we touched this same spot with our hands, our feet, our gaze and our dreams

Saturday, March 26, 2011

JAPAN FIELD REPORT FROM AICHI

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil,
        for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me."

March 26, 2011

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you all for your continuing prayers on our behalf, on behalf of the relief efforts currently underway through CRASH Japan and on behalf of the people of Japan. With the devastation and loss of life in northeast Japan being said to be five times the size of Hurricane Karina and with the enormity of the recovery and relief effort now before the nation of Japan, your continuing prayer support is much needed.

This past Tuesday/Wednesday (3/22,23) I was up in Tokyo for two reasons. The first was for our monthly Japan Leadership Council Meeting, which took place on Tuesday and then to visit the CRASH Japan Relief Command Center, in order to assess the possible need for Eileen and I to join the CRASH Japan EmoCare team, which is focused on disaster victim care and the pastoral support and care needs of the relief teams being sent up to the disaster area.

Two reflections on my trip up to Tokyo

Reflection #1: One sobering thought.... Since the Kobe of 1995, our here in Central Japan was predicted to be the next area that would be hit by a major earthquake, as I rode the Bullet Train through our neighboring prefecture at a speed of 260 kph and passing right next to the ocean, I was struck by the fact that should that earthquake have hit where it had been predicted, literally, the entire area we were passing through along with the Bullet Train and it's tracks have been swept away into the ocean and no longer exist.

Reflection #2: One powerful thought.... Upon entering the CRASH Japan Command Center and seeing the 100 or more volunteers focused on the relief effort and led by a large cross-section of the evangelical missionary community, I was impacted in seeing how the Lord was mobilizing his people in bringing the needed physical, emotional and spiritual help to the nearly 1/4 million displaced and suffering people of northeast Japan.

Concerning CRASH Japan and its Three Pronged Strategy

While at the CRASH Japan Command Center, I was encouraged to hear of the three pronged strategy that has been developed in order to get the necessary aid into to those who most urgently need it. That strategy first involves the establishing of six base camps through six area churches in the northeast which are able to receive the supplies and house the relief teams. Then, by avoiding the "hot spots" where other relief agencies are currently working with local pastors and believers in order to get the necessary supplies to the many hidden areas which have yet to receive the aid they need. And lastly, along with the bringing of the necessary supplies to meet the physical needs of the countless displaced people, to also to deliver a special piece of literature speaking of God's message hope from Psalm 23.

In a recent report just received back from one of the base camps, "While on his assessment trip for CRASH, Ralph and his team found 9000 evacuees who were very low on supplies. They're now working with Samaritan's Purse and the Marines to get supplies like hygiene kits, rice, water & cup-ramen delivered to this huge group of people whose town was obliterated."

So how are we going to get involved? As a home near the CRASH Japan Command Center has been offered to us, Eileen and I plan to drive up to Tokyo in order to join the CRASH Japan EmoCare team in the preparing relief teams to be sent to the disaster area and also to be there to debrief them on there return. Thus, we will appreciate your prayers in the following specific areas:

1. For the Lord's leading in exactly what role He would have us play in terms of pastoral care and relief team preparation.

2. As CRASH Japan is currently working out of the campus of Christian Academy in Tokyo, with school scheduled to resume in early April, they will need to move their operations to a longer term facility. Please pray for the Lord to open up just the right facility that will meet the needs of CRASH Japan.

3. And finally, as we will initially be committing to serve at the CRASH Japan Command Center for the next two weeks, please pray that we might be sensitive to the Lord's will if he would have us commit to a longer period of time.

Even though we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil, for we know the Lord is with us and the efforts to bring physical, emotional and spiritual help and hope to those tens of thousands who are suffering greatly. Thank you for your continuing prayer support!

In Christ and for His Glory, Jim Nielsen TEAM-Japan

PS For more up-to-date information concerning the relief efforts of CRASH Japan, please visit:  http://www.crashjapan.com/

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