Greetings today from Rob and Kathryn.
Just another day for most of us…March 11.8 years ago, our lives were changed, as were many lives in northeastern Japan.Our life was literally turned upside down.
Today Kathryn remembered a devotional she read hours before the triple disaster hit our neighbourhood. She read this at about 8 AM on 3/11. Our lives changed at 2:46 PM, that same day.
Many have said that Japanese have become more spiritually sensitive, and many have come to Christ because of the tragic results of 3/11 2011. That is likely true in some of the most effected areas, but statistics show that the Japanese church has continued to shrink to below 0.5% of the population since the 2011 disaster.
Please reflect on the morning reading Kath read hours before our disaster stuck…It is remarkable.
Daily reflection by Charles Ringma, Dare to Journey with Henri Nouwen.
Flexibility…finding the courage to walk the unfamiliar path.
While we can create structures which provide some security for our lives, we cannot control life in such a way that we can eliminate the unexpected. Through a beneficial windfall or more frequently through difficulty or even tragedy, life can take a sudden turn. With the latter, our security disintegrates. The familiar contours of our world fade. Faith turns to fear. Answers become questions. And we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory with no road maps. Most of us find this a very difficult place in which to be. Some cannot make the adjustments. Henri Nouwen notes regarding such people that ‘when things went differently than they had expected, or took a drastic turn, they did not know how to adjust to the new situation’. Yet adjust we must, lest we lose our way by clinging to a past which is no longer our possession or lapse into disillusionment and bitterness.
Adjusting is a little dying. It is saying goodbye to that which is no longer true for us. It has to do with coming to terms with our past while being able to face the future, however uncertain that may be. It involves finding the courage to walk the unknown path. It will cause us to face old fears and to struggle toward a new faith which is appropriate for our new circumstances.
Above all, it will involve making the wonderful discovery that the God of our previous certainties and our familiar world is much greater than that. He is also the God of the difficult transitions and the God of our uncertain future.
Wow. God gave those few words as a gift to Kathryn. Please pray for Japan. 120 million people are lost.
Rob and Kathryn Fleming, Fellowship International, Japan.