Monday, February 20, 2012

SEND Japan, SEND Taiwan Sending Council and Taiwan's CCRA cooperate to bring the Good News to Japans unreached!

SEND International as a whole through SEND Japan right from the earliest possible time provided first hand help. It is fair to say that without the strong efforts of Chinese Christian Relief Association in Taiwan  its professional disaster relief team to provide help from Taiwan, including help mobilizing efforts which moved the  whole R.o.C. government to react much stronger, much less would have been achieved. However it also is a sad fact, that the speed of help was initially slowed down by the developments.While other missions left the scene SEND decided not to give up.
NOW it seems a rare time of real inner restoration is dawning. The coming dates show more of it:

2/19~24 are the dates of our trip this month to support the disaster recovery. On 2/20 we will be making 1000 dumplings along with over 230 temporary housing residents in Ishinomaki. Then from the 21st to 24th, we will be visiting residents individually. May God establish the work of our hands.
 3/2~4 will be a Franklin Graham Festival in Sendai: ‘Celebration of Hope for the Northeast’. Pray that residents in northeast Japan will receive the hope God wants to give them.
During 3/10~15 Tina Lin is going to accompanying two pastors from Taiwan(one is Pastor Mark Liao of Chinese Christian Relief Association) to Kesenuma to understand the needs of the church there. May the Lord continue to use Taiwan to bless Japan.

Below please read an excerpt of Tin Lin's most recent prayer news: 

Prayer Letter from Tina (February 2012)
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Greetings of Peace!
  It’s now been nearly a year since the March 11 earthquake. The road to reconstruction is still quite tough. Although the infrastructure reconstruction is difficult, as could be expected, the spiritual reconstruction requires many more of God’s children to come and play their part in this important work.
Crumbling Walls
  One Japanese pastor said that this earthquake brought down three walls.
1.    Walls that separated Japanese churches from one another were crumbled
The church in Japan has been historically split along denominational lines with little interaction. With only just over 7000 churches in all, there are more than 200 denominations and groups, who seldom have much to do with one another. After this disaster, churches from all around Japan eagerly joined in the relief efforts, which meant working together cooperatively across denominational barriers.
2.    Walls that separated Japanese churches from their non-believing neighbors were came down
Ever since the Aum Supreme Truth incident, Japanese have been supersensitive to matters of religion, making it quite difficult for the Japanese church to participate in any community events. However, following this disaster, Japanese Christians went into their communities, into the disaster areas, shared meals with non-believers, lived with them, cried with them. The services of Christians and churches have gradually been accepted by the community.
3. Walls that separated Japanese churches from churches around the world crumbled
    When discussing world missions, Japan is often overlooked or not mentioned. Since last March, churches around the world have been praying for Japan, giving donations, and sending people to assist with the reconstruction efforts in Japan.
   Our God is One who changes curses into blessings. In the midst of this suffering, He has already demolished dividing walls. May our Lord continue to make Himself known and reveal His glory in Japan!
Story from the Disaster Zone
Mr. Omura was swept away in the tsunami, and not found until after three weeks later on the Onagawa seashore. His wife kept was filled with regret and self-blame that she had not compelled him to go with her to the shelter, but left him closing up the house on the day of the disaster.
When we went to the temporary housing in Ishinomaki and visited Mrs. Omura, she was crying as she told about this, and sorrowfully told us, “I should have been swept away along with my husband…”
Aside from listening, we comforted and encouraged her.
She lives alone in a temporary housing unit, cold in the winter temperatures, with only one quilt, which covers the heated table in the daytime and her body during the night. We gave her a blanket that the Taiwan Chinese Christian Relief Association (CCRA) had sent. Before leaving, we prayed for her. After the prayer, she said tearfully, “Thank you! Thank you! These aren’t tears of sadness, but tears of gratitude.”
Lord, You promise that You are “near to the brokenhearted” (Ps.34:18). May Your closeness be known by these disaster survivors in Japan.

As TSC and in CCEA / CCRA we hope the talks with the local pastors in Japan will be fruitful. So in a next step we could engage even more with their clear invitation for the common purpose to reach the communities with a system which worked for Taiwan on a similar background in the ninethies and could be implemented in the Tohohuku area too. 

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