|Tragedy Brings Pastors from Japan and Sri Lanka Together|
Over forty Japanese pastors from many different denominations gathered in December for a time of rest and renewal.
A house church leader from Sri Lanka who experienced a devastating tsunami that hit his homeland visited Japan to encourage local pastors. Pastor Adrian DeVisser was invited to share how he and his network of house churches responded when a giant tsunami killed 100,000 Sri Lankans.
World Venture missionary/event organizer John Houlette said that "DeVisser connected with everyone in the room as he shared his church's experience dealing with wrenching loss. He shared how he and his network of house churches reached out to love their Buddhist and Hindu persecutors in very practical ways." DeVisser told the gathering of pastors that "anyone can give out goods and clean houses, but only a Christian led by the Holy Spirit can truly minister to the hearts and lives of broken people."
Pastor DeVisser said, "genuine compassion is birthed in our hearts as we sit at Jesus' feet.” Pastor DeVisser emphasized the great need to learn of true compassion from Jesus. "Our hearts must first be filled with God's love and compassion if we are to genuinely show unselfish compassion for others."
Pastor DeVisser addressed the pastors as a fellow Asian, which resonated well with the Japanese pastors who have been doing relief work under very difficult circumstances. One pastor kept saying "Amen!" to Adrian's words because this pastor felt that DeVisser understood what he was going through.
Attendees reported that Adrian's sessions truly ministered to people's hearts. There were prayers and tears throughout the room as participants expressed a yearning to sit more at Jesus' feet and serve with him. The impact of Pastor DeVisser's sharing was such that the pastors discussed organizing a tour to Sri Lanka.
This was the fourth in a series of retreats organized and funded by Asian Access, Churches Helping Churches, and CRASH Japan. One more retreat for pastors is planned for February of 2012. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE NEXT RETREAT! MAKE A DONATION TO SUPPORT THIS IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY TO STRENGTHEN THE CHURCH IN JAPAN AT WWW.CRASHJAPAN.COM