by Iijima Makoto, executive secretary Kyodan East Japan Disaster Relief Projects
【Church & Parsonage Reconstruction】(through domestic contributions)
There were 81 congregations that received funding to repair damage caused by the March 11, 2011 disaster: 43 in Tohoku District, 10 in Ou District, 27 in Kanto District, and one in Tokyo District.
As of Feb. 28, 2015 there are 29 congregations that have received support and an additional four that are scheduled to receive support, for a combined total of 34 churches. Already 446,148,429 yen has been dispersed with another 150 million yen expected to be dispersed. Along with aid, 20 congregations have received loans; loans have also been made to two preschools and one institution. A total of 255,505,500 yen in loans has been made available through the Church Mutual Aid fund, and it is anticipated that four more churches will be receiving loans of 100 million yen each.
1. Emmaus Sendai & Ishinomaki (support from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), Reformed Church in America (RCA), & Kyodan)
【History】In the immediate aftermath of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Tohoku District created the Emmaus Relief Center. Youth from all over Japan came to the center to volunteer, distributing food and supplies as well as assisting with repairs, rebuilding, and the removal of rubble. In 2013, Emmaus Sendai began work on the restoration of agriculture through planting and harvesting. At the same time, in Ishinomaki, restoration of the fishing industry began through helping with the seeding of oyster beds and the harvest of kelp. So far, there have been a total of 6,669 volunteers.
【2015 Activity Plan】Work will be focused on the needs of the residents in temporary housing. “Ochakko Salon,” a tea-time fellowship ministry, is being used to provide an atmosphere in which these residents can find relaxation and hope through conversation and fellowship.
2.Heartful Kamaishi (support from EMS, UMCOR, mission 21, & Kyodan)
【History】This work began in February 2012, when four Ochakko Salons were opened at four temporary housing complexes in the city of Kamaishi. Currently work is continuing at 14 locations, including 12 temporary housing complexes and one reconstruction housing area. As of Feb. 28, 2015, a total of 9,105 people have participated in these gatherings.
【2015 Activity Plan】Four years have passed since the disaster. The Ochakko Salon now features arts and crafts. Other activities include weeding and picking up fallen leaves around the temporary housing units and visiting individual residences.
3.Little Lambs Camp (support from UMCOR, EMS, RCA, and Kyodan)
【History】The first“Little Lambs Camp” was held at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Yamanaka Lodge in January 2012. The intent was to take children and families who lived within close proximity to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant away from the radioactivity in their environment. In January 2013, through an invitation from the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan (PCT), we also began having camps in Taiwan. In cooperation with the YMCA, we have had 13 camps in Japan as well as 3 camps in Taiwan.
【2015 Activity Plan】Six camps are planned for 2015. Each camp will have 25 participants, with priority being given to those who have yet to participate.
4.Disaster Relief Concert (support from the Federation of Swiss Churches, RCA, Kyodan, and several individuals.)
【History】In January 2013, the first Disaster Relief Concert was held in Ishinomaki. Since then there have been six more concerts in Sendai, Natori, Iwaki, Tono, Kamaishi, and Ishinomaki. The performances have been held at churches, supermarkets, preschools, temporary housing complexes, and private homes. The performers are primarily from the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.
【2015 Activity Plan】Plans are being made for spring, summer, fall and winter concerts.
Each project is both initiated and brought to its conclusion through prayer. It is through being led by prayer that we receive the power to accomplish the work with which we have been entrusted.
In addition to prayer, we have received much support for our work through our fellowship with partners from overseas. UMCOR, EMS, PCT, along with RCA and Mission 21 have given us much support throughout this journey of recovery. Without the funding from these organizations, we would not have been able to accomplish the work we have done. Truly I am not fully able to express my gratitude for this invaluable support. (Tr. AKO)
担当幹事 飯島 信
【歴史】2013年1月、第１回演奏 会を石巻で行ったのを皮切りに、これまで6回にわたって行 われた。訪れた被災地は、石巻、仙台、名取、いわき、釜石、