PRAY FOR KUMAMOTO
- Rescue and relief workers to be successful and safe while working around structurally unsound buildings.
- Comfort and rest for people staying in shelters and sleeping in cars amidst constant fear of aftershocks.
- Strength and wisdom for local churches, to know how best to respond to this crisis with limited resources.
- Unity between Christian workers across churches and denominations, sharing gospel community with surrounding neighborhoods.
- Wisdom for the Lowther family to determine how much and in what ways to be involved.
When Japan reopened to the world in the mid 1800s, the powerful Hosokawa Samurai Clan in Kumamoto invited the American Leroy Janes to start a school in Western studies. (You can visit the Hosokawa House within the broken walls of Kumamoto Castle.) Many young men became Christians through Janes’ teaching, and on the last Sunday of January in 1876, a group went to a hill on the outskirts of town and made a solemn vow to “preach the gospel, even at the sacrifice of their lives.” After severe social persecution, many became famous Christian leaders known as the “Kumamoto Band,” influencing all of Japan.
Perhaps God is raising a new “Kumamoto Band” through this earthquake? Young people will be leading the relief movement, embodying what it means to be church to surrounding communities and tasting full-time Christian ministry for the first time. We saw how this affected the lives of so many after the 3.11 disaster in Northern Japan. (Read “The Unexpected Calling” by Virginia Lavallee, my wife’s sister, about how God brought her and others into Christian ministry this way.)