On April 30th, the Shinjuku Okubo Street (S.O.S.) Church Disaster Preparedness Network, with support from CRASH Japan, conducted a “Disaster Preparedness Festival”.
CRASH Japan staff member Helen Kwak also gave a seminar entitled “Heart Care for Disaster Victims and Relief Volunteers”.
On November 24th and 25th of November the 4/14 Window movement arrived in Japan culminating a year of preparation with the first national conference encouraging a focus on children for God’s kingdom.
Pastors Nam Soo Kim and Herman Mendoza from Promise Church in New York, Jess Curabo of AWANA Asia and Ruby Johnston of World Without Orphans were international guest speakers joined by dozens of locals who led practical workshops or shared the importance of children and youth from a Japanese perspective.
The reality of the Japanese context is that nearly half of churches no longer have a regular children’s ministry. This is partially due to the changing demographics of Japan’s population that has steadily become silver, but in the church it is even more extreme.
For humanitarian organizations like CRASH Japan and Samaritan’s Purse it means that local churches are more likely to be connected to the elderly than responsive to the needs of children in their communities. Since both the elderly and children are the most vulnerable when disasters strike it is paramount that the church serve both and build up trust and relationship with children and the elderly before a crisis.
The 4/14 Window Movement has made a good beginning in Japan. Our hope is that over the next few years regional groups could be formed to bring the focus on children to every part of Japan.