December 2011 Monthly Prayer Bulletin

Dear friends and partners,

We send this greeting from our home to yours – with prayers and wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year! May each of you experience the very unique PEACE that only Jesus can offer.

We have just a few Christmas activities left this week, all happening at the Isesaki Church. Cookie baking, caroling, worshiping together on Christmas morning. At each event we are praying for some new folks to join us and for opportunities to share the great news about Jesus and his coming – past, present, and future. We thank God for the Isesaki Church family who have been so special and encouraging to us. Some of them are going through hard times right now. We are thankful for Pastor Kogure and his family and for the wonderful partnership that God has given us in them. There is so much to be grateful for.

But it’s also clear that Christmas and New Years in Japan this year are different because of 3.11. In two different cards from Japanese friends we were asked “Where were you on 3.11 when the earthquake happened? Were you OK?” Tens of thousands of people are now hunkering down for the winter in northern Japan, living in very small temporary pre-fab units in new “temporary communities” that have sprung up to deal with the unchanging reality of thousands of homes that were simply washed away by the ocean last March. Others have had to take refuge in these temporary communities after being evacuated from areas near the damaged nuclear plants. From what we can tell, a great majority of the relief work that is going on now among Christians and churches in Tohoku is the visiting and caring for these folks (mostly elderly) who have been uprooted and find themselves in these new temporary communities. We worry about them in the cold. Especially at New Years which, in Japan, is the most important time of the year for people to gather together and enjoy celebrations with food and family. For many who find themselves without family, home, job or even hope for the future, it can be a daunting time of the year indeed. Thanks for your prayers. And thanks for remembering us as we pray and plan for our own involvement in these efforts in 2012.

Thanks for your faithful prayers on our behalf in November. Here’s a photo of our mission family as we gathered for worship, fellowship and planning during our annual conference which took place at our house.

Thanks also for praying about the Sendai Consultation on relief efforts in northern Japan. Representatives from about 40 mission agencies gathered to exchange information and try to assess how we can better cooperate in our relief and rebuilding efforts in the coming months and years. I put a short video together after attending. If you’re interested in taking a peek, just click HERE.

Prayer Requests

  1. We continue to cherish your prayers for the ongoing relief work in northern Japan. As winter sets in seriously in the Tohoku region many are struggling with depression and lack of hope. Please pray for effectiveness and unity among Christians as they reach out in Jesus’ name.
  2. Please pray for God’s presence and blessing on our remaining Christmas activities this week:
    1. a cookie baking and caroling party on the afternoon of Dec. 23rd.
    2. a candlelight and carol service on the evening of Dec. 23rd.
    3. our Christmas worship together at the Isesaki Church on the morning of the 25th. In each activity we look forward to new people being with us, and to new chances to talk about the hope that is within us.
  3. We look forward to a few days of snow play as a family between Christmas and New Years in the mountains of Nagano. We praise God for this opportunity and for a chance to “slow down” for a few moments and consider God’s goodness and greatness!

We look forward to checking back in with all of you after the New Year.

Your partners in prayer and mission,

Tim & Andrea Johnson

(Sam, Lilla & Sky)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post