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Santa on the streets

By December 20, 2011

Japan (MNN) — Christmas may be a time for family and hope, but for family members of those dead from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, this season finds them searching for answers.

According to a Xinhuanet.com news report, nearly 15,000 were killed in Japan’s tsunami and earthquake combined. In the wake of these natural disasters, many lost a spouse, a sibling, a friend.

Ross and Flossie Epley with The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) write, “Every year there is widespread curiosity about Christmas among the Japanese. This is the first Christmas since the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis.”

Especially in this Christmas season for Japan, Christians are taking action with outreaches to bring answers and hope to those who feel hopeless in their loss.

TEAM’s Tom and Nancy Edwards are mobilizing one such ministry outreach, taking to the streets of one of Japan’s largest resort towns as Santa and his elves.

Dressed in these festive costumes, the Edwards' and their volunteers pass out tracts of Gospel literature. Their volunteers come from all over the world to don elf costumes and spread the Word of Christ.

According to Tom and Nancy Edwards, “People who would not normally take literature accept with glee something that Santa is giving out. The literature clearly tells of the real meaning of Christmas and our need for a Redeemer.”

The need for more outreach with the Gospel in Japan is momentous. TEAM estimates that less than 1 out of every 1000 people have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That’s less than 0.1% of the Japanese population.

Pray that TEAM’s ministry outreaches would be well coordinated and bring the hope and healing of Christ to many hurting Japanese.

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