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217. Jesus Film Teams Bring Hope to Japan

This edition looks at how Jesus Film teams are bringing hope to Japan.

SINCE YOU ASKED
With all the bad news out there, it’s great to be able to share some encouraging news, especially from a place like Japan that has suffered greatly recently. The March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis brought destruction on a mammoth scale. Campus Crusade for Christ has sent teams to clean up debris, deliver supplies, and offer comfort and hope. One of the ways they are bringing hope is by showing the Jesus Film, often with solar powered backpack units and MP4 players. One may wonder how this would be received in this strongly Buddhist country.

The response, however, has been encouraging. Many Japanese people are becoming disillusioned with their religion. Suicide is on the rise. Due to the bridges that Japanese churches (Christian) have built over the years with their neighbors, relief workers are seeing some openness to the gospel. As one team member put it, “The Lord has opened doors in mysterious ways.” They are hearing things like, “We envy you because when we pray, we don’t know who we are praying to.” After one team cleaned a devastated home and prayed for the grateful homeowner, she tearfully said, “Just when I felt I was going to go under [you came]…”

AS I SEE IT
What a powerful reminder of what the Church has been called to do. Included in the list is “comfort the afflicted.” We Christians can offer a hope that no one else can. We should be the first ones on the scene with help and supplies. When the immediate needs are met, we should also be ready to address the most important issue-their spiritual need.

¬†I have admired the work of the Jesus Film teams for years. They are taking the message throughout the world, and with amazing results. Jesus said that the fields are “white for harvest.” Now, more than ever, people around the world and in our own neighborhoods are looking for some reason to have hope. I have never experienced anything like our current “world” in all my life. Christians who are struggling must fight against the temptation to become so focused on our own needs that we fail to meet the needs of others. Our Lord has promised that if we take care of His business, He will take care of ours, including our needs. Perhaps we should all reread Matthew 6:25-34 every week.
 
If Campus Crusade workers are finding open doors for the gospel in Japan, certainly, we should be looking for them in our own back yard. Of all the things we have been called to do, sharing Christ with a hurting world is the one thing we will not be able to be even better in heaven. There, we will experience perfect praise, perfect worship etc., but the opportunities for sharing Christ will be gone.

The “job” of sharing Christ has not been assigned to the pastor or those with the gift of evangelism. It is the responsibility of every believer. We are all to “do the work of an evangelist.” The Great Commission to us all was and is to go and make disciples-in Japan, Africa, Iran, and right in our own back yard. It’s our greatest responsibility and our greatest joy when we do it. I, personally, have experienced no greater thrill than bringing new life to someone the Lord has brought across my path. If you are a believer, you have been called to such a purpose. The world desperately needs your witness.¬†¬†¬†

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