Four Points of Focus

For those of you interested in joining Calvary Tohoku Relief,  Pastor Chizuo would like to share with you Four Points of Focus.

1.  Faith -  "For without faith it is impossible to please Him.  For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."  Hebrews 11:6

Right now, Japanese Christians have a tremendous amount of opportunity to witness to and love their fellow countrymen.  Who can understand the pressures, cultural expectations and way of life in Japan better than someone who is Japanese?   If the LORD is stirring your heart to volunteer with Calvary Tohoku Relief, come!  When we step out in faith, the LORD will honor it.  The same goes for those who don't speak Japanese or live abroad.  If the LORD is leading you to come to Japan and help with the relief effort, we would welcome you and look forward to working together.  LOVE can cross all language barriers when we look to Christ to open the door.  

2.  Prayer - "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God."  Romans 8:26-27  

We have found, one of the most effective ways to minister to the people around us, is to listen and pray.  Only the LORD can meet their needs and speak to their hearts.  If there is an opportunity to pray with them, do so.  However, don't push that door open.  We must be patient and sensitive to the people we are here to serve.  When we are able to take time to stop, lay a hand on someone's shoulder and pray with them, we are extending the loving hand of Christ.  Prayer is powerful and we need to take advantage of the peace and hope that it brings to those who are facing devastation.

3.  Team Work -  "That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.  And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; of if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."  1 Corinthians 12:25-26

Reaching out to those around us begins within our own group!  It is natural to want to stay with people we are familiar with and speak our own language.  However, this is a time when we really need to allow the Holy Spirit to unite us and use our differences to make a greater impact.  English speakers should build relationships with the Japanese speakers in their groups and vice versa.  When we're out in the field, non-Japanese speakers will need help translating and if relationships are already being built within the group, it will be easier to call on someone to help when language barriers arise.  Even when language ability isn't present, reaching out with a hug or smile can make a big difference.  However, we do want the people we meet to make contact with someone in their own language.  That's why pairing up or having small groups that cross cultural lines is important.  When people see Japanese working alongside Foreigners, it is a tremendous witness.  We can have unity without conformity and the Body of Christ can indeed work together!

4.  Vision -  "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night.  A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying , 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.'"  Acts 16:9-10

"Then the Lord put my heart vision of Ishinomaki where tsunami hit severely.   A day before we headed up north second time,   I watched TV news program and they said, "A guy in Ishinomaki heard someone cried out for help from rubble and many police and fire men searched  the guy cried out out for help but they couldn't find him.   I believe that was cry for people in Ishinomaki."  (Excerpt from "The Calling" by Pastor Chizuo)

Simply said, the overall vision is to meet the immediate physical needs and eternal spiritual needs of the people.

Physical Need:  It is important for us to understand that needs change drastically from one week to the next.  We must not think that the people in the Tohoku area only need food or clothing.  This area is constantly evolving as clean up efforts continue, utilities return and, eventually, stores reopen.  Each team needs to observe the season in which they are serving. Talk to the people.  Ask them what essentials are they missing. There's plenty to do, we just need the Spirit's wisdom and discernment to lead us to what and how it should be done.

Spiritual Need:  There are repeated examples in Scripture of Jesus Christ meeting the physical needs of people and then teaching them that He is the Bread of Life.  As we reach out to meet immediate needs, we have an opportunity to lead people to Jesus.  Our heart is to go and proclaim the Gospel in love.  We desire to make disciples and bear fruit that would remain.  We desire to see the hopeless find hope in the love and comfort of our LORD Jesus Christ.  We must pray that the LORD open doors and lead us to divine appointments.  We must keep our hearts sensitive to the working of the Spirit.  We must point people to Jesus.

"Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  Matt. 28:18-20

We have nothing, but Jesus has everything we need to go and make disciples!  It is exciting to  go with our LORD Jesus!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Pastor Chizuo, for answering God's call and allowing us to share in it! Our small team coming in May will be reviewing these points of focus as we prepare.

    On this Resurrection morning, we are praying for you, for those who are ministering, and for those who are being touched with the love of Jesus. He is risen!

    Ron Castro and CC Pocatello, Idaho
    "...we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you..." Col. 1:9