Pastor Akira Sato of Fukushima First Bible Baptist Church recently shared his congregation's collective experience with several audiences in Southern California and Chicago. The presentation was called "Exodus Church," because his entire congregation was forced to evacuate as a result of the Fukushima nuclear power plant damaged by the tsunami on his 54th birthday—March 11, 2011. He has written a book by the same name, which is currently the best-selling Christian book in Japan.
Pastor Sato felt led to share with Christians all over the world what he and his church have learned over the past seven months. People listened intently to the pastor's honest reflections and seemed to digest the spiritual insights garnered through the biggest trial of his life. As far as I observed, everyone was touched quite deeply by hearing his story. Presentations were often tear-filled, and that includes speaker, translator and audience members.
Pastor Akira Sato with wife Chieko. (photo courtesy Sumi Sellon and Saddleback Church)
Here's one of several verses Rev. Sato shared:
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13
The Christian Post covered Pastor Sato's event at Saddleback Church, and it's an article well worth reading. You can find that article here:
By Alex Murashko| Christian Post Reporter
Pastor Akira Sato with translator Takeshi Takazawa. (Photo courtesy Don Haynes and Saddleback Church)
Here are a few photos from various events in Southern California...
Evergreen Baptist Church - San Gabriel Valley
Community Baptist Church
Takeshi Takazawa who was translating commented that for Pastor Sato, just having ears to hear his story greatly ministered to Sato-sensei and Chieko-san. Let's continue to pray for them during this exodus journey.
- See more photos taken at these events...
- Other So. Cal. events included Renaissance Church of Norco, Fuller Theological Seminary, and First Baptist Church Oceanside.
- More on Pastor Sato and his church:
- Earlier stories by Christian Post about Pastor Sato's church:
- Nuclear Disaster Uproots Fukushima Baptist Church (April 3,2011)
- Tokyo Electric Power Company Fails to Plug Radioactive Leak (April 4, 2011)