Although “The 3.11 Iwate Church Network” got going right after the Great East Japan Disaster, we only held our first face-to-face meeting with all the staff involved on 21 Jan 2012….10 months had already passed by that time since the Network was set up.
Happy belated new year. We look forward to staying in touch with you this year and covet your prayers. Please continue to pray for the protection of the health and ministry of our staff, the collaborating pastors and missionaries, and the many different organizations that we work together with, From our side too here in Iwate, to all of you who continue to support us, we pray our Lord will bless you and keep you. On Jan 13th (Fri), there was a special program aired on Iwate TV that focused on Catherine Porter who ministers largely in the Miyako are as a missionary working together with us. Unfortunately, the program was only available for viewing within Iwate.
Although it’s been an unusually warm winter so far, we’re getting some serious winter weather now for a change. All of us are now back to ministry, and our activities are beginning to pick up again. This week, one of our members, Ps Wakai, provided an update on Iwate’s situation at a unified non-denominational prayer meeting held in Tokyo at Yodobashi Church on Jan 11th, to pray for the reconstruction in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Disaster.
Happy new year to all our website followers. We look forward to continuing our ministry in the disaster-stricken coast of Iwate together with you in 2016. Please continue to pray for and to support this ministry. The fifth anniversary since the disaster struck will come around this year. In many more ways than one, the year will likely be referred to as a “milestone reached”. However, individuals continue to struggle with a variety of situations of their own and the communities each have their own hurdles to overcome. Do pray that a recovery process fit for each will be granted. And, please pray for us, that we may continue to draw up along side people and communities in a suitable way.
he Hoshino Tomihiro exhibition attracted more than 2400 visitors during the one week that it was on. We were blessed with 120 staff and volunteers who helped with the exhbition and our financial needs have mostly been met, leaving just JPY90,000 to be filled. We are particularly thankful that 1 in 5 actually responded to our questionnaire after their visit, and shared with us how they were touched by Hoshino-san’s work. Even during this period, our ministry continued across our many locations and this too is something to give thanks for. The photo was taken when the Tohoku Mission Project and the Singapore team went to help out at an apple orchard in Rikuzentakata, in between their work to help out at the exhibition. (Cont’d in Prayer Points)
Over the long holiday in September, we continued to carry out our activities across our locations with the help of volunteers from many different places. We have had many visitors to the Hoshino Tomihiro exhibition held in Ohfunato so far. We need volunteers over the 25th and 26th, so please pray for those two days. (cont’d in Prayer Points)
We made it through to the end of the month thanks to the cooperation we received from the many volunteers (both teams and individuals), with much unseen prayer support and with the donations we received. Once again, thank you so very much. As we move on into June, we are expecting some big changes at our Network. First, Stephen Bay and his family will end their time with us in Ohfunato, and so will Rumiko Shibamoto, who has been serving in the Miyako area. The Bays will return home to the United States. In Ohfunato, the Whitwers will also soon end their time with us as Network staff. In addition to this, the United Project who have supported us from the very onset of our relief work immediately following the disaster, will be ending their work in Iwate. With this, the cost of upkeep and maintenance of Shalom House, our Miyako volunteer base, will be met from the Network’s funds. We also have a new addition in Michelle Ang, who will be joining us from the end of June as our newest staff. It is our desire to continue our work in the disaster-affected areas, along with the cooperating churches and organizations, taking into account the changes in our Network given above. Please continue to support us and to pray for us. (cont’d in Prayer Points)