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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 and Chieko Sato
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:

Fukushima Pastor Tells Story of Japan's 'Exodus Church'

 By Alex Murashko| Christian Post Reporter

Pastor Sato and Takeshi Takazawa
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...

Pastor Sato at EBC-SGV


Evergreen Baptist Church - San Gabriel Valley


Pastor Sato at CBC


Community Baptist Church


Pastor Sato at Saddleback


Saddleback 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.


More information...


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