The seminar was held at Ueno Holiness Church on October 8th, pastors were invited from Arakawa, Sumida, Taito, Koto and Chuo wards of Tokyo. The seminar was sponsored by the DRCnet Tokyo Disaster Preparedness Project and co-sponsored by CRASH JAPAN. 40 people attended the seminar. In the morning, there were three sessions. First, Kazu Kurihara from CRASH showed a PowerPoint presentation concerning the predicted risk of the coming earthquake disaster and how to reduce the risk, as we need to pay special attention to eastern Tokyo, which is subject to flooding. Second, Pastor Matsumoto, chairman of the Japan Evangelical Association disaster relief committee, spoke on the need of church network to cope with disaster. He emphasized the importance of a leader who can take an initiative to start face-to-face community within walking distance. In the final morning session, Jonathan Wilson, director of CRASH spoke on how to help the vulnerable. A highlight of this seminar was the introduction of a Salvation Army canteen car, which has a rice cooker system that can make 100 servings in 20 min. We were able to eat GYUDON (Beef Bowl) for lunch prepared by this canteen car. After lunch participants divided into small groups and discussed how to start church networks. The purpose of these networks is to create a face-to-face disaster reduction community. Through this seminar in Taito ward, seven churches have been networked and are ready to go.
From September 9th to the 30th of 2013, armed conflict between MNLF rebels and the troops of the Philippine government resulted in the evacuation of civilians as homes were being burned. At the end of October, the number of dead was placed at 140, wounded 268, and the number affected at 20,810 families or 105,705 individuals currently in need both outside and inside evacuation centers. The number of homes totally damaged by the series of fires is 10,160 homes.
Our local partners, the Philippine Children’s Ministry Network sent an assessment team the last week of November and since Typhoon Haiyan struck Visayas, the situation in the evacuation camps has deteriorated with government resources being pulled elsewhere.
The main concern for us is the care and protection of children and helping them recover from trauma. We are holding an OperationSAFE child trauma camp in Zamboanga from December 26th to the 31st at Manpang Elementary School which functions as one of the evacuation centers. This will become a model and training for local church workers to continue psychosocial care for the children in the months ahead.
Do you know that penguins don’t or won’t fly? You might say, “Of course it can’t fly!”
But do you know that Pete the Penguin, who is the main character of our Operation SAFE Trauma Care Program, is now ready to fly?
The Operation SAFE Trauma Care Program was born to care for the children who suffered from the Sichuan Earthquake in China in 2008. And this program was also used for caring for children in Haiti and Tibet after disasters hit the respective regions. Presently this program is used for the children in Tohoku, Japan. And Pete the Penguin, who is working hard in Tohoku, is now ready to go to Asian countries as an ambassador of emotional care to the children in Asia.
I am currently writing this article in Bali, Indonesia where I am hosting a Leadership Training Seminar for Operation Safe Trauma Care. After hosting this session, I am going to Manila, Philippines and Seoul, Korea to give similar workshops. Then Pete is ready to go abroad.
Why is Pete invited to the Asian Countries? Is Pete’s job in Japan finished? NO! Pete will continue to work in Japan and CRASH Japan will continue to host the Operation SAFE Trauma Care Program in Tohoku and other parts of Japan mobilizing the volunteers and holding the workshops to deepen the knowledge and understanding of children’s emotional care. But should we monopolize Pete in Japan? The Lord commands us to “SHARE”. Therefore, we should not monopolize Pete in Japan and CRASH Japan is led to extend the Love of God to all the suffering children in the world. And by the guidance of God and the invitation of the people in Asia, CRASH Japan is introducing the Operation SAFE Trauma Care Program to those who needs the program.
The Operation SAFE Trauma Care Program is not only for the children who are suffering from the effects of natural disasters but also very useful for the children in the refuge camps and the slums who need the emotional care. Since there is no other emotional care programs for those children, the Operation SAFE Trauma Care Program is very much needed in Asia.
Pete the Penguin is now responding to the cries heard in Asia. Will you come and join our efforts to share the Love of God? We appreciate your prayers and support.
Operation Safe Leader / Rie Wilson