Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 9, March 19 end of day report: Blessings in the midst of tragedy

It's been another hectic day at the CRASH Japan relief command center. Our team leader recognized early on that the nature of the disaster and the stress of the relief coordination could easily demoralize the group of volunteers. So we begin our morning and afternoon leaders' meetings by each person sharing a blessing of God's grace. This entry will be full of the blessings we've seen this week, some just today! Read on if you want to be encouraged!
  • Aid from Samaritan's Purse: A 747 cargo plane arrived today with 93 tons of relief supplies! The relief goods will be unloaded in Sendai (near some of the hardest hit areas) by CRASH Japan volunteers and transported to bases set up in the area. From there we expect volunteers, Japanese and non-Japanese Christians, to distribute it to areas missed or overlooked by the government relief efforts.
  • Reinforcements are arriving! God sent us some very capable people today from outside of the immediate area, even from outside Japan, to volunteer at the relief command center. Next week Tuesday the Japan Evangelical Association (JEA) will send leaders to meet with us to continue the process of mobilizing the Japanese church to respond to the needs that are so great in so many areas. The JEA's home page explains their cooperation with CRASH Japan:
  • High school students went into downtown Tokyo, on trains that were rather unreliable due to the electric power situation, to raise money for relief work, over $2000 in two days!
  • The CRASH Japan website is now in Japanese! Please let your Japanese friends know.
  • Churches all over the world are praying for Japan and mobilizing resources, including our home church. What an encouragement!
  • The Tokyo Electric Power Company has scheduled power outages almost every day for the area where the relief command center is, and EVERY DAY they have been cancelled! We have not lost power even once. Today was warm in Tokyo, reducing the need for electricity for heat. God is good!
  • Transportation is beginning to get back to normal, with trains and buses running better. We are now able to buy facial and toilet tissue again, but supplies of many food items remain in short supply. Gasoline is very difficult to get, as is heating fuel.
Please keep praying. God is at work!

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