【December 2019 No.405】Mabikura: A Place of Comfort for Disaster Survivors

by Nobuto Yoshihide, Wake Church and Mitsuishi Church, Higashi Chugoku District

Following the disastrous flooding of the Mabi-cho of Kurashiki, a city in Okayama, due to the extremely heavy rains that occurred in western Japan in July 2018, we set up a relief center in a rented store building, first repairing the damage to the structure. As we desired it to be a place that brought warmth and comfort to the lives of the people there, we named it “Mabikura” (an abbreviation of the Japanese phrase meaning that). Operated by the Okayama Christian Disaster Support Headquarters, it is a joint effort of the Mission Gathering of Okayama Prefecture, the YMCA Setouchi , and Higashi Chugoku District. Relief activities began in December 2018, and we plan to continue the effort until March 2021. A dedicated staff operates the center on a daily basis from 10 am to 5 pm. Mabikura focuses its efforts in three areas: providing a place to relax, supporting children, and supporting temporary housing.

 

Singing Coffee Shop

From this past May, a group of us from Wake and Mitsuishi churches have held a “Singing Coffee Shop” on the third Wednesday of the month from 1:30 pm, as part of our effort to give people a place to relax. Accompanied by guitar, bass, piano, and “djembe” (hand drums), we sing songs for about an hour. We make a point of including one hymn as a means of trying to connect people to Jesus, the “true place to relax.” Then we offer snacks and drinks around the tables as we provide a listening ear for people to tell us about the trials they faced during the flood, all the problems they have had to deal with in the aftermath, and their ongoing struggles. This program is sponsored by Higashi Chugoku District, which provides the necessary funding, including transportation costs.

 

Management Committee

The management committee consists not only of a representation from each of the sponsoring organizations but also Kyodan Executive Secretary for Ecumenical Ministries Kato Makoto, who participates as a representative of the Kyodan, which funded the repairs to the building in which Mabikura operates. Mabikura has also become a place where churches of various denominations join forces to serve the needs of the people affected by the disaster. It is our prayer that it will continue to do so. (Tr. TB)

From Higashi Chugoku District News, No. 175

 

「まびくら」にまあ一ぺん来て見られぇ。

  和気教会・三石教会 延藤好英

 

〈まびくら〉

 昨年七月の西日本豪雨のあと、倉敷市真備町に、被災した店舗をお借りし、改装して生まれたのが「まびくら」という支援センターです。「まびに くらしの ぬくもりを」という願いを込めて「まびくら」と名付けられました。岡山キリスト災害支援室(構成員は、岡山県宣教集い、YMCAせとうち、東中国教区)で運営しています。二○一八年一二月から二○二一年三月までの活動予定です。毎日午前一〇時から午後五時まで、専属のスタッフがいて開館しています。

「まびくら」が取り組んでいることは三つの事柄です。①居場所作り、②子ども支援、③仮設支援です。

 

〈歌声喫茶〉

 わたしたち三石教会と和気教会は、今年の五月から毎月第三水曜日午後一時半から「まびくら」で歌声喫茶を開催しています。①の居場所作りの一環です。ギター、ベース、ピアノ、ジャンベに合わせて、一時間ほど一緒に歌を歌います。賛美歌も一曲は歌うようにしています。真の拠り所であるイエスさまとつながっていただけるよう願いつつのことです。

その後、用意した飲み物とお菓子をいただきながら、テーブルごとに三〇分ほど語り合っています。豪雨にあった時の事、その後の大変だったこと、今の問題など、いろいろ語ってくださることに耳を傾けます。この活動は東中国教区の活動として交通費など必要経費は教区から支給されています。

〈運営委員会〉

 運営委員会には各団体代表者だけでなく、「まびくら」の改修工事費を一手に引き受けてくださった日本基督教団から加藤誠教団世界宣教幹事も参加してくださっています。

「まびくら」という一つの拠点で、今、様々な教派の教会が心を一つにし、力を合わせています。被災された方々のニーズに応えることができるようお祈りください。