New Life Rises in Sendai

By   •   March 2, 2012

Her husband tried to carry the disabled, old man on his back to safety, but the man was too heavy. The two kept falling. As the tsunami wave threatened to overtake them last March 11, the elderly man told Tsuneo Otomo to let him die.

Tsuneo made a quick attempt to ask the man if he wanted to accept Jesus. But because the roaring water was rising rapidly around them, Tsuneo never heard the response.

Mariko Otomo is thankful her husband survived the tsunami, but said both she and Tsuneo grieve for the old man who perished and wonder if they will see him in Heaven.

She has since prayed with the elderly man’s wife and tonight, at the Tohoku Celebration of Hope, Mariko prayed with two other women who made decisions to ask Jesus into their hearts.

“At first, I wasn’t sure about being a counselor at the Celebration—wasn’t sure if I was prepared,” Mariko said afterward. “But my friends asked me to do this with them and now I am so happy!”

Both of the women that Mariko prayed with had their homes repaired by teams from Samaritan’s Purse. They watched as the Christians came in and showed the love of Christ with each pound of the hammer and each step it took to fix the tsunami damage.

Their hearts were plowed for the seed that Franklin Graham watered with the Gospel and that the Holy Spirit birthed this night.

“I was here last year just after the tsunami and I felt your pain,” Graham told the audience at the Grande 21 Arena, a place that served as a temporary morgue after the March 11 disaster. It has since been remodeled, and standing on a new floor over a spot that once held death, men and women from across Sendai found new life.

“Tonight we pray to build on a foundation of the past—to bring you the hope found in a relationship with Jesus Christ—and give you an eternal future,” said Graham.

Preaching from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 8, Graham explained to the crowd that the redemption of each soul is precious in God’s eyes. “If you are not sure your soul is secure in God’s hands, tonight you can ask Him to forgive you for your sins and invite Jesus by faith into your heart.

“Your soul will never die.”

Using the Fukushima nuclear disaster as an analogy, Graham explained how sin has contaminated God’s perfect world, and how Jesus died to redeem us and cleanse us.

For 21-year-old Giamyeong, it was the first time that God’s plan of redemption made sense. “When Mr. Graham talked about sin that way, I finally understood and am glad I came to be saved tonight.”

His counselor—the young man who prayed with Giamyeong—said he is thrilled to be a part of something that gives new life where so many died.

Please pray for a great harvest the next two nights of the Celebration.

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  1. Hernalin says:

    Praise God for His move in Sendai, and thank you that you've come to share gospel of hope in that area. We've been praying for them and thank God for the way He answered prayers.

  2. Denise says:

    Lord, bless, strengthen and give wisdom to all those involved in these crusades and the ones to come in Jesus name. May many come to know Jesus our Lord. <3

  3. Mary : says:

    I have friends in Japan and am so thankful you are there ! I was once a counselor in your father's crusade 60 yrs. ago ! Thank God you carry on ! Blessings!!

  4. theresa says:

    May God bless the people fo Sendai,deliver them from their pain and bring all of the ppl to Him.Praise the Lord .

  5. Ayo says:

    I thank God for His move in Sendai. May God bring more harvest to His kingdom and may such disaster never happen again. Sendai people are lovely people.

  6. Barbara says:

    I thank God that you have accepted the invitation to go to Sendai, Japan. It is impossible for me to put myself in the shoes of these hurting people or imagine the emptiness that continually hovers over them. I pledge to pray for these people.