HOKKAIDO – While the monsoon and flooding in the Kerala state of India have received their share of attention in recent weeks, Japan has suffered a string of natural disasters, one following another, all summer long. The latest crisis is the damage done by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the island of Hokkaido early Thursday morning, September 6th. Officials at Asian Access noted that in most of the hardest-hit communities. “it’s only Christians that are still on the ground” providing immediate relief.
The response of Christians has proven to be common in the wake of disasters as exemplified in Japan after the recent monsoon and yesterday’s earthquake. Similar reports came out of Kerala as Christians immediately rushed to the aid of both neighbors and strangers who were either in danger or in need.
That is not to say that believers are the only ones responding. Rather, that they are often the first of the first to be able to do so. Individuals helping other individuals is the first order of business. Individuals are best equipped to help their neighbors in the midst of the crisis. They regard the needs of others higher than their own.
It is in these moments of crisis that we can let our light shine. It takes a bit of time in most situations for governments to mount the massive rescue and recovery efforts that are required in post-disaster instances.
For instance, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces have dispatched 25,000 people to Hokkaido. Distance, travel, collection of supplies, and movement of that magnitude of personnel require time. That is the nature of such operations. Just as it is the nature of Christians who are on-site to help during the crisis as well as afterward.
Crises are opportunities for Christians to “rise up and be the hands and feet of Christ in the midst of all that is happening.” It is during those opportunities of crisis that people see the love of Christ revealed and respond to that love.
Asian Access is not a humanitarian relief agency. It is a Christian leadership development group committed to a disciplined approach the produces the right leaders at the right time through the right process. Their task on the ground is to help local Christian leaders assess the needs and determine how best to meet those needs.
The four-fold mission of Asian Access is to see each leader, over a lifetime,
- Live in a love relationship with God
- Grow as a Christ-like leader
- Reproduce disciple-making leaders
- Plant multiplying churches.
- Japan Times, Powerful M6.7 earthquake rocks Hokkaido, causing massive landslides; nine dead and 31 reported missing
- USA Today, Japan quake toll up to 18 as rescuers dig through landslides
- Mission Network News, Japan hit by typhoon, followed by earthquake and landslides
- By Katorisi [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons