October 27, 2011: Request to participate in the “second fund-raising campaign” NEW

October 15, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters News #19

October 1, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters News #18

October 27, 2011

Request to participate in the “second fund-raising campaign”
in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee

    At the 66th general assembly of the Reformed Church in Japan held October 18~20, 2011, the motion was adopted for the “second fund-raising campaign” in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. The motion and explanation of the thinking behind this campaign is presented below. We continue to request everyone’s prayers and cooperation.

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Presented jointly by the Expanded Emergency Response Committee
and the General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee

MOTION: We move the adoption of the 2nd fund-raising campaign as described below to support relief efforts in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake.

GROUNDS: The purpose is to provide further support to enable response activities for the middle and long term as envisioned in the “Principles to Guide Use of Funds Raised to Support Relief for the Disaster (April 11, 2011)” (see Appendix I).

SUMMARY (For details, please refer to “II. Summary of the second fund-raising” below)

GOAL: ¥60 million (presently already have ¥35 million on hand, so the actual amount needed is ¥25 million)

PERIOD: The campaign will run throughout this general assembly’s fiscal year (offerings should be sent from November, 2011 through July, 2012)

PURPOSE: To support and implement the support centers and the middle and long-term relief and recovery activities as envisioned in the “Principles to Guide Use of Funds Raised to Support Relief for the Disaster” and to implement the “Northeast Presbytery Restoration Plan”

RESPONSIBLE BODY: RCJ General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee


I. Explanation of development of and reasoning behind the motion

        In response to the disaster, the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) quickly implemented a fund-raising program, developing the ‘Principles to Guide Use of Funds Raised to Support Relief for the Disaster,” promulgated these on April 11, 2011 (see Appendix I below), and clarified the distribution plan for the funds received. At the RCJ special meeting in June, the general assembly approved the plan for distribution of the funds that came in for the first campaign and decided that the second fund-raising campaign would be implemented after the regular (fall) general assembly. Afterwards, the Northeastern Presbytery met for a special assembly on August 30, 2011 and adopted their “Northeast Presbytery Restoration Plan” (see Appendix II below). This second fund-raising campaign will be carried out with due consideration to these principles and plans.
        This campaign envisions the total offerings of ¥60 million that will be used to support a three-pronged response: 1), restoration of church buildings: 2), support of restoration activities by the churches; and 3), support of mission activities focused on diaconal service. In the first fund-raising campaign, we distributed 25% of the offerings for social support programs. At this time, the plans for support centers that were introduced at the special general assembly are proceeding, and it is the expectation that the amount of support for these in the second fund-raising program will increase significantly. It may well result on this occasion that the Reformed churches will develop a new vision of the church as these activities are pursued.
        The special general assembly approved terminating the first fund-raising campaign as of June 6, 2011 and carrying over subsequently received funds for the second campaign. Funds received after June 7 until the end of September have totaled about ¥35 million. This second campaign will start out building on this grace already received and therefore the actual campaign goal will be ¥25 million. The campaign period will go until the next regular general assembly, and offerings will be received until July 31, 2012. The support activities will be carried out with this funding and will continue beyond the period set for the offering campaign. The General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee will have responsibility for the stewardship of these funds, including their disbursement.

II. Summary of second fund-raising campaign

GOAL: ¥60 million (presently already have ¥35 million on hand, so the actual amount needed is ¥25 million)

PERIOD: The campaign will run throughout this general assembly’s fiscal year (offerings should be sent from November, 2011 through July, 2012)

PURPOSE: To support and implement the support centers and the middle and long-term relief and recovery activities as envisioned in the “Principles to Guide Use of Funds Raised to Support Relief for the Disaster” and to implement the “Northeast Presbytery Restoration Plan”

RESPONSIBLE BODY: RCJ General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee
[Domestic transfers]
Yuucho Ginkou “Taikai Shitsuji Katsudou Iinkai” Furikae account # 00210-4-65619
or Saitama Resona Ginkou “(Shuu) Nihon Kirisuto Kaikakuha Kyoukai” Fujimino Branch (branch # 674) regular savings account # 0614356

[International transfers]
Account Name: Noboru Nomura
Beneficiary Address: 1-22-8 Uenosaka, Toyonaka-shi, Osaka-fu, Japan
Multimoney Account #: 92575001
Account Type: SAVINGS
Bank Address: 2-3-14 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Bank Address Country: JAPAN

[Additional information for transfers]
In the communication box, please indicate “for great east Japan fundraising campaign #2”
When there is no communication box, please send emails to inform about the donation as follows:
If this is an international donation, please contact Rev. Takayuki Ashida <takarcj@yahoo.co.jp>.
If this is a domestic donation, please contact Mrs. Kyoko Kimura <smile-kyoko@live.jp>.
As a rule, receipts will not be automatically issued. If a receipt is needed, please advise by email.

III. Categories of disbursement for the second fund-raising campaign

1. Church building repairs (to restore buildings that were heavily damaged by the disaster)
A. Ishinomaki Evangelistic Station: Amount: not yet determined (¥3.5 million was disbursed from the first fund-raising campaign and has been set aside for the second purpose below)
We will provide funding and assistance for Rev. Shiratsu and his family so that they can find a safe place to live in temporary housing and for other housing related expenses (also cover as needs arise expenses for storage of church equipment, funding for temporary meeting place, etc.). In regard to rent for the temporary housing, public funds will cover this for up to two years.
In regard to repairs to the church building repairs and plans to continue evangelistic activities,

B. Kita-Nakayama Evangelistic Station: ¥7.50 million (combined with the ¥5 million disbursement from the first campaign, so a total of ¥12.5 million)
Investigation after the special general assembly clearly showed the need to strengthen the foundation. Boring test results (submitted on 8/30) were used to produce the following cost estimates:
Repair and strengthening the sagging of the 1st and 2nd floor: about ¥12.5 million
Other expenses for foundation improvement (including ¥315,000 for the tests): about ¥500,000

C. Sendai Church: Amount: not yet determined (amount that might exceed the ¥7.5 million from the first campaign for construction costs incurred during the second campaign)
• The following construction is planned:
Stage one emergency repairs: these will be carried out with the assistance from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Stage two major reconstruction: this will be carried out as circumstances permit and arrangements can be made.

2. Funding for restoration activities by the churches
A. Posting of cooperating evangelists: Amount: not yet determined
Cooperating evangelist (pastor or lay believer) will be posted for a long term as needed in order to give lateral support to the work of the pastors and/or to strengthen the evangelistic capacity of the evangelistic stations.

B. Enabling presbytery-wide fellowship and strengthening the pastors: Amount: ¥3 million total
Financial assistance for logistics will be provided over the next 5 years for the following activities for the purpose of strengthening the unity and fellowship within the presbytery.
• Office-bearers (elders, deacons and steering committee members) for attending presbytery meetings, presbytery discussion meetings, training sessions, etc.
• Presbytery level fellowship and training meetings for the women’s, young adults’ and secondary school students’ societies
• Fellowship, pulpit supply, etc. for churches and evangelistic stations both within and beyond the presbytery

C. General Assembly logistical expenses (travel, meals, lodging, etc.): Amount: ¥2 million
• 2011 fiscal year June special GA meeting and October regular GA meeting
• 2012 fiscal year October regular GA meeting (Total of about ¥600,000 per meeting)

D. Special funding for the Diaconal Action Committee for two years: Amount: ¥1 million

E. Accumulation of funding for long-term evangelistic advance (to be used for infrastructure and personnel expenses as needed for the pursuit of evangelistic activities)
The accumulation of funding for personnel referred to here is related to the “Posting of cooperating evangelists” noted above and also to the sending of workers to Higashi Sendai Church as noted below. In order to post people appropriately, highest priority will be given to seeking the right people who feel God’s calling to this work, and the selection of personnel will be carried out at the responsibility of the presbytery and the calling church or evangelistic station. If the right people cannot be secured quickly, funds will be set aside and we will wait until this can be implemented.

3. Funding for diaconal activities related to deed ministry (funds for mission activities related to serving the Gospel through diaconal activities and works of loving service)

In these support guidelines, it is not possible to draw clear lines between support to the churches and support to society in a way we might normally think. Additionally, the activities for support to society are stimulated by the love of Christ and are activities of the churches to reveal that love. Because these activities involve testifying to the Gospel through diaconal activities that are works of love and play an important role in fulfilling our desire for the advance of the kingdom of God, we have decided to call them “mission activities through diaconal service.”

A. Support to volunteer centers and to collaborative activities by the missions
These volunteer centers and mission collaboration activities refer to activities in the same locales.

Support of volunteer activities (refer to I.2 of appendix II below)
• Higashi Sendai Church’s activities
The activities in the Nobiru/Touna district of Higashi Matsushima City were supposed to conclude in September, but the Higashi Sendai Church has decided to continue them. In order to support this work, we will dispatch one worker (an evangelist to assist with the church work).
In regard to support for the relief activities, please continue as until now to send offerings directly to the Higashi Sendai Church’s account. This will give opportunity for individuals to send their support according to their own wishes separately from the support given by the funds raised through this campaign. Additionally, we will support these activities also by collaborating with the mission groups as described below.
• Watari Evangelistic Station activities
We will strengthen the support activities for disaster victims through cooperation with the missions.

Support for collaborative activities by the missions
• The Cooperating Missions Coalition (“Coalition”), composed of representatives from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Japan Mission (OPCJM), the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC/CRWRC), Mission Japan (MJ - the churches of the Republic of South Africa that collaborate in mission work with the RCJ Shikoku Presbytery) and the Korean Presbyterian Church Japan Mission (Kosin), have been communicating closely with the Northeastern Presbytery and the RCJ committee for mission cooperation and international ecumenism.
• The Coalition’s activities involve collaboration with the work in the Nobiru/Touna district carried on under Higashi Sendai Church’s oversight and a multi-faceted relief response to the various needs of those in the Watari area. This involves acquiring through the purchase or renting of facilities to use as response centers, dispatching dedicated staff workers, and carrying out activities for a two to three year period. The Coalition has already purchased a facility for the Watari area activities in the name of the OPCJM (cost of about ¥5 million; location is 43-81 Nishi Kashiranasi, Yamadera, Yamamoto-cho, Watari-gun, Miyagi-ken).
Short-term activities will include supplying needed commodities, mud-out work, demolition and repairing of damaged structures, etc.
Long-term activities will include “heart-care” activities for local folks, etc.
• Up until now, the Coalition member missions have taken the initiative. In the future, the Northeastern Presbytery and RCJ committee for mission cooperation and international ecumenism will be joined by the RCJ Diaconal Action Committee to participate, and the RCJ will become more actively involved in the activities already being carried on as described in the two locations noted above.
• The Coalition has come up themselves with about ¥50 million to help carry out the envisioned activities, but this funding is not adequate to implement the entire plan. This will become clear as things proceed. The RCJ will give support from the second fund-raising campaign in accord with the needs that arise.
• The development of an appropriate administrative structure to clarify oversight responsibility and the relationship to the Northeastern Presbytery, the RCJ committee on mission cooperation and international ecumenism and the churches carrying out the volunteer activities is presently under discussion.

B. Strategies to deal with radioactive contamination
Along with continuing to take measurements of radioactivity levels, we will take appropriate measures for decontamination when needed.
These measures will be carried out not only in the vicinity of the Fukushima Evangelistic Station, the Watari Evangelistic Station and the Shiroishi Evangelistic Station, but also as needed in the affected regions of the East Kanto Presbytery and Eastern Presbytery, etc.
We will make arrangements for evacuation facilities for the believers in case the need for these arises.

C. Other support
There may be occasions when support will be given to other groups that are carrying out activities based on Christian principles.
Special support may be given to assist individual disaster victims and churches.

Appendix I: Principles to Guide Use of Funds Raised to Support Relief for the Disaster (April 11, 2011)

Preamble: The Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) has already begun a fund-raising campaign for emergency relief (first campaign period is March through May 2011*). The following principles will guide how the support is carried out. We will determine at a later date in consultation with the Northeastern Presbytery and the Diaconal Action Committee the period for the next campaign and the uses of the funds raised in accordance with these principles.
(* The first campaign dates were changed to coincide with the specially called General Assembly meeting in June.)

1. Support to the Northeastern Presbytery (NEP)

The NEP was established and has continued its activities since 1983. This was only by the grace of God. Now 28 years after the establishment, many issues have been clarified. The presbytery continues its organization and activities under great duress and presently has one less congregation than at the beginning. There is also a need to find successors for home missionaries who have been working as tentmakers.
The disaster has struck this presbytery that was already facing these difficult issues. So we consider that the assistance to be given to the NEP should not simply seek to restore them to the situation they were in before it hit, but must also include planning for a new future. Also, as the restoration in the NE area will take many years, the plan that should coordinate with planning for and progress in the restoration of the region’s society is not something that can be drawn up quickly. Therefore, we will begin with a response to emergency needs, and we will adjust activities as we continually watch developments over the middle and long term.

2. Ecumenical Support and Social Support

This disaster has rained down immense damage on the very widespread Northeast Japan region. The tsunami in particular wiped away the lives of many people and destroyed many homes, and it also swept away many churches in the area. Therefore, as we wrote in the first period fundraising prospectus before, “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.”
In regard to disbursements during the first response period, because of the emergency nature of the early response, it will be very difficult to get detailed accounting for how the funds are used, but 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 we plan to use this same measure in regard to the “support to the NEP” described above in #1 beyond July in response to the situation at that time.

I. Emergency relief support (short-term)
1. Support within the RCJ.
A. Support to victims who are believers
At this time we have already given emergency assistance to believers whose homes were destroyed or who have had to abandon them. Subsequently, we will carry out careful investigations and provide additional assistance to victims who are believers in accordance with the needs. These investigations will be carried out by members of the Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH) on site giving due respect to the privacy of those involved.
B. Support to churches and workers in “tent-making” locations
We expect that this widespread disaster will create especially difficult situations for the workers and believers who support them in places where the workers have been supporting themselves through outside work. We will provide support for the evangelistic stations and their pastors in such circumstances for a short term.
C. Support to provide worship facilities and repair damaged buildings
When it is dangerous because of damage to gather in the church buildings, we will give support to arrange for outside facilities and to make repairs rapidly.

2. Support to those outside the RCJ.
A. Ecumenical support
The damage wreaked by the tsunami was concentrated along the coastal area, and most of the groups in that area will find it very difficult to recover and rebuild on their own. At this time, the “Sendai Christian Association Emergency Support Network,” with its office in Sendai, is carrying out investigations of the whole NE region and feeling their way to give support to these churches and believers. Our General Assembly Moderator Rev. Takashi Yoshida is serving with this group. We will participate in giving ecumenical support through giving assistance from our funds raised to this group.
B. Social support
This disaster has shaken the lives of the citizenry at its foundation. If there are people related to the RCJ groups who are working to provide relief to the area society, we will give them our help, and we will send offerings to social welfare organizations that operate based on Christian principles. Among these, we will include assistance to International Food for the Hungry with whom the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee partners and also the Southern Presbyterian Mission in Japan’s Yodogawa Christian Hospital (the chairperson of evangelism there is RCJ minister Rev. Eisuke Tamura) which is providing medical assistance in Iwate Prefecture.

II. Support for evangelism and stimulation, etc. of the NEP (mid-term: limited to this period)
1. In order to get started with planning for the future, the pastors of the NEP will need healing from the serious wounds to their spirits caused by this disaster and will need to gather repeatedly to discuss how to move forward. For that reason we will give logistical support (travel, lodging and meals expenses) for NEP meetings. Additionally, when it is necessary to call pastors from other presbyteries for preaching in NEP churches and evangelistic stations, we will provide funding for their travel expenses. Fellowship not just with pastors but with others too from outside areas is also important, so we will also provide support when pastors or others are invited from other presbyteries for other kinds of meetings. Application for this assistance can be made to the GA Diaconal Action Committee through the stated clerk of each presbytery.

2. Evangelism in the NEP area will be outreach to those bearing the wounds of this disaster. Evangelistic activity is necessary everywhere in Japan, but the spreading of the Gospel is especially demanded as the mission of the churches in the disaster-hit Northeast region. So we will give support to the evangelistic activities of the churches and evangelistic stations of the NEP.

III. Support to the NEP for making and implementation of future plans (long-term)
It will take time for plans to be made for churches that must move or be rebuilt and for the future of the presbytery, so future fund-raising campaigns will be inaugurated as these plans take shape. For the time being, we will limit our fund-raising activities to phases one and two, awaiting the proposals and implementation of plans that will follow later on. As we want to make provisions for the possibilities of assistance to others and for emergencies that may yet arise, we will set some reserve funds aside also.

1. In regard to the emergency assistance described in 1.A. and 1.3. these may be provided to the NEP itself as circumstances may warrant. Additionally, there is fear that the disaster caused by the nuclear power station accident may spread to affect the churches of the Eastern and Central Presbyteries. If that should happen, we will consider additional response measures.

2. On the occasion of this disaster, various overseas churches are offering their cooperation not only for the generation of offerings, but for a variety of kinds of assistance. The (RCJ) Committee for International Ecumenism will be the place to contact to arrange implementation of the proposals of the overseas churches in accordance with the needs in Japan.

3. In order for us to carry out the fund-raising and disbursement activities in accordance with these principles, the most important thing necessary is the strengthening of the “legs and feet” of the churches all over the country. We will carry out these support activities giving due consideration to the healthy growth of the churches and evangelistic stations of the whole nation.

Appendix II: Northeastern Presbytery Restoration Plan (adopted at the special meeting of the Northeastern Presbytery on August 30, 2011)

We the Northeastern Presbytery of the Reformed Church in Japan give our heartfelt thanks to God for the encouragement and support we’ve received not only from the RCJ churches but also from other churches from Japan and around the world who have prayed with great zeal and offered so much emergency support on the occasion of the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011 and wrought such visible and invisible damage. Even now though we face the ongoing and very serious influence left by the quake among those in the Northeastern region, we desire to serve for the advance of God’s kingdom in this area by carrying out the following reconstruction plans.

I. In regard to restoration

1. Church building repairs
We will urge support from the RCJ so that the three churches/evangelistic stations below may concentrate on the restoration needed according to their situations.

A. Ishinomaki Evangelistic Station

1. In order to ensure the safety of the living environment for Rev. Shiratsu and his family, we will provide assistance for moving into temporary housing and the expenses associated with living there.
2. In regard to the evangelistic station building repairs and evangelistic plans, we will continue our discussions as we observe the development of construction and restoration planning in the city of Ishinomaki.

B. Kita-Yamanaka Evangelistic Station

We will implement repairs to the building; however, there is a need to improve the foundation.
C. Sendai Church
We will implement repairs to the building.
• First stage (emergency measures) There are plans to carry these out with the assistance of the OPC.
• Second stage (extensive construction) This will take place when the circumstances permit.

2. Volunteer activities

A. Higashi Sendai Church

The present activities being pursued with the approval and support of the general assembly will be reevaluated in September. We will discuss positively further involvement in the light of the policy of the church.

B. Watari Evangelistic Station

With the cooperation of the missions, we will seek to enhance the support activities for the disaster victims that are being carried out.

3. Radioactive contamination

In order to ensure the physical safety of the believers, we will carry out the following activities while keeping in close contact with the RCJ Diaconal Action Committee.
A. Engage in decontamination as needed of the Fukushima, Shiroishi and Watari evangelistic stations.
B. Evacuate believers if this is called for.

II. In regard to reconstruction

1. Cooperating evangelists

To provide assistance to the pastors and strengthen the evangelistic programs, we will appeal as needed to the general assembly, other presbyteries and missions for the long-term financial support and posting of cooperating evangelists (ordained or laic).

2. Strengthening intra-presbytery fellowship and educational programs

In order to deepen the unity and fellowship during this time of reconstruction of the presbytery, we will appeal to the general assembly for support for the logistical costs for a period of 5 years to carry out the following activities.
A. Church officers (elders, deacons and steering committee members): funding for attendance at presbytery meetings, discussion meetings, retreats, etc.
B. Presbytery women’s, young adults’ and students’ societies: funding for believers’ fellowship assemblies and training.
C. Funding for fellowship and pulpit supply within and beyond the bounds of the presbytery between churches and evangelistic stations.

3. Support to presbytery evangelistic stations and self-supporting evangelists

We will continue the financial support for evangelistic activities for the evangelistic stations and financial assistance to the self-supporting pastors in accord with existing budgets and previously adopted plans (Special Evangelism Budget, Northeast Japan Evangelism Fund, Northeast Japan Freewill Offering Campaign).

4. Moving/rebuilding evangelistic stations

We will explore the possibilities for moving or rebuilding present evangelistic station facilities with a view to our desire to make further progress in evangelism.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #19

Report and thanksgiving to the Reformed Church in Japan

Support Network of the Sendai Christian Coalition (“Tohoku Help”)
Takashi Yoshida, representative (pastor of Sendai Reformed Church)

    Praise the name of the Lord! “Tohoku Help” is a support organization formed by the ecumenical gathering of the churches in the greater Sendai area that includes both Protestant and Catholic churches in a warm fellowship called the Sendai Christian Coalition. Through the Lord’s amazing guidance, within a week of the great earthquake, the support organization was formed with the three purposes to organize and centralize the distribution of various needed goods, to provide a central fund-raising location for churches that don’t have any denominational affiliation, and provide various kinds of support through the churches to the communities, and we immediately embarked on a two-month program of emergency support. Subsequently, the activities expanded as we were guided, we received a great outpouring of support and cooperation that continued for these seven months, and in September our office was incorporated as a special foundation.
You in the Reformed Church in Japan supported us with prayers and encouragement, and though the General Assembly you sent a great amount of financial support as well. For this we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Below follows a summary of our current activities.

* * *
1. Direct support to churches

    Of the approximately ¥6 million in offerings received from all over the world, ¥5 million was distributed as consolation gifts, money for carrying out repairs and funding for relief activities to churches in affected by the disaster (particularly to those that are not part of a denominational support network). Up until now, consolation gifts of ¥100,000 were sent to 79 churches and funding of ¥1 million was sent to three churches involved in carrying out support activities. In the future, gifts totaling ¥20 million will be distributed among 16 churches with heavy damage and ¥10 million to churches which have experience deaths among the members. Remaining funds will be disbursed for the projects below.

2. Sister Church Project

    In order to build a long-term support organization for disaster zone churches which do not have a denominational affiliation, while continuing the fellowship among the churches of the Northeast Japan region, we will assist the formation of “sister church” ties mainly with churches in the Greater Tokyo region. We desire to see this result in the fruit of a new structure to pursue the evangelization of the Northeast in the future. The Japan Evangelical Association is supporting this effort.

3. Mourning Project

    We are cooperating with the Miyagi Prefecture Association of Religious Corporations in an interreligious effort to offer funeral services for unidentified remains, provide interment for remains without burial places, make visits to temporary housing areas with a “traveling café” and supporting radio programs to offer “heart consultation room.” We are also coordinating ecumenically and inter-religiously to sponsor special commemorative mourning events at the customary anniversaries from the time of the disaster.

4. Radioactivity Pollution Response Project

    This project is still in the preparatory stages. We are still investigating the situation of churches in areas affected by the spread of radioactive substances, but we have set up a “Center to measure radioactivity levels in food” in association with the church network in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture and in Sendai City. We will begin to offer radiation measurement services beginning in December especially for households and facilities where there are expecting mothers and small children. We expect that there will be many opportunities for counseling also while the measurements are being taken. The Japan Council of Churches is supporting this activity.

5. Diaconia (support to semi-governmental and other groups)

    For the few months following the earthquake, Japan International Food for the Hungry, Samaritan’s Purse, CRASH Japan as well as other Christian groups have cooperated with the churches to provide effective support to their response efforts in the areas around the Northeast. Subsequently they continue to provide many services, for example support to the temporary housing areas (providing guard service, assisting with children’s education, offering meals. etc.). However, beginning in the autumn, the support activities are taking new directions in cooperation with various groups (for example, providing support programs for victims of the disaster who are foreigners).

    With your ongoing prayers and support, excellent office and project staff workers are carrying out the above activities. The fact that despite the great sadness and suffering on the occasion of this natural disaster, the many tiny churches of the Northeast are able to work together in this way, is a great joy and privilege that the Lord has given to us. We earnestly request everyone to continue to pray for us.
For more information about our activities, please refer to the home page <http://tohokuhelp.com> or search on the Internet for “Tohoku Help.”

Looking toward the General Assembly

    Please pray for the General Assembly meeting to be held next week. The Expanded Emergency Response Committee and the RCJ Diaconal Action Committee will jointly present the proposal for the “Second Fund-raising Campaign” at that time.

    The Expanded Emergency Response Committee’s mandate will expire with the convening of the General Assembly. Our work will be finished when we present our report. So this news release will be our final one. Subsequently, the RCJ Diaconal Action Committee will manage communications.

October 1, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #18

    Report from Rev. Hidenori Tamura, director of the evangelism department of the Yodogawa Christian Hospital

    Thank you very much for the generous offerings. Here is a report of our support activities.
On the afternoon of March 13, two days after the earthquake, we had a special meeting of the administrative department and made the decision to carry out support activities in accordance with the hospitals regulations regarding times of disaster. We determined that we would work in support at the request for help of the Takeda General Hospital (in Wakamatsu City, Azu, Fukushima Prefecture) by sending a medical support team, materials for dialysis, and other supplies, establishing a support team headquarters in the reception area, and making arrangements for transportation, housing and other logistical matters as rear support.

    On Monday March 14 the first team was dispatched from Osaka (2 doctors, 2 nurses and 1 administrative staff person). The team took the Tokaido and Joetsu Shinkansen trains to Niigata and drove a rent-a-car to Aizu Wakamatsu. They carried out medical activities at a school sheltering earthquake victims and delivered about a ton of dialysate, prepared foods and other medical supplies to the hospital. These had been brought by truck from Osaka.

    The next week the second team was dispatched, and after they surveyed Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures, in the end they made the decision to assist the efforts of the United Church of Japan Shinsei Kamaishi Church (Rev. Yusuke Yagitani) in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture, where the tsunami damage had been very severe. Beginning with assisting recovery efforts of the church and those who remained in their homes by providing visiting medical services, subsequently over the next four months 17 teams (about 70 people) carried out support activities to those in that area without interruption in that vicinity while based at an inn about an hour inland from Kamaishi at Tono City.

    We also collaborated with JOCS (Japan Overseas Christian Medical Cooperative Service). As the medical facilities began step by step to recover along with the Shinsei Kamaishi Church, by July there was less need for immediate medical assistance, and we decided to reassess the activities, which were terminated on July 8. Even as we were pulling out of Kamaishi, hearing that the Nozomi Hospital net door to Shinsei Kamaishi Church had lost their ambulance to the tsunami, we donated to them for their use our old ambulance that we had taken there from Osaka.

    Thank you for enabling us to carry out a variety of support activities, from visiting medical care to helping the church, from cleaning up and removing debris from homes and churches, setting up tents, chopping firewood, delivering, organizing and distributing commodities, preparing meals for volunteers based at the churches, giving a listening ear to those who visited the tents, etc.

Worship at the damaged Shinsei Kamaishi Church Staff member serving team to a visitor to our “red tent” set up in front of the church

Report on the use of the “entrusted funds”

Funds disbursed by churches that applied for the funding
Purpose: to provide assistance to nearby disaster victims and churches of other denominations, ¥1,100,000 (applications for funds received from 4 churches)

1. Morioka Evangelistic Station (Northeastern Presbytery) total of ¥200,000

-- assistance to disaster victims: distribution of food to neighbors of two women members of Morioka Evangelistic Station who live in Ofunato City of Iwate Prefecture and in Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture (¥50,000), gift to the Whale Center (¥60,000), commodities for the 3.11 Iwate Church Network (¥30,000)
-- assistance to other denominational groups: Gift to Miyako Community Church (¥60,000)

2. Watari Evangelistic Station (Northeastern Presbytery) total of ¥400,000

-- support to 6 families of the kindergarten children who sustained losses (¥60,000~70,000 per family)

3. Hitachinaka Church (East Kanto Presbytery) total of ¥400,000

-- after surveying damage sustained by other churches in the city and assessing their ability to pay for repairs, decided to assist the following two groups: ¥300,000 to the Oarai Christian Church; ¥100,000 to the Naka Christian Church (both groups belong to the Japan Gospel Church Coalition)

4. Shin Urayasu Church (East Kanto Presbytery) total of ¥100,000

-- support to the heavily damaged Holy Covenant Urayasu Church


Funds disbursed by the General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee

Purpose: to provide support for orphans and those with disabilities, ¥1,000,000 (to 4 organizations)

1. Iwaki Gospel Association (Social Welfare NGO) ¥250,000

[40-44 Haguro, Tairakamihirakubo,Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture 970-8001, tel. 0246-23-1903]
* a Christian social welfare NGO in Fukushima Prefecture that provides a variety of support activities to those dealing with anxiety about the nuclear accident

2. Sendai Christian Children’s Shelter (Social Welfare NGO) ¥250,000

[7-1 Komatsushimashintsutsumi, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture 981-0906, tel. 022-234-6303]
* a Christian children’s center with a history of over 100 years that offers care for children who can’t be with their parents, a children’s shelter and nursery home, short stays for emotionally disturbed children, land local orphanage service.

3. Japan Family Conference ¥250,000

[the head of the conference is brother Yasuyuki Bokura, member of the Shiroishi Evangelistic Station]
* works to provide a “family home” and a small orphanage to provide shelter for children who need care due to parents’ inability to provide for them, children in abuse situations, etc.; provides support for foster parents who offer a home and child-raising assistance

4. Miyagi Support Network for the Developmentally Disables (Special NPO) ¥250,000

[1-4-1 Kakyoin, Aoba-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture 980-0013, tel. 022-265-5581]
* an NPO that focuses mainly on support for the developmentally disabled with autism. The network began as a study center for care providers, specialists and supporters with the goal of enabling the achievement of a pleasant and anxiety-free life for autistic children and others with developmental disabilities.