July 21, 2011
Unfortunately, there are only very few information coming on the affliction of the people in the earthquake stricken areas in Japan. I am thankful for my friend Tania, who tells me first hand of the hardship there. Just now she gave me alarming information: many thousands of affected people are still living in emergency shelters. And particularly the elder people in Sendai and surroundings (where the epicenter was) are suffering: because of the loss of their loved ones (sometimes whole families have been wiped out), their houses and livelihood, many suffer such great psychological distress that there is an increasing number of suicides among them. This is a very big prayer burden.
The spiritual hunger in Japan is growing remarkably these days. Many people have lost the meaning of their lives, are searching for God. Their own gods could/cannot help them, they are idols. Yet, it is still forbidden for Christian aid groups to tell people the Good News. Although it alreaday turned out that those who had the possibility of trusting their lives to Christ, are coping much better with their distress than others.
It is really a big spiritual need for us brethren to join in common prayer.
Prayer requests directly
(the newest information is on top, the older ones below)
April 24, 2011
Today I spoke with Tania again and she told me of a prayer request that really shocked me: she said that in the first time after the earthquake on March 11, no Christian group or other NGOs were allowed to go into the catastrophe stricken areas. The completely buddhist advisors to the Japanese government seem to be in the driver's seat, based on their financial power. Meanwhile NGOs are being allowed in to help, because the government apparently saw that it is impossible without their help. Yet the Christians among them are not allowed to bring the Good News to the people...
As Tania has mentioned some weeks ago, there is a big openness for Jesus in Japan. I think it is indefinitely tragic that some high ranking officials should determine for the (spiritually) needy not to hear the promising message which would do them so good especially in this present suffering... Honestly, how do you interpret this? For me it is just another sign more for the attempt of eliminating God's message...
So in this moment, the two most important prayer requests are for God to show another way of how His message can reach the Japanese people - a people He loves so much! And then that He might strengthen our Christian brothers and sisters there to keep strong in prayer and in their efforts to help the needy.
April 1, 2011
Until recently, Tania had no possibility of contacting me from her parents' home. Now she is back to Tokyo and we were able to talk again. Together with her family and friends from church, they had a long prayer fast. She told me something that I've been having on my mind too in these days: as bad as things are looking there in Japan right now, yet another problem is at least the same as big and that is a spiritual kind of problem. Therefore it is utmost important, next to the prayer requests below the video clip that unfortunately have not changed so far, to pray for the people to open their hearts for Yeshua, Jesus. Tania said that the hunger for God has become very obvious in the meantime.
So the present prayer requests are as follows:
1) There are still thousands of people living in makeshift shelters. As bad as this would be for everyone on the longrun, it is even worse for Japanese people who in their mentality are not used to such a closeness to others which is why for them it is even worse to cope with the cramped environment of the shelters. Next to the psychological stress caused by the catastrophe, there is an additional stress on them which makes it very important for them to have accomodation facilities for families and smaller groups.
2) Basic needs have to be met, such as water, sanitary facilities, heating, food, clothing. Please don't forget that whole cities and smaller localities have been totally levelled - if not by the earthquake then by the tsunami. Difficult to imagine, but there is absolutely nothing left...
3) Pray for seperated families to be brought together as soon as possible. And please don't forget the many orphaned children. Also for the missing who have died, for as many bodies as possible to be found, so that those left behind can adequately mourn.
4) Even people like Tania, who have not suffered visible damage, still have suffered big traumas, not only psychologically but also physically. Those tremendous shakings have caused symptoms similar to concussions and whiplashes, even now after almost three weeks.
5) I guess I need not talk about the nuclear danger - it is being talked about enough in the media. So it remains a big prayer request.
6) And the same as important is to pray for the small amount of Christians in Japan to reach out to the unbelievers and be a testimony for the Messiah. Time is short!
Tania gave me the following video clip of the swinging tower buildings. I had seen it already in the news on TV, but now I learned that the black building in the middle is the one, where Tania was hit by the quake on the 23rd floor... I wonder how far this building swang from side to the other... I understand much better now what the people must have felt in there while trying to run downstairs without falling...
The English title "Building falls" is not correct - it must have been some translating
problem, for the building did not collapse but swing alarmingly.
March 17, 2011
My dear friend and sister Tania K. from Tokyo was spared from major problems caused by the horrific earthquake on Friday, March 11, 2011. It caught her on the 23rd floor of a building. But by the grace of our beloved Lord, she came out of it alright and although she had to walk home for over an hour, she found her apartment intact. So this is a big reason to give thanks to Adonai, our good Lord!
Now she went to stay with her parents in a neighboring town, who were also spared, apart from the big shock, and together with all the family they began a prayer fasting. I am passing her prayer requests here in order for you to join in - these are the first ones:
1) Let us pray for the aftershocks and tsunamis to stop
2) For consolation of the people who have lost their families, friends and livelihood
3) For the rescue squads to find those missing
4) For the survivors in the refuge camps:
- that there will be: food, water, blankets, clothings and medical aid
- that the children will find their parents and other family members
5) That the engineers working at the Fukushima nuclear plant have the wisdom to find a fast solution to the unfolding drama. That there will be no (major) radiation contaminating the air and ground
6) Let's pray for sister Hitomi who is accompanying the Brazilians of Ibaraki. That area has been badly effected. Pray for food and water. Also for health in every aspect
7) Let's pray for the Christians in Japan to remain strong in faith, despite everything; for the Holy Spirit to give them strengths so that they can be of blessing to the victims of the quake
8) Let's pray that God fill them with His peace
9) Let's pray for opportunities of sharing His Word to the Japanese people. That the Holy Spirit enables every one of them to testify of God's love.