Saturday, April 16, 2011


Metro Beat
Vol. 3, Issue 1

If you toss a pebble into a puddle of water it creates ripples that radiate outward, eventually lapping up as mini waves on the shores of the tiny lake at your feet. Displacement of water causes this ripple effect to occur. The recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami offered us a much more disastrous version of the ripple effect, but in the case of this tragedy the resulting waves have spilled over from the strictly physical arena to impact society, as well. We hear the reports of thousands lost, of families shattered, and of livelihoods destroyed. We also view with alarm the looming specter of an ever-widening nuclear disaster. But despite how saddened many here in North America may be over the suffering of the Japanese people, the pain only goes so deep. After all, Japan is half a world away, and the horrors are happening to people you probably don't know.

One of the results of being missionaries for over twenty years and working in different parts of the world is that our personal network of friends and acquaintances is on a global scale. Living in Japan enriched us but also left an indelible connection to its land and people. Interacting with Japanese in our current ministry here in the OKC metro has had an effect, too. As I was praying about what to share with you in this letter, what kept coming into my mind were the stories of friends (Their names have been changed to protect their privacy) who have been personally affected by the catastrophe.

  • People like Sachiko, one of my former students, who continually updated us on Facebook after the tsunami about how frightened she was as she waited with her packed bag before having to evacuate... and how scary the blackouts were.
  •  And Midori, another student, whose mother and bed-ridden father live in Sendai, the major city in the center of the disaster. Thankfully, they survived.
  • Or Takahumi, a friend whose family lives in Fukushima in the shadow of the troubled nuclear plant.
  • Or the Yamamoto family, part of our extended church family living in the affected area, who after a week or so of uncertainty were thankfully discovered to be safe.
The list could go on, but I think you get the point. I wanted to share with you not the facts and figures of the tragedy but the faces of the people. I wanted you to meet, at least on paper, some of those directly touched by the tragedy so that you could pray specifically for them and their families. Please stand with us in the gap for them, and praise God for his protecting hand over so many during this time.

Other Prayer Requests

Our mission once had offices in Sendai, and some of our association's churches are still in the area. Please pray for the members to be salt and light in their communities and to be comforted in the midst of their losses.

My Chinese continues to improve, but I still need your prayers. My final is on the 28th.

Two Korean families and an Indonesian man have started to attend our Chinese fellowship, making us more of a Pan-Asian Fellowship now. Please pray that God's Spirit will speak through my teaching.

Pray for Joyce and the multitude of tasks that come with being wife, mother, and manager of two households while I'm out and about.

Please continue to pray for our support needs, and a big thank you to those who have recently increased their support of this ministry.

May God fill you with His joy until we talk again.

Yours By His Grace,

John for the Rest of the Ropers

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