Pray with Japan, April 25, 2021
Lectionary Selection: Luke 24: 13-35
Prayers for Japan
God, open our eyes and fill our hearts as you did for your disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Walk with those who are overwhelmed with sadness and who face more questions in their lives than answers.
Share your presence with those who need someone to be there to understand.
Open the eyes of those who seek your vision so that they may see the world as you would have them see it.
Ignite the hearts of those who persevere for the sake of justice, who look back at the road they have traveled only to find the fire of your love in their hearts.
God of resurrecting hope, we pray for our partners in mission around the world, to whom we are connected in and through your love. Their dignity and resilient spirit is tied to ours, and to a broader story of how YOU are at work in this world to heal and reconcile all of creation. Open our eyes to your everlasting ways of love.
- We remember the people of Fukushima who continue to be placed at risk because of the radiation in the air, land, and water. Pray for the 4000 people who work daily to clean up around the Fukushima plants. Pray that Japan can find the courage to admit the dangers of the nuclear industry and prioritize the safety of its citizens over economic and political gain.
- Our partner church in Japan, the Kyodan, prays that the gospel will touch the lives of the Japanese people.
- We remember the survivors of the tsunami.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Japan
Naomi experienced the devastating tsunami in 2011 in her hometown of Ishinomaki. The following year she started “the Flower Project” which connects people who want to bring hope and light into a depressed community. This year on the tenth anniversary, she was looking for a new way to commemorate the day and decided to express her feelings through the traditional artform of Ikebana (flower arrangement). Upon seeing Naomi’s arrangement on facebook a friend in the US wrote to her saying; “All the feelings like sadness (and loneliness) that you expressed were there in the flowers below, but standing tall through it all is the Calla Lily that symbolizes the hope which somehow helps point us onward into the future. Thank you, Naomi san, for that lovely expression in flowers.” Naomi responded; “Thank you so much for your message for my Ikebana. I have taken lessons of the Ohara style for some years now. I wanted to express some kind of my feelings. As soon as I entered a florist yesterday, I noticed this calla lily. I knew white and yellow should be in my arrangement. I have always purchased flowers from this florist, Tanpopo or dandelion, near my workplace for about nine years. The owner reopened her flower shop which was washed away by the March 11 tsunami, in 2011 . She helped me choose the flowers. There are so many events happening for the March 11 now. I just thought it would be nice to have a quiet moment by arranging flowers and thinking about my March 11.”
Oftentimes sadness just does not go away. People like Naomi find creative and meaningful ways to find hope in the small expressions of life, and by doing so they become witnesses of hope. Global Ministries continues to walk alongside the survivors of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Jeff Mensendiek
Mission Partners in Japan
- J.F. Oberlin University
- Emmaus Center
- Asian Rural Institute
- United Church of Christ in Japan
- Tohoku Gakuin University
- National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
- Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University
- Korean Christian Church in Japan
- Kobe College
- Doshisha University
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Japan
Jeffrey Mensendiek serves with J.F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, Japan. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.