カテゴリー別アーカイブ: 2 News and Column

Thirty Days after the Great Quake

公開日時: 2011年4月10日

A month has passed since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster in eastern Japan. The road to recovery is obviously going to be a long one. Rolling blackouts have ended for the time being. Yet store shelves for certain things remain bare. Natto (fermented beans), yoghurt, and many bottled beverages are quite scarce.

On April 7, another magnitude 7.1 earthquake shook eastern Japan at 11:32 p.m. just as many in evacuation centers were preparing to get some sleep. Though most aftershocks are not of such intensity, quakes are experienced nearly every day. For many, it feels like it will never end. Getting used to daily quakes has become a part of life in 2011. When a temblor wakes one in the night, one must learn to roll over and go back to sleep–not an easy thing to do when you’ve seen what can happen.

Peoples’ livelihoods have been greatly affected. Farmers and fishermen near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are unable to continue their work due to contaminated soil and seawater. What does a farmer do when told that his land cannot be used? What does a fisherman do when told his catch cannot be sold? How will these people face the future when they may be prohibited from returning to their own homes?

The Japanese have a strong, fighting spirit, but this huge disaster has tested their resolve. Continue to pray for Japan. The United Church of Christ in Japan has responded both financially and with plans for sending groups of volunteers to assist in rebuilding. Other churches and Christian organizations are also working together. At this time, denominational differences must not keep us apart. Please pray that this disaster will be a opportunity for the church to re-identify itself as one that is in the world to be the body of Christ so that the Kingdom may come to all of Japan.

People are lonely and are grieving. The missional and incarnational body of Christ is what can manifest Jesus’ love and comfort to all who need to meet the Savior who will be with them in the midst of the storm.

We need to remember our suffering brothers and sisters.

公開日時: 2011年3月25日

All things in life are temporary. Just as our physical lives are finite, the entire world around us is finite. But when we are used to ordinary patterns of life, we may deny that finiteness. We have a natural need to believe that things are all right.
On March 11, 2011 we were reminded in a very tragic way that our world is indeed fragile and temporary. I monitored the daily news reports that started out by lamenting that over 1000 people may have lost their lives. Ten days after the initial quake, papers were reporting that 1 1/2 times the population of my hometown were either dead or missing. To compound the tragedy, hundreds of thousands of people were homeless, and several tens of thousands would not be able to return home for an indefinite period due to the nuclear power plant crisis.
We need to remember our suffering brothers and sisters. Pray that the victims of this tragedy will not lose hope. Pray that we will know how we can help them. Pray for comfort for many survivors who have lost loved ones. Pray for those who must be asking “why?” knowing that no one has an answer. Pray that God will have mercy on the many who feel abandoned and alone. Pray that victims will see God in the faces of the people who are doing their best to help them. Pray that those of us who are removed from the actual places of devastation will understand that we are one, and that their suffering is our suffering.

by W.J.