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A historic meeting in Tokyo and an overwhelming turnout for a night of prayer at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., are the subjects of stories published in ASSIST New Services.


Japan welcomes Christian relief with open arms 


TOKYO — Japanese government officials presented the first meeting of nearly 100 leaders in the local and global Christian community gathering in Tokyo to plan long and short term relief for the disaster-ridden country with a sobering letter on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. 

Called the “Christian Relief and Disaster Information Exchange,” the historic meeting with representatives from many denominations and organizations was welcomed with open arms.


 “We prepared the best we could, but we could not overcome 30,000 dead and missing, and 300,000 in evacuation centers,” stated the letter. “We must cooperate. This is not a short term problem. Thank you for all for the support, prayers, and involvement from around the world.”

Saddleback Church Pastor Dave Holden, who is the church’s international training pastor assigned to lead a three-year commitment to Japan, helped organize the meeting. Pastor Holden and other members of the church’s PEACE Relief Team in Japan fully recognize the need for a long-range plan to help the country.


 “We are family. We will serve and love. We are here for the long run,” Pastor Holden told those in attendance and listening in over the Internet. Saddleback’s Purpose Driven Church leadership will be working alongside the program’s fellowship already existing in Japan. The U.S. and international program came into existence as the result of Pastor Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Church.”  (READ MORE)



Saddleback Church’s ‘Japan Night’ marks beginning of long haul


LAKE FOREST, Calif. — Japan Night, planned as an informational event, months ago by a core group of 20 members of Saddleback Church’s Japan Outreach Ministry far exceeded anyone’s expectations in regards to attendance and impact Saturday evening (March 26, 2011), church leaders said. 


More than 700 people packed out “Tent 3” on the church campus in Lake Forest, California, at the event, held just 15 days after the 9.0 earthquake and devastating tsunami hit wide areas of Japan and resulted in nuclear power plant meltdowns.

Pastor Rick Warren, who was a missionary in Japan before founding Saddleback Church, said the large turnout and support was typical of the response by the church’s members to disasters, but he was still deeply moved.

Warren said he taught the first Purpose Driven Church Conference in Japan in 1982.

He went on to say, “The fact that so many of you are here tonight to care about a country that I care about so deeply really touches me and really makes me just want to cry. In the providence of God, the Japan Night was planned before the event even happened. I want to see a revival take place in that country so deeply. We want to help churches in Japan.” (READ MORE)