Japan floods: heat wave heightens despair

By July 19, 2018

Japan (MNN) — “When it rains, it pours.” In other words, when something bad happens, more trouble is right around the corner. Such is the case in Japan.

Earlier this month, a typhoon brought record-breaking rainfall to southwest Japan. Last week, flooding caused by the rainfall triggered massive mudslides and left people stranded on rooftops. Now, says Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access, a heat wave is complicating recovery efforts and the death toll keeps on climbing.

More than 200 people have perished so far. Many of the deaths have occurred in three prefectures: Okayama, Hiroshima, and Ehime.

“Just like the tsunami that happened seven years ago, the flood came rather quickly,” says Takazawa. “[There were] many people who couldn’t move quickly to the higher ground and also it was early morning, so people couldn’t leave the home, and they were swallowed by the water.”

In response, Asian Access is coming alongside its network of local Japanese believers and churches “to share Christ’s love, along with disaster relief.”

As stated here, Asian Access prioritizes its response based on the three types of people/organizations involved in disaster relief:

  • Nationals and residents who live there, have been through the disaster, and will stay. Asian Access listens first, and well, to these nationals and residents
  • People and organizations with a previous connection to the region and the people
  • People and organizations who are involved because of the disaster.

“We come alongside local churches to reach out and help disaster victims,” Takazawa explains. A decade of natural disasters and partnership has sharpened the response of local believers to community needs.

Photo courtesy of Kyoto News via Asian Access.

“Disasters [are] a horrible thing to experience. But, each time, our (partner) churches in Japan are getting quicker and [finding] better ways to organize ourselves in a national network and churches [are] coming alongside together…to reach out to the community.”

There’s a role for you to play, too.

“This is not a short-term thing…so please continue to pray that local churches can be able to act as the hands and feet of Christ.”

Please pray for the surviving family members of flood victims. Ask the Lord to comfort them in this time of grief. Pray for flood survivors in the disaster zone; more than 2,000 households have no access to clean water.

Finally, pray for Asian Access and Japanese Christians as they put God’s love into action.

“[Prayer] is the call from God, who cares for every people group, every person on this earth. He mobilizes the global Church, including YOU (listeners/readers), to pray for this disaster response.”

Asian Access is also coming alongside churches and leaders in the disaster zone to help with developing strategy and providing physical, professional, emotional, and spiritual resources as God permits. If you’d like to give to the Japan Disaster Relief Fund, click here.

“Give financially, or give time and energy by joining one of our reconstruction teams,” Takazawa suggests.


Header photo courtesy of Asian Access.

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