Gideons Prepare To Respond To Japan’s Tsunami

by The Gideons International on March 11, 2011

JAPAN UPDATE AND CORRECTION, MARCH 18, 2011: Friday, March 11, we reported that The National Disaster Distribution Program would be implemented in response to the devastation there. We have learned that Japan’s National Cabinet is evaluating the situation in Japan and will determine whether or not to implement The National Disaster Distribution Program there. There is a concern that responding too soon could interfere with the work of relief agencies trying to respond to basic humanitarian needs.

Here is a link to our blog post that will feature updates as we receive them from the Executive Director of The Gideons International in Japan.

Click here for Japan updates

In response to the tragic earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday, March 11, The Gideons International is planning its response to this natural disaster.

According to news reports as of Friday, hundreds of people are reported dead and hundreds more missing or injured following the ferocious 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami that was unleashed by earthquake that measured 8.9 on the Richter scale. More than 50 aftershocks have already been recorded, many of them exceeding a magnitude 6.0.

This U.S. Department of Defense image shows the epicenter of today's 8.9 earthquake in Japan.

The earthquake shook dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coast, including Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter. A large section of Kesennuma, a town of 70,000 people in Miyagi, burned furiously into the night.

As night fell and temperatures hovered just above freezing, tens of thousands of people remained stranded in Tokyo, where the rail network was still down. Cars, buses and trucks jammed the streets, as people tried to flee the city.

According to scientists, the quake ranked as the fifth-largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and was nearly 8,000 times stronger than one that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month.

The director of the National Associations Division at the headquarters of The Gideons International in the U.S. has been in touch with the Executive Director of the Gideons International in Japan. While the Japanese office has cancelled a National Cabinet meeting for Saturday, it currently appears that the staff of the office in Japan is safe.

According to Operation World, over 70 percent of people in Japan claim no personal religion. Yet the majority follow the demands of Buddhism and rituals of polytheistic Shintoism.

The Gideons International is organized in 193 countries and distributes over 1.5 million copies of God’s Word throughout the world each week.

Japan’s first Gideon camp was established in 1950 and currently there are 168 Gideon camps there with approximately 1,600 Gideons and 850 Auxiliary. Today, Japan’s population is nearly 127 million, and to date, over 34 million copies of God’s Word have been placed there through The Gideons International.

Please keep the people of Japan in your daily prayers, and ask the Lord to guide and protect those dedicated Gideons there. Pray for the Lord to touch the hearts of all the Japanese who will receive His Word. May each one of them respond to the message of the Gospel and seek His Kingdom.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Hanzuk March 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I am praying for the people of Japan, as well as the Gideons and Auxiliary living in Japan. Thank you Lord for protecting those who are committed to doing your work in spreading God’s Word. Please be with them Lord, as they prepare for the hard work ahead. Keep them safe! My prayers and blessings I send to you all.

Susan Hanzuk
Gideons International Auxiliary
Plymouth, Michigan

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larry kemp March 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm

We will pray.

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Julius A. Ortiz March 16, 2011 at 12:37 am

Thank you Lord, for allowing the Gideons to bring the hope of salvation to the people of Japan. May your spirit lead, guide, empower, and bless all the Gideons who will participate in the work in Japan.

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Dr. Jordan Patrik March 16, 2011 at 2:16 am

I am the president of Sahiwal Camp in Pakistan. The whole camp is praying for the people and Gideons’ work in Japan.

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Beat LEHMANN March 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I’m the area director of Paris and suburbs (7 camps) in France. We pray that the Lord may protect all Gideons in Japan, and that the millions of scriptures distributed may become a special meaning to thousands of people during these tough days of difficulties and suffering.

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Lidia Magley March 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I read the earlier edition of this book to my children, it was a huge inspiration to never give up praying because God hears and answers in ways we cannot even imagine. We know the Lessin family personally and count them as God’s treasure to us. The word of God flows out of Roy with anointing and power because it is the Rock on which he builds his life, I highly recommend reading this book and purchasing extra copies to be given as gifts. God can use this life changing story to touch more hearts for Him.

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Weandroff Chipeta March 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I have no physical aid to send, but I commit Japan into God’s hands, and consistently pray for the stopping of aftershocks.

In prayers with Japan

Weandroff Chipeta

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Batalaze Timothy March 19, 2011 at 8:47 am

Thank you a lot for your heart towards the depressed in Japan. Jesus really took our sorrows and this is what brought Jesus Christ – to make the blind see, to shed tears for those who are crying by giving out His Spirit to bring life to the broken hearted.

We really pray for those people in Japan and God will have compassion on them.

Tim from Uganda

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Rhonda Edie March 21, 2011 at 3:23 am

I am the president of the Auxiliary of the Gideons Camp in the Cayman Islands.
Our prayers and thoughts are with our brothers and sisters in Japan at this time.
Keep holding to the promises of God. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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fiel Baraquia March 24, 2011 at 1:22 am

Our Camps in the Philippines, especially the dipolog City camp, keep on praying of our fellow Gideons and Auxiliaries in Japan. God is still in control of everything,

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