FROM THE DESK OF: The Director of Communications:
Last nights NCAA National Championship of North Carolina vs Villanova will go down as one of the greatest college games of all time. One amazing bucket with seconds left on the clock only to be trumped by another as time expired. Say what you will about the NCAA, say what you will about amateurism, for one shining moment last night we got a glimpse of what makes sports universally adored. What a powerful tool.
For the Win[dow],
Bubby Bryan, DOC
VERSE OF THE WEEK: Mark 6:34
"When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd."
COUNTRY OF THE WEEK: Japan
In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full-scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering America's entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and an ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians hold actual decision-making power. Following three decades of unprecedented growth, Japan's economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s, but the country remains an economic power. In March 2011, Japan's strongest-ever earthquake, and an accompanying tsunami, devastated the northeast part of Honshu island, killed thousands, and damaged several nuclear power plants. The catastrophe hobbled the country's economy and its energy infrastructure, and tested its ability to deal with humanitarian disasters. Prime Minister Shinzo ABE was reelected to office in December 2012, and has since embarked on ambitious economic and security reforms to improve Japan's economy and bolster the country's international standing. (CIA World Factbook)
- Pray for the Gospel to take root in Japanese culture and no longer be perceived as a western religion.
- Pray for drifting, over-worked, and anxious youth to find freedom in Christ.
- Pray for the unity of God's Spirit to demolish barriers dividing the 120 different denominations.
- Pray for the Uttermost workers in the field.
- Pray for the US office.