Description of CRASH

, , , ,

At this juncture, you may be wondering who the group is that we’ve partnered with in Japan. The following is from Dale and Ann’s site:

“Many tragic facts about the quake and its tsunamis have become common knowledge on the major news networks around the world. What is less known is the behind the scenes work of one significant relief network in Japan known as CRASH: Crisis, Relief, Assistance, Supplies, Hope. This network is led by evangelical missionaries already present in Japan, and many of its volunteers are also missionaries. CRASH is an endorsed ministry of JEMA: Japan Evangelical Missionary Association. (Dale is the President of JEMA.) JEMA provides CRASH with a pool of over 1000 missionaries who, if available and physically fit, are eager to assist. So CRASH personnel know the language and the culture of Japan. CRASH is not a professional rescue organization. It is a voluntary network of missionaries and believers who focus on relief and rebuilding, the two steps that follow professional rescue efforts.

“CRASH works closely with national churches and national church associations. However, because the tsunamis hit one of the most unchurched parts of Japan, there are few local churches to work with in the devastated areas.

“Many of the large (and excellent) Christian relief organizations state that they are in the process of assessing the situation on the ground in Japan. It is CRASH from which they are getting much of their information. CRASH is providing guidance to many Christian relief organizations about to begin work in Japan.”

If you would like more information, it is available from Dale and Ann’s blog.

We are so grateful to this team of dedicated individuals! Several of our missionaries have already been working closely with CRASH, and they will continue to invest their effort and time in the recovery effort.

We are also grateful for the generous response that has come in from our EFCCM community! We have been inundated with donations to help with relief and assistance in Japan. We will have reports soon about how the funds we’ve received are being deployed.

I have also read an account of the nuclear reactor situation that states that it is much more stable, and the conditions are not nearly as troubling as they could have been (and which some news sources were claiming). They are serious, and there will certainly be long-term implications, but it sounds like the situation is coming under control.

Would you like to contribute?

If you would like to donate to relief efforts in Japan, you can do so through our donation page by choosing ‘Project’ and specifying account 2-4615.

Theological Summit Reminder

, ,

Please Plan to Join Us!

This is the last chance for you to register for the Theological Summit at the ‘early-bird’ rate of $100. (Please note that that does not include accommodations.)

After tomorrow it goes up to $125. (Final registration date is April 30th.)

The brochure for this event contains further details, including the schedule and the registration form:
Download it here!

Memo on Momentus MEMO Momentum

, , , ,

The massive undertaking that is MEMO (Medical Equipment Modernisation Opportunity) continues to grow. Hospital equipment and tools that are out of service are inventoried, packed and shipped to Cuba where it can be deployed by the skilled, well-trained doctors there. The following mini-report comes from Jerome, who has been instrumental in getting MEMO off the ground.

With a lot of hard work and some very chilled volunteers we got the 41st container packed and shipped. It contained an ultrasound for Aurora (for more accurate biopsies), an anaesthetic machine, specialised dressings to follow up Karen Parker’s wound care workshops in Villa Clara two weeks ago.

And it also contains literally tons of other medical supplies and equipment to continue our mission of showing God’s love to the Cubans by enhancing their health care.

We have room now to receive dental suites, beds etc. that are awaiting pick-up.

Pray now that the contents of the container will find the proper destination and use in Villa Clara.

First-Hand Account

, , , ,

As soon as he arrived in Sendai, Kurt connected with Pastor Jeremy and his wife Kumi who are faithful servants to their congregation there.

Together, their goal is to be a blessing, and as their car is one of the only that has fuel, they are better off than most. Kurt told us: “Gas is worth more than gold right now.” He assured me that that’s a figure of speech; there is neither price-gouging nor hoarding in effect. There simply isn’t fuel available. Line-ups for gasoline are up 2km long, and the wait can be upwards of 11 hours. Their plan is to use their precious fuel to pick up supplies from CRASH’s storehouse, and deliver them to churches who will distribute it to people and families.

The non-profit that Kumi works for provides counselling and support for young single expecting mothers. In this crisis though, the organisation has temporarily changed focus. They have been broadcasting messages of hope across Japan through 12 radio stations. Their messages affirm life, and encourage people toward confidence and hope.

“We are not going to be crushed by this earthquake. We are going to rebuild better than it was before.”

Japanese people are typically reluctant to join a religion, especially Christianity. Kumi said that they are using these broadcasts to make it as clear as they can that they are talking about God, but if they take it too far, then people shun the message altogether. It’s a tightrope walk. But practically speaking, this is a chance for the church to rise up and intervene in the country’s great physical need

It was quite the set of experiences that put Kurt in touch with Jeremy and Kumi. Looking back over how all that was orchestrated, it is clear to Kurt that it was God’s hand at work. Kurt has been asking God what to do in this, and if he’s doing the right thing. He strongly felt the impression from God tell him “I connected you with the people you needed be with. What bigger sign do you need?”

When asked about the current conditions in Sendai, Kurt responded that things look surprisingly normal where he is right now. But six miles away, there is total devastation. Vehicles washed into buildings. Entire sections of the once-vibrant city wiped out. In fact, it’s hard to tell that this was ever inhabitable. In the surviving portion of the city, people are trying to go back to their regular lives, but everyone is on edge. And it’s no wonder.

Officially there have been over 700 aftershocks since the quake. (In fact, while I was on the phone with Kurt, there were two more!) I asked this something people can get used to, or if it’s just unsettling every time. Kurt responded, “Well, it’s kind of like living next to a railyard. But the difference is that a railyard can’t destroy your house.”

Kurt is spending this time surveying the needs that people have, and working on a plan to accommodate them. He’s looking for specific ways that the EFCCM can get involved.

Pastor Jeremy told me “God has prepared us for this time, and we have a lot of expectancy and hope for the future. This is a real roller-coaster ride to watch so much of what’s familiar faced with complete devastation.” When I told him that I just couldn’t imagine what they’re going through, he said “I don’t know what we’re going through, exactly.” Not surprisingly, the whole experience has been entirely disorienting.

He informed me that there is a team headed their way next week, and they’re excited about that. This is truly an international effort. The EFCCM has already a substantial amount of money for Japan, and we want to bless the wounded Japanese people as richly as we can.

Would you like to contribute?

If you would like to donate to relief efforts in Japan, you can do so through our donation page by choosing ‘Project’ and specifying account 2-4615.

Home Office Sunday

, , ,

I hope you enjoy this light-hearted take on Home Office and all the operations we tackle from here. Home Office Sunday is fast approaching:

April 3rd (or the 10th), 2011

Our request is that your church would show this video, and take up a collection on behalf of Home Office. If every EFCC attender gave a toonie (or is that a twonie?), it would provide us with the boost we need to finish off our year in financial health. Thanks for participating!

(Your church should have received a DVD in the mail with the video clip and a letter explanation as well. If you need more information about that, all you need to do is ask! :-)   )