Good morning my friends,
Greetings in the name of the Lord.
I know that all of us have seen the scenes from Japan of the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami. I know too that I don’t have to ask for prayer for those people there because I trust those prayers have already been going on. I want to share the following with you to perhaps give you a personal connection to the situation. While Overseas Council does not have any “official” partner seminaries there, we do have many on-going relationships throughout the country.
Jason E. Ferenczi, the OC Vice President of International Partnerships, reports.
Colleagues, Ashish (the OC International Director for Asia) and I have both been in touch with the leadership of two institutions in Japan with whom we have a relationship. Both regularly attend our Institutes. Ashish has visited both several times and I have visited the Revival Bible Seminary near Nagoya. Both report that they have had no direct impact from the earthquake and tsunamis in Northeast Japan. Yet it is clear from their notes that they are all suffering from an acute sense of psychological shock. The following comes from Dr. Makito Masaki of Kobe Lutheran Theological Seminary in Kobe.
“Kobe area is far enough to get the damage virtually no evidence of the earthquake this time. But the damage is too big for us to swallow. Our country need your prayer and support.”
The following comes from Dr. Paul Ariga, founding president of Revival Bible Seminary in Shinshiro, near Nagoya.
“Thank you so very much for your word of comfort and encouragement. Both Yamasaki and his family, and myself and my family, all of us are fine. As the days go by, the more damages are reported. Right away, the Lord’s word came to me with Ps 50:15. We just call upon Him, and expect His way of deliverance. We just need Him. Thank you for your prayers.”
While we are of course thankful that our friends in Japan have suffered no direct loss, I am still humbled to pray for them as they attempt to make sense of the disaster a few hundred miles to their northeast. I remember my own feelings a few years ago during Hurricane Katrina, realizing that the scope of this disaster is much larger. Please continue to remember our friends in Japan.
I echo Jason’s request for prayer for Japan. And while we share these new concerns with Japan, let’s not forget the ongoing recovery and prayer needs in Haiti. That work continues as well and much is still needed there.