April 01, 2011 News

Great East Japan Earthquake, Update 12—Lauers, Cummingses

[Note: Links to other "Great East Japan Earthquake Updates" may be found here.]

Friday, April 01, 2011 12:45 p.m. EDT

OP missionaries Woody and Laurie Lauer (in Numazu) report on the ongoing labors to bring much needed supplies to our brothers and sisters in the Tohoku:

Woody Lauer family
Woody Lauer family

This morning (Friday, 10 a.m., Japan time), our son David and his wife Noriko left from Numazu with a partial truckload of supplies. Mr. Iida, a member here, has gathered much clothing (1.5 ton truckload) for Tohoku from employees at an insurance company. In addition to that, we have sent food and necessities from our church and are using offerings from the OPC. David and Noriko are also headed to buy still more supplies at Costco, as well as to receive contributions from his boss at Westinghouse and the RCJ church pastor, Rev. Ma, in Utsunomiya, Tochigi prefecture. Afterward, they will press on to Cal Cummings' house in Sendai. On Saturday, they will divide the goods, with the Uomotos help, among Megumi Church and two other churches in Sendai. They plan, after completing the Sendai deliveries, to make a very important visit to Rev. Shiratsu in Ishinomaki with supplies. As a mission, we are eager to aid the church there in ministering the gospel along with offering the important necessities to this community devastated by the tsunami. David and Noriko hope to worship with the Shiratsus on Sunday and to discuss ways to reach out to this devastated peninsular town in the future. Please pray:

  1. that the Lord would pour out his Spirit on the people throughout Japan, that they would turn to God and believe;
  2. that God would raise up faithful ministers and missionaries to spread God's Word throughout this pagan land;
  3. for strength and safety for this trip and for continuing wisdom for ministry;
  4. that the Lord will pave the way for effective evangelistic efforts, specifically in Ishinomaki.

Kneeling before the only God who by his mercy and love answers prayer,
Woody and Laurie

And OP missionary Cal Cummings (in Sendai) writes:

After twelve hours of ... meetings yesterday, today seemed like a "let-down"! ... We expressed to the men of the Tohoku Presbytery our readiness to help rebuild and rejuvenate churches in this time of great physical and spiritual need. As they make their assessment, we have urged them to pinpoint specific projects and needs which we can report back to our churches for prayer and potential support with manpower and monies. We also met with the Committee for Cooperating Missions, and the Disaster Response Committee. Pray for wisdom as they present the needs before the church.

Pray, too, that the opportunities for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom will be seized upon with vigor. Feeding the hungry, caring for the homeless, nurturing the sick, and listening to the broken-hearted all take time, energy, and ready hearts. Pray for some of the pastors who are appearing to be fatigued. Both Pastors Yoshida and Yoshioka are separated from their families, as they have sent them to safer areas away from the nuclear fallout. Pastor Yoshioka's eight month old son has been hospitalized with pneumonia. So, on top of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident, there are also family crises.

Pray for the increased contact I have with neighbors and student through these circumstances. I visited an older couple today where two-thirds of their house has become unlivable due to the earthquake. They are managing, but are still waiting for the insurance company to assess the damages, etc. Another couple lost their entire house to the tsunami and have been living in a shelter for three weeks now. We are weeping with them and privileged to share the hope in Christ. I checked with Tohoku Gakuin High School, where I preach once or twice a month, to find out how the student body had been affected. Twenty students lost their entire homes, forty lost half of their homes, two lost their father, one lost his mother, and three are yet living in shelters. I have heard that seven students at Miyagi Gakuin College have been orphaned as a result of the disaster. The newspaper this morning was appealing for the need to build facilities to care for the orphaned. Pray that the church can respond to these needs.

Please keep praying for a suitable place for our son Daniel to use his doctor skills during the time he is here. I have leads in Watari/Yamamoto and Natori. The national government has given freedom to practice, but the local chapter of doctors is giving opportunities only to those who come in under a recognized organization. Keep praying that he might be able to serve.

Lord willing, I will be preaching at Megumi [in Sendai] and Fukushima on Sunday. Pray that our hearts will be built up with the understanding that we have an eternal King and everlasting High Priest, who loves us and works for us without fail. Greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world. God never fails.

I am expecting David Lauer and his wife and a friend of Murray's from Seattle here shortly. Dan and Luke are to come in tomorrow. A neighbor said he was bringing over some clothes to be taken to a shelter tomorrow. So the place is filling up again. Pray that the Lord will be glorified and hearts blessed with new life as we move among the broken and oppressed.

Churches of the Tohoku Presbytery

Please continue to uphold the labors of our missionaries in your prayers.

View a copy of the report of the first visit of the RCJ's Diaconal Action Committee to the churches in the Tohoku Presbytery.

[Note: Links to other "Great East Japan Earthquake Updates" may be found here.]



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