At 2:46PM on March 11, 2011, the largest earthquake ever recorded in the history of Japan shook the Northeast coast of the island of Honshu. What followed was a devastating tsunami that resulted in the loss of over 20,000 lives.
A month later the ministry staff brothers of the Tokyo Church of Christ, along with Charles Ham, Disaster Relief Director for Hope Worldwide traveled to the city of Sendai, the most populated city devastated by the tsunami, to see what Hope Worldwide Japan could do to help the people of this area.
Inspired by the prayers and generous donations of churches and disciples around the world, we asked God to miraculously open doors for us. A few months later we set up a Hope Project in Sendai, and immediately five disciples moved to that city to serve those victimized by the natural disaster. In the next year Hope Worldwide Japan sent over 1100 volunteers to Sendai and served over 8000 people, providing hot meals for those living in shelters, assisting in the allocation of volunteers and setting up events to encourage the people of that area.
Our dream though from the day we arrived in Sendai was to plant a church there. Inspired by the example of the Nias church which began as a result of the work of Hope Indonesia, we prayed earnestly for God to allow us to plant a church in that city.
God has answered our prayers and has fulfilled our dreams as the Morinomiyako Sendai Church of Christ was officially planted this fall with an attendance of over 100 people at our inaugural service on October 24th . The 5 member team is comprised of three Korean disciples. While our Korean disciples living in Tokyo were urged to move back to their country as a result of our nuclear reactor disaster our team leaders Dae Suk and Jayno Kim and a single sister Minsuk Kim not only stayed in Japan but risked going to a dangerous part of the country to help plant this church. Dae Suk had moved to Tokyo from Korea as a single disciple over 15 years ago to help start our Korean ministry. During the team sendoff, he read from the Bible passage in Ruth and proclaimed that our people (the Japanese) would now be his people.
A week before the inaugural service, the mission team had its first baptism. Kenji Takemoto, age 64, the father of Yudai our campus intern in Tokyo was baptized into Christ.
Once again we would like to thank all of you around the world who prayed for us during our dark moments ensuing our earthquake and tsunami. Below is a previous video about the struggles the disciples faced in sharing Christ.
Your prayers and your generous donations have brought light to this devastated part of Japan. Please keep the Sendai church in your prayers as we see God’s glory shine even in the darkest and saddest of moments.
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Lead Evangelist Tokyo Church of Christ