Will You Teach Us the Bible?

By Brian and Mika Reaser, serving in Japan with CAMA (Compassion and Mercy Associates), the relief and development arm of The Alliance

Through the New Life Center (NLC), Alliance field workers and CAMA personnel are reaching out to the people of Ishinomaki, Japan, one of the hardest-hit areas of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami. The following was adapted from the Reasers’ blog.

One June morning we heard a loud knock at our door. Mr. S., a man in his 60s, asked if we were Christians. We invited him to join us for tea. After a brief conversation, he asked if we would be willing to teach a Bible study for him and some of his friends. In a country that is less than 1 percent Christian, a request to teach a Bible study is not something we hear often. We were surprised, but there was little hesitation before we said yes.

Mr. S. is one of 15,000 people in the Ishinomaki area who still live in temporary housing units. Many are seniors with fixed incomes. They feel isolated and trapped in a hopeless situation; they cannot afford to rebuild and the communities they once lived in were destroyed by the tsunami.

Open Doors

Initially, we planned to meet at the NLC, since religious meetings in the housing units are discouraged. A few days later, Mr. S. told us that due to limited transportation, few residents would be able to attend if we met at the NLC. Therefore, he had applied for special permission from the city to hold religious meetings in the housing unit’s public meeting room. Permission was granted!

Since then eight people, ranging in age from the thirties to eighties, have been faithfully attending a study of the Book of John. The group comprises three married couples and two women. All have shown great interest in the Christian faith.

Please pray for them. Several have expressed that they are very close to placing their faith in Christ, while others have said they may be “too old to change.” Praise God that it is the work of Christ within them that will bring true transformation. Since moving here in March, we have prayed that God will open doors and that His Spirit will move mightily. He has answered our prayers again and again. This group is another example of His faithfulness and of the active work of the Spirit in Ishinomaki.

What You Can Do

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