"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HEROES: Specific prayer requests I've received for Japanese people

My Photo

From Vicky: for her husband Seiju who left home March 12 with 300 others on a search and rescue mission to Iwate near the Kuji River. They live in Hokkaido, the northernmost island and you can follow her blog about this at http://hyotenka.blogspot.com. (Scroll down to start with March 11.)
Other blogs by Westerners living in Japan, most of them married to Japanese, which describe how the earthquake affected them on March 11 and days following include:
Gaijin Housewife in Japan (Gaijin means "foreigner") 
Gaijinwife (Note: the language in this one is R-rated but it really captures the conflicting thoughts, emotions and paranoia running through the mind of someone living through this. The writer must be from New Zealand.) 

From Bill, on staff with Navigators in Sendai. (I think Jane must be his wife, although my friend Genie who forwarded this request says his wife is Japanese.)

Dear family and friends,
     I just got word that everyone living on our hill, including Jane, has been accounted for.  But there is no contact with people in that area and there has been a lot of damage in the surrounding area.  But I’m so happy that Jane is OK!  Also the word is that there was only minimal damage to the house.  
     The people who live on our hill are working together evidently, melting snow for water, etc.  There is enough food for the time being.  But they are also waiting for the waters to recede or for some kind of rescue to arrive.  
     No body has been able to contact Jane but at least we know that she is alive and with friends living nearby.  
I may return home early from this conference although it is very difficult to travel north. I can fly into Tokyo but there is no train or plane travel north to our city of Sendai.  The highway is also closed although there are local roads that are jammed.  That’s my understanding but I’m keeping up with the news for changes.  I could stay with Mark for a few days in Tokyo until transportation north opens up.  
    Thank you for your prayers.  The big relief is that Jane is OK.  And even our house seems to be in reasonable shape.
     Pray for that those who are stranded would soon get help and that we would all work together to rebuild our community and city.  Also, pray that all of our friends would turn out to be alive and safe.  
     Pray for continued peace and that our confidence in God and his ways would abound.  And most of all pray for many to put their faith in Christ through this tragedy.  There is a purpose even in this.
     Thank you so much for the expressions of prayer and encouragement from so many of you.  It was such a relief to learn that Jane is safe.  I don’t know what I and the children would have done without her.  Thank you again!
     Just as you prayed for her (and us) maybe you would have time to pray for others of our friends whom we are very worried about.  Some of our friends were living right in the path of the Tsunami on somewhat lower ground.  This is the Shichigahama area which is east of Sendai, a peninsula right on the Pacific Ocean coach.  This area is still cut off from communication because of power failure so we don’t know and can’t guess how people are doing?  
     Here are some people to pray for:
* Eiichi and Naoko Tanaka.  A newly married couple.  Eiichi was at work on lower ground when the earthquake hit.  We think Naoko was in her car but not sure.  There was about 20 minutes between the time of the earthquake and the tsunami.  That may have been enough time for them to get to a safe place.  
* Hitomi Watanabe.  She runs a Bed & Breakfast type place on a hill overlooking the ocean.  She would have been cleaning up after lunch service when the earthquake hit.  
* Mrs. Sato.  She works as Hitomi’s helper.  She is married and has three children.
* Noriko Tsutsumi.  She and her husband, Kenji, live in a residential area called Shiomidai which was smashed by the Tsunami.
* Kazumitsu Tanaka and his family.  Also Mr. Ambe and his family.  Very close friends of Eiichi and Naoko and also live in Shiomidai.
* Mrs. Yamamoto and her daughter Rei.  Close friends of Eiichi and us who also live in Shiomidai.
* The Karihira family.  I heard from them and they are safe but were living in their car.
 Please pray especially for these people.  But also for many other friends in our Shichigahama neighborhood.
*Atobe san as a leader in the city government is hard at work in leading rescue operations.  Pray for him: for strength to carry on and that many would sense Christ in him, especially his parents.  
* I haven’t heard from Bun.  Pray for him and his family.
* Pray for Ikuko Ogawa.  Toru and Ikuko are our work partners in Sendai.  Toru is away on a trip taking students to the states.  We think Ikuko should be OK but haven’t heard from her.
There are many more but please remember these.  And I think you will know how to pray for Japan during this disaster.
With much thanks and praise,
From Pat in Long Beach, CA: My grandson’s teacher, a Christian, is Japanese and has family in the Tokyo area.  I VIP in her class each Monday morning and yesterday her tears were very close.  We hugged and I told her I had been and would continue to pray for her and her family.  She has a niece in northern Japan who is a doctor so you can imagine what she is experiencing in trying to help her countrymen.
From Yuji, the Japanese pastor
at Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Southern California.

Subject: Tsunami update #2
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2011 21:40:39 -0700
From: 宇野雄司
To: 宇野雄司
Dear  Praying friends,
Thank you for your expressed prayers and concerns responding to my first update.
It is time to give you second update on Tsunami. Unfortunately one of the disciples in our ministry lost her father and her mother is still missing.
We are putting together a love gift for her as she will be returning to Japan.
I mentioned in my first update that the impact might be smaller than Kobe where 6000 died, but it is already estimated that well over ten thousand or more  will be found dead eventually.
They also upgraded the quake to magnitude 9.1 rather than 8.9. This is by far the biggest in Japan and is #4 in the world since 1900.
One of the biggest impacts is nuclear  power plants failure. With the power shortage, it is  affecting nation-wide transportation, industries and everything else.  
The Japanese ministry will be collecting donations from the members and will be forwarding to some specific needs in Japan, such as ministries and the churches that are greatly affected by the tsunami.
Some of us are talking about going to Japan this summer to help in the rebuilding process.
We will keep you posted.
Yuji and Sumie


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