Hi EverestoSama,Hope all is OK with you in Japan.Can you give us an update as to what the current situation is from your viewpoint. I think the expected death toll has risen some since your last post.What do you think are the long term effects?(economy/political etc)? Do you see most folk just going back to 'normal' living already?Also what is the state of the church in Japan and the spititual situation in general? Is there opportunity for Christians to witness on a more open level than before?
The identity of the Japanese people is selfishness. The Japanese people must take advantage of this tsunami as means of washing away their selfish greed. I really do think this is divine punishment.-Quote from Tokyo's governor Shintaro Ishihara.The first part is only part of the picture, however the last sentence is dead on.Amos 3:6If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? IF A CALAMITY OCCURS IN A CITY HAS NOT THE LORD DONE IT?Ishihara became a hated man after that statement, and although his god is not the true God, he was correct to recognize the truth that this was indeed divine punishment.Unfortunately the truth of the matter is that this fact isn't going to make us Christians a whole lot of friends here if we're bold enough to speak it. Judgement has been stored up for this country for a long time, and this country has had ample time to repent, hundreds of years of missions work, yet it remains the most impenetrable country in Asia. They've chosen their own path though and their own ways apart from God. I've even witnessed those who are convicted of sin and of the truth of the Gospel, yet instead cling to their gods and their country instead of the God of their country. They fear mens' opinions more than they fear the truth that they know, and they love themselves more than they love the one who first loved them, even when they KNOW what we're saying is true. I've never seen hearts harder than I've seen in this country.Unfortunately to say such things here will be vehemently opposed, not only by the Japanese, but by the whole bleeding heart liberal world who have never bothered to live here and don't know a real thing about the people here or the condition of the culture outside of the media and internet.God is giving them a chance to repent. He's been quite patient until now, but this has been coming for a long time. And if they don't turn, worse will happen. Even with this drastic devastation, God was merciful, as we deserved much worse. As far as long term effects, I really have no idea, especially considering the current nuclear situation. Only God knows that one right now. Concerning going back to normal living or things being changed on the way people are reacting and feeling, it's hard to tell. Everyone is "supposed to feel" a certain way about this, so it's hard to tell how much is genuine or not. This doesn't effect many people directly in my area, and many have used it as an opportunity for selfishness and fear, as they've raided the supermarkets stocking up on things in case we're hit with something soon, though many have also been legitimately concerned and made effort to help the victims. As for myself, my wound for the people here existed long before the earthquake. It really doesn't change anything. For such a time as this, I suppose...Pray very sincerely that the Lord take the blinders off their eyes', and that He sends a massive wave of conviction of sin. That's the only real remedy for this country.There will be no healing for Japan until their hearts can echo the words of Lamentations 3:Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth? Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD. We lift up our heart and hands toward God in heaven; we have transgressed and rebelled, You have not pardoned. You have covered Yourself with anger and pursued us; You have slain and have not spared. You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. You have made us mere offscouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples. All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Panic and pitfall have befallen us, devastation and destruction; my eyes run down with streams of water because of the destruction of the daughter of my people. My eyes pour down unceasingly, without stopping,Until the LORD looks down and sees from heaven.
WOW! Thank you for sharing so candidly... I have long thought America to be a mission field. It is hard to imagine hearts harder than the hearts here. Well....we have our work cut out for us - in prayer, and in godly living, and in sharing about the Lord. I know many on SI are praying and will continue. Please keep us updated as you are able. May God do a mighty work there!
Interesting take on radiation.http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42347
John Piper blog post on Japan earthquake: Japan: After Empathy and Aid, People Want Answers Mar 17, 2011 01:30 am | by John PiperOriginalPrioritiesFirst things first.When Christians see suffering they feel empathy. We too have bodies (Hebrews 13:3). Therefore, love commands, Weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).Then comes aid. We want to help relieve human sufferingall of it, especially eternal suffering: So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).And that includes enemies: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you (Luke 6:27); If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink (Romans 12:20).But sooner or later people want more than empathy and aidthey want answers.Proclamation and PowerWhen love has wept and worked, it must have something to say about God. It doesnt need to have all the answers. Only God does. But it has the Bible, and the Bible is not silent on this matter.No earthquakes in the Bible are attributed to Satan. Many are attributed to God.1 This is because God is Lord of heaven and earth. He commands even winds and water, and they obey him (Luke 8:25); He sends forth His command to the earth. . . . He gives snow like wool; He scatters hoarfrost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before His cold? . . . He makes his wind blow and the waters flow (Psalm 147:15-18); He looks on the earth and it trembles . . . touches the mountains and they smoke! (Psalm 104:32); [He] shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble (Job 9:6).Earthquakes are ultimately from God. Nature does not have a will of its own. And God owes Satan no freedom. What havoc demons wreak, they wreak with Gods permission. And God has reasons for what he permits. His permissions are purposes. That's the point of Job 1-2 and Luke 22:31-32.PurposeGod does nothing without an infinitely wise and good purpose: He is wise and brings disaster (Isaiah 31:2); The Lord is good (Psalm 100:5); All his works are right and his ways are just (Daniel 4:37).Therefore, God has a good and all-wise purpose for the heart-rending calamity in Japan on March 11, 2011 that appears to have cost tens of thousands of lives.Indeed, he has hundreds of thousands of purposes, most of which will remain hidden to us until we are able to grasp them at the end of the age: How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33); The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us (Deuteronomy 29:29).Yet there are possible purposes revealed in the Bible that we may pray will come to pass: 1. The end-time earthquakes in the book of Revelation (see above) are meant as calls to repentanceto warn people who deny Jesus Christ that a day is coming when unbelievers will cry to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:16). 2. The end-time earthquakes in Matthew 24:7-8 are meant to be interpreted as the beginning of the birth pangs. That is, they are a wake-up call to this world that God's kingdom will soon be born. So be alert and prepare to meet Jesus Christ. 3. God's unilateral taking of thousands of lives is a loud declaration that The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away (Job 1:21). The message for all the world is that life is a loan from God (Luke 12:20) and belongs to him. He creates it and gives it and takes it according to his own will and owes us nothing. He has a right both to children (2 Samuel 12:15) and to the aged (Luke 2:29). It is a great gift to learn this truth and dedicate our lives to their true owner rather than defraud him till it is too late. 4. The power felt in an earthquake reveals the fearful magnificence of God. This is a great gift since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). Most of the world does not fear the Lord and therefore lacks saving wisdom. The thunder-clap summons to fear God is a mercy to those who live. 5. When the earth shakes under our feet there is a dramatic sense that there is no place to flee. In most disasters the earth is the one thing that stands firm when wind and flood are raging. But where do you turn when the earth itself is unsafe? Answer: God.PrayAnd let us pray that in this catastrophe the Lord fulfills two other purposes: 1. That Christians repent of worldliness. Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3). 2. That Christians in Japan and around the world would step forward with extraordinary, sacrificial love to show more clearly the mercy of Christ who laid down his life in the midst of the Father's judgment. The suffering and death of Jesus Christ for the sin of the world is the one place where empathy, aid, and answers meet. He invites everyone to come for all three.O how fragile this life is. The world, and all its life-sustaining processes seem so sure and solid. They are not. One thing is sure and solid: Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28).1 2 Samuel 22:8; Isaiah 13:13; 24:18-20; 29:6; Psalm 60:2; Nahum 1:5-6; Revelation 6:12; 8:5; 11:13-14; 16:18(This post is adapted from what I wrote August 18, 1999, in response to the earthquake in Turkey that cost 17,000 lives.)
1st Chronicles 16:30Fear before him all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it not be moved.
If anyone is led to donate to help with the Japan disaster, here are some suggestions from John Piper's website: Help JapanAt Least Five Options Mar 18, 2011 01:30 am | by Tyler KenneyThe following are a handful of Christian relief organizations who are responding to the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan. You can join in the effort by praying for them and by giving financially.Churches Helping ChurchesChurches Helping Churches (CHC) is working with CRASH Japan to establish a base camp near Sendai to distribute relief supplies to the community. They are appealing to their church network to take a special offering for Japan on the weekend of March 2627. (A video will be available on their site for those who wish to show it in their services.)Food for the HungryFood for the Hungry (FH) is working with local partners on the ground in northern Japan to initiate relief responses including provision of medical care, canned bread, rice and water to survivors. Currently the response is based in Sendai, a coastal city in northeastern Miyagi. FHs focus is strengthening local churches to be conduits for relief services.OMF InternationalOMF workers will be helping with relief efforts in the Sendai region to provide whatever assistance they are able to give to the people in the area. OMF will also be supporting the work of other Christian agencies in Japan that are reaching out to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. They have created the Sendai Earthquake Relief Fund to channel funds for this effort.Samaritan's PurseSamaritan's Purse is already on the ground distributing aid in the coastal areas around Sendai. In the US, they are organizing a 747 cargo jet to airlift about 90 tons of emergency relief such as blankets, hygiene supplies, heavy-duty plastic shelter materials, and water filtration systems. The plane is scheduled to depart for Japan today, March 18.World VisionWorld Vision is distributing relief supplies to thousands of people devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. An emergency response team is on the ground in hard hit areas, providing water, blankets, and other urgently needed supplies to survivors. Ongoing efforts will focus on the unique needs of children, who are the most impacted.
I just received an update from Heartcry which is the missionary organization founded by Paul Washer. This is the report from one of the Heartcry missionaries in Japan. Hear the urgency in his heart for the Japanese people and their souls!Update and Prayer Requests for Japan Dear Brothers and Sisters, Here in Tokyo, our family, church and friends are safe. Just after we finished a Bible study, we felt the big earthquake. Some things fell down, but we just ended up dizzy from the movement. The coasts are the most affected areas. Most probably you have watched on the news that they are estimating 20,000 dead people, and that there was some explosions in two nuclear plants in Fukushima. The reactors didn't explode with these explosions, but the government is trying to cool down the reactors to prevent this from happening. There was a release of vapor with high levels of radiation from one of the reactors. The country is in a state of emergency. Some people were contaminated, but thousands are being evacuated 20 kms. away from the nuclear plants. The world's perspective of what is happening is focused on the spectacular show of houses and cars floating, on the buildings on fire, or the power of the tsunami. The most terrible sound we Christians heard these days is not the terrible sound of the earthquake or the roaring of the tsunami, but we heard in our spirits the cry and screams of thousands of souls going to hell. We do not deserve to be alive, each person who is reading these lines or breathing today--it is just because of the mercy and grace of our God. It is hard to see so much pain and devastation, but we cannot blame God. We have to praise god for blessing us with another day to live. God decided to take away the life of thousands of people, and He decided also to keep the lives of many. We are crying for the consequences of His purposes and sovereignty. God is allowing all this devastation, death and suffering in Japan for a purpose. We believe there is a specific precious message from Him to each one of us. So it is our first prayer that we will eagerly seek to listen to His voice behind this tragedy. To spend time entertaining our interest in the images and videos will make all these events worthless. All this will make sense only if we listen to the message of our Lord. It is disgusting to see people who call themselves Christians united in prayers with buddhists and idol worshipers. Everybody is 'spiritual' now in Japan, but everybody is conveniently keeping silent about to whom they are really praying, and describing this time as an impersonal act of nature for the sake of the false atmosphere of world spiritual unity. Jesus have mercy on us. After this tsunami in Japan, it is very sad that Japanese people continue praying to the animals, to the toilets, to buddha, to mountains, to their worthless idols, to demons and much other garbage. But it is more sad that many Christians are afraid to tell that there is only One God and there is Only One NAME under heaven by which we can be heard, and His name is Jesus Christ. God have mercy. Please help us by praying so God has more mercy and patience with this idolatrous country. Japan is the country that rejected the most-over hundreds of years-the Gospel and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for more mercy for Japan. Please pray for more missionaries who are ready to suffer for the faithful preaching of the true Gospel. We need more missionaries here because the missionaries who do come, most of them return after only a very short time here. Please pray that all Japanese people will repent from their idolatry and will run to our Lord Jesus, that they may be reconciled through repentance and faith. Please pray that in this time of unbearable pain, the Japanese people will find through our Lord Jesus reconciliation, and real hope, comfort, love, joy and peace. Please pray so Christians in this country will be brave enough to share the name of Jesus and to attack the idolatry. Please pray so many Christians will talk with Japanese people about repentance and faith in Jesus, and that Christians will not use "Bible Promises for God's children" to counsel and encourage the God-rejecting people. Please pray for God to break our pride and break the pride of this country. Pray so Japan will understand that their idols and thousand of gods are dead, and that they will not enslave or kill Christians like they did in the past, but this time they will melt and surrender and live on their knees worshiping the Only True God.
Japanese people continue praying to the animals, TO THE TOILETS,
Well, God bless you, EverestoSama....We are praying for you. May God open hearts and give you His words and heart for the people there!I don't mean to sound naive, or insensitive to the catastrophe there, but I still wonder why God hasn't poured out more judgement here... At least we had the godly foundation to start with, and look how far we have strayed! Makes me shudder!