Thursday, March 31, 2011

"What if that were MY daughter?" (Day 21, March 31 report)

The relief and recovery efforts of CRASH Japan are focused on meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those affected by this disaster. We can readily appreciate that those who have lost home, family, friends and community need care for the trauma they have experienced.

Less apparent are those affected by "secondary trauma"; friends and family members of those directly affected. Then there are those who have evacuated their homes due to the radiation leak. Life as an evacuee is stressful, especially for children.

Photo: NY Times
Easily overlooked are those who are directly involved in caring for disaster victims. Yesterday at the CRASH command center I spoke with a colleague about the needs 100,000 Japan Self Defense forces whose job it is to sort through rubble, often by hand, looking to recover the bodies of the more than 16,000 who are still missing. Who is caring for them?

Coincidentally the same topic came on the evening news. A group of soldiers discovered two more bodies, one of a young girl. After recovering the body they lit incense right there in the midst of the rubble and prayed for the soul of the departed people. Later the commander debriefed his men and said, "They put on a brave face, but I know inside their hearts are breaking." One soldier said, "What if that MY daughter we just recovered? How would I feel?"

The needs are so great and long-term. Pray that God will raise up thousands of Japanese Christians to respond to this opportunity to minister to those in need.

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