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Earthquake & Tsunami in Ishikawa and surrounding areas

Please pray for the coastal areas of Central Japan along the Japan Sea, especially Ishikawa, Toyama, and Niigata prefectures. On New Years Day, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the Noto Peninsula and triggered tsunami conditions all along the coast on that side of Japan.

Here are a few news links in English as of now, about 5 hours after the quake:

Multiple Christian disaster relief networks are coordinating to gather information about the damage and needs in the area. The situation is very dynamic and aftershocks continue, so churches and networks will decide on a course of action after things have stabilized. Also, we will wait for first responders to finish their rescue efforts and searches for survivors before beginning relief activities.

Reflect and Reconnect

REFLECT AND RECONNECT~ 10 Years This year as we approach the anniversary of the 3.11 Great Eastern Japan Disasters, and the response to that by the Christian community of the world, we would like to take some time to focus on and listen to the individuals who responded. We aren’t looking to go back and re-experience that time, but would like to look at where we are now, and how responding to the disasters has affected our lives. Our reunion this year, sponsored by the Heart Care Department, is designed to create a space for us to listen to each other answer these three questions.

The Questions:

  1. When and where did you work with CRASH? What was your role and what did you do?
  2. How has your life changed since then? Where are you now and what are you doing?
  3. How did responding to the 3.11 disasters affect your life? Looking back, what does it mean to you today?

Please watch your email for an invitation to join this reunion. Or be proactive and reply here. https://crashjapan.com/en/reunion/

Remembering and Recovering

The devastation from the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear disasters ten years ago took a deep toll on the communities up and down the northeastern coast of Japan.

While people in the affected areas have grieved their losses, repaired or rebuilt their homes and businesses, re-established communities, and are going on with their lives as best they can, the recovery from that disaster is still actually ongoing. In one area the big road that was supposed to provide an escape route if another tsunami came is still under construction. In another area there are still a few evacuees who are not settled in permanent housing.

This month organizations all over Japan are preparing events to memorialize the ten year mark. Coming just one month before that anniversary, this earthquake has shaken people emotionally.

Pastors are reporting the distress of people in their communities. Many who have worked hard over the last ten years to overcome their trauma have found themselves again dealing with anxiety, stress, and flashbacks. After picking up the pieces of our lives, and working to return to order in the community, this quake has reminded everyone of how very vulnerable we are. The things that we take for granted, the order of our lives, the buildings and structures that we depend on for safety and comfort, all can become uncertain when the ground shakes.

Please join us in praying for healing and peace for these communities and individuals, and wisdom and safety for the pastors and missionaries who minister there.

Earthquake off the Coast of Fukushima

Last Saturday evening at 11:07 p.m. a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck northeastern Japan. The focus was off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of 55 kilometers. This earthquake did not trigger a tsunami, and there have been no deaths reported. However, over 150 injuries have been reported across six prefectures. Close to a million homes lost power for several hours, and some areas are still having trouble with their water supply. Buildings, roads, electric poles and Shinkansen bridges have been damaged and one section of highway was destroyed by a landslide triggered by the earthquake.

Seismologists are saying that this earthquake is actually an aftershock of the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake that spawned the tsunami and nuclear disasters that followed. It is the strongest quake in this area since April 2011, and some people who lived through the 2011 quake report that they felt that this one shook even more than that one did. Dishes broke, books and objects were tossed about, furniture that was not secured was toppled, and for many, the feeling of safety that was beginning to be re-established after the devastation from 10 years ago was shaken, too.

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From Facebook…

東日本大震災から13年(3.11の報告) 東日本大震災から13年目となる今日3月11日。東北各地で追悼集会が開かれたことと思う。 私は石巻市のキリスト教会にて開催された「愛と希望のコンサート」に参加の機会を得た。100名弱が集い、救世軍バンドの演奏や、クリスチャンである小学校長先生が発災時に、祈りながらどう決断したかを元にした落語や、賛美を聞き、共に歌った。 14:46になり、例年より小さな音のサイレンが聞こえてきた。その後、献花、祈りが続き、また能登半島地震で被災された方々のことを覚え、義援金のアピールもなされた。  震災で亡くなった方々の命日である3月11日。いのちの尊さを改めて思い、感謝し、生きていこうとしている全ての方々に、キリストの愛と希望がこれからも届いていきますように。  2024年3月11日 永井敏夫 ... See MoreSee Less
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東日本大震災から13年目 3月5日(火)、福島県キリスト教連絡会(通称FCC)が呼びかけにより、東日本大震災からのそれぞれの歩みを振り返る集いが、須賀川シオンの丘であった。私は沼澤克己先生(相模原ミッションみちのく、クラッシュジャパン監事)と参加した。 10人の小さな集まりだったが、互いの振り返りを聞きながら、自らの歩みを思い起こしながら、分かち合った。 「無我夢中だった。」、「震災直後、外が真っ暗な中、十字架に灯ったあかりを見て、有り難さが分かった。」、「何とも言えない思い。」など、言葉を選びながらさまざまな思いが語られた。 全国にある54基の原発の安全性を心配する思い、本当の豊さとは何かを考えていく大切な営みについても分かち合われた。 「地方は決しておまけではない。地方が活性化していく中で、国全体が豊かになっていく。」という表現が、教会にも通じると言及され、なるほどと思わされた。 新型コロナ禍の中、2021年11月に開かれた「宣教フォーラム福島」でなされた5人の方々の祈りのことばを改めて口ずさみたいと思った。    最後に、能登半島地震で被災された方々を覚え、能登ヘルプを通してこれからも主がなしてくださることを信じ祈った。(福島県キリスト教連絡会と能登ヘルプは、共に地域の放送伝道協力会が母体となって誕生して活動している。」                        永井敏夫 ... See MoreSee Less
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2月18日(金)半年ぶりに秋田を再訪した。  2019年以来の実際の再会が叶ったという秋田伝道協力会にまず出席。会場は、昨年夏の豪雨被害後に修繕がなされた秋田中央キリスト教会の会堂で、5名の牧師方が集まった。 このネットワークは、秋田市とその近隣の市にある20弱の教会の繋がりで、昨年夏秋田中央キリスト教会会堂と牧師館が被災した際には、猛暑の中、さまざまな牧師、信徒方が作業に駆けつけていたことを思い出す。 出席された牧師方に私は、「能登ヘルプ」ができた経緯と現在の動きを紹介し、その後質疑応答の時を持った。まるで秋田伝道協力会の再発足式に立ち合ったような感じがした。 その後、牧師館を牧師方と訪問、見学した。見違えるようになった一階を見てうれしく思った。 18日(日)には、秋田中央キリスト教会にて礼拝。神の計画と愛に改めて一同で感謝しながら礼拝する恵みにあずかれて感謝だった。永井敏夫 ... See MoreSee Less
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