A huge swath of Western Japan was pounded by torrential rains for several days last week, causing widespread flooding, landslides, and other damage. The numbers keep rising, but as of this writing (July 10th), the death toll is over 120 and dozens are still missing. As of Monday evening, around 11,000 people were staying in evacuation centers in 15 prefectures. At one point, evacuation orders or advisories were issued for up to 6.3 million people, but the number later dropped to 1.8 million in 14 prefectures.
CRASH Japan immediately began networking with churches and other groups in affected areas to assess where and how we can help most effectively – that assessment process is still ongoing, and we are also staying out of the way of professional search-and-rescue efforts, but after that phase, we will begin relief work. Please consider supporting this large relief effort in both prayer and donations. To donate click here and write CRASH Japan in the comments section.
New Life Ministries, in partnership with NEXT Manga and Mission India, is committed to printing and distributing 550,000 Manga Messiah in Hindi for the people of India.
How exactly would that many books be used? Mission India, our partner on the ground across the country, is conducting children’s bible clubs, adult literacy classes, and church planter training, connecting with literally millions of adults and children. They have a strategic plan for reaching youth for Jesus in states throughout the country.
Each year, approximately 5 million children are reached through 10-day Clubs (similar to Daily Vacation Bible School). Resources are available in more than 20 languages, and approximately 60-70% of children in these Clubs are from non-Christian families. Summer programs are followed up with Year-Long Clubs, which meet for two hours each day. These year-long discipleship group are led by volunteers from local (Indian) churches. Each Club has 40 children on average, and each year 5,000 to 6,000 Clubs are conducted across India.
These Bible-based Literacy Classes run for two hours per night, five nights per week, for one year. The most responsive populations are the rural poor, mostly of the social status that is called “untouchable” or Dalit. Just under 4,000 of these Classes will start in August 2018 (4,000 different villages and communities). Classes have 30 learners each and are offered in nearly 30 Indian languages. This is a critical opportunity because newly literate adults read to their children and families.
During the year-long program, Church Planters are trained and equipped through classroom instruction and on-site fieldwork — with the goal of reaching 600 families and establishing two new worshipping groups during the training. Church Planters visit hundreds of homes and start three to five home prayer groups, which are eventually gathered into a worshipping group.
Manga Messiah would be extremely useful in the early stages of this work to help people read and understand the Gospel. The book has been tested in a number of places and now workers are trained to use a method called “over the shoulder” evangelism, which is to simply sit in a semi-public place and read the colorful Manga book. Curious people, especially young people, will look over the shoulder of the reader, and ask “where can I get one of those?”
Indeed, the need is only surpassed by the great opportunity before us. Will you help in getting this powerful tool into the hands of children and adults across India? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or donate to learn more on how to support this project.