Japan Disaster Update

Last night I met with a wonderful group of Japanese students and Christians here in Lynchburg to come before the Lord on behalf of Japan. We spent a lot of time praying together and it was a very emotional and bonding time. I’ve been wanting to weigh in on the situation in Japan as many have asked how our friends are doing. I must first say that we are very thankful that everyone we know has been accounted for and is safe. Being that we are no longer in Japan, I thought it best to pass on an eye-witness account. Below is a letter from our dear friends and fellow missionaries Steven and KyeHee Taylor. I hope it is encouraging and challenging to you.

From: Steven Taylor
Sent March 18th, 2011. 7am JST

Just got back from a prayer meeting with other missionaries here in the small town of Karuizawa. We discussed the situation in depth, and had a great season of prayer for Japan.

The home we just moved from is still available to us, and we’re living out of suitcases, sleeping on the floor. We returned here as part of our “pre-quake” plan to attend our kids’ school graduation. We are the same distance from the reactor as Tokyo, but more to the west.

There is a lot of death, destruction, and misery….in the quake / tsunami zone. The rest of eastern Japan is worried, out of gas, buying up certain groceries like we do in Alabama when James Spann says “snow.” We’re trying to keep a balanced perspective, sorting through all the hype that is so often in “news” these days. I’ve read news reports that say Tokyo is a “ghost town” and that grocery shelves are bare. Baloney. A city of 36 million simply can’t become a ghost town. Friends in Tokyo reported today that there was plenty of fruit, veggies, and meat in the stores. Everyone is pulling together to reduce energy use, and rolling blackouts have been mostly avoided.

About the nuclear emergency: We’re constantly evaluating the situation. Right now, I believe the experts who say the real danger is for those in the immediate proximity of the reactor. There may be some low-level spread, depending on how the wind blows, but I really don’t think we’re looking at a “nuclear cloud of death” scenario.

We are not looking to evacuate right now. This could change. We have plans in place to the best of our ability if things really get unthinkably bad. I don’t think it will come to that, however.

Bottom line: we are aware of the risks, plan for the worst, pray a lot. AND….

We strongly believe IT IS FOR THIS TIME that God has called us to Japan. Generations of missionaries have poured their lives out trying to reach the Japanese, to little avail. Japan is a spiritual stronghold. But God will not, I strongly believe, ignore the multiplied prayers of so many, offered up so long. This may be the moment, the open door, the harvest season for Japan. We mourn and grieve with the Japanese people in this situation, but we were ALREADY mourning and grieving over the 127 million sitting in the great spiritual darkness of Japan. Perhaps now, many will turn from their FALSE HOPE to the only TRUE HOPE, Jesus Christ. Everything you build your life upon can be shaken and washed away, but He is the Rock who will never fail. Now is the time to reach Japan with the gospel of Christ.

So our basic mission hasn’t changed. But we are expecting new, exciting doors to be opened as God moves in Japan. Let’s watch and pray in expectation together! Here’s how you can pray:

1) Pray for us as we seek to express Christ’s love and hope to the Japanese people. Many are shaken and somber, perhaps pushed deeper into depression. Pray we will have God’s wisdom as we reach out to them.

2) Pray for the Japanese people, that these events will lead to many turning from idols (wood, stone, and monetary) to the true and Living God.

3) Pray for us and all missionaries to have wisdom in our decisions regarding the crisis. We are scheduled to return to Tokyo next Tuesday. We’re evaluating that every day as we go along.

4) Pray for a new generation of missionaries to Japan to come out of this situation. The current crop is aging, and there is great need for new workers.

Thanks to everyone who has written with encouragement and concern. We deeply, deeply appreciate your prayers and support for our ministry and our family.

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