Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan Quake/ Tsunami APPEAL


Many of us are wondering how we can best respond to the devastating news of the earthquakes and tsunami that have hurt especially Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate ken. As the computer and television screens pour out images, we can pour out our hearts to the Creator of the Universe to take care of the great nation of Japan.

CRASH Japan, a non-profit established for just a time as this, exists to help victims of disasters. We have experienced people who know the culture and language on the ground ready to assess the situation and then take appropriate action. Please consider how YOU might be able to help right now by giving a donation that will “kick start” our Tokyo based disaster relief initiative.

CRASH Japan is strongly endorsed by JEMA (Japan Evangelical Missionary Association) and comes highly recommended by Dale Little, JEMA President.

24 HOUR FUNDING GOAL: $100,000 (send a donation using one of the following options)

Donate via Horizon Christian Fellowship web site (tax deductible receipt provided):

Donate via PayPal (no tax deductible receipt):

Donate in Japan via the JEMA postal furikae account:
Account#00130-4-180466 (Please specify "earthquake relief" in the message box.)

Japan Tohoku Earthquake Prayer List

Here is a prayer list that we will keep updating that will give you up-to-date requests for the situation in Japan. Please share this link with your friends.
  • At 2:46 PM local time, March 11, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Japan off the eastern coast of Miyagi, prefecture. This is the largest recorded earthquake ever to have struck Japan, and the fifth largest recorded earthquake in the world. Even after 36 hours, heavy aftershocks were still being felt throughout northeastern Japan, with no way of knowing how long these aftershocks will continue. Some experts have said that there could be strong aftershocks of up to magnitude level 8 for six months. Please pray that the earthquakes will cease. Pray also for the buildings that survived the initial shock, but are being hammered by the aftershocks. Many buildings still stand, but were weakened, and because of this strong aftershocks are very dangerous.
  • The devastation from the initial earthquake was compounded by heavy tsunamis that hammered the east coast. Sendai City was hit the hardest, both by the temblor and the tsunami. Some towns were entirely obliterated by the tsunamis. Thirty-six hours after the initial shock, the tsunami warnings were downgraded to advisories. Please pray that these tsunamis will cease completely, and that people will be able to return home.
  • Due to the seismic activity, the ground level in much of coastal Japan actually sank, so sea water that came in during the tsunami is not receding. This is hampering relief efforts. Please pray that relief teams will be able to work safely in these areas.
  • Casualty reports are still coming in. The death toll is estimated to exceed 1,300 people. Over a thousand people have been injured. Pray for those who have lost their loved ones. Pray for those who are trapped and injured, as well as those who are missing friends and family.
  • In Fukushima Prefecture, two nuclear power plants are under a state of emergency. The reactors are overheating at the number 1 plant, and at the number 2 plant, the reactor pressure has been rising. At the Fukushima number 1 plant, there was an explosion Saturday afternoon, 4 PM local time, injuring four workers. The evacuation around the Fukushima power plant 1 has been expanded to 20 kilometers. Radiation levels at the plant have been measured at 1,051 microsievert. One hour of exposure to that much radiation is the same amount that the average human receives in a year. As of Sunday morning, 9 evacuees from the 20 km radius around the plant had been found with radiation exposure. Please pray that the situation will get under control soon, before anything more serious occurs.
  • Pray also for the weather. With radiation being diffused into the air, wind or rain could carry it into populated areas and expose people. Pray that any wind will carry radiation out to sea rather than into populated areas. What's more, bitterly cold night-time temperatures could prove life-threatening for those who are trapped.
  • Public transit systems in Tokyo and the surrounding areas were shut down for hours after the quake, with some people still stranded away from their families. Limited railway use has resumed. Pray for those who are stranded away from their loved ones at this difficult time.
  • Millions of homes in northeastern Japan are without power, and over a million homes in Ibaraki prefecture are without fresh water supplies. Pray for the power plants and water facilities to be able to resume their work, and pray for those who do not have these essential supplies.
  • Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the coastal areas and the area around the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Please pray for them, and all who are having to stay in public shelters.
  • Relief workers are working around the clock to rescue survivors, but things are grim for coastal cities due to the continual bombardment of tsunamis. Pray for the relief workers, that God would grant safety and stamina.
  • Pray for the Christians of Japan, that we would be able to mobilize relief efforts and provide for people's needs, both physical and spiritual.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Being Effective at Reaching Japan for Christ #2 -- Follow Your Passions

Do what you love to do, follow your God-given passions.

I learned this the hard way. About ten years ago I went through a period of depression that was absolutely no fun but it helped me make some changes in my life. The main change I made, something that made a huge difference, was resigning from the "preacher/church planter/pastor" role I had at the time. This allowed me to start focusing on what I love to do which is working with artists.

Now I am making films. Filmmaking is not easy, it is one of the most challenging things I have ever done but it is also a lot of fun and, most importantly, an effective means of communicating the gospel in Japan.

If I hadn't taken the scary step of resigning from a position that didn't "fit" me, I would have missed out on so much. Things like: being a producer on the award winning film Jitensha, being part of an amazing team that produced a music video of the first documented performance of Wadaiko & Black Gospel (I will embed that video below).

I want to make a difference, we all do. If I hadn't hit a rough spot and started following my passions I would have been locked in a negative cycle of trying hard, not getting anywhere, frustration....

Are you just "hanging on" because you don't know what else to do? Are you settling for "peace and pay" (an easy job and a secure paycheck)? If so, it isn't worth it. It might be time to quit and do something completely different.

If you could do anything, what would you do?