Mar 15

Praying and Giving for Japan

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link

What’s happening in Japan is a reminder to all of us that the present order is out of order. The new creation has dawned in Christ, but creation still groans for the completion of God’s work. Until that time, we pray to our Creator-God, who made this world and is sovereign over it. We pray to Him for the physical rescue, recovery, and comfort of many hurting people. And we pray for the spiritual rescue of many through the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Christ, God entered this very world, with all of its trouble. He knows suffering and He has known it for our sake. John Piper gives us an example of how to pray in a time like this: “We cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy…May every heart-breaking loss—millions upon millions of losses—be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ.”

And as we pray, we also move. We move to help the way that is best from the place we are at: by giving to those who can best leverage our resources for the good of Japan and the glory of God.

As is the case with most disasters around the world, we do not have direct partners on the ground in Japan, but we have friends who do.  We have decided as a church to funnel any giving to Japan for disaster relief through the following organizations. If you would like to give through DSC to these organizations, please use a missions envelope and designate “Japan Relief.”  Or, if you’d prefer, you can give to these organizations directly online at the links below.

CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support, and Hope)

CRASH Japan, working closely with JEMA (the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Association), has a large network of experienced volunteers who know the culture and language. CRASH Japan’s 24-hour fundraising goal is $100,000. In the last few years, CRASH leaders have coordinated relief efforts in China, Haiti, Indonesia, New Zealand, and other major disaster areas.

On Monday, March 14th, CRASH sent four survey teams to the Tohoku region by train, car, and motorcycle as early as 12:00 am to assess the damage, find staging grounds, and make contact with local communities to prioritize their needs. Additional survey teams will be sent out later in the week.

CRASH Japan is using funds to purchase vital equipment, such as satellite phones, printers, computers, and wireless routers. This equipment will be used to facilitate communication between the Tokyo command center and cities where infrastructure has been weakened or destroyed. According to Intel Coordinator David Sedlacek, satellite phones are the most crucial tool in making contact with disaster areas and isolating relief needs.

A vast majority of Japan identifies religiously as either Buddhist or Shinto, or both. Only 1.5% of Japan’s population identifies as Christian, but churches all over the country have volunteered their resources in a coordinated effort with CRASH to offer aid to those who are suffering.

According to JEMA President Dale Little, “CRASH is the second-to-none relief network in Japan. No other agency is able to assess the needs on the ground like CRASH, and then take steps toward meeting those needs. The effectiveness of CRASH includes linking closely with local churches in Japan.”

Click Here to Give!

Churches Helping Churches

Churches Helping Churches is a global partnership of church communities who seek to rebuild other churches in the wake of a catastrophic natural disaster.

…Our efforts are intended to provide spiritual support and development aid to the pastors and their churches who are often the de facto leaders in these affected communities, as a complement to the initial waves of humanitarian aid that pour into a country in the wake of a disaster.

Click Here to Give!

As we run from the trouble of this present age, may we flee to Christ for hope in the age to come. Through these organizations, we pray that God will comfort the broken, heal the hurting, and open eyes to see His love and grace in Jesus Christ.