We received a letter of sympathy and encouragement from Dr. A.J. Plaisier, General Secretary of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, on March 16th, just after the earthquake and tsunami happened.
We are really sorry for being so late to upload the letter on the blog.
The letter is as below.
Dear sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ,
On behalf of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands I want to share our perplexity and dimay cauesed by the unprecedented disaster that has struck the nation and people of Japan.
Living in the Low Countries close by the sea ourselves, we were overwhelmed byu the images of the sea flooding the land in a massive wave, wiping out and destroying evertything under it.
Our coungry was struck by a flood disaster in 1953 taking many human lives. In the collective memory of the older generation this flood, even after almost sixty years now, still is being called simply "The Disaster".
The earthquake, the tsumani and the threat of radiation by the damaged nuclear power plants the nation and the people of Japan have to cope with now are even much larger scale. We hardly can imagine the extent of this catastrophe.
I want to express our commiseration and to offer our condolences to the many people missing their beloved ones and grieving for what will never be as before, just a few days ago.
As churches we are connecred via the networks of the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Communion of the Reformed Churches. We may live seperated by distance and geography; nevertheless we are members of the one body of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
From the Netherlands we with this letter want to encourage you as our sisters and brothers in the challenges you now face, taking up your responsibility in giving loving witness of the good news even in the darkest hours and in offering comfort to people.
Even when we face the vulnerability of our lives and our communities as never before, we know that God Himself shared and carried our sorrow at the cross of Jesus Christ. He is aware of our darkness and our pain and He will never abandon us.
I call upon our congregations and church members to continue remembering you in their prayers during this time of Lent. Our sisters and brothers in Japan should know that they are in our hearts and minds andthat we ask God to give them his strength and his light.
A few words from the final pages of our Bible come to our mind. In Chapter 21 of the book of Revelation we find the promise of a new heaven and a new earth. "And the sea was no more". We comt to a better understanding of this Bible passage now...
With Christian greeting
Dr. A. J. Plaisier
General Secretary of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands