Pray for Japan on Sunday, February 5, 2012
Prayers for Japan: Mark 1:29-39
Healing and Sustaining God,
Be with the people of Japan who are suffering from the aftereffects of the earthquake and tsunami of March last year. Be with those who have lost loved ones, lost their homes and livelihood. Be with those who are struggling both physically and psychologically to make it through each day. Be with the people of Fukushima who live with the fear of radiation. Be with the farmers, fishermen and dairy farmers who work close to the land. Be with the refugees, and with all foreigners living in Japan. Be with the children who are placed at risk because of where they live. Be also with the parents who fear for their children.
Just as Jesus was busy to minister to the people who came to him for healing, the church in Japan is reaching out to be a healing presence in the midst of great suffering. Bless all care-givers. Sustain them and give them strength. And more than anything, teach them to value the still moments which will give them strength for the road ahead.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Mission Moment from Japan:
In the bleak mid-winter a handful of volunteers from the Emmaus Center in Sendai, Japan go to visit the survivors of Shichigo. It had been a long ten months since that large tsunami. Some survivors had given up hope of returning to their village. Many had terrible memories of the destruction and loss of loved ones. But through the work of our partner church, the United Church of Christ in Japan, volunteers gathered from all over Japan to show their love and support. Houses were cleaned, land was cleared, and new crops were planted. Hope had been rekindled in the hearts of the survivors. But now it was winter. The days were cold. The numbers of volunteers had decreased. Loneliness was settling in.
The handful of volunteers brought with them thirty sets of blankets. Twenty one year old Kenta, young staff of the Emmaus Center, rang the doorbell of the Sato residence. The eighty year old grandmother came to the door. “We have blankets to hand out.” says Kenta. Mrs. Sato shows her deep appreciation by the tears that she sheds. Kenta and his companions know that life is still hard on the residents of Shichigo. They also know that their work of accompaniment is ongoing. Recovery is not immediate gratification; it is a process of building a future of hope and trust together. The blankets are a symbol of our love and prayers for comfort in the deepest of nights.
(Prayer and Mission Moment offered by Jeffrey Mensendiek)
Video Resources for Japan:
- Martha Mensendiek – GM Missionary http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/japan-a-safe-place.html
- Stephen Cutting – ARI http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/japan-farming.html
- Sandra Lee-Takei – Former GMI http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/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, Sendai. Since March of last year, the Emmaus Center has also served as the Tohoku Disaster Relief Center for the United Church of Christ in Japan. http://ameblo.jp/jishin-support-uccj-en/
- 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.