One year after the tsunami
Following Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident on March 11, 2011, Medical Teams International has provided 11 long-term workers to help with relief activities for its partner on the scene, CRASH Japan (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope). CRASH Japan counts on volunteers to join survivors as they rebuild their lives. Culturally, it is difficult for the Japanese to share the loss they experienced during the triple tragedy.
Immediately following the disaster, CRASH Japan worked to distribute essential supplies including: water, food, diapers, baby food, feminine hygiene products, underwear, blankets and pillows. In the following two months, more than three hundred volunteers have put more than 14,000 hours of work into bringing relief and hope to Tohoku. Those efforts included initial assessments to determine needs of victims and the distribution of more than 135 tons of physical supplies.
Local churches, with CRASH assistance, have set up mobile cafes where survivors can come and talk as they share tea. One 94-year-old man came to a café more than once. On a return visit, he met an older volunteer from American man who asked the Japanese man about what he lost during the catastrophe.
Through a translator, the Japanese survivor began to uncharacteristically tell his story. As they continued, the Japanese man accepted the heartfelt prayers of his new-found American friend. Thank you for your support that has provided food, shelter and hope to the survivors of the March 11, 2011, catastrophe.
Church partners on the scene for Medical Teams International have established five bases of operation to provide lifesaving help to survivors in five Japanese regions: Fukushima, South Sendai, North Senda, Minami Sanrikucho and Morioka, Hachinohe. Local volunteers distribute supplies that Medical Teams International provides through cash donations from its supporters.
For more information and photos on our progress in Japan, please see the Japan feature story.
Our partner in Japan is CRASH Japan, a non-profit Christian disaster relief organization based in Tokyo, officially recognized by the Japanese government. "CRASH" stands for Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope. Before disaster strikes, CRASH Japan equips and prepares churches and missions to be ready to respond effectively. When disasters happen, CRASH Japan mobilize Christian volunteers to work with churches and other local ministries.
CRASH Japan responded to the March 11, 2011 triple disaster by setting up five bases in the disaster zone and mobilizing volunteers. To date they have sent over 1,800 volunteers to the Tohoku area. The volunteers have helped in a wide variety of ways including clean up, rebuilding, distributing supplies, listening to survivors, planting crops, doing arts and crafts, holding concerts, distributing flyers and helping out at mobile cafés.