Prayer Request: During this summer, there has already been a 40% increase in heat-related illnesses. [Source: NHK World news report, July 28, 2011.] Please pray especially for the evacuees who are living in shelters or other temporary housing where there may not be air conditioners or adequate numbers of electric fans to cool the occupants.
Encouraging News: In the past, oyster farmers in Japan's tsunami-hit region worked alone. However, they are now working together to rebuild the wooden rafts on which the strings of oysters can be harvested in the future. Although they have differing opinions on how best to do things, they are cooperating in joint farming efforts to quickly reestablish their businesses.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
On July 4, 2011, YWAM Japan became the new owner of a used (1998) 8-passenger El Grand Nissan van. The van will be used to transport outreach teams and volunteers departing from Tokyo, headed to the disaster-hit region (Tohoku), as well as for local transportation within the region. In addition, the van will be used to transport relief supplies. Thank you to all those who gave so generously toward the purchase of van to help with disaster relief work in northeastern Japan (Tohoku region).
According to the NHK World web site, there are still more than 111,000 persons living in evacuation shelters at this time -- four months after the March 11th disasters. Please pray for those who continue to wait for other housing to become available. (Source: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/11_04.html?play)
|View inside of one evacuation shelter.|
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Two members from the YWAM Azumino Church Planting Team went to Ishinomaki to re-visit an evacuation centre, where the team had stayed on a previous visit, and to take relief supplies.
They visited a lady whom they had met. They offered her and her friends a lift. Because many lost their cars in the disaster, they have been unable to leave the evacuation centre. They took two ladies to a shopping centre away from the devastated area. One lady was able to buy a black top to wear for a funeral ceremony that evening.
At the evacuation centre, they realized that the evacuees desperately needed new slippers. With the help of three ladies living at the evacuation centre, they bought new slippers and treated the ladies to ice cream. There are no shops nearby for people to enjoy the simple luxury of an ice cream.
Now with the summer heat and humidity, the possibility of rapid food spoilage and food poisoning are real concerns. The army recently stopped delivering hot meals, and people rely now on bentos (take-out) and onigiris (riceballs) being delivered. Flies abound and it must be difficult for people to sleep at night.
Although the outreach was only for two days, their efforts were appreciated by the evacuees. There is still much to be done to help the people of Ishinomaki rebuild their lives. Yet, the number of volunteers has decreased and evacuees say they are beginning to feel forgotten. Please remember them in your prayers.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
This is the fourth trip to Tohoku for the NorthEast Tokyo team. On this trip, five members went up to Iwaki to work again with the Global Mission Church for two days. They worked with a family whose house was damaged. A wall that divided their house from the next house had partially collapsed and needed to be removed. It took seven people six hours to take down four meters of concrete block wall! The family helped and it was a great opportunity to get to know them and show a little bit of God‟s love!
The people of Iwaki are still very concerned about radiation, and fear that the government is not telling the whole truth about the nuclear power plants. People are staying inside more, and are limiting the time kids can play outside.
Families who lived within a 20km radius of the nuclear power plants are allowed day-passes to enter the area to retrieve things from their houses. A lady whose house is in this area says that houses have been broken into and valuables have been stolen.
Team: 1 YWAM Tokyo team member (plus his son), 1 YWAM Nagano team member, and 2 from a church in Tokyo.
|Boats washed inland in the Ishinomaki area.|
1st day- We shoveled sludge/mud at a Buddhist temple and graveyard behind an elementary school.
2nd day- Takidashi（food distribution）at a junior high school with a church from Shizuoka.
3rd day- Removed debris from a house which was close to the fish market.
4th day- Shoveled sludge/mud with Tokyo Baptist Church volunteers.
5th day- Cleaned a house for an elderly woman; power-washed a house.
|Fish ended up between the roof and the rain gutter.|
*One of the team felt the victims were still in the process of dealing with the pain they had just gone through. Yet, God spoke to her that He is opening up the HEAVEN over that area for those who seek Him.
*The team got to talk to a lot of people who were open to a relationship with Jesus. That it happened everywhere they went, so that it seemed almost too weird.
*One of the team thinks that those who volunteer from outside of the area need to be really sensitive to what God is telling them. Otherwise they could crush people who know that life is the only thing they have right now.