Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pray For Japan

The spiritual needs in Japan are great. Japan is regarded as one of the most resistant countries in the world. The Japanese are the 2nd largest unreached people group in the world (Shaikh people of Bangladesh are the largest). There are still 1,700 towns & villages without a single church. True born-again believers represent less than one percent (this is less than some Muslim countries).

The number of new believers each year is almost completely offset by the number that fall away. There has been very little progress during the past 50 years in spite of intensive missionary efforts. The growth in the number of Christians has declined from 4.6% per year (following WWII) to less than 0.4% currently. At the current growth rate it would take 1,200 years to bring the percentage of Christians up to only 7% of the population. There has been a serious decline in interest & openess to the Gospel.

Most of the churches are very small. There is a shortage of Japanese pastors (86% of them are over 50 years old). There is a shrinking missionary force. The number of missionaries has shrunk by approx. 20% during the past 20 years.

"I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth."
-- Isaiah 62:6-7

Friday, March 11, 2011

Magnitude 8.9 quake, Tsunami Leaves Japan Devastated

Huge earthquakes rocked northeastern Japan on Saturday, a day after a giant temblor set off a powerful tsunami that killed hundreds of people, turned the coast into a swampy wasteland and left two nuclear reactors dangerously close to meltdown.The United States Geological Survey said a strong earthquake struck just before noon in the sea in virtually the same place where the magnitude 8.9 quake on Friday unleashed one of the greatest disasters Japan has witnessed - a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami that washed far inland over fields and smashed towns.

Saturday's magnitude 6.8 quake was followed by a series of temblors originating from the same area, the USGS said. It was not immediately known whether the new quakes caused any more damage.

All were part of the more than 125 aftershocks since Friday's massive quake, the strongest to hit Japan since officials began keeping records in the late 1800s. It 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, scientists said. The official death toll stood at 413, while 784 people were missing and 1,128 injured. In addition, police said between 200 and 300 bodies were found along the coast in Sendai, the biggest city in the area of the quake's epicenter.

An untold number of bodies were also believed to be lying in the rubble and debris. Rescue workers had yet to reach the hardest-hit areas. "The flood came in from behind the store and swept around both sides. Cars were flowing right by," said Wakio Fushima, who owns a convenience store in this northern coastal city of 1.02 million people, 80 miles (125 kilometers) from the quake's epicenter. Smashed cars and small airplanes were jumbled up against buildings near the local airport, several miles (kilometers) from the shore. Felled trees and wooden debris lay everywhere as rescue workers coasted on boats through murky waters around flooded structures, nosing their way through a sea of detritus.

"The tsunami was unbelievably fast. Smaller cars were being swept around me and all I could do was sit in my truck," said truck driver Koichi Takairin, 34, who was pinned in his four-ton vehicle and later escaped to a community center. His rig ruined, he joined the steady flow of mud-spattered survivors who walked along the road away from the sea and back into city. Smoke from at least one large fire could be seen in the distance. But basic commodities were at a premium. Hundreds lined up outside of supermarkets, and gas stations were swamped with cars. The situation was similar in scores of other towns and cities along the 1,300-mile-long (2,100-kilometer-long) eastern coastline hit by the tsunami.

Japan also declared its first-ever states of emergency for five nuclear reactors at two power plants after the units lost cooling ability in the aftermath of the earthquake, and workers struggled to prevent meltdowns. Two of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Futaba town were in danger and could face a meltdown if all possible safety procedures fail. Authorities said the breakdown happened after the quake knocked out power, turning off the water supply needed to cool the system. Although a backup cooling system was being used, Japan's nuclear safety agency said pressure inside the reactor had risen to 1 1/2 times the level considered normal.

Authorities said radiation levels had jumped 1,000 times normal inside Unit 1 and were measured at eight times normal outside the plant. They expanded an earlier evacuation zone more than threefold, from 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers (2 miles to 6.2 miles). About 3,000 people were urged to leave their homes in the first announcement. Japan gets about 30 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants. Authorities warned citizens to be prepared for severe power cuts. More than 1 million households across Japan, mostly in the northeast, still didn't have access to water.

In Sendai, as in many areas of the northeast, cell phone service was down, making it difficult for people to communicate with loved ones. The tsunami swept inland about 6 miles (10 kilometers), and beyond that most buildings appeared undamaged from the outside. TV footage showed several people standing on the roof of a three-story building in Miyagi prefecture (state), surrounded by mud. A man waved a big white flag, and a woman was lifting two pink umbrellas, signaling for help. Elsewhere, aerial footage showed military helicopters lifting people on rescue tethers from rooftops and partially submerged buildings surrounded by water and debris. At one school, a large white "SOS" had been spelled out in English.

"The energy radiated by this quake is nearly equal to one month's worth of energy consumption" in the United States, USGS scientist Brian Atwater told The Associated Press. The entire Pacific had been put on alert - including coastal areas of South America, Canada and Alaska - but waves were not as bad as expected.

President Barack Obama pledged U.S. assistance following what he called a potentially "catastrophic" disaster. He said one U.S. aircraft carrier is already in Japan and a second was on its way. A U.S. ship was also heading to the Marianas Islands to assist as needed, he said. Most trains in Tokyo started running again Saturday after the city had been brought to a near standstill the day before. Tens of thousands of people had been stranded with the rail network down, jamming the streets with cars, buses and trucks trying to get out of the city. The city set up 33 shelters in city hall, on university campuses and in government offices, but many spent Friday night at 24-hour cafes, hotels and offices.

Japan's worst previous quake was a magnitude 8.3 temblor in Kanto that killed 143,000 people in 1923, according to the USGS. A magnitude 7.2 quake in Kobe killed 6,400 people in 1995. Japan lies on the "Ring of Fire" - an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching around the Pacific where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur, including the one that triggered the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people in 12 countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake that shook central Chile in February 2010 also generated a tsunami and killed 524 people.







Thursday, March 10, 2011







Wednesday, March 9, 2011







Tuesday, March 8, 2011









Saturday, March 5, 2011

Former Sarawak Rajah Muda Anthony Brooke Passes Away

Former Rajah Muda, Anthony Walter Dayrell Brooke, 98, passed away in Wanganui, New Zealand on March 2.

As the heir-apparent, he briefly administered Sarawak from 1939 to 1940 in the absence of his uncle Charles Vyner Brooke, the third and last White Rajah to rule Sarawak.

He is survived by his wife Gita, son James Lionel, daughter Celia and grandchildren Jason, Laurence and Sura.

In an email to Sarawak Tourism Federation’s Heritage Development Committee chairman Lim Kian Hock, Jason wrote that his grandfather passed away with his wife by his side at their home Rumah Brooke.

“His cremation took place yesterday (Thursday) at 3pm in Wanganui, in keeping with his wishes, with a memorial service to follow later this year,” said Jason.

Born in England in 1912 to His Highness the Tuan Muda of Sarawak, Anthony received his education at Eton and Magdalene Cambridge, before pursuing studies in Malay and Mohammedan Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Anthony’s uncle Sir Charles Vyner Brooke was the third Rajah of Sarawak. Sir James Brooke became Rajah in 1841 and the Brooke family ruled Sarawak until the Japanese invasion in 1941.

As Sir Charles had no male heir, Anthony’s father, the co-ruling Tuan Muda was the heir-apparent. He, however, renounced his claim in favour of his son, duly appointed Rajah Muda (Crown Prince) and heir-apparent in his place.

Anthony had one son James (born 1940) and two daughters Celia (1942) and Angela (1944).

Anthony was the last member of the Brooke family to govern Sarawak (1939 to 1940).

After WWII ended, and with Sarawak liberated from Japanese rule, Anthony strongly opposed the annexation of Sarawak as a British colony in 1946, and responded to calls coming from the Malay National Union, Sarawak Dayak Association, Sarawak Youth Movement, Sarawak Women’s Association and other newly formed political groups in Sarawak to lead the independence campaign against British rule.

Campaigning vigorously for five years, he withdrew in 1951 only when the spread of Communism seemed a greater threat to stability in Sarawak.

Anthony then embarked upon a programme of world travel, speaking with groups large and small on the rights, responsibility and power of the individual in helping to bring about a democratic world order.

Co-founding with his wife, a charitable trust, Peace Through Unity, Anthony embarked upon a personal crusade that would span 60 years, meeting world leaders and spiritual thinkers from Chinese premier Chou En Lai to India’s Vinoba Bhave who dubbed him ‘shanty doot’ or Ambassador of Peace.

After Sarawak achieved independence through Malaysia, Anthony returned to the state as a guest on two occasions - in 1964 and 1983 - when he rekindled old friendships from the anti-cession days.

Source from thestar newspaper.

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