In Japan, God Does the Impossible for Alliance Church-Planting Coordinators

In a recent update, Harry and Jane Landaw asked the Alliance family to pray that God would provide housing for them in the earthquake-stricken Tohoku region of Japan, where they are serving as church-planting team coordinators. In the following adapted excerpt, read how the Lord has miraculously answered those prayers.

On April 19, Jane and I began to ask God for direction as we prepared for our new ministry assignment in the Tohoku region of Japan. In this area where many people had lost their homes due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami, it seemed impossible that someone from outside the region could even find housing. This was complicated by the fact that some property owners prefer not to rent to foreigners or Christian workers. As we began to ask God, we enlisted your partnership in praying with us.

Initially, as we researched available housing options, we found 31 rental homes in various areas that looked promising. However, as we started making the calls to real estate agents, we discovered that almost all of these properties had already been taken by those who had lost their homes in the tsunami. Of course, that is the way it should be.

We began to pursue possibilities for apartments; but most did not have parking, and the prices were almost one-third higher than single-dwelling houses with parking included in the rental fee. We checked out 27 apartments but did not find one that would allow us to have any type of ministry in our home.

As we made our way to the Tohoku region on May 5, we learned that the government was providing subsidies to displaced people who did not want to live in temporary housing. This meant that the possibilities for finding housing were becoming even slimmer. Trusting God, we submitted applications for rental homes.

“Only One Possibility”

The bottom line was that there was only one possibility. “That’s okay,” we thought. “We need just one place to live. Maybe, this is the one.”

On the day that we looked at the inside of the house, another American pulled up in front, just after we arrived. He was the owner! Who would have thought that could happen here in Japan? We had a nice chat, and then he turned things over to the real estate agent and left. We wondered, “Is he okay with Christian workers living in his house? Would the field’s legal standing pass the strict tests that many owners demand?”

On the last night of our five-day survey trip to the region, we received an e-mail from a real estate agent informing us that the owner of the one available house would consider our application. We contacted the agent to let her know that as soon as we got back to the field office, we would fill out the documents and send them off.

After filling out the formal application and e-mailing it back to the realtor on Tuesday, we had to wait until Thursday to find out if the owner had approved our application. Praise God! On Thursday night, at 10 p.m., there was an e-mail from our real estate agent informing us that the owner said “yes” and that the realtor was preparing the formal contract.

Thank you all for your partnership in prayer with us in this first stage of our move to the Tohoku region. This is a major miracle. After three weeks of searching, God led us to the only house that was available to rent, and then He gave it to us.

In the midst of all this, we also drove along the seacoast from the Sendai Airport area up to Ishinomaki and Onagawa. We had heard from others who had driven this route before March 11 that it is a very scenic drive. The roads were passable, but the debris is indescribable. The odor of death and things rotting was overwhelming. Most of the intersections on the coast road around the Sendai Airport area still do not have power, so Japanese policemen and Self-Defense Force personnel are directing traffic.

We were glad that we took the time to make this drive, but we were in tears as we drove through the area and saw the mass destruction of buildings and homes, which represented the loss of nearly 30,000 lives. Many people are grieving the death of family and friends and all their earthly possessions. Viewing all that devastation was very sad but also important as it is helping us to prepare our hearts for the next stage of engagement in the region.

Once again, thank you for your faithful partnership in this outreach! We are deeply appreciative of your prayers for us. We will keep you updated on the next stage of the process and the subsequent prayer needs.

In Christ,

Harry and Jane Landaw

What You Can Do

In your prayers, thank the Lord for His miraculous provision of housing for the Landaws. Pray that He will use them to advance His Kingdom among those whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.

Donate to Alliance Great Commission Ministries. In doing so, you partner with Alliance workers, like the Landaws, to reach people who are crying out for a Savior.


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