A 9.0-magnitude quake struck Japan Friday, March 11, followed by a huge tsunami. Japan’s double disaster pulverized Japan’s northeastern coast. With reports of around 1,900 deaths and more than 3,000 missing, thousands have been injured and left homeless. The death figure could go much higher in the next few days as rescuers reach the more hard-hit areas. Then, adding to the already desperate situation, the fear of a nuclear meltdown has rocked the nation of Japan.
As the nightmare of one of the worst disasters in Japanese history continues to grow in scope by the hour, Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller is calling on Christians in the West to reach out in prayer for the physical and spiritual welfare of the Japanese. “As the death toll continues to rise from the disastrous earthquake and the following tsunami and with the fear of nuclear meltdowns at several power plants, let us pray for the nation of Japan,” says Moeller. “Our hearts are broken as we watch the pictures of death and grief on television. Pray that food, water and other relief supplies will get to the needy as soon as possible.”
According to “Operation World,” 70 percent of Japanese claim no personal religion but a majority follow the rituals of Buddhism or Shintoism. Only approximately 1.5 percent are followers of Christ. Moeller adds, “Pray that the small church in Japan can reach out to those who are suffering and be a shining light in the middle of darkness. And also pray that Christian organizations that are going to Japan to minister to the victims will show them the love and compassion of Jesus and their hearts will be changed forever.”
Father, our hearts break for the people of Japan. As many face the future with uncertainty we pray that they will seek comfort in You. We ask that You strengthen and encourage the church in Japan praying, “Let your light shine before men,” (Matt 5:16) that they may be a bold witness of Your everlasting love in every circumstance. Father it is our deepest desire that You use this tragedy for good and that many will come to know Christ in the days ahead, claiming the promise of salvation for all who believe. Amen
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More than 400 displaced Christians fleeing from their burned-out homes and churches have been welcomed with open arms and tears by fellow believers. “It was so heart-touching to see the love and family spirit among believers,” shares an Open Doors co-worker.
Dawit wants to thank prayer supporters for the input in their lives. “We are not alone; I was always aware of the spiritual encouragement our extended family in Christ.” Shita adds, “God has intervened and has provided Christians friends. We now experience abundant peace and joy and praise God for our spiritual family.”