Japan Update from April 5th04/13/2011 — World Challenge Missions
This another update on April 5th from the directors of Teen Challenge Japan on the aftermath of the earthquake which hit Japan on March 11th 2011:
Thank you for your prayers and financial help. We have received donations from California, Bristol (U.K.) and Phuket (Thailand). The initial shock & panic seems to have subsided after 3 weeks, but there are several aftershocks everyday in Sendai and the danger of radiation leak is still very present in Fukushima, so we need your prayers.
We went to Higashi-Matsushima for the 3rd time from 31st March till 2nd April. We are working in an area called Akai where there are about 170 houses with 520 people. No house collapsed and no one was killed in the area, thank God, but the downstairs is covered by mud (see photo) so they cannot use kitchen or bath, so more than half the residents have evacuated.
We brought 8 people from our church to remove the mud & debris and clean up the houses, and we brought basic necessities and served hot meals. This time, the people recognized our faces and they are beginning to talk to us, and we felt they are opening their hearts to us.
Rented a coach to shuttle people to and back from a local public bath. About 70 people took bath, some of them for the first time in 3 weeks, and their faces were literally shining when they came back! We brought a couple who are hairdressers and they did the hair cut for the people and they looked even better!
They know we are from the Church and they thank us because we came 3 times while neither the City Council nor the Self Defence Force have come even once to clean up the area. One of them called us "Kirisuto-san" which means "Mr. Christ"!
We are going to Higashi-Matsushima again from today until 7th. 5 of us are going, including our 12-year-old daughter, Kariz. We are planning to clean up a park so that the children can play there. The new academic year is starting in 3 days but the children in the area cannot go to school because their houses are in mess and the school itself is packed with those who evacuated. We'd like to hold a sports & games festival for the kids, but to make that possible, we must first secure a clean space! A group of volunteers from a Korean church is joining us today so that'll be a great help, as there are overturned cars and timbers in the park, as well as thick mud.
Moreover, Masaki, our staff at Teen Challenge Okinawa Centre, will be joining Shingo who is working at Samaritan's Purse's warehouse. Tim and Shingo have been working at the relief goods warehouse from 20th March without taking a day off. Tim went back to Okinawa to oversee the centre, and is sending Masaki on 6th April to reinforce the relief work in Sendai.
We are looking for a small shop with an apartment upstairs in Higashi-Matsushima so that we can use it as a base to meet the felt needs of the people more effectively and help rebuild the city, so please pray that we'll find God's chosen place!