Last week my wife Pearl and I were enjoying a quiet evening until the very ground beneath us began to shake. Checking the seismic activity website I saw that there were actually four earthquakes in different parts of Japan in the last 12 hours. Unnerving for those of us who live in the Tokai region of Japan where we are expecting “the Big One” – a truly earth-shaking, devastating earthquake that is expected to claim hundreds of thousands of lives. Scientists say that there is a 90% chance that such an earthquake will hit our region in the next 30 years.
It was also reported that last week North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon underground. I wonder if the earthquakes in Japan were triggered by the nuclear weapons test. Seismic, political, and emotional impact of events in one nation upon others.
In a few days various Lausanne leaders will meet in Seoul, just miles south of North Korea which is not only developing nuclear weapons technology but is also home to perhaps the most severely persecuted Christians in the world. Our group of more than 200 will include the Administrative Committee, International Deputy Directors, various key organizers for Cape Town 2010 (CT2010), and global younger leaders.
There is a great sense of anticipation and excitement growing about Cape Town 2010 among Christians around the world. Tremendous investments in prayer, finances, energy, and hope are fueling the preparations for CT2010. For those involved I think everyone can testify that things are moving forward and progressing “but by the grace of God.”
Many key details of Cape Town 2010 will be finalized in Seoul. Please do pray for wisdom, unity, humility, and faith. 200 leaders having one mind and heart is a humanly impossible task. But in the most powerful and enduring way we already are ONE in Christ, and that is our greatest hope and confidence as we look to the Spirit of God to unite us practically as we already are spiritually.
More than anything, Cape Town 2010 is about the most earth-shaking news that mankind has ever known. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is news from of old that will never and must never become “old news.” It is news that must be published and proclaimed both to those who have heard and to those who have never heard. It is news that should have a front-page headline in the life of every Christian around the world visible to their every neighbor. It is truly good news, the very best.
So in a few days in Seoul, next year in Cape Town and in hundreds of locations around the world joining CT 2010 through GlobaLink and the Lausanne Global Conversation, and until Christ returns, we will celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ and consider prayerfully and humbly together all the global and eternal implications of such good news.
It’s certainly our hope and prayer that the Lord will use Cape Town 2010 to impact to the very ends of the earth. May the Lord grant much grace for the Seoul 2009 meetings towards that end.
We covet your prayers, and I look forward to updating you from Seoul on how the Lord is answering your prayers!
Dr. Michael Oh is President of Christ Bible Seminary in Japan and a member of the Lausanne Administrative Committee