Greetings from Japan
By Russell & Sandra Board
MINISTRY IN NEPAL
The massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April killed more than 9000, injured 23,000, and left hundreds of thousands homeless. In September, Russell helped to lead a multi-national team in Kathmandu to minister to the suffering and bereaved victims, and to encourage the local churches. Team members from the US, Japan, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines combined their efforts and their gifts to share the love of Christ in a variety of ways.
Large numbers of those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the quake continue to live in tents or rudimentary temporary housing. We held medical clinics in three local churches, as well as in an open air lot in the middle of the devastated part of the city. Old and young lined up to receive care, averaging nearly 200 patients at each clinic. We were heartbroken to meet an 86-year-old man whose whole family had perished in the quake! In addition to medicines, we offered a listening ear, a kind word, a loving touch, and a prayer for God to bless the lives and families of all who came.
Many children who lost homes or family members were traumatized by the quake, and continue to live in fear of future calamity. What a blessing to see them smiling and laughing as we taught them songs and played games, and told them of the God who is an ever-present refuge in time of trouble!
A highlight of the week was the special affiliation ceremony in which we welcomed networks of more than 80 churches into the Nepal IPHC family! We thank the Lord that this time of disaster is also a time of growth, as churches reach out to their suffering neighbors with the love of Christ. Previously disdained by the Hindus as “cow-eaters,” the Christians are now viewed with gratitude and respect for their kindness and generosity.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
October and November are heavy travel months for Russell, with trips scheduled to Australia for the annual national conference; to Oklahoma for the World Missions Council meeting; to the Philippines for the national General Convention; and to Cambodia for a conference and marriage seminar.
These trips involve many ministry events and many thousands of miles. Please pray for strength and safety, anointing and fruitfulness!
POINTS FOR PRAYER
• Pray for continued healing for Russell’s eye condition. His vision has improved, but he is still unable to drive.
• Pray for the leaders and churches in Nepal as they minister to disaster victims, and work to rebuild.
• Pray for freedom for the Christians in Nepal under the newly approved constitution, as Hindu nationalists seek to restrict other religions.
• Pray for Russell’s ministry trips to Australia, Oklahoma, the Philippines and Cambodia; and pray for Sandra as she holds down the fort in Japan.
Photo Credit: Russell & Sandra Board