December 23, 2011
During the first Christmas season in Japan since nearly 15,000 were killed in an earthquake and tsunami in March, many survivors are searching for answers, Mission Network News reports. "Every year there is widespread curiosity about Christmas among the Japanese," said Ross and Flossie Epley of the Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), and this year especially, Christians are taking action to bring answers and hope to those who feel hopeless after their loss. Two TEAM missionaries, Tom and Nancy Edwards, are mobilizing one ministry outreach of passing out tracts of gospel literature in the streets with the help of volunteers dressed in Santa and elf costumes. "People who would not normally take literature accept with glee something Santa is giving out," they said. "The literature clearly tells of the real meaning of Christmas and our need for a redeemer." According to TEAM, fewer than one out of ever 1,000 people has a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ -- less than 0.1 percent of the Japanese population.