“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
– Psalm 42:1-2
We want to let you know that we need your help after the terrible earthquake in Japan, and the resulting damage from the tsunami, nuclear disaster, and inclement weather.
As in all of the 100+ countries where we bring the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, Youth for Christ is ready to provide relief to the victims in Japan. We are on the ground and prepared to provide care and compassion, because we do it every day.
No new relief workers are being allowed to go where things are the worst in Japan; but that does not impact YFCI, because our people already live there. We have not needed to find any translators to bring into Japan because our people speak Japanese already… they are Japanese. And that is why we are able to provide unique support to those affected by this terrible incident.
The March 11th earthquake was the 5th strongest in the world since 1900, and Japan’s worst. The tsunami that followed, and the near-meltdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant have combined to create a devastating catastrophe.
In just one example of the heartbreak that nation is suffering, right now, thirty children between the ages of 8 and 12 sit at Kama Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Japan, waiting patiently. The school has no running water, electricity or heat. But the kids have nowhere else to go.
And the teachers don’t know what to say to them, because the children are waiting for their parents to come get them after the earthquake and resulting tsunami. But so far, no one has come; and every day, it looks more and more likely that they never will. It is expected their parents are among the thousands missing in this town of 160,000, fifty miles northeast of Sendai.
Japan’s population is 127.6 million. Across the country, approximately 434,000 people have been made homeless and are living in shelters. Thousands are dead and missing; the exact number is not known. The governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, says he fears the Japanese people are being “punished.”
Their spirits are low. They are too proud to ask for help, and too decimated to take action themselves. They are struggling with grief, loss, dangerous conditions and fear.
Now, more than ever, it is vital that Youth for Christ staff and volunteers get into the street and talk to people, calm their fears, and soothe them with the word of God. Now is the time when our message, and our assistance, can reach the greatest number of people in need.
We want to send bicycles with carriers to the affected areas, so the people can get around and not be stuck within the ruins. They need access to shelter, clean food, and water. They need to find their loved ones. (The bikes have carriers to bring in supplies and carry people out—some for medical care). You have not heard it on the news, but it is a critical need.
Many of our Youth for Christ workers have other jobs and volunteer or received a small stipend—but there is no work now, and we need to continue to send them support.
Our National Coordinator in Japan has asked for a special financial appeal. He sees a major need that is currently not being given full attention:
Bicycles—Due to a major fuel shortage and damage to the roads and train tracks, people are unable to travel by train or cars in the affected areas. Youth for Christ will purchase a number of bicycles that have cargo capabilities to be able to transport the sick and injured to clinics and hospitals regardless of the condition of the roads. They will also provide people access to food and water.
|Youth for Christ National Coordinator, Kazunori Endo Reports from Nagoya, Central Japan
Our country, Japan, got hit by a large earthquake on Mar 11. I was working in my house and then felt a small but very long shake. Soon I remembered the quake in Kobe (app. 5000 died) in 1995. We Japanese citizens get use to experiencing earthquakes every year and we have been trained to do appropriate actions since childhood. But we have not imagined such a big one.
I was afraid for our team members’ family and friends in the area. But the telephone and traffic system are totally paralyzed and I did not know what had happened to my friends there in the afternoon. Most information could be taken from the twitter site of my friend. She was hit by the quake in the train, and got out of it; it took her two hours to walk back home. On the way she tweeted from time to time with small pictures. TV & radio is OK, but they cannot cover our friends and families.
We are having new information more and more. Atomic power plants are damaged, with more than 1,000 times the normal levels of radiation, which is leaking, causing nearby residents to take refuge. Some villages were washed away by tsunami in a moment. Fires are still going in some places. Some people were saved from the tsunami on the rooftops of the office buildings and it is still very cold over there. Electricity and gas supplies are stopped in the up-north area.
Our Prayer Requests are:
- The rescue of the people still in the disaster area (especially for the activity of our defense force, fire station, and police officers)
- Care for the people who have been hurt, injured and traumatized by the quake
- The united work of governments and political parties
- The spiritual needs of the people
- Local churches’ cooperation
Youth for Christ is currently in Japan, in the midst of the terrible crisis. We ask you to open your hearts and your wallets to comfort those in need. Youth for Christ will ensure support goes to our people who live in Japan, and they will see to it that help reaches those who need it most. You will not only be sending rescue to the people of Japan, but also Youth for Christ workers, who are citizens of Japan living among the afflicted. Everyone in that area needs help. Please find it in your heart to send a generous donation so we can help the Japanese get back on their feet.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? I John 3:17
When the earthquake hit Japan, Youth for Christ workers were there. They are still there today, and they will remain there, helping rebuild their lives, their missions, and the lives of those so tragically affected.
Please help these very good people with relief efforts. God bless you.