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Japan Update from my Dad #3

Now as I send this after writing below info (w/o proofing), news is saying 1400 dead and missing, including 4 trains of people, and 5 nuclear power plants in trouble (Japan news is still saying only 2 nuclear plants… trying to prevent panic, maybe???)

Sat 3/12 12:10 pm Jpn time (USA EST+14 hrs)

Family, Friends,

Please pray for us we decide where to go and help with hands, food, water, diapers, and money, etc. More than 1100 dead or missing, which sad expectation that this will go much higher considering how big and widespread the tsunamis were.

Where to go?
130 miles, 200 km of coastal area devastation from monster earthquake and resulting tsunamis, so it is difficult to know where we should go to help. We are looking for missionaries or churches in area to partner with/ be a base. Pray for wisdom: when, where, who to go… what to take.

1100 killed= 12 day total of suicides in Japan
To put the spiritual darkness of Japan in perspective, Japan averages about 90 suicides per day. It is so sad that already 1100 people appear to have died in the earthquake/tsunami and that is making world-wide news. It needs to also break our heart that this very rich country is really so spiritually impoverished, with so many with no hope. But if indeed 1100 are dead from the killer earthquake, we need to also remember that a normal 12 days in Japan brings about this many suicides. But it does not make CNN news.

Poor Japan in 1970 had half as many suicides as today’s rich Japan with so much “abundance.”
it is sad but telling that Japan had half its current @32,000 suicides a year in 1970. Japan was poor, beginning to grow strong economically and educationally. Now Japan “made it”, has 100 literacy, longest life expectancy in the world, etc, but with the Bible’s Ecclesiastes 2, so many Japanese people who sought the “abundant” life have found that “all is vanity.” Pray for a new turning to the One who really does give abundant life (John 10:10b).

So, as we and so many Christians mobilize and seek to relieve incredible suffering and pain in the name of Christ to the 5 million people of the devastated areas, pray that this will bring a turning to the true and living God, and to Christ and his grace and love. Japan really needs true hope that does not disappoint.

Below are some stats on the affected areas, and just how lost and unreached they are.

We are just having another tremor right now, not so big, but no one even stopped what they were doing… it must have been the 100th I felt… but we all stopped counting. What power and might!

How do we help? Our plans?

Concert with Korean professional choir today at 3pm, now turned into concert and offering and prayer time afterwards:
We have a concert at 3pm, in 3 hours, here at our church building, planned from long ago as an outreach event. The choir arrived yesterday (Fri) to Narita airport 30 min before the 1st and biggest earthquake. The airport was soon closed down.
So we decided to go ahead with it, make it shorter, and use it as a time for witness to the many non Christians who will come (if they still come with all that has happened… we were expecting about 100), and offering for the devastation, and prayer afterwards for Christians to stay and join in on. Non-Chrisitans will be welcome to stay, and some probably will.

Rented a truck, preparing to go: Need to know where to go. Please pray for that.
We have rented one truck from tonight, and are having people bring supplies to take north to worship tomorrow. Email and cell etc are down in the Sendai area, where things were the worse. We know OPC missionaries there who could be a base for us to help with their churches, if they and the churches are okay, but all we know is that “OPC missionaries the Cummings are okay, but have no electricity or other utilities” (word we finally got 2d hand). And, because the two nuclear power plants in the affected region are a very serious concern, we may not be allowed into some areas to help.

The stats on Japan’s spiritual poverty, and especially the affected area:
The areas affected by the earthquake and tsunamis of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki are some of the most spiritually needy places in Japan. With over 4.9 million people yet only about 9,000 active Christians (about 0.15%; about 1/6 of 1%). Fukushima has the lowest average worship attendance in all of Japan with only 19 per church. There are is one city and 44 towns with no church at all. There are 86 missionaries (adults, including husband and wife) assigned to these prefectures.
One town in Ibaraki has over 46,000 people with no church (OperJpn 24) and several others have over 24,000 people with no churches. Average attendance for all the churches in Japan is the lowest in Fukushima prefecture. Ibaraki prefecture has the least number of people claiming to have any religious beliefs.

Please do pray for Japan! And for us.

In Christ, who rules all,