I felt an urgency to get this letter to you immediately! A generous, kindhearted donor has recently offered a $100,000 matching gift for earthquake relief in Southwest Japan. So now I want to give you an opportunity to respond to this huge need, starting with assisting Pastor Yoji Nakamura of Kumamoto Harvest Church. But let me provide some context for you…
As you know, the Island of Kyushu in Southwest Japan was hit by two very large earthquakes and multitudes of smaller tremors continue to rock the area.
Here are some current reports from the quake zone:
- More than a thousand earthquakes have been recorded in the quake zone in the first two weeks since the two major earthquakes hit, killing 65 people.
- Twenty thousand homes have either been destroyed or severely damaged, and 37,000 homeless are now sleeping in evacuation centers.
- The Red Cross says many people are exhausted, and the continuing aftershocks are testing already frayed nerves.
- The Japanese Meteorological Agency stated the threat of another major quake along the fault line has not yet passed.
- People are afraid that a bigger, more serious earthquake will hit soon. So many are staying out in their cars and open ground due to this fear. The atmosphere in the area is tense and the fear is palpable. The amount of continuous shaking is unusual and is reported to be taking a toll on people’s nerves.
Compassionate Actions Bring Hope & Support
Yet, if we’ve learned one thing from Japan’s Triple Disaster of 3/11/2011, it’s that the compassionate actions of the Church of Japan can bring hope and practical support in the midst of great fear and pain.
The Church has risen up to help their brothers and sisters in the midst of this most recent crisis and to this day, people in Northeast Japan still talk about how followers of Jesus are the only ones still there long after all the relief workers have left the country. In addition to providing relief and care, more people have been reached through the Gospel in the last five years than any comparable period since the end of World War II.
Experience and Relationships
Asian Access has plenty of experience in Japan, Nepal and Sri Lanka following natural disasters. Our philosophy of disaster relief is to leverage our relationships and resource the local church to truly become God’s primary vehicle for delivering ministry.
We have strong ties to churches on Kyushu Island where the earthquakes hit, having launched a church multiplication network there about 10 years ago. One of our alumni in the area is Yoji Nakamura. After planting Kumamoto Harvest Church, he participated in the Asian Access Pastor Training program and later in a church multiplication network with two other churches and Asian Access missionaries.
After the earthquakes in Kyushu, Rev. Nakamura immediately formed a network with other pastors for relief efforts. They coordinate the work with volunteers coming from outside the area. They are distributing goods as well as clearing debris. Now he and other leaders are asking to connect with pastors from the triple disaster in northern Japan to strategize their ministry in Kumamoto.
Additionally, Asian Access missionaries have already made their first trip into the relief zone to help deliver goods and assess the needs. They told stories of people who were trying to retrieve goods from their condemned properties and of feeling the fear of the people they met.
The opportunity is now!
Will you partner with us to come alongside local pastors like Yoji Nakamura to continue to minister to the people in great needs in his community?
Let’s seize this opportunity to make an eternal difference in Japan. Will you consider making a gift of $50, $100, $250 or even $1,000 that will be doubled for the people of Southwest Japan?
Yours for a stronger Church in Japan,
Joseph W. Handley, Jr.
President – Asian Access
How to Give toward Asian Access' Relief Work
- The Church of Japan is already helping the earthquake victims in Japan. But they can do so much more with help from people like you. Remember, your gift will be doubled with the $100,000 matching grant.
- Support churches who are doing relief work. A2 is distributing funds raised through local churches in Japan for use where it's needed most. To give online, click the red “Give Now!” button (US$) below or click here...
...or send your check to Asian Access, PO Box 3307, Cerritos, CA 90703.
- Pastor Nakamura: https://www.facebook.com/yoji.nakamura
- Kyushu Christian Disaster Relief Center: https://www.facebook.com/kumamanotoshien
- Photo slideshow: all images courtesy Riz Crescini, ©2016 All rights reserved. Used by permission.