebuilding efforts. Pray for preparations as well as for safety as they travel and work in this still dangerous area.
• Pray that God will continue to work in the hearts and minds of those affected by this disaster, drawing them to Him, and for opportunities to share the hope we have in Christ Jesus.
Thank you for blessing so many with your generosity and for continuing to lift up the people of Japan before God’s throne of grace!
May you be richly blessed!
Rev. Paul Ewing
Japan Field Director
For a printable copy of this update click here.