Pacific Earthquake/Tsunami Update: News from our Partners

March 14, 2011

UCC and Global Ministries staff are in regular communication with Global Ministries mission personnel in Japan.

 


Credit:  UCCJ/Kyodan, Ishinomaki, Japan.

 

 

 

 

Congregations across the UCC lifted prayers and raised funds on the first Sunday of Lent in support of our sisters and brothers in Japan and Hawaii impacted by the catastrophic earthquake and resulting tsunami which struck Friday, March 11. 

The comprehensive disaster in Japan continues to unfold as the cooling mechanisms at four nuclear power reactors have mal-functioned, causing explosions and some radiation contamination.

One Great Hour of Sharing emergency funds are on the way to the United Church of Christ in Japan.

Listed below is information which has been received from our partners as of Monday, March 14.

United Church of Christ in Japan
Teruki Takada, staff to the Commission on Ecumenical Ministries of The United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) expressed appreciation for the solidarity and prayers of the United Church of Christ and Global Ministries.  Initial reports from UCCJ indicate 35 UCCJ church buildings have sustained damage from moderate to catastrophic in scope.

The UCCJ established the Relief Planning Committee on March 12, composed of five church leaders who are responsible for response planning.  Committee members reached Sendai on Sunday evening, March 13 to begin a consolation, assessment and planning visit.  On Monday afternoon they visited Rikuzen Furukawa Church, north of Sendai. They are making their way up the devastated northern coast by vehicle attempting to locate and visit with  local church leaders.

Church World Service
RESPONSE: CWS has been in contact with the Japan Platform, a coalition of 32 non-governmental organizations, government service agencies and media outlets. CWS may provide support and channel contributions to individual members of the Japan Platform. The Platform has historically been a vital partner to CWS in previous lobbying efforts towards the Japanese government for disaster risk reduction activities in Afghanistan.

Eight member non-governmental organizations of the Japan Platform have already started assessing needs and initiated emergency response activities. These members include Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Civic Force, Institute of Cultural Affairs, JEN, Japan Rescue Association, Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development and Peace Winds Japan. CWS is also coordinating with other ACT Alliance members in the Asia-Pacific region as the international response to this disaster scales up.

"Building upon accumulated CWS and ACT Alliance experience in the region, CWS hopes to mobilize support to Japanese NGOs that are on the ground," Komino said. "Contributions from partners and supporters will be used to fill critical gaps in meeting the basic needs of victims in and around the evacuation sites."

Church World Service is also prepared to support, if needed, efforts of faith-based partners in Japan, including the National Christian Council of Japan and the United Church of Christ of Japan.

ARI – Asian Rural Institute
Located in Northern Japan, the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is an international training ground for grassroots rural leaders.  Global Ministries and One Great Hour of Sharing provide scholarship support for students from partners around the world.

ARI’s Facebook page reports all of the staff families at ARI are safe and over half have evacuated due to concern about radiation leaks at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant 100 kilometers away.  Several of the buildings on ARI’s campus have sustained damage from the earthquake. 

The new class of international participants is due to arrive in a few weeks.  It is still to be determined if they will be able to begin their training as scheduled.

UCC Hawaii Conference
The Rev. Charles Buck, Conference Minister of the UCC Hawaii Conference, reports extensive damage to the villages of Miloli`I and Napo`opo`o on the Island of Hawaii.  Support to meet emergency needs has been offered from both the Conference and One Great Hour of Sharing. 

As more information about specific response plans is received we will share it here.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

1.  Pray for the people of Japan and the tsunami impact area, their leaders, and all emergency response workers.

2. To assist people impacted by this disaster, please make a gift payable to your congregation marked for “Pacific earthquake/tsunami” with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.

OR

Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion “Pacific earthquake/tsunami” to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.

OR

Make a secure online donation to the International Disaster Relief fund.  Please note Pacific earthquake/tsunami in the Comments box.

Thank you for your compassion and support.

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