Monday, June 27, 2011
New Prayer Request (June 24): Since the March 11 disasters, there have been suicides among persons who have lost their businesses and livelihoods. Also there have been suicides among those who are the sole survivors of their families. ("Suicides upping casualties from Tohoku catastrophe," The Japan Time Online, June 23, 2011.) Please pray for those who will be relocated from evacuation shelters where they have had others around them and shared a sense of community. There is concern that these individuals will be at greater risk when they leave the evacuation shelters and live alone in their new housing.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
After participating in emotional care training (Kokoro no Care) with a Missionary/Professional Counselor, volunteers went to a large evacuation shelter in Fukushima Prefecture where more than 1,000 persons were staying.
|One Evacuation Shelter in Fukushima|
The volunteers offered to massage the hands of persons while listening to their personal stories. Afterwards the volunteers offered to pray for individuals and gave away free Christian booklets and tracts.
|Hand massage offers opportunities for evacuees to tell their personal stories.|
The YWAM Japan National Office staff member found that everyone was willing to accept prayers. She feels that it would have not happened before the earthquake, and that it might not happen after they settle down in their comfortable lives again. Now is the time: "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" (John 4:35)
Monday, June 20, 2011
Three YWAM Japan National Office team members and one Japanese friend went to Sendai to volunteer through the Japan Emergency Team (JHelp). The Japanese friend who is a chiropractor gave free massages at a large evacuation center in Fukushima City and at three evacuation shelters in Sendai. The YWAM Japan National Office team invited people to take advantage of the massages and talked to people waiting in line.
Also during the outreach, one team member helped to clean and prepare meals for all of the volunteers staying at a Sendai church. Two other team members joined JHelp volunteers to shovel mud from the driveway of a house in Ishinomaki and remove the couple’s car from where the tsunami had carried it to the back of their property.
|Moving the owner's car from where the tsunami deposited it.|
On Sunday, they worked with a non-Christian NPO shoveling mud in the yard of a temple in Wakabayashi-ku in Sendai. It was a privilege to be able to pray and praise the Lord there.
Team: 4 YWAM Tokyo team members, 3 YWAM Kona team members, 3 Japanese
In Kamaishi City, an unaffected apartment complex is used to house about 120 evacuees. They are under the care of volunteers that cook for the community and try to meet the needs of the current residents. One of the problems they have run into is that they seem to be semi-overlooked by the government. Their requests are not always met as efficiently as needed. This being the case, we have been able to form a relationship with the volunteer core team and help provide supplies. Much of the food being served at the complex has been mainly rice dishes, lacking protein. Realizing this, we got to do Takidashi (something like a Japanese BBQ) with them. Though our intent was for them to just relax and eat, we were amazed at their participation. They prepared a variety of side dishes to share with us, blessing us more than our desire to bless them! I was reminded of the true spirit of the Japanese: hospitality and servant-heartedness. They wanted us to be part of their community and by doing so they shared so much with us, despite all that has happened.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
One YWAM Japan National Office team member volunteered through the Global Mission Center, a ministry of Taira Christ Church in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. Along with other volunteers, she went to three gymnasiums which had become shelters for disaster victims. They brought spring clothes, laying them out neatly and helping people to find what they needed. At that time they had enough winter clothes, but needed lighter clothing. They also gave warm foot-baths with water from a hot spring, plus shoulder massages. Later, volunteers also helped clean inside a house.
In the evacuation shelter, each family had only a square of space to live in. It was touching to see an elementary school boy doing his homework on top his school backpack as a make-shift desk, a young couple with a two month old baby, and to hear from a physically disabled lady about running with all her might to escape the tsunami.
Before and after each day’s volunteer activities, there was lots of worship and prayer. Although the staff and church members at Global Mission Center were very busy and surely tired, they were full of the love and joy of Christ. God will surely use them for a great harvest in Iwaki and elsewhere in Tohoku.
Monday, June 13, 2011
One NorthEast Tokyo team member went to Iwaki City to visit a church and to see its ministry for the earthquake and subsequent tsunami survivors. He went with a group of church volunteers to an emergency shelter in order to help with “foot washing.” Later, he helped organize boxes of items at the Global Mission Church which has used its building to warehouse disaster relief supplies. When bags of potatoes arrived, volunteers prepared them for cooking. Later that evening, along with a group, they went to another shelter where they made and handed out “strawberry candies” (strawberry on a chopstick dipped in melted sugar).
|Disaster relief supplies arrive at a local church.|
We first traveled to Iwate Prefecture, where some of us volunteered to clean up tsunami-damaged houses in Otsuchi, while others of our team took in supplies and built relationship with a small community taking shelter in an old apartment building.
Our second stop was Sendai, where we helped unload supplies at the Samaritan’s Purse--a great place for networking with other Christian groups. At nearby Ishinomaki, we joined in an outreach organized by the Tokyo Baptist Church to distribute household goods and food to people still living at home in the tsunami-devastated area.
During our short trip, we had numerous opportunities to interact with people, and many people expressed their appreciation to us. One older man came and shook hands with each one of us, bowing deeply as he did so. With tears in his eyes, he thanked us over and over for coming to help Japan! In each of these encounters, we tried to let people know that we are Christians, and the reason we had come is because of God's love for the Japanese people.
In early June, I had the pleasure of meeting Walter and Irene Heidenreich, the founders of the Free Christian Community (FCJG) in Germany and the leaders of HELP International, on their first trip to Tokyo. Two years ago, Walter heard a prophetic message that God wanted Germans to help the Japanese -- that because of the pact between Germany and Japan during World War II, God wants to bring forth a new partnership between Germans and Japanese which will be a blessing to the world.
|Germans & Swiss pray for Japan, April 2, 2011 in Ludenscheid (near Dusseldorf).|
|150 German artists pray for Japan, June 12, 2011.|