September 24, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters News #17

September 24, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #17

     Since the special General Assembly ended, the RCJ presbyteries have engaged in various support activities. We can’t give a detailed report here, but many people have been on the move, and we are aware of many face-to-face encounters and prayers to the Lord made with people in the disaster area. The circumstances continue to be very difficult for people in the disaster zones, and we urge you to continue to support them with your prayers.

    While many of you are concerned and wondering about the Ishinomaki Evangelistic Station, we can only report that the plans for rebuilding the area have not been announced yet, and so we also are unable to decide at this time about how to proceed. In order to be in a safer environment for their daily lives, Rev. and Mrs. Shiratsu have left the church building and moved into the temporary housing. The Kita Nakayama Evangelistic Station has investigated the situation in regard to the building’s foundation, and they will be proceeding with repairs to strengthen that foundation to make it resistant to damage from future earthquakes. Sendai Church will undergo emergency repairs by volunteers from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and as circumstances permit, they will make plans for a major construction project. The volunteer center under the oversight of the Higashi Sendai Church is being blessed by your prayers and financial support and carrying on their activities. At the special General Assembly meeting, it was reported that these activities would be concluded before the advent of winter, but plans are being made to continue to carry on with them further.

    The Northeastern Presbytery held a special meeting on August 30, and they drew up a two-fold plan for the restoration and rebuilding of the presbytery, and they adopted the “NE Presbytery Reconstruction Plan.” Also, the support center plan that was being spearheaded by the missionaries has resulted concretely in the purchase of a used building in Watari-gun (Yamamoto-cho) that will become the base for activities there. There will be a variety of support activities based on the needs of the local people. This process has involved much discussion among the Orthodox Presbyterian Mission, the Christian Reformed Japan Mission, Mission Japan (the mission program of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa in collaboration with other South African Reformed churches), the missionaries of the Korean Presbyterian Church (Koshin), and representatives of the NE Presbytery, the RCJ Diaconal Action Committee and the RCJ Committee for Mission Cooperation and International Ecumenism. Up to this point, the missionaries have actually carried the initiative for this project, but as this goes forward, they desire a much more involved role of the Reformed Church in Japan. We will report about this at the upcoming General Assembly and examine the role of the RCJ.

    The role of the General Assembly will become clearer as we pursue our plans for the second phase fundraising campaign. At this time, the various parties are refining their ideas. We respectfully request your participation and offerings as we enter this new phase. The first campaign officially ended on June 7, so offerings received after that point would be carried over into the second phase, as approved by the special General Assembly. Since the time the first campaign ended, we report with thanksgiving that 34 million has been received. The main contributors of these offerings are listed below. Among these were some major donations. So the second phase campaign will begin by building on the gracious gifts that have already come in!

    Main contributors: The Relief Arm of the Gereformeerde Gemeenten (Netherlands), De Verre Naastem (Netherlands), Landelijk kerkelijk bureasu Ghanistraat (Netherlands), St. Paul’s Anglican Church Kogarah (Australia), Washington (DC) Japanese Christian Church, Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (designated gift for support center), James & Helena Horgan (individuals from England), Larner C Moore & Mollie Moore (individuals from the USA), Nihon Kirisuto Kyoukai, and the Nihon Kirisuto Kyoudan Sunamachi Church.