New Life in the Face of Suffering
April 4, 2012
By Harry Landaw
In response to the March 11, 2011, earthquake, tsunami, and ensuing nuclear reactor accident in northeastern Japan, Alliance international workers Jane and Harry Landaw answered God’s call to plant a church in the impacted region, where there are no Alliance congregations. To that end, the Landaws have partnered with like-minded groups to bring hope and community through the New Life Center, which opened March 29, 2012.
In March 2012, Jane was diagnosed with cancer and underwent extensive surgery. She and Harry will depart for the United States as soon as Jane can travel, but God is putting a special plan in place for the ministry in Ishinomaki to continue. Meanwhile, even in Jane’s suffering, the Lord has been at work to draw people to Himself. The following was adapted from a recent update by Harry.
Although Jane’s recovery process is not finished, it seemed appropriate to me to use the words of “The Doxology”: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Our daughter Heidi had prayed, “We don’t need a big miracle right now. Just a little one would be enough. Just please let the doctors take the tube out of Mom’s stomach.” As I was driving to the hospital that morning, Jane called me from her room to tell me that they had taken it out. Tomorrow, they will start her on soft foods and during next week get her going on regular food. You all have prayed with us, and I want you to know that God has answered your prayers. Praise His Name!
From Small to Big Miracles
I also want to share something that happened on March 29, the dedication day for the New Life Center. More than 100 people gathered in Ishinomaki to dedicate this new facility to God. Many had traveled several hours from the Tokyo area to attend. Some visited Jane in the hospital on their way home afterward.
Four Japanese ladies from a church where we had worked for many years stopped in to see Jane. One of them, Mrs. Ando, was not yet a believer. We have ministered to her for more than six years, but she still had not accepted Christ. At 8:00 p.m., the hospital announced that visiting hours were over and guests must leave. The women said good-bye to Jane and left her room.
A few minutes later, Mrs. Ando ran back into Jane’s room with another lady. In tears, Mrs. Ando knelt down beside the bed, put her head on Jane’s knees and said, “Please lead me in the prayer to receive Jesus as my Savior!” Jane, with a drainage tube hanging from her nose, put her head on Mrs. Ando’s head and led her in a prayer to receive Jesus as her personal Savior.
Even though Jane was not able to attend the dedication service for New Life Center, God used her there in her hospital room to put into action our vision for Ishinomaki New Life Center, bringing “new life” to the people of Japan, including Mrs. Ando. I thought you would all be encouraged by this special work of God through one of your international workers to Japan.
Our desire has always been to see God use both of us to lead Japanese people to Jesus. Even through this time of great physical discomfort and pain, God is giving Jane the strength and courage to use every opportunity to reach more Japanese people for Jesus.
Please continue to pray that the next steps in the recovery process will go smoothly and that Jane can be released from the hospital before Jill and Heidi arrive in Japan. Pray that Jane’s digestive system will function properly.
Today, April 5, was a miracle day! The head nurse sat down with me to tell me that the surgeon said Jane could go home on Saturday or Monday. The nurse then asked, “Which would work better for you?” My response was, “Saturday will work great for me!” Praise God! We are so thankful to Him, and we are blessed to have so many partners who have walked with us through this part of the battle. We realize that this is just the first step in a long process of miracles as we continue to plead with God to defeat this cancer that has infected Jane’s body.
What You Can Do
Continue to stand with Harry and Jane in praying for Jane’s complete healing. Also, pray for Alliance workers, church leaders, and their ministry partners as they continue to reach out to the people of Ishinomaki and share God’s plan of salvation with them. Pray that many will find eternal hope in Jesus Christ. Pray also for Alliance workers around the world as they address deep needs for which only Jesus is the answer.
Find out more about the Great Commission Fund and make a donation today. Partner with Alliance workers in bringing the good news to people, such as those in Ishinomaki, who have yet to embrace the hope that only Jesus offers.