Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How Can You Help?

Christian, Relief, Assistance, Support, & Hope
Company Overview   
CRASH Japan is a non-profit disaster relief organization created to provide assistance during crisis situations. In the last few years, CRASH leaders have coordinated relief efforts in China, Haiti, Indonesia and other major disaster areas.

CRASH Japan, working closely with JEMA (the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Association), has a large network of experienced volunteers in Japan who know the culture and language, and are already on the ground in local communities.
Love on Japan is your source for CRASH relief information, current events in Tokyo, and stories from the field. For our website and volunteer information, please visit: >; For interactive news, coordination efforts, and contact with our representatives, please visit: <>;

IF you are in the Tokyo Area and ready to volunteer and move out THIS WEEK, please contact Mark Hoshi by email, at
Gifts are not tax deductible. (If you need a tax deduction receipt, see below in GREEN for a group that is.)
Volunteers   ボランティアスタッフ
  • When fielding inquiries about
 volunteering, please direct them to the website amp;, not to the relief volunteer e-mail; prefer no phone calls.
Physical Donations   物資の寄付

In-kind donations are being accepted in CAJ cafeteria (only CAJ, 10:00 a.m. - 17:00 p.m.), but there are some guidelines to keep in mind.
品物での寄付はCAJのカフェテリアで受付けています。午前10〜午後まで、 CAJでのみ)CAJ is an international Missionary school in Higashi Kurume, Tokyo, Japan.
YES (NEW, not used or “recycle” goods)
  • New clothes, especially underwear (including momohiki)
  • Packaged food, especially no-wash rice (musenmai, 無洗米)
  • 容器に入った食品、特に無洗米
  • Diapers (infant, adult); tissue paper
  • おむつ幼児用、大人用、ティッシュペーパー
  • Personal hygiene items, including denture (artificial teeth) care products
  • 個人用衛生用品、入れ歯人口歯ケア製品
  • Electrical items, especially hot pots, rice cookers
  • 電化製品、特にポット、炊飯器
  • Kitchen and bath items (for people setting up new households)
  • 台所、お風呂用品新しい家を建てる人々のために
  • Games, toys, playing cards (for now, think “small”), shogi, chess etc. - for all ages
  • ゲーム、おもちゃ、トランプ今のところ小さいものを考えて下さい、将棋、チェス等、全ての年齢層のために。
  • For physical donations from overseas, consider contributions for future shipments from
  • 海外からの物資の寄付については、今後の郵送は からの寄付を考えてみて下さい。

How to make a Donation...

To give financially, mark your check "Japan Tsunami Relief Fund"
Asian Access (A2) Japan Tsunami Matching Gift: There is a new option to donate toward a matching gift that will double your gift! If you want to participate to help us double a $1M gift, mark your gift "Japan Matching Gift."

U.S. (US$) - tax deductible   
Make checks payable to "Asian Access"
Send to:
Asian Access
PO Box 200
San Dimas, CA 91773 USA

Canada (CD$) - tax deductible
Make cheques payable to "Asian Access/Canada"
Asian Access/Canada
Nordel Postal Outlet
PO Box 33016
Delta, B.C. V4C 8E6 Canada

In Japan (JP¥)  
For instructions, email us at: <>

Monday, March 21, 2011

Matching Gift of $1,000,000

Help us match $1,000,000 to bring relief to Japan following the Tsunami:

Asian Access received a $1,000,000 matching gift pledge to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of those who have been impacted by the devastating earthquakes and tsunami last week. This gift and the funds given to match the pledge will help us achieve our mission for Asian Access/Japan "to unite the church" and "extend the transforming power of the gospel."

Asian Access is working with our vast network of churches across the country (400 pastors and 1800 churches - nearly 25% of the congregations in Japan) and with CRASH--a ministry of Grace Church which has grown into the largest Christian coordinating agency--to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of several communities across the nation.
We know of nearly 300 churches in the Sendai area and Asian Access has already launched a disaster response team for CRASH to set up a relief base in the affected areas.

Thank you! We pray that God will bring many, many more Japanese into His kingdom as a result of the ministries of mercy and hope.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

God Is Our Refuge and Strength Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts.
 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations He has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, He burns the shields (chariots) with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Every time I watch the reports coming out of the TOHOKU area, it leaves me sad.  The hardships of so many up there are hard on my mind: How do they survive?  One hardship after another and they keep pressing on.  Some say it is all over.  Some may have wanted to die in the tidal wave or in the earthquake.  Some have lost hope in life.  They have nothing left of their home, family is gone, home is gone, heirlooms are gone.  

Yet, there are some who hold on well.  Some need to see that there is … yes, a hope for tomorrow.  Not the trivial or petty “I hope all will be fine” kind of feeling but a real Hope that passes understanding.

Last week, David shared about three men’s choices in ruling Israel.  Two of them made bad choices that caused the People of God to fail and be judged.  One king, the youngest one of all, choice to honor God and made every effort to bring God back into the picture of being the God of Israel once again.

If I may, I want to be that kind of man.  I want to be the kind of man who looks at the glass that is ½ empty and says, with confidence, that it is almost full…not just ½ full.  I believe it is not wishful thinking.  There is evidence of such truth in the Word of God.  (Again, over the past weeks here at ICCS, we have spoken of the Authority of Jesus.  His authority reaches into every facet of life. Such is the case here as well.)

Look back into the Old Testament and you will find a great deal of evidence of hard times.  Evidence of hard times as well as times of grandness.  Even when things looked dark for Israel, someone was there to point to the Lord and give them a HOPE for the tomorrows of life.

Let’s do the same this morning.  We will hold off on the leadership issue of the Church as this topic has something that can hold us up during the shaking of the earth, the issues we face now. We want to talk about the God of Ps 46 and how can He and will hold us up with the Hope of the Lord.

Think back with me to the time in Israel’s history when they were heading out of Egypt.  They had just been set free from over 400 years of slavery.  There were a number of Acts of God that forced them to look at the God of Abraham. They were to fall into line with His plans for them: to give them a real homeland that was promised to their ancestors many years before. 

So here they are: heading to freedom and word came to them that the entire Egyptian army is chasing them with the desire of killing them.  They looked at their leader, Moses, and he was walking in front of them—heading for a dead end.  The Sea was in front of them.  Mountains were on both sides of them AND the army was closing in from the rear.  They were trapped!  No-where to hide! No way to fight. No way to live. Moses looked to the Lord and found his answer: Stretch out your arm and your walking stick over the waters and see the answer of the Lord.

The next day, they were on the other side of the Sea—safe and sound and the armies that were out to kill them, floating in the Sea—all  dead. God showed Himself to be Great in Battle and He had given them some real hope. 

This past week, had you felt the pressure of the battle we are in?  The earth gave way.  Tremors shifted the mountains.  The seas roared and foamed.  And many lost hope.  But our God is here as well.  God is a safe place to hide.  He is ready to help when we need Him & we do need Him now!

The writer of this Psalm encourages us to see the marvels of God!  The Message puts it this way: "Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at Me, your High God, above politics, above everything."

We have a chance this morning to step out of the traffic of news and noise and listen to Him. To listen to the Voice of God through His Word and to be still and to know that He is God.

Still later in Israel’s history, we find the story of the Hebrew armies facing the city of Jericho.  Jericho was the strong fort at the opening of a valley into the Promise Land.  This was in their way. Once this city was beaten, the way for conquest was open for them.  But the city had thick walls.  The city had an army that could crush them.  So many things looked to be impossible.  (One thing we know from scripture is the with God ALL things are possible, so in their case, the same is true—or not?)

What did God have them do?  March around the city and blow their horns!  That was all.  It was their reasonable act of service. And the people within the city were already scared of them but after six days of this display of singing and marching, must have worn them thin.  “Here they come again!”  Same song, same verse, same thing for the whole week.  The Hebrews were to sing praises to their God. They were worshipping! Sing and march.  Not really a military tactic but they were to do it for one week.  They were to pray and seek their God. And then, God acted.  The walls fell down, the city was taken and there was complete victory.

Did they have hope?  Not seen yet but there was a hope.  Hope that this God who brought us there would hold them up.  What was the result?  Victory in God.  And because of that, many tribes and nations were in dread fear of the Hebrew people.  The battles HAD to be fought.  The victory was promised but the battles had to be fought.

Vs 7, 11 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. 
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Many years later, Israel was in need once again.  So many times since the crossing of the Sea, since the battle of Jericho, the People of God were asked to face their God and say: Only You can deliver us!  

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Some of you might not understand this line about Jacob-wrestling God. Let me take you there.  Jacob had been away from his brother for a number of years.  There had been a family fight and Jacob-to save his own life-left for his relatives area and grew a family.  Now it was time to return.  He was very uneasy about returning as his brother had sworn to kill him.  Before he and his large family met his brother, Jacob wrestled with an Angel (The Lord Himself) during the night.  As daylight came, God touched his hip and put it out of joint.  It was to be a sign that he had indeed wrestled with God and lived. He also walked away with a new name: ISRAEL.  Jacob became Israel because he wrestled with God.  This Same God—the God of Israel/Jacob, will do the fighting for us, He will protect us.  You may—and you most likely will—go through hard times and times of pain.  Your hip (or your life) will be knocked out of joint. He will touch your life AND that is OK.  He will give you strength to carry on.  Friends, we can trust Him—with everything.  Even when the seas roll, even when the mountains fall, He is the One we can depend on.  We can trust Him to guide us and hold us.  Like The Shepherd holding His lamb.

Isaiah 40:11  He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young. Close to His Heart. Holding us—even close. 

Please look at verse 10.  Here is the key.  Here are the instructions the Lord gives us.  Are you ready? 

10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Can you be still?  Have you wrestled with God?  Do you walk differently? Are you guarding your steps? Are you watching your mouth? Are you keeping your promises?  Are you standing in AWE of your God?  Ecclesiastes 5:1-7.