We are hard at work on this year’s EFCCM World of Hope impact giving catalogue.

Now we need your input!

Could you tell us how many copies of this your church could use?

We’re prepared to print up to one per person for your church, and there is no cost to you.

Just send us an e-mail at info@efccm.ca with your church’s name, the address and the quantity.

Thanks so much!

This quick exceprt is from Laura, an EFCCM missionary in Japan:

Last weekend I went to Fukushima to volunteer as part of a CRASH Japan effort to help a network of churches in Fukushima City. The children in Fukushima are restricted from playing outside in many cases by parents who are worried about them accumulating radiation in their bodies. Therefore, the churches have planned recreational weekends for the area children and their families to travel to areas with lower radiation levels where they can play outside.

On this trip, we went to Aizu with the children and their families. As soon as the children saw the playground and surrounding wooded area, their faces lit up and they went running off the buses. They enjoyed a week end of playing basketball, soccer, tag, dodge ball, collecting stag beetles, etc. They also heard a ventriloquist who told them about Jesus. Many of the kids and their families are living under great stress and need the peace that Christ can bring. Last week I heard that above 30% of families in Fukushima city are living apart, as the father stays home to work and the mother and children live in areas with lower radiation levels.

Please continue to pray for the churches in Fukushima and CRASH Japan as the family of Christ tries to point the way to rest in Christ.

This story of Ryuichi was shared by Bella Mori (missionary at the Sendai Izumi Evangelical Free Church) and is written by Ann Little.

Ryuichi lives with his mother and grandparents near the Sendai Izumi Evangelical Free Church (Sendai, Japan). He was born with some mental challenges and because of this, his father bullied him when he was very small. His mother decided to divorce, to protect Ryuichi from abuse. After the divorce, Ryuichi’s mother became discouraged about raising Ryuichi alone, and decided that suicide by jumping in front of a train was the only answer. Ryuichi was just a small child at the time and his mother was carrying him on her back. She lacked the courage to jump and four trains passed by, but as the 5th train came into sight, she resolved to jump. Just at that time Ryuichi said to her; “Mother, please don’t give up!” His words were enough to convince his mother to keep on living!

One day when he was 8 years old, he and his mother were walking by the Izumi EFC. Missionary Bella Mori greeted them and invited him to the children’s meeting. Ryuichi and his mother promised that they would come. However, when the time came for the children’s meeting, no one came. Bella was about to go home when Ryuichi and his mother arrived. His mother confided in Bella later, that she had had no intention of bringing him to the children’s time, but that Ryuichi had insisted that they come. He reminded his mother that she had promised, and she must keep her word. So she decided at the last minute to bring him.

Ryuichi has been attending Sunday school ever since that first meeting and has come to believe in Jesus. He is a changed boy; so much brighter and more cheerful than before. Even his grades at school have improved. He wants very much to please Jesus with his life. He has decided on his own that he will not participate in the community children’s club, because it requires that he carry the temple shrine at the festivals. It is a delight to see him grow in the Lord. Bella teaches him during Sunday school and Gina Lo looks after him during the church service. Gina and Bella have become second mothers to him. (photo attached)

Just a few months after Ryuichi started attending Sunday school his mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. When she and the grandmother told Bella about the tumor, Bella, Larry and Gina spent time praying for her. (Ryuichi confided to his grandmother that if his mother died, he would like to be adopted by the Mori family (Bella and Larry).) However, when the mother returned to the doctors for further tests, the tumor had completely disappeared! This was a wonderful miracle for this family!

Once when Bella was also passing out tracts in the area around the church, she met a neighbor. This lady was delighted to meet Bella, not only because she herself was a Christian, but because she also knew Ryuichi and had heard that he was attending Sunday School at the Izumi church. She had had a burden for Ryuichi and had wanted to take him to her church, but it was too far away. Now she was happy that there was a neighborhood church for him to attend.

Ryuichi is now 12 years old and has entered middle school. Once a student reaches middle school, there are always extra school activities held on Sunday that prevent young people from attending church. However, he has chosen an activity that allows him to continue to attend church on Sunday. Please pray that his mother, grandmother and grandfather will also come to believe in Jesus and that Ryuichi will continue to grow faithfully in the Lord.

Kurt connected with Home Office on Skype yesterday, and shared a thumbnail sketch of what’s happening right now in Japan.

CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support, and Hope) has obtained the Geiger counter that Kurt recommended. Starting in mid-March, CRASH will be using his experience to train personnel how best to use it as they continue to serve in the regions affected by the nuclear meltdowns. A Geiger counter informs its users what the radioactive conditions are in an area, which promotes safety and prevents the effects that more serious contamination would cause. For example, minor contamination on one’s hands can be taken care of by thoroughly washing them with soap and water. (We were not aware of that!)

Kurt would like to especially thank Ludlum Measurements Inc. — not only have they provided a wealth of training and support for the Geiger counter, they have pledged to provide support on an ongoing basis as well. With their help, CRASH was able to get the Geiger counter for far less than it would cost locally, and other partner organisations are planning to purchase their own units as well.

If you’re interested, this video describes the measuring device very well.

Please pray for CRASH. Japan’s immediate relief needs have been taken care of. But it seems like every day that local news announces a new threat of radioactive contamination which is affecting everything from residential construction to food supply. It’s putting everyone in every sector on edge, and people don’t know who to trust. There is a lot of fear, depression and despair. This is actually the most pressing need that CRASH has perceived.

CRASH is in a development phase. They are providing counselling, establishing coffee-houses, and building bridges to local churches where people can find real hope, despite their daily turmoil and uncertainty. Dale and Ann who recently returned to Japan, will be heavily active in this work as well.

In unrelated news, Kurt gave a mini-report of the growing homeless ministry in Japan, and there are exciting things happening!

Over Christmas, Santa showed up to offer the gospel message to the homeless people assembled.

McDonald’s gave the homeless ministry vouchers – enough to feed all the people that attend. This is a change from their typical bento boxes, and the novelty was appreciated by all.

An invitation was extended to several local churches for a clothing drive, and Kurt said this is the fullest his van has ever been!

It is exciting to see God at work, as he stirs hearts in his church to engage the needs in their city.

Pray for our church plant in Mae Wang, Thailand. We have a young leader named Suwat who is in leadership training. He is single and wants to be a pastor. Pray for older Christian men to be a balance to him and for strong Christian elders to be trained on how to share in the duties of running a church. Larry, our EFCCM missionary in Thailand, is emphasising fellowship and discipleship in is preaching and teaching that he is doing with the church.

Thank the Lord for one young man, Somchai, who chose to accept Christ as his saviour last Sunday in this church plant! We hope that Suwat and the community surrounding him will continue to nurture Somchai’s new faith and understanding of Jesus’ teaching, and that his testimony will influence many!