Two months have passed since a series of devastating 6.4 to 7.3-magnitude earthquakes struck Kumamoto, Japan, with churches, pastors and volunteers facing the daunting task of trauma care for multitudes of displaced people. In a recent visit to the epicenter, Asian Access missionary John Houlette, along with Dr. Timothy Iwagami of Crash Japan and Shinji Ishizaka of the Salvation Army, met with Kyushu Christian Relief Center leaders Yoji Nakamura and Paul Yokota to assess the emotional care needs of survivors and care givers. They also provided pastoral care to two pastors.
Kumamoto church leaders are resilient, but very tired. One pastor does not have permanent housing, so shuttles between living in a tent in a shelter and living with volunteers in her church. Today heavy rains have flooded the church parking lot as the riverbank across the street from their facility partially sunk after the earthquake. They ask for prayer as they are sheltering on the second floor until the flooding subsides.
Another couple talked about ministry opportunities to children in the epicenter even though their church and parsonage were destroyed. While they asked about self-care, their chief concern was finding a regular meeting place so that they could reach out to the traumatized children.
The June 10 edition of the Mainichi Shinbum (online newspaper) reported that 88 temporary housing units are completed and survivors were able to move in on June 14th. Over 3,000 units are to be completed by the fall.
Houlette will facilitate two emotional care/active listening seminars July 16-17 and lead a retreat for pastors August 16-18. Please pray for these events.
- Mainichi Shimbun: Kumamoto Quake Special Section
- Read John's staff profile here...
- John is an Asian Access missionary serving through Three Stream Ministries:
Three Stream Ministries (TSM) was to launch in April of 2011 to assist clergy and congregations to be whole, holy and missional. Three weeks before start up, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, changing the trajectory of the ministry. Over the next five years TSM has served over 100 pastors through retreats, getaways, resources, preaching, training and active listening.