「私の同胞アメリカの方々、あなたの国があなたに何をしてくれるかを問わないでください、あなたの国のためにあなたに何ができるかを問うてください。世界の市民の方々、アメリカがあなた方のために何をしてくれるのかを問うのでなく、私たちが共に人間の自由のために何ができるかを問うてください。」(And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.)
As I reflect on the past one year after the earthquake and tsunami (March11 2011), I am just grateful that the Lord showed His grace upon all of us – Japanese people as a whole and tsunami victims in particular.
The year has been tremendous Christian witness in the region. The locals are very aware how Christians are so giving with unconditional love. I have heard from them that the first two groups who came after the tsunami were Japan Self Defense Force and Christians, and one year after Christians are still in the field.
So many of you have prayed for us and given us financial support as well. The Lord is so good. I didn’t feel we were doing the works alone; but we are simply part of the big team of God. Your prayer to God and the love of Christ in you are powerful spiritual weapons we carry and use.
In all appreciation of what you did, please look at the below article and video;
We need patient evangelism in order to lead them to Christ. People in Tohoku are very religious and traditional. Many of them have strong Buddhist and Shinto backgrounds. They are polytheists. A tsunami victim came forward on one of the three nights and she told my wife that she misunderstood the message. She thought she could be forgiven of her sins in her interpersonal relationship, but she was not ready to accept Jesus because she can’t believe in a person who died 2000 years ago. Like her, concept of the Creator and plan of salvation through Christ are still foreign to the people.
But it is a very good start. We really need to do follow-ups, but they are not follow-ups after they are saved but follow-ups to lead them to Christ! It does take time, but I am pretty confident in the Lord that they will come to know Him if they commit their time and energy to learning of His word. So, please pray for Christian workers who lead Bible studies in the field. The locals have seen Christian witness through material assistance; but now is the time to really focus on spiritual truth behind the material assistance.
However, we still do need material support. The number of volunteers in the area decreased drastically and many of the restorations and construction works were accomplished, but a real crisis has come to the tsunami survivors. Life in evacuation centers ended last summer; they live in relatively comfortable temporary housings; however they are more depressed and suicidal than ever. They now have time to think about loss in the past and uncertainly in the future. They are suffering from trauma and anxiety. Many of them are unemployed, because the industry (mainly fishing related business) was destroyed by tsunami and the area has not generated job opportunities yet.
Financial assistance from the government is now stopping and they need to leave the temporary housing complex after two years, but they don’t have jobs nor money to rebuild their houses – no hope for the future.
Some locals are making great endeavor to re-create their industry by themselves. In a village we are ministering to, for example, a group of fishermen started a seaweed production project so they can start the business again. All the seaweed factory machines were swept away by tsunami, so they need to buy them but the governmental support is not enough. So, they set up a website so they can get assistance through individuals and corporations. http://gekkoh7.jp/
We hope to show them love of Christ by somehow making ourselves involved in their self-effort.
As the Lord leads, we would like to help the relief work the second year, too. If you would like to receive prayer request letters or give contribution to the people through us, please write us at info@ logos-ministries.org