Japan Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Committee. Photo by Sendai-Taitomi baptist church'es Sunday worship on March 13.
2013年 11月 28日
Oshika Peninsula Aid
The Beginning of Aid in Oshika Peninsula
Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Convention Task Force carried out a survey on the areas affected by the earthquake. Aid work started after coming in contact with the people in Oshika Peninsula. In early April, we started sending aid to Momoura evacuation center (Oginohama Elementary School) and to “Kyubunhama Task Force”.
(Oginohama Junior High School has become the new place for aid after finishing aid work in Oginohama Primary School. Every week, we carry out food handouts and pest control.)
With the cooperation of the North Kanto Association, we have been able to start food handouts that take place once a week. Also the “Miyagi Team”, consisting of members from 5 different churches in Sendai prefecture, has been able to hold consultations with the people of Oshika Peninsula. This has helped in figuring out the how to carry out the aid work.
Through the consultations, we have decided to carry out aid that “stands beside” the victims of the disaster. We have also decided that our involvement with the disaster area should be thin, but over a long period of time. Therefore our aid work will be at a pace of once a month. We have also decided to aid people living not only in temporary housing, but people who have houses to live in.
The “Miyagi Team” started aid work in Oshika Peninsula on the 17th September 2011. It takes 5 hours from Sendai to Oshika Peninsula and back. We received information that people are lacking fresh vegetables in Oshika Peninsula, so we have been providing a bag of vegetables for each household. In addition we have had opportunities to talk to the victims of the disaster by setting up a sweets and café corner. We were able to set up this corner by borrowing the consultation room that was offered to us.
The aid work in Oshika Peninsula, which has been carried out once a month, has carries on until this day. The aid work has continued to keep the victims of the disaster at heart and has allowed us to partake in the gospel with them. In March 2012, we found out through the Ishinomaki City Council Social Welfare Meeting that Tsukiura and Makinohama were also in need of aid. Currently, we provide aid for approximately 140 households in Kyubunhama, Oginohama, Makinohama, Takenohama, Tsukiura, Ayukawahama, and Kurosaki area.
Tea Café (Ochakko)
The Makinohama mayor said that from now on, the aid that is wanted is not so much material aid, but aid where people sit beside the victims, drink tea with them, and simply take time to listen to them. The elderly are prone to hide away from public, so it is good to provide a place where people come together and spend time together. The vegetable handouts can provide a good opportunity for people to come out of their homes and lead them to spend time with others at the café.
Currently these cafés are being held in Kyubunhama and Makinohama with Taitomi Church and Sendai Church planning and managing the project respectively. In the beginning, the Café was simply a place to eat snacks and drink tea, and to talk freely. However, this gradually became a place where people could sing folk songs together, to celebrate Tanabata together, and a place to hold activities like finger knitting. Through these activities, new projects have also come about and now there are also gatherings for singing (Utakko). With the help of a church member who is a music therapist, we have been able to regularly have music therapy sessions where we have shared both laughter and tears.
What is more, through the hand made cookies and regional gifts sent from churches and ministry centers from all over Japan, we have continually been encouraged and reminded that people still have the victims of the disaster at heart. Another function of the café is to connect the victims to churches and ministry centers all over Japan. We would like to thank all of the churches around Japan, but also ask for continued prayer for the people of Oshika Peninsula.
The Coast and Its Current State
The plans for transferring the households to higher ground have been set, but the construction for residential development has just started. Even at the earliest, the completion date for the residential development is thought to be sometime in March 2014. It is after this that the construction of the public housing complexes will start. Therefore, it will take from 1 to 2 years until the residents in the temporary housing will be able to move out of their stressful living conditions which is a great burden to their hearts and bodies. There is also a shortage of needed materials and expertise for the reconstruction of the destroyed harbor and its quay and the elevation of the subsidence of the beach. This is leading to the delay of the reconstruction of the coast and the construction needed for earthquake and tsunami reaction. With the 2020 Olympics being held in Tokyo, there are worries that there will be delays in the reconstruction for the devastated areas. There are also cries that some may never live long enough to move out of the temporary housings.
The construction for moving the residents to higher ground just started.
Oshika Peninsula’s main industry is oyster production. This industry has been resumed since the tsunami, but without public aid it is extremely difficult to rebuild the industry. The fishermen have not only lost their homes, but their boats, and most of their tools. There are many hurdles in attaining the aid needed. This makes it difficult to rebuild the coast. The oyster harvest is in autumn, but because of typhoon 26 much of the oysters that were close to harvest were swept away. This has lead to much loss. Furthermore, with the increase of fishermen quitting their jobs and moving into the city, there is a steady loss in Oshika Peninsula’s population. There are bays where the population has decreased down to a half or a third. It is also rare to find children in this area and there are a number of elementary schools that have been forced to temporarily close for the lack of students. This also points to the reality that many young families, that lost their homes, find it difficult to come back. This leads to a loss of community.
Construction for the elevation of the subsidence
In circumstances such as these, how should the church involve it self within the community? This question is a question of church ministry, and is perhaps a challenge that has been sent to us from Jesus Christ. (Sendai Church: Chieko Ichinose/ Yoshinobu Ogawa)
In the front of one of Sendai’s major supermarkets is a special corner named “Momoura Oysters”. Companies that only just received their fishing rights are using the name of “restoration aid” to market their goods. However, it is unreasonable to think that it is only Oshika Peninsula’s Momoura Oysters that are being advertised.
In Momoura there is a man that stayed in the Miyagi Prefecture Fishery by himself. This man is no longer permitted to use the Momoura oyster abattoir, which has now become a private ownership. However he continues to labor on, despite the fact that he can no longer use the abattoir in Momoura. He must go to the neighboring fishing harbor to use the oyster abattoir there. The weight of freshly collected oysters that still have their shells on is extremely heavy. Simply carrying these oysters to the abattoir is a heavy workload within itself. This man must continue going to the neighboring abattoir until the March of next year. Not to mention that he is the only one left. As was mentioned in the Mission Theology Forum, the situation of these people will not change unless these “powers” which continue to take advantage of the weak are fought. (Taitomi church…
Local Aid Committee News Letter
Published in October 23 2013
Japanese Baptist Convention Great East Japan Earthquake Local Aid Committee
President Masato Osuga
2012年 12月 19日
JBC relief team visited the Nodamura Temporary Housings Complex on Friday, November 16. This visit was the 16th time; though we visited to encourage the residents, they always seem to encourage us.
We made traditional rice cakes in the assembly hall of Noda Junior High School Temporary Housings Complex (about 110 families). The residents used to eat rice cake therefore many people in the village helped in making it; actually they finished quickly making 7.2 litters of rice cakes. They flavored it with traditional seasonings and had a great lunch together. It reminded them of the old good days.
JBC held a tea party in the Izumisawa Temporary Housings Complex (about 30 families) that afternoon. At the same time, a part of the team visited individual homes in the Monzen (about 15 families), Yoneda (about 15 families), and Shimoyasuie Temporary Housings (about 8 families) to hand portable body warmers. It was such a short visit but a good fellowship time. This time JBC provided winter clothes from Yamagata Baptist Church. We appreciate it very much.
14 members visited them this time consisting of Same Church (3), Misawa Church (1), Komatsugaoka Mission Point (1), Calvary Church (1), Aomori Church (3), Hakodate-mihara Church (2), Muroran Church (2), Hachinohe Bible Church (1).
Next visit should be 12/7 Friday.
2012年 10月 15日
One and half years have passed since the disaster 311, but deep injury still remains in individuals. In such struggling a bunch of people dare to go forward in the affected areas.
Dawn in Tohoku...
People recently started to sweep their own houses in Yamamoto-cho. They could not do that since Tsunami disaster.
A boys of baseball team practiced in an elementary school in Ishinomaki which was closed on account of the disaster; you can find marks left by the fire on the building. The banner says “we shall overcome!”
A fisherman ship in Oshika Peninsula. The government provides them a subsidy to buy new ships.
Flooded areas in Oshika Peninsula. The earthquake caused the land to sink, so that fishing ports are flooded at full tide. In order to restore fishing ports, they should first do levee raising.
JBC office measures the radiation level of water, which Koriyama Church in Fukushima Prefecture sends monthly, by Becquerel Monitor.
They need to raise levees up to the height of the bridge to avoid being flooded. Then they will be able to establish a processing plant for fish.
Many part-time workers clean up rubble left in field because of Tsunami in Watari-cho in Miyagi Prefecture.
The government is establishing a new incinerator for rubble from the coast in Miyagi Prefecture.
They finally started to construct a new bank.
The message from kids and parents fellowship in Watari-cho Temporary Housings in Miyagi Prefecture. This is the thank you card in which they give thanksgiving to all that have supported them for one and half years.
JBC held Evacuation Project from Radiation Contamination for Fukushima Kids on behalf of contributions by Baptist Women Union in Japan. Kids enjoyed a picnic in the Shirakami Mountains. Thank you for your donation.
This is the mound for construction. After staying in temporary housings, they should go back to the place where a Tsunami may occur in future. Therefore they will build houses on the mound which is 1 meter higher than ground level.
Festival in Ishinomaki City in Miygagi Prefecture.
Pot scourers made by residents of Kozuchi's fourth Temporary Housing area.
2012年 10月 09日
The Gospel Choir Team from Texas USA visited to Tohoku area, and held concerts in Otsuchi-cho and Morioka City (7/25-26), in Aomori City (7/27), and in Watari-cho and Sendai City (7/30-8/1). Texas Baptists constantly support affected people through JBC relief activities. Giving thanksgiving to them, JBC reports their amazing works as below.
These pictures are from the concert in Sendai City.
550 audience enjoyed Gospel.
This is the Gospel workshop in Sendai Baptist Church; 90 people participated.
The Gospel Choir visited Watari-cho Miyamae Temporary Housings.
The residents in Watari-cho Miyamae Temporary housings welcomed the Gospel Choir to serve traditional cold noodle.
The Gospel Choir held a concert in the shopping mall, “Seaside Town Mast” in Otsuchi-cho, which was recently restored.
Children sang with the Gospel Choir in Morioka.
In Kamaishi City, the Texas volunteer team prayed in front of the damaged buildings.
Texas volunteer team provided relief material to the affected area on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Iwate Prefecture. They also visited to the affected area in Miyagi Prefecture and had good fellowship with the people there. They took a picture in front of a kitchen car, Nagomi Café.
Texas team led a program for kids in Taitomi Baptist Church.
Volunteers renovated the assembly hall in Otsuchi-cho the fourth Temporary Housings.
JBC held a theological and missiological forum on the earthquake and nuclear power plant accident. Participants (about 100 people) discussed about our relief activities in the future.
2012年 10月 02日
Affected Area Support News in summer 2012 volume 1.
This is the report of relief works and activities in summer 2012. Many volunteers from domestic and international regions visited to affected areas in Tohoku to support people suffering from disaster in 3.11.
People did “3B Exercise” in Midorigaoka Temporary
Housings in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture. It was for relaxation
and a refreshing time.
JBC handed vegetables to affected people in Midorigaoka Temporary Housings in Koriyama, Fukushima.
Hokkaido Baptist Association's Youth team visited to
Nodamura Temporary Housings in Iwate Prefecture to do a Summer Camp.
The young people made snow cones / shaved ice for the children in temporary housing.
The youth had a great joyful time playing
instruments with the kids.
The Baptist Women’s Union visited and brought famous
sweets into the temporary housing areas to comfort the residents.
In Watari-Miyamae Temporary Housings in Miyagi Prefecture, the residents welcomed and served lunch to the volunteers! It happens sometimes. How great such a warm fellowship is!
Hand-bell Choir of Yokodai Baptist Church held a concert in Watari-Miyamae Temporary Housings.
Volunteers visited residents who were not able to come to the assembly hall in Temporary Housings. They try to keep in touch with the people.
JBC has support work in Oshika peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture monthly. 5 Baptist churches in Sendai area, Miyagi cooperate to work for affected people there.
They provided vegetables for 144 families. They continue supporting the residents, both in Temporary Housings and in their own homes.
Students volunteers of Seinan-gakuin University (Baptist school) sang a song to encourage people.
JBC volunteer team sometimes affiliates with other volunteer groups in Ando area.
Let us take a picture together!
A resident repaired an old organ for the Baptist church,
which was in Ando elementary school.
At that time, we all sang many songs together with the organ.
Traditional dance in traditional clothes by Fukuoka-jogakuin University (Christian school) nursing school students in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.
Both Seinan-gakuin University and Tokyo Woman’s Christian University (Christian school) students supported children to learn.
A bunch of relief materials from JBC churches at
Yoshioka Baptist Mission Point, Miyagi Prefecture.
Volunteers are providing them to people. “Thanks Bear” says “thank you for your relief materials.”
2012年 07月 31日
July 20 Fri. the JBC volunteer team visited to Nodamura Temporary Housings even though it was 15 degrees centigrade. JBC visited there monthly and this time was 12 times, so that God led us to do that through one year. They held two tea parties both in the assembly hall of the Noda Junior High School Temporary Housings (110 families) on the morning and in the assembly hall of the Izumizawa Temporary Housings (30 families) afternoon. 'Baptist Tea Party' is well known in both temporary housings, therefore many people wel come us. They want to develope this good relationship furtherer. Fujimino Baptsit Church (Saitama Prefecture) sent pound cakes for this visit and tea parties. Thanks a lot!
On that afternoon meanwhile they held the party a part of them visited to Monzen Temporary Housings (15 families) , to Yoneda Temporary Housings (15 families), and to Shimoyasuie Temporary Housings (8 families) in order to hand soysauce and oil to the residents. They often talked with the people long time because of warm fellowship. It is neccesary for them to keep visiting constantly.
Participants were 13 persons, consisting of Same Church (5 person), Hachinohe Church (3), Sapporo Church (1), Hakodate Church (1), Hakodate-mihara Church (1), Tohno Volunteer Center (2). Next visit should be 8/7 Tue.
2012年 06月 13日
11 volunteers (from 3 churches) visited to Nodamura Temporary Housings on May 18. This time was the tenth visit there. Churches and Kindergarden in Hokkaido Baptist Association donated a bunch of rice in pet-bottles.
Many affected people welcome than we thought, therefore we had long and warm chat with them. Both tea parties in Nodamura Junior High School Temporary Housings and in Izumizawa Tempporary Housings we could provide refreshing time with laughing.
This visit should be the last time for Rev. Armand Jalbert and Mrs. Naoko Albert for they will move. They made their farewell and sang a song.
The participants were 15 person, consisting of Same Church (1), Komatsugaoka Mission Point (4), Misawa Church (1), Hachinohe Bible Church (1), Calvary Church (3), Asahikawa-tohko Church (1), Sapporo Church (2), Sapporo Shinsei Church (1), Tohno Volunteer Center (1).
2012年 06月 04日
Here is our Disaster Relief Activities Report 03/12/2011 to 03/31/2012.
2012年 06月 02日
March 11, 2012 2:00pm -5:30pm, the Fukuoka Baptist Association held the 1st anniversary memorial ceremony of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake at Seinan Gakuin University (Baptist Christian school). About 200 people gathered from 29 local churches affiliating with the association and JBC. 15 students in Seinan Gakuin, who went to the affected area to support people, participated. The university sent 90 students there in 2011.
The first part of the ceremony was a memorial worship with a slide show report of the suffering people. Everyone prayed in silence at 2:46 pm, when the earthquake occured, remembering issues that the affected people face.
Baptist youth sang the special praise.
KANEKO Chikayo, Vice-President of JBC, Pastor of Miyazaki Maruyamacho Church, preached. She has been doing relief work in the affected area since March 2011. She devoted three weeks in a month to serve suffering people in Fukushima and Iwate prefectures. She reported on activities that she had adovocated, and fellowship with the affected people.
Offering in worship of JPY252,290 was donated to JBC relief committee. Right after the first part, Pastor Kaneko introduced students volunteers.
The second part was a panel discussion on 'Support activities by Fukuoka Association in future.' Panelers (the representatives of local curches, Social Justice Committee of the association, Baptist Women's Union and Christian schools) reported the relief activities which they did. And they addressed their visions in future.
After speeches by panelers, participants discussed arbitrarily. One evacuated person from Fukushima tyrtalkeded about situation of many people from Fukushima prefecture: they fled from there because of radiation contamination.
2012年 05月 13日
April 1, 2012, the 9th Visit Nodamura temporary housing. In the morning, we visited to the Noda junior high school temporary housing (115 families) and held tea party with many children because this is the spring vacation season in Japan. Some residents start a buisiness there; they make hand-made accesaries and sell them. They seem to go forward even though they face many difficulties.
We visited to Izumizawa area temporary housings (30 families) in the afternoon and had a tea party, too. At the same time we sent soy-source and oil to the Yoneda area temporary housings (15 families) and to the Shimo Yasuie temporary housings (15 families). Few volunteers visit to such small temporary housings, probably because of that, they welcome us very warmly. We will do our best for them.
On this visit, volunteers consisted of 11 people from three Baptist churches in the Tohoku Baptist Association.
2012年 05月 10日
April 17, 2012
Baptist church members in Koriyama city in Fukushima prefecture have started Kids Program in temporary housing; Play-room. Two churches affiliating with Japan Baptist Convention provided the material for affected children.
In one game, kids tore nespapers to ease their mental stress. Children are prohibited from playing outside because of radiation contamination; so they need to play inside. Play-room serves to provide the place where they can play safely.
This a cabin for vorunteer activities that a town, local autonomy in Iwate prefecture built for Baptist volunteers last December. It shows good co-relationship between us and the community.
2012年 05月 07日
March 16 Fri. Baptist volunteer team visited Nodamura and Izumizawa temporary housings where affected people live. 27 persons, consisting of 7 Baptist church members and 1 Christian College student, participated.
Many affected kids participated in games which volunteer members led. Some parents of the kids openly invited young volunteers to their individual temporary housings.
They had a great fellowship time with tea and pound cakes that indivisual Baptist churches provided.
2012年 03月 21日
Dear brothers and sisters around the World,
Greeting in the Name of Jesus Christ,
We reliese a Litany in Remenberance of the 3.11 Great Eastern Japan Disasters
Thank you for your sincere prayer.
Japan Baptist Convention
⇒ A Prayer of Responsive Reading (Litany)
In Remembrance of the 3.11 Great Eastern Japan Disasters A Litany based on the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus Christ, from the 5th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew
Written by Rev. Kano Yoshitaka, Kurigasawa Baptist Church (Japan Baptist Convention)
Translated by Nicholas and Ai Akers, Tarami Christ Church (Japan Baptist Convention)
2012年 03月 06日
Baptist brothers and sisters all over the world,
March 11th will mark the first anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Disasters that caused almost 20,000 casualties. From the time just after the earthquake struck we have been greatly encouraged by God’s love, expressed through all of your sincere prayers and precious offerings. We praise the name of the Lord our God as we express our heartfelt thanks to you all.
Now, as we commemorate the first anniversary of the disasters, Rev. Makito Suzuki of a Disaster Relief Local Support Committee has written a prayer. Rev. Suzuki is the pastor of a Baptist church in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, where radiation damage from the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant still continues. As head of the Local Support Committees, Rev. Suzuki has been involved in relief activities in Iwate, Miyagi, and other areas throughout the Tohoku region. The pains and sorrows experienced by his church, as well as their faith towards God the father of Jesus Christ are are engraved in his prayer.
March 11th just happens to fall on the Lord’s Day this year. We would be very grateful if, with this prayer in mind, you would pray along with us during your worship services. We ask that you please pray that the Lord God Himself will grant His comfort and encouragement to those people who still now walk in the midst of disaster, and that the Church of Jesus Christ will be able to show God's love, faith, and hope.
May the Lord’s companionship and rich blessings be upon you during this Lent season.
Japan Baptist Convention
Please Download, and Please read it ↓ March 11th, 2012 A Prayer ■ENGLISH■March 11th, 2012 A Prayer ■KOREAN■March 11th, 2012 A Prayer ■CHINESE■March 11th, 2012 A Prayer ■DEUTCHE■March 11th, 2012 A Prayer ■JAPANESE■
Thank you !
2011年 12月 28日
MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy New Year
and GRATITUDE for your prayer.
Please Download, and Please read more
⇒ JBC Disaster Relief Activity report
Thank you !
2011年 12月 01日
On Saturday, October 15th, 9 people from Same Church, 1 from Hachinohe Church, 2 from Hakodate Mihara Church, 1 from Tomakomai Mission Point, totaling 13 people, visited the 3 temporary housing complexes in Nodamura.
On the morning of the 15th, we gathered at Same Church (Hachinohe) for worship, then departed. First, we held a tea party at the community center of the housing complex (115 houses) in the Noda Middle School of Nodamura. From 10:30 until noon we provided tea, manju, and cream puffs. The floor of the community center has been upgraded from flooring to tatami mattresses, and it was a much better environment for them to gather together. About 60 people joined the tea party.
Also, we delivered some potatoes from Hokkaido to each household.
After that, we divided into 2 groups and 1 visited a temporary housing complex (3 houses) in Nōson Park in the Izumisawa area, and the other visited a complex (15 houses) in the Monzen area, delivering potatoes and snacks to each household. This was our first visit to the temporary housing complexes in this area. There is not much temporary housing here, but we would like to continue to visit these places.
We began working together among churches from Aomori and Iwate and also the Hokkaido Area Association back in August, and this is gradually turning into a cooperative project for us. Our goal is to make visitations once a month, continually. Our next visit is scheduled for Friday, November 18th. Please remember us in your prayers.
reporter: Masayoshi Fukuda (Hakodate Mihara)
2011年 10月 30日
On the evening of Friday the 14th, seven people from each church departed from the JBC office in a van. We arrived at Taitomi Church in Sendai and spent the night in the sanctuary. On the following morning at 7:00 we left the church for Kyubunhama.
The JBC has been supporting this area. There is a statue of Hasekura Tsunenaga in Tsukinoura, where the Keicho-era mission to Europe originated.
Within Ishinomaki City, and also along the shore, destroyed houses are still visible; the scars of the tsunami remain. We met up with people from Sendai Church at the community center within the prefab temporary housing complex by the beach and began our work. The project on that day was to hand out fresh green vegetables and to have a time of fellowship with the residents.
People began gathering around 10:30 and we distributed vegetables. We also set up a snack corner, which the kids loved. We had a time of fellowship as we served tea. We also visited individual households, greeting people and delivering vegetables.
They all expressed their gratitude to us for these meager gifts and made us feel very welcome. One person said, “It’s really difficult for us to go shopping. There are no stores around here, and after the disasters, merchants stopped coming this way. There is a bus that goes into town every two hours, and it costs 1,000 yen one-way! We are very grateful for the green vegetables you brought.” We went back to the community center and talked with their community council leader. He spoke with passion about the recovery of local oyster farming, which has been their traditional marine industry.
“We grow oysters by hanging them from a hundred-meter raft. We used to have 200 of these rafts, but now we only have ten. We need a facility to process the oysters in order to ship them, but it would cost 200 million yen just to build that facility. We just don’t have enough money.” This community council leader has just been hospitalized due to a stomach ulcer. Constant stress. Seven months since the disasters. People are trying to stand up and be restored to life again. We want to continue supporting them. (written by Ohta)
2011年 10月 21日
15 October 2011 ( Saturday) Assignment
Special deliveries of vegitables to Sendai
The seven members of the mission team(3 from Tokiwadai,1 from Sagamihara,1 from Urawa , 1 from Miyahara and 1 from Ookubo) were called upon by the Lord to once again serve at the quake site in Northern Japan.
At four in the afternoon of the 14th, team members gathered at the Convention Center in
Minami Urawa for a brief meeting to discuss the nature of the assignment and prayer. Then we began the lengthy journey to Taitomi Church which had graciously offered us lodging. This trip which usually takes 5 and a half hours exceeded seven hours due to the rain. ・・・・・・・・・
please click ! → Sendai report（PDF)
2011年 09月 01日
On My Visit to the Disaster Areas
What is God Doing Now? ~ from Fukuoka, after March 11th ~
Marina Matsufuji, Fukuoka Seibu Baptist Church
“What’s God doing now?” “Hey, where is God?”
“I am not God, so I cannot answer that. Only God knows the truth. But I believe that God is with the lives of many.”
“God knows everything? Why does He do such sad things?”
These are the voices of Fukuoka children. As I listened to them, I began to desire to stand there on my own legs and see it with my own eyes, the current situation of the disaster areas that I had seen on TV and in newspaper photos. I’ve always thought, “It would do no good for a powerless person like me to visit the disaster areas,” and blamed myself for being unable to do anything, but I felt a push on my back as people who had been there said, “You don’t need to do anything. Just go and see.” So I headed for Tohoku.
2011年 08月 24日
Tono City, of Iwate Prefecture, as depicted in the “Tales of Tono,” is well known for being rich with nature, quiet and beautiful. But there are now many groups and individuals in this place. Because Tono is located in an inland area, the city stepped up soon after the disaster struck on March 11th, volunteering itself as a backup support base for the coastal areas. The JBC rented a former JA building from August, and opened up the Tono Volunteer Center. One of the first results was the gathering of a team of 11 volunteers, respondents to applications sent out across Japan as part of the JBC’s Young Adult Training Program. For the first two days, the team did volunteer activities through “Magokoro Net.” On the third day, the team distributed hot meals and set up a café at a shelter, organized mainly by Morioka Church.
As they cleaned up debris in Otsuchi-Cho and Rikuzen Takata City, they found a Hello Kitty pen, and some clothes that had turned jet black in the sludge-smelling mud. One young person remarked, “this soil’s full of blood,” but I cannot help but think of the many lives behind this. At a shelter, an elderly woman was sharing the names of her deceased family members with a young person. We came to feel the weight of life – different from the mere numbers that we hear on the news.
The young people’s faces were truly changed after spending 5 days together in the disaster area. Those faces tell me that they sincerely desire answers to questions like “How do we best use the lives we have been given by God?” and “How do we serve?” Also, 9 people from Kyoto, Kitayama, and Urawa Churches, and 3 sent by the Fukuoka Area Association slept and ate and worked together with us. The director of this Volunteer Center, Vice President Chikayo Kaneko sent them out each morning with a reading from the Bible, and lead a sharing time each evening. We spent those 5 days with encouragement from the Bible; we were directed in our paths as Christians. And we were encouraged richly by witnessing the warm help and work of Reverends Masato and Ayako Osuga of Morioka Church. We would like to continue thinking with young adults about how churches live, and what kind of churches we should aim for as we continue working together for disaster relief. And I strongly expect that the kind of bonding born in Tohoku will become an underlying power in our churches throughout Japan.
– Yasuaki Fukunaga, Sagami Chuo Church –
2011年 08月 11日
Tuesday, August 9th – Hakodate Mihara Church visited 2 temporary housing units in Nodamura.
Monday, August 8th – In the evening, we worshipped together with members of Same Church in Hachinohe and had a meeting. On Tuesday the 9th, first we first visited the temporary housing units (110 households) at Noda Middle School in Nodamura, and then we visited temporary housing units (about 30 households) at Farmers’ Park in the Izumisawa area and visited individual rooms, providing snow cones, iced coffee, cookies, etc.
It was an extremely hot day, so we provided about 150 snow cones, and served 30 cups of iced coffee. We were able to take time to talk with some of the residents, and connections made there will help with future activities.
On this occasion, Rev. Masayoshi Fukuda of Hakodate Mihara Church and 6 church members, Rev. Takashi Saito of Muroran Church and 2 church members, and Rev. Kenichi Hayashi of Same Church, totaling 11 people, participated.
Nodamura is a village located in the northern coastal area of Iwate Prefecture with a population of 5,000. It is about 1.5 hours from Hachinohe. The northern coastal area is made up of many small villages, and the tsunami damage is as serious there as in other areas. However, this area is not very often featured in broadcasts. My hope is to be able to continue to combine our efforts with nearby churches in these areas, though our work may be small.
2011年 07月 12日
The Crisis in Japan and the Pain of God
A Report from Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake
Rev. Makoto Kato
Executive Secretary of Japan Baptist Convention
An Expression of Gratitude
I would like to thank you, Baptist brothers and sisters of the world, for remembering the great disaster that took place in Japan, for praying for us, and for showing the love of Jesus Christ in concrete ways to those who were affected.
This evening, we are honored to have been given such precious time to make a report during this BWA program. Our prayer is that through this small report the name of Jesus Christ will be praised. -----------
Please Download, and Please read more ⇒ JBC report in BWA
Thank you !
2011年 06月 18日
1. Concerning goods-collecting and transportation volunteers
This work is almost completed. However, we will try to continue to meet needs as requests are made.
2. Concerning food distribution volunteers
We continue to provide hot meals in shelters on the Oshika Peninsula of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, and in Ohtsuki Machi in Iwate Prefecture. Our plan is to continue this project until the beginning of August, when temporary houses will be completed.
3. Concerning mud-removing, sorting out, and cleaning volunteers
We did some of this volunteer work in Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture, but due to the heavy damage in the area there are not many houses there that are likely to be reused, so we have stopped for the time being. We will try to find other areas where this type of work is needed, and we will send more volunteers.
In addition, the disaster relief headquarters secured a volunteer base (in which 30 people can be accommodated) in Tōno City, Iwate Prefecture. Repair work has begun and it should be ready for use by mid July. We will be involved in this type of relief work in tsunami stricken areas along the Sanriku coastline through the Tōno City volunteer network.
We will begin taking volunteers by mid July.
4. Concerning childcare volunteers
Kōriyama Cosmos Street Church in Fukushima has started caring for children living in shelters. They help the children with their studies, and provide snacks for them to enjoy.
Also, when we distribute hot meals, volunteers are needed to play with these children as well.
5. Concerning other volunteers
In addition, volunteers are needed for the work listed below:
☆ Repair work for the Tōno volunteer base
Repair work for the Tōno volunteer base will be carried out between late June and early July. It will require some painting and cleaning.
☆ Sorting out and organizing emergency rescue supplies
Volunteers are needed to sort out the massive amounts of support supplies that are taking up a great deal of space in shelters.
2011年 06月 11日
Rev. Osuga of Morioka Church has been in contact with a shelter at Ando Elementary School in Ohstuchi Machi, Iwate Prefecture, and as a result, we provided hot meals there for the first time on June 11th.
We grilled about 400 sanma (mackerel pikes), provided vegetable soup and seasoned daikon radishes. Also, since the 11th marked exactly three months since the disaster, we brought about 200 fresh flowers to the refugees, which they then displayed in various places throughout the shelter.
We left the four fish grills (propane type) with them for their daily use, in response to a request to that effect.
The Aomori/Iwate team, based in Morioka Church, will continue their support work for the stricken areas in Iwate Prefecture with the strong support of the Hokkaido Area Association.
2011年 06月 05日
We distributed hot meals in two locations on the Oshika Peninsula, in Ishinomaki City.
Public offices are having difficulty reaching out to this area and the water supply is still cut off here. The Volunteer Center of Ishinomaki City's Social Welfare Council has expressed their appreciation of the Japan Baptist Convention's continued efforts.
Today's meal included grilled fish, vegetable soup, seasoned daikon radish, and jello. The grilled fish, as always, was greatly appreciated.
2011年 06月 03日
We were able to donate the “Texas Two” van to a shelter on the Oshika Peninsula in Ishinomaki City with the help of offerings allotted to “used car purchases” sent from the Texas State Convention.
On March 11th, the day of the earthquake, some of the fishermen who heard that a big tsunami was coming drove to the coast and set their boats free in the open sea in an attempt to save them. Some boats were saved, but most fishermen have been forced into hard lives since their cars, which were parked on the piers, were swallowed up by the tsunami. This donation was in response to requests for a car to use for making shipments of fish as well as for grocery shopping in the city. This van is called the “Texas Two” (the second vehicle donated to affected areas). I am happy to report that they will use this van to attend Fishermen's Union meetings.
2011年 05月 28日
Volunteers from the JBC Disaster Relief Headquarters served hot meals for the
fourth time on Saturday the 21st at Ogihama Elementary School in Ishinomaki City. Upon the request of a representative from one of the refugee camps, two volunteer workers from the Sendai area helped with the work of reviving the local oyster farming industry.
2011年 05月 23日
Volunteers from the JBC Disaster Relief Headquarters served hot meals for the fourth time on Saturday the 21st at Ogihama Elementary School in Ishinomaki City. It was the 30th anniversary of their merging with a neighboring school. Thirteen energetic children were cheering and shouting under a blue sky with fishermen's large and colorful banners waving in the breeze.
2011年 05月 19日
We received many colorful paper cranes and letters from elementary, middle, and high schoolers, sent from Rhonde Marquardt Brackett High School in Texas. These paper cranes and letters will be delivered to a school in the affected area in Iwate Prefecture on Monday the 23rd.