On Sunday, May 6, a tornado tore through the city of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture. One person was killed and dozens were injured. Around 200 homes were destroyed and 24,000 houses lost access to electricity.
As soon as possible four CRASH leaders went to the Tsukuba area to evaluate how to respond to the situation. Like many small towns in Japan, the roads are very narrow and with many power lines down and debris, it is difficult to get into the affected area. At the local volunteer center our team saw a map of the town. The map showed that the tornado traveled along the main road, cutting a swathe about 500 meters wide through the center of town. The CRASH leaders met with local pastors who have already worked with CRASH in Tohoku. They found that these pastors are eager to reach out to their own community with the compassion of Christ. Due to the expressed need for help, CRASH Japan will be partnering with local churches in the Tsukuba area to bring help and hope to those who are hurting!
We are accepting donations for Tsukuba Tornado Relief. For overseas donors, at the moment we can only accept wire transfers for designated gifts. This funding will be used to provide:
Equipment and supplies for local churches to use to help survivors
The following is an excerpt from our 1-Year Anniversary Donor Report:
As we approach springtime in Japan, the return of warm weather and the beautiful cherry blossoms, CRASH Japan is once again entering another distinct phase of the Tohoku disaster relief response. Six months ago, the situation was very different. We had made it through the initial crisis, but beyond this, there were still many challenges and concerns facing survivors. The fall and winter months saw a decrease in receiving volunteers. Relocating evacuees from evacuation shelters to temporary housing generated additional needs. Isolation and depression were now the biggest threat to survivors' lives. In order to mitigate the greater potential of people committing suicide, our focus shifted from delivering supplies to bringing hope.
That was then, but today the scene looks much brighter. With the help of volunteers from all over the world and an increasing number of Japanese volunteering multiple times, we have been able to keep a continual presence of Christian workers throughout the disaster area. Survivors who struggle with thoughts of suicide testify that the continuous stream of volunteers has given them hope to live from week to week. Surprisingly, a Japanese government report revealed that the suicide rate in 2011 did not increase as feared, but actually decreased — the lowest in 14 years. I can only imagine how different the suicide statistics would be without the presence of Christian volunteers in the Tohoku region.
OperationSAFE is a program geared towards children who have lived through traumatic experiences. Through songs, games and storytelling, the message of God's love and hope is affirmed in each child. Often times the leaders and volunteers in OperationSAFE are pleasantly surprised to find that they also receive grace and healing through the process of ministering to the children.
More information on OperationSAFE can be found here.
Doing cleanup work with CRASH Japan isn't what one would usually refer to as "a day at the beach". But, on this particular day, it literally was. Our team of volunteers, most of whom came from New Jersey, traveled from the CRASH Japan Ichinoseki base to the nearby coastal town of Rikuzentakata. Much of the town had been completely wiped out and may not be rebuilt. In stark contrast, areas just beyond the wave’s reach seemed totally unaffected. There was little "middle ground", and not many structures were only partially damaged, as had been the case in Kesennuma.
CRASH Japan is a Christian disaster relief organization based in Tokyo. We mobilize volunteers and work with local churches to bring help, hope, and healing in the name of Jesus Christ. "Love on Japan" is CRASH Japan's response to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that began on March 11, 2011.
Please continue to support Japan. GIVE | PRAY | VOLUNTEER
CRASH Japan Phone from Overseas: +81-50-1213-1388 Phone from within Japan: 050-1213-1388 Fax: 050-1213-1388 Address: 1-2-12-105 Shinkawa-cho, HIgashikurume-shi, Tokyo-to 203-0013 JAPAN HQ Map: Google Maps Email Form: Click Here