Devastation meets Hope in Japan
Yukari is an ESL student we have befriended through outreach classes provided by Fujigaoka Christ Church, an MB Church in Nagoya City, Japan. Yukari’s in-laws live in the Iwate area, one of the hardest hit by the recent disaster in Japan. She still has not heard whether her family members are alive. Sadly, it’s doubtful they will ever be found, as the family’s whole town was obliterated by the tsunami.
Last weekend, Yukari and her daughter moved north to Chiba. Yukari’s husband will have to remain south in Nagoya until he can get a job transfer to Tokyo. Many parts of the Chiba area were submerged in water. The land is now like quicksand. Yet, despite the challenges of living in this region, Yukari and her daughter must risk moving there so that she can attend a specific junior high school which will open doors for her future education.
In is a time of insecurity and upheaval, thousands of people are taking desperate measures to protect their families. Some are moving to new towns; others are being transferred by their companies. It is common for people to bring containers of water with them wherever they go – many areas still lack access to clean drinking water.
Some students in our ESL classes have family members living in the areas affected by the ‘triple disaster’ (earthquake, tsunami, radiation scare) and are at risk of radiation poisoning. Because of the close relationships we have established with our students, we have had the opportunity to share during our chapel times. We share of the hope and healing we can find in Christ. We express the urgency of knowing Jesus right now. Our students have openly received words of Scripture.
The first week after the earthquake & tsunami many students cried during class, unable to bear the horrific tragedy and devastation caused by this natural disaster. Our team listens, helping to ease their pain by reminding them that God is faithful, even during extremely difficult times. Many of our students – though still unbelievers – join us fervently in prayer for those they love.
Our MB Mission workers on the frontlines thank you so much for your prayers and support of the people of Japan.
Pray that we might be a source of hope, love and encouragement as we present the healing comfort of Christ during a tragic and difficult time.
Wendy Eros – ESL Missionary in Nagoya Japan.
In addition to your prayers, donations can be made through the following agencies:
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)
Though they have no programs or staff in Japan, MCC is collecting donations for like-minded organizations already on the ground. Go to http://mcc.org/stories/news/mcc-accepting-donations-japan to donate.
Japanese Evangelical Missionary Association (JEMA)
The MB Churches are members of this evangelical missions umbrella organization. JEMA recommends that Christians support CRASH – Christian Relief, Assistance, Support, and Hope – working with Japanese churches to provide relief and assistance in the devastated area. Go to http://www.crashjapan.com/ to donate.
Second Harvest (2HJ)
At a disaster relief office in Sendai, Japan’s national food bank Second Harvest is establishing a network of donated items, evacuation sites, safe delivery routes, and information regarding victims’ needs. 2HJ currently sends two, four-ton trucks of food and supplies into Sendai every second day. Go to http://www.2hj.org/index.php/get_involved/donate_money to donate.