International Ministries

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Pray for Gordon and Lee Ann Hwang, ministering to grieving survivors of Japan's earthquake.

December 14, 2011

Gordon and Lee Ann are serving in Yokohama, Japan. Gordon exercises gifts of service and hospitality. He is partnering in outreach on a nearby college campus and in a fellowship meeting in their home. Lee Ann works full time as an English conversation teacher for junior and senior high students at Soshin School. She also has opportunities to influence students in 2 clubs, through the foreign exchange programs, speaking in chapel and with their home-fellowship meetings.

They write: This is the time of year when Japanese begin preparing for the New Year celebrations, the biggest holiday of the year. My friend just received a mochuuketsurei, and explained it to me. It is traditional to send a special post card, nengajo, with greetings to family and friends wishing them a happy year. However, when a family member has died in the past year, nengajo are suspended. But, if you are not going to send a postcard, people usually send a note, mochuuketsurei, notifying friends and relatives. Most people consider it inappropriate to send a New Year’s card to a person that has suffered loss in their family.


Grieving families will be reminded of their loss as they send mochuuketsurei. In a recent newspaper article, “a survivor Tsukasa Kanno, 59, said the toll of the disaster has weighted heavily on Kamaishi, where more than 1,200 people were reported dead or missing near the coast. “I lost my house and my shops, but I was happy because all my family members survived,” Kanno said. “But we have gradually started thinking about what’s going to happen to us. I have felt burned out. I can’t see the future.” Kanno said he’s worried that a gulf has opened between some people in the town who lost everything and others whose lives and homes were spared. “It’s as if heaven and hell exist in the same community.””

  • Please pray for the survivors that they would know Jesus and the true heaven that exists. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” Heb. 4:14 NIV
  • Pray for Gordon and Lee Ann as they serve the people of Japan in the name of Jesus in the midst of great need in Japan.
  • Pray also for Roberta Stephens and David and Leslie Turley who are ministering to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.