The Earthquake and Evangelical Thoughts on the Unreached in Japan
I have been trying to think of something intelligent to say about the earthquake in Japan but seeing the news and the pictures coming out of that country just leaves a person almost speechless. It's different than Haiti of course, and you don't see "text to donate" messages being flashed all over the place (why I'm not sure), you barely see the donate to the Red Cross for that matter.
Since our news cycles seem to rotate in and out so fast today, the coverage of the Japan earthquake will soon diminish to nothing but another historical fact, and they will move on to who's winning the NCAA March Madness tournament or something else newsworthy like Lawmakers Pitch Gov't Takeover of Driving Age (FNC) or The moments that make us fat (CNN), both of which were on the front page as of this writing.
But for the time being, news, for the most part, is still coming fast and furious from Japan. What the earthquake did do was, along with many other stories, bring awareness to the evangelical movement in Japan. A recent article from a magazine out of Korea called Konnect, titled A Personal Message from Dr. Michael Oh: The Everyday Tragedy of Japan gives some sobering statistics and offers a Christian perspective of the current events.
Japan is the largest unreached nation in the world. In Japan they are reporting upwards of 1100 dead so far. Again, it is very possible that that number will multiply 10 fold. But every 11 days an equal number of Japanese (1100) take their own lives. In hopelessness they turn to suicide. Every day is a tragedy in Japan for those without Christ.
Honestly I really had no idea the Japanese people were one of the most unreached developed nations in the world, no did I know they dealt with such a horrible suicide rate. Perhaps it's because the source is out of Korea where the evangelical Christ movement is extremely different than here in the United States, perhaps we in this country are too involved with the four walls of our own country to notice, or both. According to Operation World on Japan, there are about 2 million Christians among a population of almost 127 million people.
If nothing else turns your heart towards the people of Japan it would be the photography coming out of the earthquake. Some of the photos are so incredible it's just hard to comprehend from a vantage point of Auburn Alabama. The shot at the top was provided by GeoEye showing an area of Natori, Japan on April 4, 2010, left, and March 12, 2011. (GeoEye/Associated Press) I like the photo coverage from the Boston Globe on their blog called "The Big Picture", which is sort of a pool from many photographers.