Tsunami Ministry Focus

August 4, 2011

Introduction

This proposal #1 was developed immediately after Dale and Ann's tsunami ministry setup trip in July 2011. It is a starting point for shaping the focus of the EFCCM tsunami recovery ministry that will take place from Nov/2011 through Oct/2012.

Any recovery ministry in the post 3/11 era of rebuilding in Japan must be flexible. So the shape of this recovery ministry might change once Dale and Ann arrive in Japan in Nov/2011 to actually begin the ministry. The situation on the ground is in constant flux.

EFCCM tsunami ministry focus

If there is any one single observation that informs the direction of this proposal it is that the emotional needs of tsunami victims are outstanding. Physical needs are being met as best as can be expected.

Therefore the EFCCM will focus upon meeting the emotional needs of tsunami victims by providing opportunities for them to talk and build new personal relationships through such activities as...

  • sewing/quilting projects (warm blankets and clothing for winter)
  • serving coffee, tea, and baked goodies
  • distributing helpful literature, including gospel centered literature
  • teaching outreach English conversation classes for children, if there are children in temporary housing and if their parents desire their children to take such classes
  • cleaning, scrap booking, and scanning family photos victims have found in the tsunami debris
  • Temporary housing in Sendai city for tsunami victims
TempHousingSendai3

This emotional care will require a mobile ministry, rotating between temporary housing locations (see pic). It will require such resources as...

  • vehicle (large 4WD van or perhaps a small motorhome)
  • fuel and highway tolls for the recovery ministry vehicle
  • sewing machines for Japanese ladies to use and sewing/quilting materials
  • oven for baking
  • coffee and tea making equipment
  • Japanese literature for distribution
  • photo scanner
  • photo cleaning and scrap booking supplies
  • household items required by victims for the approaching winter (heaters, curtains, carpets, etc.)

Once we are known within the temporary housing centers, this kind of ministry has the potential of expanding. At that point we will call for volunteers to join us. This is a ministry that will likely start on a small scale and grow larger over time.

Building construction will not be a focus of the EFCCM ministry. But there is a large Christian recovery organization that is interested in cooperating if we can propose some viable construction projects. Such projects could involve sending volunteer teams directly to or through that organization.

Geographic base: Sendai city

Sendai city includes areas hit by the tsunami waves and is relatively close to other affected towns. Many victims are moving to Sendai because it is the largest city in northeastern Japan (population: one million) thus offering opportunities for employment. Dale and Ann plan to rent a house close to both Sendai and the tsunami hit coastal areas, perhaps in a town like Rifu-cho, Miyagi-ken.

Cooperating churches and organizations

Larry and Bella, who are ReachGlobal (EFC of America and EFC of China (Hong Kong)) church planters at Sendai Izumi EFC, make excellent partners. So it is our intention to work closely with them for mutual encouragement and long term ministry continuity.

Although working with local churches in the affected areas is a priority, the reality is that there are relatively few churches in those areas. (For example, there are no churches in Higashi Matsushima, one of the destroyed towns about one hour from Sendai city.) So cooperation with local churches should include cooperating with churches located outside the affected areas who have a deep concern for those areas. For example, many Tokyo area EFCJ churches have a concern and would make excellent partners for EFCCM recovery ministry. Musashino Chapel Center, particularly the English Department, is one such church.

One credible and unique relief network is CRASH Japan because it has the endorsement of the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association (JEMA), along with the enthusiastic volunteer help of JEMA linked expatriate missionaries (over 1000). CRASH also has the endorsement of JEA (Japan Evangelical Association). JEA is the network of evangelical churches in Japan parallel to NAE (National Association of Evangelicals) in America and EFC (Evangelical Fellowship of Canada) in Canada. (Dale serves as the President of JEMA.) Our intention is to work in cooperation with CRASH Japan.

japanquake.ca (dale little)