Imagine walking down the beach and finding bodies washed up on the beach. Those bodies were the result of a devastating earthquake years ago. This is what Japan will experience in the future. Bodies will wash up on the shore reminding of them of the day the ocean swallowed up its prey.
When Professor Paul Johnson heard that Chuck Burwell and AC Acosta, former missionaries to Japan and the Philippines, were passing through Salem, he immediately contacted Vince Rediger, the president of True North Corps. Johnson and Rediger jumped at the opportunity to have Burwell and Acosta speak to student’s about an update on Japan.
Burwell and Acosta are involved with a church planting organization called Christar. Christar uses people from churches and forms them into teams then sends them to primarily Muslim, Islamic, or Buddhist countries. Burwell works as a representative for the West Coast center.
Rediger said that he was excited to have a “more informed prayer night.” On March 30 his excitement was fulfilled. Burwell spent more than 19 years in Japan, serving as a missionary with his wife.
When Burwell arrived he began the presentation with statistics about Japan’s culture. Ninety suicides a day happen in Japan. He said that Japan’s marriages consist of being roommates rather than romance and children. In fact, he also said children were not desirable in Japanese culture.
More than two dozen students came to listen to Burwell’s informative speech, hoping to learn more about the disaster. Rediger said he hoped they would gain knowledge about “what’s going on in Japan and have a time of prayer.”
After he outlined the Japanese society, he put up a slide of prayers. There were five slides of more than 60 prayers. Everyone broke into groups of three to four and prayed specifically for Japan.
Prayers murmured softly throughout Davidson’s second floor lobby. The prayers continued for nearly 45 minutes targeting special areas of Japan’s recovery and damage.
Freshman Rosa Gonzalez attended the informative speech to learn from “people who knew what they were talking about.” She said she hasn’t been involved in a mission trip yet, but loved learning about missions and culture.
Burwell and Acosta helped many students not only understand the disaster in Japan better, but also Japanese society before the series of catastrophes. A lot of the prayers were for the relief groups potentially being sent over and the one already there.
So far the only relief group sent over is CRASH, Christian Relief Assistance Support Hope, but their camp is only set up in two areas.
Burwell is moved for the country that he and his wife spiritually helped, and felt that he needed to do as much as he could from across the ocean.
“I felt burdened,” said Burwell. “I needed to reach out.” Next year Burwell and his wife plan to return to Japan to visit the church they planted and to aid with the relief.
Prayer for Japan should be ongoing. Some of the requests that Burwell shared are:
- For the aftershocks to decrease
- For the tsunamis to stop
- For people to find hope through Jesus
- Safety for the workers around nuclear reactors
- For the truth to prevail and rumors to stop
- An atmosphere of people willing to pray
- For passion to evoke across the world
- For lots of discussion about Jesus to occur
- To call Japanese Christians to ministry
- For willing hearts to serve
- Perseverance in the Japanese church
- For the support to give hope for the Japanese
- For CRASH to influence the church
- Wisdom for relief workers to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus
Some praises throughout the disaster are:
- Many people have been rescued
- The earthquake is offshore
- So many people praying for Japan
- God has been glorified