Church

Local Pastor Joins Mission Effort in Japan

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Submitted by Bill Parsons, Pastor at Central Worship Center

News from the nation rocked by the triple catastrophes of earthquake, tsunami and the resulting nuclear meltdown has all but become non-existent in the American press. I thought I would give you an update on where the country now stands as it relates to the events of early March. As of June 1, 2011 there have been 14,300 confirmed deaths, 12,026 people remain missing and 130,000 are still living in temporary shelters. The magnitude of the loss of human life and the toll of human suffering is staggering, to say the least. Additionally, the cost of monetary damages, though not as devastating as the loss of life, and its long term effect on Japan is hard to comprehend, totalling 308 billion dollars. This does not include the damages caused by the disabled nuclear plant, which adds an additional 133 billion dollars to the total damages. Reading about billions of dollars may seem anti- climactic as we listen to our political figures talk about trillions as if it were pocket change, but none the less, 441 billion dollars is a lot of money for the economy of a nation of any size to absorb.

But those numbers only tell half of the story. They speak of human suffering as if it could be measured in dollars and cents, which we all know is incorrect, and may even be construed as being a little cold. The history of man includes many such stories of tragedy and loss. What is common to all of them is that at such times many begin to seek out something or someone to help them make sense of what has just occurred. It is in those moments that the Church of Jesus Christ should stand the tallest. It is precisely in those moments when our hearts should be opened to those who are suffering. And it is also in those moments that many will turn to Jesus Christ for comfort.

Here are some more numbers for you to consider. Japan has the tenth largest population among all the countries in the world totaling 127,560,000 people. The number of Christians in Japan totals right around 3 million people. That’s less than 3% of the total population. The reason we are travelling to Japan is two-fold. First, to help prepare a group of Christian ministers to evangelize their nation. To that end, my wife Yvonne and I will join a team of pastors and teachers from around the world to help inspire and instruct students, who for the most part are already enrolled in a formal ministry training institute, in an additional eight week school of missions. We will then spend a week in the city of Sendai working to help rebuild a part of that city which was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. We ask for your continued prayers for the success of this mission.

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