Saturday, April 16, 2011

Touching the Unreached

Here’s the numbers on the Japan Earthquake: * Over 25,000…the number dead and missing * 400,000 people displaced from their homes * 81,000 homes uninhabitable * 8ft, the distance that the island of Japan shifted, and * 40 cm, the elevation that parts of the island sank. * Unknown – the long term effects of ongoing radiation leaks * 19,000 - population of Minamisanriku,Japan on March 11 at 245pm * 50 feet – estimated tsunami height that hit this town * 9,700 - population of minamisanriku. Japan on march 11 at 345pm * ZERO – number of churches in the city of minamisanriku * ZERO – from what we can tell, the number of Christians who have ever resided in this town in recorded history * 2nd and 0.09% - Japan, the second most unreached people in the world, with only 0.09 percent of population being evangelical. * Infinite – the abounding grace and mercy of our God, who according to 2nP 3:9, “is patient…, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”. In the city of Minami-Samriku it is hard to recognize what life may have looked like before the tsunami wave struck. I heard about the town at 5am this morning, as a team from a partner church returned to Tokyo from a two day trip, focused on serving a hot meal to 1200 people there, and in Ishinomaki. The coastline in the area had a funneling effect, raising the water to more than 3 stories high, as evidenced by the many broken windows in the 4th floor of the hospital, and by the boat stuck in the 3rd floor of city hall. The force of the water was such that the city hall building was stripped down to just steel girders on the lower floors. As the waters rose, some people said they fled to the hills, others ran to the higher buildings in town, only to end up stranded on the upper floors. The most striking note about the trip was the report that as far as anyone knew, there has never been a church in Minami-Samriku. It is even uncertain if a Believer has ever lived in this town. The team went to great efforts though to represent Christ well, to touch the unreached in this community. They assembled generators, cooking pots, food, water, and other supplies to cook a traditional meal for those people living in shelters here and nearby, all from the back of a truck. A chef from a restaurant in Tokyo came up with the idea, though he’s not yet met Jesus. He mobilized resources and other soon to be seekers to join with the church in this outreach effort. - Pray for the planting of the Gospel in this impacted region. Japan is an unreached country. The evangelical population, which is less than 1/10th of 1% (0.09%) in the entire country, is even lower in the part of the country impacted by this earthquake. - Pray for the outreach of the Tokyo churches to the unbelieving neighbors who are coming to the churches because of their caring for others. - Pray for us as we continue to seek God’s leading to the communities that He has chosen for us to serve, deeply.


Anonymous said...

Mark, This is unreal. We are reading about Mathew 24:14 in our Perspectives class right now. We know that the end will not come until the gospel has been preached in the whole world. We CAN be a testimony to all the nations. We can't wait until it's our turn to be on the front lines with you and preaching the gospel to all the nations. Blessings
Rob and Jackie

Bobbi said...

It is really great to get your report from Japan. We've been thinking of you and your team and praying for everyone, especially the Japanese people so effected by this tragedy. Be the church to the Japanese people for all of us, dear friend! Be sttrong and courageous when you tire and know you are so loved, as is your family who misses you in your absence.