May 28, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters News #13

May 21, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters News #12

May 14, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters News #11

May 7, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters News #10


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #13

Great East Japan Earthquake Emergency Donation Campaign (first campaign period deadline May 31)

    As of May 23, 39,013,185 has been received. This includes gifts from overseas sources such as The European Japanese Christian Youth Retreat, Open Eyes Mission (Philippines), Washington (DC) Japanese Church, Reformed Church INALA (Australia), Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church (USA), etc., and also from individuals in Cambodia and Australia.
As to distribution of funds, about 3,500,000 has been sent as support for tent-making evangelists, to assist churches with immediate needs, funds entrusted for later accounting (to Watari, Morioka, Shin Urayasu and Hitachinaka evangelistic stations), and for volunteer activities support (Higashi Sendai Church). Distribution of assistance to believers whose homes were badly damaged has also started.

Regarding the distribution of funds

    On May 24 the Emergency Response Headquarters assessment team visited the Toyo Senkyo Evangelistic Station and Tsukuba Mikotoba Evangelistic Station. This completes the on site assessment visits. Other than several cases where immediate assistance was offered when emergency measures were needed, the proposed distribution of assistance to churches with building damage will be listed in a recommendation to be discussed and finalized at the special general assembly meeting.
    As we reported on March 26, assistance to believers whose homes were completely or partially destroyed or who have lost their place of residence is based on the requests for emergency assistance that they submitted. In considering the lists of damage and needs in the forms submitted, while in some cases the damage may be relatively minor, there have been numerous unanticipated expenses forced on them by the earthquake, there is much anxiety about economic matters, and assistance will be delivered accordingly. Damage from this earthquake is spread over a wide geographical area, and besides the physical damage, the psychological pain is even greater. As we are able to deliver financial assistance, we desire also to communicate the prayers and desire to offer assistance from brothers and sisters throughout Japan and from around the world. Meanwhile, desiring that the distribution of assistance will be blessed, we request your understanding and cooperation as we carry out the application and distribution of assistance process with due concern to maintain the privacy of those affected.
    Our prayer is that the gifts offered with prayer may be distributed with thanksgiving and that the blessings of Christ will overflow.

Report: “Time of reflection by volunteers” (received from Rev. Shuji Toyokawa)

    On May 26, 6 former volunteers gathered at Tokyo Church. I want to introduce the experience at Matsushima.
    The couple whose home the volunteers had spent several days commuting to in order to clean the place up were slated to evacuate to Tokyo the next day. The evening before, as they were continuing their cleanup activities, they heard the wife who had broken into tears say, “Why are you doing this?” The team that was working down below to clean out the mud heard her tearful words. They formed a circle and she said to them, “Thank you so much,” and repeated once more, “Why are all of you doing this?” Immediately Rev. Yamanaka replied, “The only reason I can give is that I’m a pastor, and these are all Christians.” At that, Rev. Yamanaka led the group in deep prayer. The wife the said as she sobbed, “Since the earthquake, I haven’t been able to cry even once. But today I have been able to express my tears from the bottom of my heart.” (This house is in the Touna area of Higashi Matsushima, about one hour by car from the Higashi Sendai Church.)
    Higashi Sendai Church is carefully building relationships with each house in the Touna area. This is Higashi Sendai Church’s (Rev. Akira Tateishi) evangelistic posture and forms the basis for the ongoing volunteer activities.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #12

Great East Japan Earthquake Emergency Donation Campaign (first campaign period) fund raising goal (campaign deadline May 31)

    In our first offering appeal mailing on March 19, we wrote, “we propose to use these gifts for the time being to help meet the daily necessities of those located in the damaged areas. The aid will of course be extended to the Reformed believers, but also to many other victims in those areas and to those beyond the scope of our denomination.” Later on April 11, we clarified, saying “we have established the approximate proportion of funds that will go for support to ecumenical and general social causes at 25% of the total,” and then on May 14 we set this amount at 15 million. This percentage is considerably higher than the 10% standard set at the time of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Please understand that during the first campaign, 75% of the offerings are being earmarked for the believers, pastors and church buildings that were affected by this disaster.

Regarding the recruitment of volunteers for Higashi Sendai Church

    We are recruiting volunteers until June 11 for the following activities. Please apply through the person in charge (Rev. Shuji Toyokawa <s-toyokara@mbn.nifty.com> cell#090-2411-7246)
1. Labor to clean up houses and furniture in the Matsushima area (within one hour by car of the Higashi Sendai Church)
2. Support activities to wash clothing and prepare meals for the volunteers
3. We welcome participation not only by women and young people, but also by pastors, elders and seniors

Regarding relief commodoties

1. To assist the work of Rev. Shigeo Hayashi (Watari Evangelistic Station)
At present, Rev. Hayashi has linked up with volunteers from the Tohoku University to deliver assistance to people from the vicinity of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant who are not in shelters and to whom relief supplies are not being delivered. As much as possible, please pack needed supplies in boxes, separating them by contents and marking them on the outside.
Needed items: summer season underwear (new items only), bar soap, detergent, washing machines, preserved food stuffs (cup noodles, canned goods, prepared reheatable foods)
Where to send: Rev. Shigeo Hayashi, Watari Church Tel. 0223-34-1651
18-2 Aza-Shimokomichi Watari-cho, Miyagi-ken 989-2351

2. Information from Japan International Food for the Hungry (Mr. Seiike)
A. It is being reported that the Red Cross is providing a set of 5 appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, TV set, rice cooker and fluorescent light) to those moving into the temporary housing (constructed by the government). However, there are many people who for various reasons do not desire to move into this housing. The city of Sendai is reportedly renting apartments to offer to some of them. In that case, they may not be eligible to receive these appliances. If that becomes the case, we will advise you of the need for this concrete support.
B. As summer approaches, there is a need for T-shirts, summer pants, etc. We will only accept new items. As much as possible, fill boxes with the same items, label them as to the contents, and send them to: Japan International Food for the Hungry Tel. 022-222-9714
C/O Sendai YWCA
1-10 2-chome Uesugi
Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi 980-0011


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #11

Discussion between the Northeast Presbytery and mission representatives

Representatives of the following missions gathered at Sendai Church to confer together about what they could do collaboratively.

Mission representatives: Orthodox Presbyterian Mission missionaries and Diaconal Activities Committee members from North America; Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa “Mission Japan” missionaries; Christian Reformed Church (in North America) missionaries; CRC Media Ministries staff; representatives from several South Korean Christian organizations who had formed the support group, “Stand By Japan;” missionaries of the Presbyterian Church of Korean (Koshin)

Reformed Church in Japan representatives: International Ecumenical Relations Committee members; Expanded Emergency Response Committee members; RCJ Northeastern Presbytery moderator, clerks and evangelism committee; moderator of the RCJ East Kanto Presbytery; member of the RCJ Shikoku Presbytery mission cooperation committee

Setting of the first campaign period fund raising goal (60,000,000)

At the May 11 meeting of the Expanded Emergency Response Committee, the findings reported by the assessment committee were discussed, and it was decided to set the first fundraising campaign goal at 60 million. The disbursement budget below (see Note #1) of the emergency relief support was set based on the calculations using the Principles to Guide Use of Funds Raised document. The proposals for the second fund-raising campaign goals for the middle and long-term support response envisioned in the same document will be discussed at the special general assembly meeting to be held in June. A very far-sighted vision for support is needed by both domestic and international people. The first fund raising campaign will run through the end of May. If there is a shortfall or a surplus, this will be carried over to the second fund raising campaign.

It has been decided that the total to be disbursed to believers will be set after the deadline on June 3 for submission of the report by the believers who experienced damages. The amount to be disbursed will come to about 10% of the estimated losses. In regard to the support to be given to help damaged churches, additional assessment is needed, including that done by those with special expertise. Therefore, the amount under consideration as assistance to believers and churches at this time is tentative. Nevertheless, for the three churches which have emergency repair needs because of the great damage they sustained, payment will be made of 3,500,000 to Ishinomaki Church and a total amount including this and assistance to Kita Nakayama Church and Sendai Church of 20,000,000 is envisioned, and this will be disbursed as soon as requested so that repair work can be implemented quickly. We will give a more detailed report of the assistance to churches at the special general assembly.

Note #1

Assistance to believers and churches:

42,500,000

 

believers 11,500,000; churches 31,000,000

  Ecumenical and social assistance:

15,000,000

 

based on 25% of funds raised (see Note #2)

  Other

2,500,000

  Assistance to tentmaker pastors,
   

 

  local activities, other designated funds
         
Note #2 Sendai Christian Coalition

7,000,000

  Ecumenical group supporting relief to churches
        throughout Northeast Japan
  International Food for the Hungry

2,500,000

  Storage and expanding distribution of relief
        goods to all of Northeast Japan
  Yodogawa Christian Hospital

1,000,000

  Medical relief activities in Iwate Prefecture
  Higashi Sendai Church (vol. center)

2,000,000

  Supporting relief activities by volunteers
        (total of initial and additional payments)
  Disaster Support Trust Funds

2,500,000

  Usage to be reported by the end of July
         
  Payments made to four churches that requested fund:

1,100,000

  to offer assistance to the neighbors and churches around them  
  Entrusted to the Diaconal Action Committee:

1,400,000

  for support to those orphaned and persons with disabilities, etc.  

The total received as of May 10 for the first fund raising campaign is 34,036,538. Funds from foreign sources include gifts from the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (Mission Japan), the Christian Ethics Movement of South Korea and the Korean Presbyterian Church (Hapdong).


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee

Emergency Response Headquarters News #10

Financial Report (intermediate report through April 30, 2011)

(1) First fundraising campaign for Great East Japan Earthquake response

Receipts

 Disbursements

 From RCJ churches and evangelistic stations

 111

 Emergency assistance to pastors

1,500,000

 From RCJ-related groups

 5

 Emergency housing assistance

 750,000

 From individuals

 49

 Higashi Sendai volunteer support

 1,200,000

 From other denominations, foreign

 13

 Subtotal

 3,450,000

 Total # of gifts

 178

 Balance on hand

 23,376,692

 Total received

 26,826,692

 Total outlays

 26,826,692

(2) Expenditures from GA Diaconal Action Committee Project Fund (Disaster Emergency Assistance)

Consolation Gifts

 Total

 3,000,000

 12  X 200,000 (Sendai, Higashi Sendai, Sendai Canaan, Sendai Eiko, Sendai Megumi, Kita Nakayama, Watari, Morioka, Hachinohe, Fukushima, Shiroishi Keiyaku, Yamagata)   

 1 X 600,000 (Ishinomaki)

 Notes:    * The first fund raising campaign goes until the end of May.

              * The Expanded Emergency Response Committee will meet on May 11 to discuss details of

expenditures.  

Regarding the standards for payment of consolation gifts to believers in response to the assessment

On Thursday, May 5, damage estimate forms were sent to the churches of believers who experience losses. Consolation payments will be made based on these. The basic policy will be to offer 10% of the estimated material losses (buildings and contents) as assessed. Additional payments may be made based on the extensiveness of the losses. This determination will be based on the special circumstances of losses resulting from tsunami damage. As a guideline, the amounts considered for a total loss of the home will be 1,500,000, for a partially destroyed home that can’t be occupied, 1,000,000, and for the loss of a rented home or a partially damaged home that can’t be occupied, 300,000. For loss of block walls around property, a lump sum of 200,000, and for the loss of an automobile or for the auto being rendered unusable because of the tsunami damage, 100,000 will be given. We expect that the actual amounts to be given will be finally settled around the end of June.

In order to protect individuals’ privacy, affected believers will apply for these payments directly to the assessment committee in writing without going through the church. The individuals’ circumstances and resulting payments will not be reported separately.

In regard to volunteers

         During this past week the treasurer and volunteer coordinator of the Emergency Response Headquarters visited the Higashi Sendai Church and endeavored to understand the concrete needs for funding. As a result, they concluded that the present regulations are inadequate and have decided to revise these as follows (underlined section is the revision): “As a basic principle, no payments will be made for transportation, daily honorarium, etc. to volunteers going to serve in the disaster area. However, when the receiving church indicates a need, special assistance may be offered.

          The number of those registered as volunteers after the recent holiday week has dropped. Higashi Sendai Church is calling for volunteers until Saturday, June 11, and we respectfully request your cooperation.


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