Published: 15:00 GMT Standard Time - Thursday 17 March 2011
Christians in disaster-hit Japan appeal for prayer
Country/Region: Japan, South and East Asia
Barnabas Aid partners from a Christian aid organisation in Japan are appealing for prayer as their stricken land struggles to cope with the three-fold disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
|North-eastern Japan has been devastated by last week’s earthquake and tsunami|
There are more than 300 churches in the affected area; many have suffered the loss of pastors and church members, while other believers are still unaccounted for, and church buildings have been destroyed.
A Japanese Christian leader from the organisation, now working in Sendai to help the disaster victims, contacted us on Tuesday appealing for prayer. He said:
Pray for the churches in northeastern area. Many churches lost their pastors, members, and buildings. Pray that they can stand strong in faith in Christ who stood on the raging water and who calmed the sea. This could be a wide open gate for the Gospel. We will conduct our rescue/relief mission through local churches. Need a lot of prayers from Barnabas Aid. Thank you so much.
He reported that people are “traumatised and shocked” after Japan’s most powerful earthquake since records began – 9.0 magnitude – hit on Friday (11 March). The resultant tsunami battered the north-east region, and a nuclear crisis was triggered at the Fukushima plant when the power was knocked out and back-up generators needed for the reactors' cooling systems were destroyed. Desperate attempts to cool the overheating reactors, which have been rocked by a series of explosions, are continuing amid fears of a total meltdown and dangerous radioactive fallout.
The number of confirmed deaths continues to rise: the figure now tops 5,000, with over 8,000 people still missing. Hundreds of thousands are staying in temporary shelters and are in desperate need of food and water.
If you would like to assist financially, we can forward donations to our Japanese Christian partners, with whom we have worked on relief projects elsewhere, including famine relief and water projects in Niger. They will use the funds from Barnabas to rebuild churches and help Christian communities. Please send your donation to project 98-963 (Japan Earthquake and Tsunami). Please click to donate online using our secure server.
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference98-963 (Japan Earthquake and Tsunami).
If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference98-963 (Japan Earthquake and Tsunami).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/963 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- For all those whose loved ones have died or are missing; pray that they will be comforted and that many of those missing will be found alive.
- For the rescue efforts, that the Japanese authorities will have wisdom as they attempt to reach those in the greatest need and allocate supplies.
- That efforts to cool the reactors at the Fukushima power plant will be successful and a full-scale nuclear disaster will be averted.
- For Christian organisations and churches who are distributing aid; pray that Christians will stand strong in their faith and be distinctively Christ-like in the way they help and care for the suffering, that they will be salt and light in this situation.
- Only one per cent of Japanese people consider themselves Christians; pray that this unprecedented disaster will prompt others to turn to the Lord Jesus.