“For Such A Time As This"

September 5, 2011

Japan Evangelical Missionary Association, President's Pen, by Dale Little

(Japan Harvest, Summer 2011, Vol 63 No. 1, pp 5-6) (www.jema.org)

“Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Rom. 8:20-22, NLT)

Creation groaned in northeastern Japan on 3/11. Sin with its resultant divine curse has marred all of creation, including the depths of the sea. Death, destruction, and despair have followed in the wake of the quake induced tsunami. But Scriptures bring words of hope in times of crises. Creation will be re-created! We look forward to the day when God in Christ will eliminate the decay of death, which is the curse of sin.

In the meantime, the diverse and gifted community of expatriate missionaries in Japan have an unprecedented opportunity to show God’s love to Japan.  Since 3/11, many churches and missionaries in Japan have sent a tsunami of prayer and of God’s love to northeastern Japan. Christian relief organizations from outside have descended upon Japan like never since the end of WWII. Japan is back on the mission map of many churches in our home countries (at least for a little while).

JEMA has receipted over two million US dollars for CRASH, one of JEMA’s endorsed ministries. JEMA leaders and many JEMA related missionaries have volunteered energetically in CRASH leadership and projects. Other JEMA connected missionaries have given their energies toward the recovery ministries of their own mission organizations.

The overwhelming attitude of cooperation and mutual respect has been impressive. What a joy to see churches, missionaries, and mission agencies working together for the cause of Christ in this land!

Your JEMA leadership team would like to help take this synergy to the next level by hosting a ministry consultation in the late fall in Sendai. We desire to network and encourage JEMA connected missionaries and mission agencies who are serving in the tsunami hit areas of Japan. We believe one way to do that in the post 3/11 era in Japan is to share with each other what we are doing or planning to do for ministry in northeastern Japan over the long term. To facilitate this discussion we invite all JEMA member missions to share their recovery related ministry plans at this consultation. Please keep your eye on our website, www.jema.org, for further details.

There was death and destruction in the air when Esther’s uncle (and for all practical purposes, her father), Mordecai, reminded her, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esth. 4:14, NLT) The rest of the Old Testament book of Esther shows how God used Queen Esther to implement his sovereign plans.

Perhaps God in his sovereignty has placed us here in Japan for just such a time as this. May we work together in showing the love of Christ to a hurting post 3/11 Japan!

japanquake.ca (dale little)