Sunday, March 20, 2011

March 20 - Earthquake (9)

Sunday Renewal
What do you preach after an unspeakable tragedy? After the tsunami, Noah and the flood might at first seem to be dicey choice. But Genesis 8, the account after the flood, is a picture of God's healing grace, renewal of the earth, and firm promise. Pastor Kondo has been preaching through Genesis the past few months. As it worked out, this Sunday was scheduled to be on that very passage. Pastor Kondo preached tenderly and powerfully of the promises of God that carry us through the worst of disasters. It was divine timing and a message of great healing for distraught people.

Thank you for praying for our church today. We were able to hold a service at Cozy Hall as usual. There was no power outage.

I've often been frustrated that the rental hall we have is in a triangle between the police station, fire station and hospital. The constant emergency vehicles with sirens blazing can be unnerving during our services, particularly for newcomers. However, it seems that being in this triangle of necessary emergency services has resulted in us being spared from the planned rolling blackouts. Did God know we needed this location to meet at after such a disaster?

Share this Video
The mood was a bit weary and heavy at the beginning of our time together on Sunday morning. But gradually people were encouraged by each other and the time of worship. After the message, the Holy Spirit open floodgates of emotion bottled up in people's hearts. Many tears as we closed our time together, and then prayed together in small groups.

Many of you have a close investment in our work here. I want to show you a bit of that. I took a video of some of our church members to help you remember their greatest need for prayer. As you can see, by the time church was finished, people were back to smiling. Please look at it below.

CHURCHES & MISSION TEAM MEMBERS: Please show this 2 minute video to your church if possible to encourage their prayer support for Japan at this time. View and download video here.

How to Pray
1) for the rescue efforts going on in the hardest hit areas where 30 of our churches are located
2) for that the current nuclear problems would be resolved soon. The wind is changing direction toward Tokyo.
3) for a "lifeline" to be reopened to the north areas allowing transport of essential items and help
4) for many people in the area that STILL have not yet been heard from by friends of ours
5) most of all, for Japanese to turn their hearts toward Him and for opportunities to witness and comfort
6) that the surging yen would weaken, and the dollar strengthen. It has been going the opposite direction for some time.

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