Foursquare churches, pastors and missionaries located in Japan were rocked by an 8.9 earthquake, followed by a deadly tsunami, on March 11. Corey (last name withheld for security reasons), Foursquare’s area missionary to North Asia, reported that one pioneer church is located in Sendai, which is on the northeast coast of Japan, where approximately 300 people have been found dead on the beach.
The Foursquare church in Sendai is an outpost of Hakodate Church, pastored by Yoshiaki Masui. Corey noted that he is still awaiting official word regarding churches in the hardest hit areas of Tohoku, located in northern Japan, and Hokkaido, located on the northern main island.
The Foursquare church in Sendai, where FMI Missionary Steve Niksarian is assigned, is an outpost of Hakodate Zion Foursquare Gospel Church, pastored by Yoshiaki Masui. Word was received that Steve is safe. Corey said he will offer information as it becomes available on how Foursquare assistance might be directed to help the Japan Foursquare Gospel Church aid their neighbors.
Japan is a “stage four” nation in the denomination’s four-stage church development model—meaning they are a “sending nation,” one that sends missionaries to other countries. In addition to the 42 Foursquare churches located throughout Japan, there are five Foursquare missionaries, as well as 87 pastors and ministers, and approximately 1,600 congregants.
The tsunami is making an international impact, even reaching Hawaii and the West Coast of the U.S. on March 11. Countries surrounding Japan—including Guam, a U.S. territory where 30 Foursquare church members are located—are expected to feel the devastating effects.
Updates and prayer requests on this disaster will be posted to this article on foursquare.org, as well as Facebook. To support our Foursquare family in Japan and Foursquare’s forthcoming relief efforts in that area, please visit give.foursquare.org.
Resources for Your Church
Download the Spring 2011 edition of the FMI quarterly supplement, which features an interview conducted with missionary Steve Niksarian before the earthquake. This reproducible supplement will help the Foursquare family know how to better pray for our missionaries in Japan.
All Foursquare missionaries, and all but one of our 42 Foursquare churches and their ministers in Japan, have been accounted for and are safe. Please continue to pray for them as they look to help those in need.
The leaders of all 42 churches are safe, as well as the Foursquare National Leader of Japan.
Read an update from Corey (last name withheld for security reasons), who serves as the area missionary over Japan
Missionary Steve Niksarian reports they have power but no water. He has asked for the Foursquare family to pray against fear at this time. He said that they have seen God during every part of this ordeal. They want to continue to help those in need but are unable to because there is little gasoline, the roads are still very hazardous, and with the threat of the nuclear plant they are being told to stay indoors.