Why Japanese?

The Largest Unreached People Group (Joshua Project, 2005)

Only 0.04% Christians!

Annual Suicide Rate: >30,000

100-300 new religion registered each year (Operation World, 2000)

The battle is fierce, Time is SHORT! Please RESPONSE, Please PRAY!!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Recapturing what had happened in Tohoku Earthquake

Volunteer Care Training Manual
Had been working on the CRASH volunteer care training manual the whole week. We are near the binge to finish, yet there are always different ideas in different people of what a field manual should look like. Let's pray for unity and let's gain Christ perspective on how we should work on things. So much time and resources had been wasted in this area, we have no more time to loss. The manual should be completed asap, as the volunteers may begin to burn out just like the disaster victims.

Recapturing what had happened in Tohoku Earthquake
Below is the background of the disaster.
Please use this as the key information to pray for the work of Christ. 

2011 Tohoku Pacific Ocean Earthquake - The Loss and Needs
The M9.0 earthquake occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, had triggered extremely destructive tsunami waves of up to 29.6 m (97 ft) that struck Japan minutes after the quake.

Figure 1 被災地の衛星写真 the satellites pictures of disaster areas

Extensive physical damage is not the only characteristic of the Tohoku Pacific Ocean Earthquake. The multiple disaster situation includes a wide variety of problems, such as the nuclear plant accident, the urgent need to rescue disaster victims and support their livelihoods, paralysis of the commodity distribution system, a shortage of electricity, the yen's appreciation, and falling stock prices. The devastation cause $309 billion of loss, making it the world's most expensive natural disaster on record. The economic impact included both immediate problems, with industrial production suspended in many factories, and the longer term issue of the cost of rebuilding which has been estimated at ¥10 trillion ($122 billion). Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, "In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan."

Figure 2 避難所情報マップ the map for the evacuee centers

The total number of 27,000 death toll plus missing was reported by the Japanese National Police Agency, as well as over 125,000 buildings damaged or destroyed. If we multiply the number of death and missing with 4 family members and 10 friends who remain alive, the people who are living in bereavement come close to 4 million. Not forgetting there are another 80,000 or more evacuees from Fukushima, who face the same uncertainties in future, going through the same frustration of losing their homes. Plus, more than 2 million of Fukushima residents would expected to live with constant fear in perceived danger. The need for “kokoro no care” (mental care) is definitely in huge demand.

Consider the Unique Characteristics of the Disaster Victims
There was never such a large scale of devastation caused by a natural disaster that no one could really claim familiarities with the situation, also the situations is complicated by multiple events.
  • Earthquake
  • Tsunami
  • Nuclear Plant Accident
  • Cold (sudden drop in the weather, snowing, no gasoline, no electricity) and Influenza Threat
  • Deprived from Basic Necessities  (no food, no water, no medicine)
These were near death experiences, and the survivors are still experiencing it after 2 weeks of disaster, which is often rare. For Fukushima residents, it is never ending story.

Churches are setting up bases at these areas, yet do remember they themselves were also victims. 
Anxieties, burn out, restless, sleepless night, uneasiness would either manifest or suppressed. 
Neither way, it is going to be a problem later. 

The only way is to have His peace and rest, by prayers and worships. Yet, do remember the above mentioned symptoms are real. The church and Christians need to be strengthen first before they move out to share their joy/testimonies to the community who are suffering even more as they have no presence of Lord with them, which may mean: peace, hope and love. What ahead of them are: uncertainties of life, loss, grief, berievement, emptiness, resentment, anger, sadness, panic, phobia, and sleepless nights with all kind of memory flash back. 

Praying for the disaster victims is like setting an army to fight at the frontline before the frontline Christian workers, including me. Pray for unity in teams. 

The Lord is good, and He is exposing me to more great things of His. Pray for spiritual alertness and physical strength in me.

Sites' Photos

Matthias Buerki who had just came back from his second trip to Miyagi with Shinjuku Shalom, New Hope, Yokohama Gloria Church and the Korean Methodist Church, had sent me a link of the photos he had taken:
It gives you a sense of how things are up there, and give you an idea of are the things that you could do when you are on the field.

Visiting Tochigi
Departing to Tochigi on Thursday morning for a few days to visit the evacuee centers.  
Shelters at Tochigi seems to had received the evacuees who had been staying within 30kms from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Initially, they thought they were away just for a while because of the tsunami. But now, they can never go back because of the high radiation, even though their homes were not destroyed. There is a lot of hopelessness, and probably resentment too. Many had left with only what they were wearing, thinking that would be back home after an hour or two. There is this disillusion, confuse, regret, and a void hopelessness that we would be working with. 
The Fukushima evacuees are probably not getting as much attention in comparison to Miyagi, while they suffer the same lost. The spiritual atmosphere in Fukushima will be a totally different scene.
Will update you again, after I return from Tochigi.

Below is my schedule

Apr 5, working on Volunteer Care Manual Jap Version
Apr 6, Visiting FreeSpace, Shinjuku
Apr 7 - 10, Tochigi
Apr 11-14, Back to work in department, meeting up with some people, and work on the presentation for  Apr 15
Apr 15, Hikikomori Study Group
Apr 16 - 18, Refresh and to work on some training materials.
Apr 19 - 30, CRASH/Sendai

Schedule after April 15 is subject to change with urgency of events.

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