As I write, our newspapers and televisions are dominated by terrible images of the widespread destruction and suffering following the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan on Friday 11th March. The British Red Cross have reported that more than 4,300 people have died in the disaster, thousands are injured or missing, and more than 440,000 people have had to leave their homes. Although totals are changing constantly, it is understood that 850,000 households in the north are still without electricity in near-freezing weather (source – Tohuku Electric Power Company) and the government said at least 1.5 million households lack running water. Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief economist at Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients that the economic loss will likely be around 14-15 trillion yen (US$171-183 billion) just to the region hit by the quake and tsunami. Clearly, the needs are great! In addition, there are many varying reports about the nuclear reactor plants. People have been evacuated within a 12-mile radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear complex. Several other nuclear plants have reported damage.
In response, One Mission Society have launched an appeal seeking to raise funds to help. Presently most things are still in the search and rescue stage but OMS is working along-side the Japan Holiness Church who, at this early stage, are thinking of clean up, construction and relief help. They may try to look for some areas that are not getting help but, clearly, they will want to give help to their churches and the communities where the churches are located. Whilst the JHC is not strong in the North they do have several churches there including one in Sendai. There have been no reported JHC member deaths or significant damage to the buildings. At the same time there is going to be a lot to do for a long time.
We have set up project account #404180 (Emergency Relief Fund) for all donations. These donations will be used for relief of those affected by the disaster. The exact use of these funds will be forthcoming as we assess how we can best help the victims and effectively witness for Christ among those suffering. As you are probably aware, Japan is where OMS was berthed 110 years ago. We have churches and missionaries on the ground so there is going to be definite control on how the funds are used and we trust good accountability.
Join with us in prayer as we speak “peace be still” to the shifting foundations of this nation in crisis, as Jesus did to the winds and the waves in the midst of a storm, and pray against fear which is contributing to the crisis there. If you feel so prompted, you can send your donations by clicking on the Donate Now icon.
For the only cause that matters, the OMS-UK Team