East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

A team from Committed headed
for the affected city on March 20

March 20, 2011

(March 20, 2011, Sunday), a team from Committed Japan has left for the city of Rikuzen-takata of Iwate prefecture, which was completely demolished by the tsunami. We have found out that there is only one church there, so we will be starting our work of ministry to present the message of hope in a place where the Gospel has hardly been proclaimed. Please pray with us in this effort we are about to begin. 

With so many cities affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami, the vast extent of the devastation is unimaginable. However, since one of the staff at Kick Back Cafe, which the church runs, is from Rikuzen-takata, we have decided to base our relief effort in that city. 

Our church, Committed Japan, started its ministry out of charity concerts that were held for the victims of the great Kobe earthquake in 1995. Since then, we have committed ourselves to the effort of supporting the victims of various disasters such as the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 2010 Chilean earthquake.

My wife and I left Japan right after the earthquake that hit Japan on March 11th for California.  Since we have been there, we have been immersed in the warm hospitality and support from various artists, friends, churches, and organizations we have been privileged to build strong ties with.
Advised by and working alongside with Lance Cook, the chief executive of Committed Relief, we are now preparing not only for the emergency response but also for the long-term relief effort to reach out to the victims both physically and spiritually in the affected areas. 

In Japan, we will also be working alongside with IBC(Iwate Broadcasting Network), the biggest of Tohoku aeia, in Iwate prefecture, which took the full force of the tsunami,  as I am on one of their programs regularly and have a strong association with them. They will be our on-site partner in order for us to responsibly bring all the donations and relief supplies we receive to the most needy places and people. We also intend to start our own relief base camp in Rikuzen-takata after we have carefully examined the situation and prepared for it. 

Prayer Request from the team

After the Sunday morning worship service on March 20, 4 people from Committed,  Miggy, Tiger, Ikki, and Kana, will be heading for the city of Rikuzen-takata for the purpose of: 

1. Gaining on-site information and understanding of what needs to be done for the long-term crisis relief effort. They will be visiting evacuation centers, and checking road conditions, etc. 

2. Bringing relief supplies 
   Kana, a native of Rikuzen-takata, gathered information as to what is lacking in evacuation centers, and found out that the things listed below are desperately scarce. So the team will be bringing as many of these supplies as they can put in the car. 

    -wet wipes
    -toilet paper
    -emergency medical kits
 -portable gas stoves [burners]
 -gas canisters

For those of you who are reading this article, if you have these goods please send them to the address below.

Committed Japan
1-23-5 Sengawa, Chofu
Tokyo 182-0002 Japan

These goods will continually be needed as the displacement of evacuee is considered to last for a long length of time.

The director of Iwate Broadcasting Network will be waiting for the Committed team when they arrive in Iwate prefecture tonight, and will be safely guiding the team to Rikuzen-takata.

Please pray:

 1. For the team to arrive safely in the affected area.
 2. For the team to collect and gain correct information necessary and helpful for the next step.
 3. For the mental health of Iwate Broadcasting Network staff/reporters. They are in the field facing death and despair and reporting the names of the dead victims everyday. We hear that their stress levels are rising almost to the limit.


On-site Report ----------------------

Kana's Hometown
A building stands in the rubble in Rikuzentakata, northern Japan after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck the area, March 13, 2011.

Rikuzen-Takata:5,000 Homes Under Water and 15,000 People Missing

On March 12th, the Self Defense Force of Japan started its rescue efforts of most all of the households of the city of Rikuzen-Takata that has been demolished by the recent earthquakes which is estimated at 5,000. From the rescue efforts in Takata area, the most damaged area, 52 bodies were recovered on the 12th, and on the 13th, 114 more bodies, totaling 166 in the 2 days. The rescue effort, however, has been slowed because of the debris blocking all traffic to the city whose population is 23,000. According to the task force of the city, roughly 8,000 people are staying in emergency evacuated areas. The city is doing what they can to locate the the rest of the population. The City Hall, a 4-story building, was engulfed by the tsunami and out of 300 workers there, the whereabouts of 100 employees hav not been determined. Also, the city resident registry has been lost causing difficulty in identifying who the victims are.
There has been some positive news as the Self Defense Force of Japan has been successful rescuing 37 people isolated from roofs of buildings. Rescue efforts will continue. (March 13, 7:48PM(JST), NHK)


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