Prayers for Japan: Matthew 23:1-12
Loving God, we pray to you today, remembering that you are always with us. We pray for the people in Japan who, 7 months after the earthquake and tsunami are still grieving and facing an uncertain future. Today we especially remember those in Fukushima who are living with the fear of nuclear contamination. Many have had to leave their homes and are facing the reality that they may never be able to return. They fear for the health of their children and the environment. We pray that they will be given the care and guidance they need to make the decisions about their future. May the leaders of Japan, and indeed the world, learn the lessons from this disaster to be able to make wise decisions for the future of our communities.
We also pray for the many volunteers who have helped in various ways during these months. May they know the joy that comes from reaching out and serving those who are suffering. May we ourselves heed Jesus’ example to humble ourselves to be true servants of God in our own communities. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Mission and Stewardship Moment from Japan:
On Saturday October 15th, about 50 people gathered in the chapel at Doshisha University to share their experiences of volunteering in northern Japan where the earthquake and tsunami disaster hit.
Many of our students volunteered through the Emmaus Center in Sendai (a Global Ministries partner). One student shared a touching story of an elderly man he had met while volunteering, who said that the tsunami left a gaping hole in his life. He had lost so much. But then he continued to say that the hole may be a chance to see through to something new that was not seen before. In this the student said he found an amazing hope in the midst of despair.
Another student shared his sense of shock upon returning from volunteering, noticing that people in this part of Japan are already apathetic about the disaster. But he said talking with other volunteers who felt the same emotions really helped.
Now that 7 months have passed, the relief work is about long-term support and care. People have lost their livelihood and need new ways to earn a living. There is concern that incidences of suicide will rise. We talked about ways to be of help, even from so far away. We ended the session with a corporate prayer. I think all that gathered were touched by the prayer, as well as by the wonderful reflections given by our students.
Our partner church in Kyoto has provided a travel stipend to help make it financially feasible for students to make the trip to the north to volunteer. It is apparent that the young volunteers have touched people’s lives, and at the same time volunteering has been a significant experience for the students as well.
Global Ministries’ support of the Emmaus Center and our partner church in Japan have supported the relief efforts to the victims of the recent disaster.
(Prayer and Mission Moment offered by Martha Mensendiek)
To view earthquake/tsunami updates from Japan missionaries: http://globalministries.org/news/eap/japan-missionaries.html
Video Resources for Japan:
- Martha Mensendiek – GM Missionary http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/index/video-mission-moments/japan-a-safe-place.html
- Stephen Cutting – ARI http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/index/video-mission-moments/japan-farming.html
- Sandra Lee-Takei – Former GMI http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/index/video-mission-moments/japan-lee-takei.html
- Casilda Luzares – Former GM Missionary http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/japan-luzares.html
Global Ministries International Partners in Japan:
- Doshisha University: http://www.doshisha.ac.jp/english/ Martha Mensendiek is a teacher of Social Welfare at Doshisha University, Kyoto.
- Asian Rural Institute: The mission of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is to build an environmentally healthy, just, and peaceful world, in which each person can live to his or her fullest potential. This mission is rooted in the love of Jesus Christ. To carry out this mission, ARI trains and nurtures rural leaders for a life of sharing. Leaders, both women and men, who live and work in grassroots rural communities primarily in Asia, Africa and the Pacific form a community of learning each year together with staff and other residents. Through community-based learning they study the best ways for rural people to share and enhance local resources and abilities for the common good.
- Emmaus Center: Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek works as the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center, Northeast Conference of United Church of Christ in Japan, based in Sendai, Japan.
- Kobe College: http://www.kobe-c.ac.jp/ekc/index.html
- Korean Christian Church in Japan: http://www.kccj.net/
- Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University:
- National Christian Council of Japan: http://ncc-j.org/english/profile.htm
- Tohoku Gakuin University:
- United Church of Christ in Japan:
For more info about Japan, click here: http://globalministries.org/eap/countries/japan/
Global Ministries Missionaries in Japan:
Martha Mensendiek teaches Social Welfare at Doshisha University
Jeffrey Mensendiek serves and the Director of youth ministries at the Emmaus Center.
Pray for Partners without Global Ministries Mission Personnel: Italy
For more info about Italy, click here: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/italy/