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Feedback on visit to disaster area in North-Eastern Japan from Tu. 29 March to Th. 31 March 2011.

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Feedback on visit to disaster area

in North-Eastern Japan from

Tu. 29 March to Th. 31 March 2011

Tobie de Wet and Stephan van der Watt (delegates of Mission Japan) were accompanied by Rev. Kei Kataoka (delegated by the RCJ* Shikoku Presbytery as well as Tokushima en Tokushima West congregations).

Rev. Taka Ashida (delegate of RCJ Synodal Commission for International Relations) acted as our escort.

*RCJ = Reformed Church in Japan


The main purpose of our visit was to:

1)     Visit as many RCJ congregations in the region as possible

and to assure them personally

of our love, prayers and support;

2)  Assess first-hand the actual situation and the needs of

the people in the disaster area;

3)      Determine what the local congregations were doing

to help deal with the immediate needs of the

afflicted communities;

4)      Hear what the long term plans of the Church at

grass-roots level are to help deal with the situation;

5)    Provide feedback as soon as possible and to discern

in which way Mission Japan and the broader Church

in South Africa could support churches within the disaster

area to help relieve the need of surrounding communities.



Police officers in readiness on the way to disaster area
Police officers in readiness on the way to disaster area


Japanese defence force members set and ready with first aid
Japanese defence force members set and ready with first aid




Aiba couple – part of a 6th generation Christians who initially helped establish churches in Tohoku Region


Earthquake damage in aiba couple s home
Earthquake damage in Aiba couple’s initially helped establish churches in Tohoku Regionhome


Front wall of rcj shiroishi church collapsed as result of the quake
Front wall of initially helped establish churches in Tohoku RegionRCJ Shiroishi church collapsed as result of the quake


Point of call 2 rcj watari mission station
Point of Call 2 – RCJ Watari Mission Station initially helped establish churches in Tohoku Region


A colleague off loading emergency supplies
A colleague off-loading emergency supplies initially helped establish churches in Tohoku Region


Tobie with mr inomata rice bread baker and member of rcj watari
Tobie with Mr Inomata - (rice)bread-baker initially helped establish churches in Tohoku Regionand member of RCJ Watari


The local nursery school utilized as part of the mission station (all are safe, including Rev. Hayashi, local pastor)



Destruction exposed at yamashita station close by rcj watari
Destruction exposed at station (all are safe, Yamashita Station (close by RCJ Watari)


The last memory of a grandmother and her grandchild
The last memory of a grandmother station (all are safe, and her grandchild...


The vehicle in which their bodies had been discovered
The vehicle in which their bodies station (all are safe, had been discovered


Cars had been swept along like pieces of toys
Cars had been swept station (all are safe, along like pieces of toys






Mr inomata s bakery partner mr abe his home in the background was also hit hard
Mr Inomata’s bakery partner, Mr Abe to the tsunami(his home in the background was also hit hard)


The first floor of mr abe s home was completely flooded
The first floor of Mr Abe’s home to the tsunamiwas completely flooded.




Earthquake damage at rcj sendai congregation rev yoshida rcj moderator is the pastor here
Earthquake damage at RCJ Sendai congregation. visited the disaster areas)Rev. Yoshida (RCJ Moderator) is the pastor here


Rev kataoka sorting basic provisions at rcj sendai distribution point
Rev. Kataoka sorting basic provisions visited the disaster areas)at RCJ Sendai distribution point


Point of call 5 takayama missionary holiday resort
Point of Call 5 – Takayama visited the disaster areas)(missionary holiday resort)



The distorted tsunami warning signboard of the missionary holiday resort at takayama
The distorted tsunami warning signboard of the long queues to get somemissionary holiday resort at Takayama




Point of call 6 rcj ishinomaki
Point of Call 6 – RCJ Ishinomaki away at the entrance to the resort


Rev shiratsu from rcj ishinomaki embraced by our group leader rev taka
Rev. away at the entrance to the resortShiratsu from RCJ Ishinomaki embraced by our group leader (Rev. Taka)


The church building of rcj ishinomaki was hard hit by the tsunami
The church building of RCJ Ishinomaki away at the entrance to the resortwas hard hit by the tsunami


Rev shiratsu shows how the earthquake damaged the manse next door
Rev. away at the entrance to the resortShiratsu shows how the earthquake damaged the manse next door





Policemen cleaning up
Policemen cleaning up heap of rubble



At onagawa the tsunami wave was higher than 20m more than 2000 people dead or missing
At heap of rubbleOnagawa the tsunami wave was higher than 20m, more than 2000 people dead or missing.


Like so many others looking for what is left of an earlier life amongst the rubble
Like so many others looking for what is left of an ‘earlier' life amongst the rubble...


A dejected worker contemplating the devastated onagawa more than 10 000 people had lived there
A dejected worker contemplating the devastated ‘earlier' life amongst the rubble...Onagawa (more than 10 000 people had lived there)



Mr Kimura points to his car on the 3rd floor of a building – he had a very narrow escape ahead of the flood waters.


This entrance to the hospital in onagawa is more than 25 m above sea level
This entrance to the hospital in – he had a very narrow escape ahead of the flood waters.Onagawa is more than 25 m above sea level!


A clock on the first floor of the hospital tells the story. It stopped 50 minutes after the earthquake...the point in time of the advent of the tsunami.


A few of the more than 2300 people at a shelter in onagawa
A few of the more than 2300 It stopped 50 minutes after the earthquake...people at a shelter in Onagawa



People from all over the world extending a helping hand
People from all over the world governmentextending a helping hand


The damage to onagawa is immeasurably wide and deep and high
The damage to governmentOnagawa is immeasurably wide and deep and high


Point of call 8 driving northwards from onagawa along the coastline past several small villages
Point of Call 8 – Driving Northwards from governmentOnagawa along the coastline past several small villages



This man and his family survived he is looking for possessions of friends who had lost everything
This man and his family survived; he is looking for possessions of friends who had lost everything.


The infra structure of another village lies destroyed many years of repairs and recovery lie ahead
The infra-structure of another village lies destroyed – many years of repairs and recovery lie ahead



Points of Call 9-14: Other RCJ congregations, relief-organizations and broader church groups in Sendai


Praying and talking together at rcj sendai east after a long day s voluntary relief work
Praying and talking together at RCJ Sendai relief-organizations and broader church groups in SendaiEast, after a long day’s voluntary relief work


Provisions at rcj sendai east and rev tateishi as pastor to be distributed in community
Provisions at RCJ Sendai East (and Rev. relief-organizations and broader church groups in SendaiTateishi as pastor) to be distributed in community


Rcj sendai kaanan church building is unaffected after the earthquake
RCJ Sendai- relief-organizations and broader church groups in SendaiKaanan church building is unaffected after the earthquake


Local pastor (Rev. Yoshioka) with goods from the congregation that will be taken to children and the elderly



Distribution point of a usa relief organization
Distribution point of a congregationUSA relief organization






Interdenominational meeting - leaders of various Protestant and Roman-Catholic churches in Sendai region – planning next steps of coordinated relief aid


Rev. Yoshida (RCJ Moderator) as chairperson of and Roman-Catholic churches in Sendai region – planning next steps of coordinated relief aidthe interdenominational initiative (with hiscolleague from a Roman Catholic Church)


Various church groups also an international rescue team from a baptist church are involved
Various church groups - also an international rescue team from a Baptist church - are involved




The distress call from japan is unmistakable
The distress call from Japan is unmistakable station…

And in this disaster-stricken country there are at present

only about 1% Christians.

They are your brothers en sisters

who, with the millions

of people in Japan

need your support.


Please pray that from this misery and heartrending pain there will be countless

people who will know for the first time:

“Suffering produces perseverance,

Perseverance, character; and character, hope.

And hope does not disappoint us,

because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,

whom He has given us.”

(Romans 5:3-5)


Thank you very much for there will be countless the support we as missionaries and church in Japan have already received from you! This inspires us…


Mission japan disaster fund 051 406 6729
Mission Japan Disaster Fund there will be countless (051) 406 6729


For a comprehensive report on this visit to the disaster area, and on how to become more involved go to:

www.missiejapan.co.za

Email: [email protected]


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