(24th year of Heisei)
Jan 1st
Newsletter Vol 12 published.
Jan 13th

Satoshi Kobayashi (Sakai Evangelical Church member) joins us as on-site staff

He comes on board as our on-site staff after having been with us as a volunteer from the end of Nov 2011 for a month.

Jan 16th

Micah Ghent joints us as on-site staff

Micah started up mobile café activities during the summer of 2011. He is expected to be with us for a year and work on-site at Ohfunato.

Feb 9th
JEA Mission Symposium/div>

Ps Yoshiya Kondo participated in the JEA Mission Symposium (held at Ochanomizu Christian Center) organized in response to the Great East Japan Disaster, and gave his points of view.

He expanded on “Evangelism in Iwate”, explaining that a change of approach needs to be made, to focus on people to people relationships rather than an approach that uses support work for evangelism purposes, classifying people either as supporters and victims. He referred to Hisashi Ariga’s book “『衣更えするキリスト教』(perhaps loosely translated as “Christianity in a season of change”) and proposed a change in approach that focuses on how Christians can live out their faith and serve the people while living among the community, from that of “how Christians can ‘effectively’ spread the ‘teachings’.”
 In the disaster-stricken areas, personal relationships that go beyond “disaster recovery support” are being established and through a relationship that addresses the whole being, personal bonds built on trust are also growing. “We are called to continue to go forth among the peoples as one sinner reaching out to another. As close relationships developed, there are people who were led to Christ as they brought forth their struggles, prayed and started to read the Bible together. It made me understand for the first time that only when we are truly trusted can we really do mission work.” (excerpt from Christian Newspaper 19 Feb 2012)

Feb 18th
Bank account opened

The 3.11 Iwate Church Network initially did not have an account of its own and operated off the donations and support received by the individual churches. But, as we progressed, the need to sustain our many on-site staff arose and the amount of donations flowing in increased tremendously. In order to maintain transparency and accountability of the Network as a whole and, in addition, to make things easier for the many organizations, a decision was made to open 3.11 Iwate’s own bank account.

Feb 26th

Missionary Dawn Birkner commences work as our on-site collaborating staff

She will initially reside in Ohfunato and operate from there while finding a place in the Kitasanriku area to base herself out of.

Mar 4th
Newsletter Vol 13 published

We are grateful for the increase in our on-site and collaborating staff headcount. At this point, aside from the five core members, we have been blessed with eleven on-site and collaborating staff.

Mar 11th

”3.11 Memorial Service” held

@ KItakami Bible Baptist Church

Mar 27th

Rev Kazuyoshi Takahashi comes to Iwate as on-site collaborating staff

He and his wife will both come as staff of OMF’s Iwate Relief Project and collaborate with our Network. Rev Takahashi will come alone first and look for suitable housing for them to live in. His wife will join him at a later date and they will serve together.

Apr 5th
Commence use of mailing list for staff communication

We started this up in response to the increase in on-site and collaborating staff headcount, resulting in growth in area coverage. There was a growing need to share information and to pray for our respective needs, as well as to ensure good communication among ourselves.

May 13th
Newsletter Vol 14 published
May 19th

Fred & Chikako Whitwer join us as on-site staff

A married couple are moving from the USA to serve in the disaster zone of Iwate. The husband is an engineer and the wife is a teacher. They will be based in Ohfunato. Chikako will arrive a month later.

May 23rd
Core Members’ meeting
May 27th
to 28th

1st Staff Retreat

A retreat in which the core members, staff and their families got together was held at the “Tsunagi Onsen Hotel Taikan”. It was a time for us pastors residing in Iwate to express our gratitude to the staff who came from other parts of Japan and from beyond Japan to serve in Iwate, a time of sharing and a time for recharging our batteries.

May 29th

”Grace House” of our Ohfunato location

In a miraculous development, we were able to rent a standalone house that had been inundated by the tsunami to use as our base for our activities in the Ohfunato area. Renovation work has commenced immediately. This renovation work will continue until August while we also carry on with our usual volunteer activities.

Jun 2nd

Rina Oshio joins us as on-site staff

Member of Kurayoshi Christian Church in Tottori Prefecture. She will join the work at Ohfunato.


Missionary Catherine Porter joins us as on-site staff

She will participate in the work that we do across multiple locations, while giving performances as a harpist.

Jun 4th

Mitsuyoshi Minami joins us as on-site staff

With his carpentry skills, he will work mainly out of our Ohfunato base helping out with renovation work.

Jun 6th

”Ippo Ippo Yamada” opens

It was constructed by the OMF Iwate Relief Project so they would have a base for their activities in the Yamada area and also as an opportunity for the community to come together.

Jul 15th
Newsletter Vol 15 published

Vol 15 of our newsletter introduced the eight new on-site and collaborating staff. It also introduces the newly opened “Ippo Ippo Yamada”.

Jul 18th

Ippo Ippo Kamaishi-Ohtsuchi starts operating

“Ippo Ippo Kamaishi-Ohtuschi” was under renovation to meet the needs of functioning as a volunteer center for OMF’s Iwate Relief Project to serve the Kamaishi-Ohtsuchi area. Although there are some small loose ends that need to be taken care of, it has taken in its first volunteer team.

Jul 20th
Core Members’ meeting
Sep 13th
Discussion for the handover of CRASH Japan’s Ichinoseki base to 3.11 Iwate

A meeting was convened at CRASH Japan’s Ichinoseki base located in Senmaya, Ichinoseki to discuss the handover of the building and supplies that they had used to serve Kesennuma, Rikuzentakata and Minamisanriku. We learned about the work they had done so far and we confirmed the handover process.

Srep 21st
Core Members’ meeting
Oct 1st

Handover of the “Ichinoseki base” from CRASH Japan

Handover of the base, its facilities and relief supply stocks has been completed. We will continue with the work in places such as Ichinoseki, Kesennuma and Rikuzentaka.


Emiko Matsumoto joins us as on-site staff at Ichinoseki

She is a transfer from CRASH Japan.


Missionary Christina Jones joins us as on-site staff

She is a transfer from CRASH Japan. (till end December)


Yukiko(黄斯南)joins us as on-site staff

She was already serving in the relief effort out of Kesennuma Bible Baptist Church, having been sent there by Chinese Christian Relief Association of Taiwan. (till end December)

Oct 7th
Newsletter Vol 16 published

This autumn was a busy time of change. We saw Paula Chen, who had been on the front lines from the very beginning as the team leader at Ohfunato, complete her time with us. We also had the Ichinoseki base of CRASH Japan handed over to us.

Oct 12th

Ryo Inoue joins us as on-site staff

He has taken half a year’s time off his studies at a university in Okayama and will serve out of various locations.

Oct 15th
Tokyo Christian University Center for International Evangelism Open Seminar

Ps Fumiaki Ohtsuka delivered a speech at the Open Seminar organized by the Center for International Evangelism of Tokyo Christian University. The contents of his speech can be found in the FCC booklet “The Call Upon the Church” (co-written with Ps Yukimasa Ohtomo), pubished by Word of Life Press Ministries.

Nov 28th
Core Members’ meeting
Nov 30th
to Dec 1st

2nd Staff Retreat held

@ “Airinkan” in Hanamaki (and on 1st Dec, @ Kitakami Bible Baptist Church). 37 staff, core members and their family members participated in this retreat.

Dec 1st

Donation of a TV set from PBA

PBA (Pacific Broadcasting Association)donated a TV & DVD player set (together with their program DVD) as part of their support to the mission effort in the disaster zone. A ceremony was held with Messrs Ishida, Suzuki and Tanigawa present from PBA.

Dec 16th
Newsletter Vol 17

Includes articles introducing the four new on-site staff that joined us this autumn.

Dec 26th
to 28th

“Fukushima Hope” camp reinforcements

Staff from The 3.11 Iwate Church Network participated as reinforcements in the “Fukushima Hope” camp held at Christian Camp C-on Kinshuko. The following day, the Core Members got together to hear from the pastors of Fukushima Hope and also had the opportunity to discuss with them about nuclear issues in Iwate and any activities that may become necessary going forward in relation to this matter.

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