Japan (TEAM/MNN) — Sunday marked one year since the
unthinkable happened in Japan.
In the run-up to March 11, Japan was rattled by a moderate
quake (2:25 a.m. local time, March 10, 2012) with a magnitude of 5.4 near
northeastern Japan's crisis zone.
No tsunami warning was issued this time, but it brought back
nightmarish memories of what happened when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck in
2011, when a crushing tsunami DID strike. Between the damage of the quake and the force of the wave, 86 communities
were leveled. In the next breath, the
country was trying to hold down panic over an accident that crippled the Fukushima
Although the country is recovering, there are still scars
physically, emotionally and spiritually. The Japanese government has declared eight areas near the reactors as
potential no-go zones for the next two decades.
Many residents remain homeless. According to The Evangelical Alliance
Mission (TEAM), in most areas the wreckage has been gathered and sorted into
"mountains." The rubble has
been estimated as the equivalent of 30 years' worth of garbage, and it still
awaits final disposal.
Some of the infrastructure has been repaired. TEAM's partners say basic roads and bridges
are mainly passable, but add that minimal
rebuilding has taken place, and many communities are waiting on direction of
what rebuilding will look like.
Repairs could take as long as ten years. Depression is settling in. Government data from Japan shows that there a
20% spike in suicides after the events of March 11, 2011.
TEAM's continued presence among those most affected by the
tsunami has helped to open doors in building trusted relationships within the
local church and the local people. The local churches are very small and few
and far between, and many have become exhausted by the overwhelming needs of
By having TEAM missionaries as a resource, they have been
able to be present at a most crucial time building relationships, while
creating potential for starting churches in the future after the relief and
recovery periods have finished.
They're calling not only for prayer support but also other resourcing help in
order to continue to make an impact for Christ's Kingdom as believers walk
alongside and offer hope to the Japanese people. We'll have the links at our Featured Links