It has turned cold again and is snowing in many of the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Fuel and water is in short supply, people in shelters are cold, and it is taking time to get what is needed up there quickly. In Tokyo and many other areas gas is being rationed, causing long lines at the pumps. Scattered shortages of food have been seen.
CRASH Japan sent our first relief team to the Sendai area this morning, to set up a base of operations that volunteers can work out of. The strategy is to get the needed personnel and supplies to the bases, and then to work through the local churches to get to people in need.
My team of volunteer coordinators made significant progress in contacting many of those who have volunteered to serve the relief effort. We've been getting good news, like the Japanese government allowing medical workers from overseas to come and help in the three areas most affected.
The CRASH relief command center continues to receive many messages of encouragement from those who are praying for us, giving financially, and wishing to help in some way.
WHAT IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY:
1. Your prayers. The coordination efforts are exhausting, and we need to move quickly while also preparing for a long-term relief effort. Those doing direct relief need safety and wisdom in their work.
2. Financial resources: God's people have been generous so far, and we are grateful. The sheer immensity of the task will require a huge amount of supplies from outside of Japan. We have offers of aid from Christian organizations overseas, but will need to pay to get it distributed in Japan. We've made a faith goal today of US$1,000,000 to be received in the next week.
3. Medical personnel: Japan now allows medical personnel from overseas to serve in the three most affected areas. Register at crashjapan.com if you can help.
4. Volunteers. If you are in Japan, we will need you soon. If you are outside of Japan, consider putting together a relief team to come later, once we have bases of operation set up. There will be a great need for relief and recovery work for several months to come, at least. We expect to need teams throughout the summer.
5. Spread the word. Tell your friends of the needs and encourage them to pray. Facebook users can spread the word by clicking "Like" and/or "Share" at http://www.facebook.com/crashjapan.
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