Sendai Evangelical Free Church

Latest Update for Recovering and Relief Mission of the Earthquake

Account Number for Donations for Relief

1st. April, 2011 ‘Secondary Volunteering team leaving, & relief mission at Natori area’
This early morning around 4:30 a.m. the secondary volunteering team left for Kansai and Hiroshima region. It will take such a long journey back home, about 12 hours to Kansai and 20hours to Hiroshima. We were to bow our head in gratitude for those pastors, brothers and sisters at the churches who came all the way from such a distance.
We, the remaining members of our Sendai church and a person from the cyubu team decided to deliver the supplies to the Southern area from Sendai where we had never been. Among the area, there is Natori city where the NHK televised live through aerial image of tsunami at …coast and Arakawa area. Because it takes only half an hour by car to get there, the image was shocking and could not help crying. We were heading for the New Life Natori Church (Pastor Takashi Onuma) of Conservative Baptist group. Before visiting there, we had look around the …area, again we saw the aftermath of tsunami, which was over 5-6m high. We were astonished by the fact that a material, which we thought it was a cloth rolling around the tower, was actually made of steel. Not only so, we were shuddered at the scenery where the breakwater made of concrete has completely brown off with its iron framework, and nothing was remaining. An another thing which was very interested was that the all the utility poles and trees have fallen down towards the same direction, since it was how tsunami hit. Yet, only a few km driving into the inland from the coast line, there were the McDonald opening normally and the multitudes of cars running on the national highway. In such a environment, a bowling centre was used as ‘an place to keep body’. Such a huge gap in such a close distance made us feel dizzy.
Due to such a situation, we were very wondering of the safety of the church, however, thankfully the sanctuary has remained without any damage since it is located about a few km away from the highest point where tsunami reached. The Pastor O who used to be a supervisor of KGK, welcomed us warmly, and we, the student subjective team, had a great fellowship with him. They had had enough supplies, and indeed the supermarkets nearby were opening as usual. According to the Pastor, in the first week after the tsunami was quite difficult, like he had to wait in a queue for about 12 hours to get petrol for his car, yet at present almost everything has recovered. This Natori area got a fast recovery of the gas supply, and there is only very few places where it still has not recovered.
Since we brought the supplies, we drove around three places of shelter and church. Yet as we expected, the shelters have got enough supplies, and there was no one around in the church. As a result, it was the first time we did put the supplies down nowhere and returned. However, it was a fruitful day that we could have a good fellowship with the Pastor O and that we could find out that the Natori area mostly has got enough supplies. By the way, the supply for gas at this church has not been recovered yet.

31st, March, 2011 ‘ Kesennuma second relief mission’
Today’s Kesennuma mission was the biggest scale ever of relief work since this ministry has started. This project was planned to reach the total of 13 different places. Among the 12 places are related with the members of our church, and plus Kesennuma Island where the regular ply has just resumed from today. We prepared the three vehicles and loaded the supplies: one in 2.75tons truck which was to go to Kissennuma Island and both the car from our church and the station wagon from the Kansai team which were to go to the remaining 12 places. Altogether 15 of us were joining this project. Although we were late for departure, we safely arrived at our destinations around 2:30p.m. Since we had too many places to distribute the supplies, we divided into the two teams to work parallel. Before separating, we quickly had a look at the Port Kesennuma, and Pastor K murmured, ‘here is a graveyard of ships…’ As he said, the huge ships, which some of them might weigh 1.000 tons, were running on the land and scorched. Although not many houses where were located near the port were collapsed since they were made of concrete, yet they were still lying in the dust. It was unforgettable that ‘the sea was unusually close to the land’ due to the land subsidence. It seemed that plenty of the sea water could enter the land at the time of flood tide. Even some part of the quay was covered by the sea water, and the water smelled out slightly by the oil floating on the water. It seemed it would take more than a year for the port to be fully retrieved.
The team which was distributing within the Kesennuma city finished their task after about two hours, though they struggled to drive due to closing of the roads. They loaded the supplies on the sitting area of a passenger boat, called ‘Himawari’, in order to deliver those supplies to Island as well. According to S captain on the boat, ‘I came to offing to protect the boat straight after the earthquake. After a while the tsunami which was like a mountain high hit. When I climbed up onto the wave, plunging the top of the boat into the wave, I felt like falling down into the valley of 10m high. The wave stroked many times, and it was very awful.’ But there were only very few captain those who could save the boat like him. Therefore, there had been almost no provision of relief supplies for the first week after the earthquake to this Kesennuma Island. An hour after we loaded every kind of supplies on the boat, such as vegetable, underwear, disposable heating product, sanitary material, winter cloth, stove, kerosene, or battery etc, we got a phone call from Mr.S who was at the disaster countermeasures office, saying that ‘we received the supplies safely!’ we were very grateful to see that the supplies we delivered will be used effectively.
On the other hand, the team which was working around the 9 places of Otani coast area and Honyoshi were driving forward, but struggled by the rough roads alongside of the coast. They finally completed their mission after three hours, facing the fear of puncture of the tire, the obstacles of the debris on the road, and the narrowed line alongside of the road which was shrunk till only 10cm, washed by the tsunami. On their way back at Senyama, both teams joined again. When they returned, there was an atmosphere of comfortable tiredness among them. We were so grateful for the great work of the 9 volunteers those who are leaving tomorrow early morning. One more thing which made us surprised on this day was that the petrol station near the Ikkan interchange were opening even in the evening, and only 10 vehicles were queuing there, since all the more there was a long queue at least 500m long in Sendai on that same day. It seemed that the situation of the petrol supply has been completely back to normal in the place where the population is relatively few within the local core city, although it was extremely costly, 166 yen per liter, probably being taken advantage of the situation…

30th March, 2011 , 'A sequel to the Ishimaki relief mission & Teacher tsumura and Akasaka visiting Sendai'
We had a prayer meeting with the volunteers in this morning. It is very important moment in order to make this relief work on the basis of fellowship among the church members and be supported by prayer. Not only so, it is a significant time to get to know each other between the volunteering team who have been working from Monday to Friday and even on Sunday and the church members, through prayer in small groups of three.
From the afternoon, the volunteering team headed for Ishimaki Christ Church of brethren for cleaning mission, started yesterday.
The church was flooded which was 1.5m high, and took three days for the water to draw, which ruined most of the things in the church. On top of this, the church greatly has needed for manpower since the enormous amount of mud entered into the sanctuary. They flushed the mud and salt which covered the wall and floor of the church, using the high pressure washer brought from our church because the supply for water and electricity has recovered since yesterday. They came back late night, which seems to be a decisive game.
I (Kadotani) was staying back at our church since two of my former teacher from Japan Bible Seminary were supposed to drive to visit us. They were on their way back from their visitation to the coast area of Iwate for two days, guided by Pastor …Kondo at Morioka Bible Baptist Church. I was so grateful for their visit all the way from faraway. I guided them to the disaster area around Sendai port. To my surprise, the whole four tires of a car have completely gone with their hubs which were still there at my last two visits. It could be a handiwork of a thief at a fire, anyway I thought I caught a glimpse of the reality of the disaster area which are getting worse, as it has been rumored. It is very regrettable that there is such a person whose interest is nothing other than on money even facing how terrible the disaster is. I am afraid that probably the invaluable household effects have been suffering with the similar cause. It should never happen that the bereaved those who come to search for their memorial things of their lost one’s have to go back with empty hands.

29th of March, 2011 ‘relief mission for Ishimaki, visit to Onagawacho’
We were heading for three churches in Ishimaki area. The first two churches were where we were requested to bring the supplies through the friends of the members at our church, called ‘Ishimaki Glorious Church of Japan Christ group (North Daigaido in Ishimaki city) and Yamajyocyo Church of the same group (Izumicyo in Ishimaki city). The Glorious Church has resumed its work of kinder garden where was build next door to the church. The staffs were continually working to clarify the mud in the garden. Fortunately, the flood came only till under the floor. Already they have got certain amount of supplies, we handed over mainly food. Right after some of the local young mothers came to receive the supplies, probably they heard of us.
The Yamajyocyo Church where we visited next was a historical church, completed in the Taisyo 12th year.
The sanctuary was choked up with supplies, and women were classifying them. It was the best time since they were in the middle of the process of distributing the supplies to their neighborhood. They were very pleased to receive all the remaining supplies on our track and station wagon.
From this place, it was a really terrible road toward the Ishimaki Christ Church of brethren where the other support team was working, since the flood was severe probably due to the low altitude. When we arrived there, we saw the EFC volunteering team was working hard, clarifying the mud. The enormous household effects which were flooded chocked up the front of the church. From here we as pastor team with the brothers and sisters from our church decided to head for Onagawa cyo, where it is said that the largest tsunami hit (18m high). Because of the landscape which all the buildings were centralised in the small land behind the narrow bay, tsunami enormously demolished, for instance, a concrete building was smashed like a biscuit, or a foundation was eradicated with its pillar.
The situation was exactly what it is said to be ‘nothing remained’.
A brother G from our church, who is from this place and has experienced the Sanriku massive tsunami which happened thirty years ago, was shaking with his voice explaining how his hometown has changed. We were deeply affected by his pain. We can hardly imagine what it means to see the destruction of one’s hometown. It was totally beyond my understanding.

28th of March, 2011

I would like to report you today about the lifeline physical distribution in Sendai. At present, the supply for electricity, water and telephone line have retrieved in almost every area. Yet, according to a local newspaper, the supply for gas seems to take much longer time than within next a few days as we expected. My family is grateful that by chance we have got a bath heater for keeping water warm, which provides to make a bath daily without using gas, though it will take throughout night to make water warm enough.
The situation of the physical distribution has got better, and food and general things are available without queuing and restriction. The variety of these things is also increasing, such as cassette cylinder, which had used to run out completely from the stores. It is still not so easy to get petrol as mentioned yesterday, but it seems to rotate faster and the queuing is also getting shorter to get.

27th of March, 2011

Due to the Sunday service, we took a break to do house-to-house search and transportation of the relief supply to the remote places, though we were still welcoming the local people for getting supplies. About 6 people came to receive the supplies from 10a.m. to 5p.m. There are over 100 attendances at the worship service, just as last week, and 3 brothers from JIFH also attended with us. The third worship service has 21 attendances that was very thankful, and also 12 people joined us through the internet relay. The physical distribution in Sendai has been much improved and the numbers of the shops where do not need to queue has been increasing. It is getting much easier to get meat stuff. Although it still needs to wait in a queue to get petrol, the situation is getting better since at least we can get for full tank comparing with before that there was restriction, like only up to 3000yen for instance. Although we have heard that the gas supply will be recovered within next a few days, not yet.

26th of March, 2011
Since today is a holiday, we stopped doing house-to-house search and the transportation of the relief supplies to the remote places. However, the brother Mizoguchi, Hasegawa and Hananoi from Shinmatsudo evangelical free church came to bring the supplies by a station wagon in the rainy snow. They left at 1a.m. At first they put some supplies down at furukawa evangelical free church, and arrived here. We bowed our head in gratitude for the support giving to us even by a single church like them.

25th of March, 2011
It was the day for the team of 12 people from Cyubu, Nagoya and Kansai region to return their home. They left here for a long journey by 8.30a.m, after preparing from the early morning.
We prayed altogether in a circle, by giving thanks to the Lord for stretching his hands upon the work that has been done till this day. We felt how wonderful to have fellowship in the Lord, when we shook our hand firmly to each other.

After sending them, our Sendai team left heading for national village in Nanahama where we heard that there is lacking in materials.
The low area in Nanahama was still under the water. Although we had to detour near the seaside since the destruction of the area was severe and there was a bridge fallen down, we could manage to reach there. It was the manager of the café in the national village who welcomed us. He gave us the information which concerned us: 'vegetables have not been supplied at all', 'For the moment, we have got materials, yet we are concerning that food will run short from now on due to the decreasing of the donation for Sendai city'. He smiled at us and said, 'I can go on with these food for next a few days', when we handed over some food mainly vegetables such as carrot, potato, cabbage and leek. It seems that the prospects for the material supplies are not good even in the area like this where is so close to Sendai.
Since here was almost no need of daily material, we decided to head for East Matsushima city where the volunteer from TCU is working today, after considering of what we should do with the remaining supplies. On the way we went through … and …, … was damaged severely mainly by flood, and also we saw things on the road such as an overturned ship. The street called 'menukidouri' in Matsushima was entirely damaged by flood. We headed for Miyagi Bible Church of Seikyo group, after we arrived in East Matsushima. When we came close to the area, we could immediately understand the problem of the hygienic condition, since the entire town was covered by mud, and the sludge, which almost became 10cm thick, was covering not only in the gardens but also even into the houses and stinking badly. It seems there is a plenty need of manpower to clear up all these sludge. We assume that the work will be legitimate from now on since we heard that finally this area has got water supply. After we brought the supplies to the supply station in front of the church, the local people rushed into there as if they were competing with each other. According to them, they have not been receiving any supplies at all for a while. It was the first time we were asked whether we have got a blanket. Until this time, we were told that the plenty of blankets were provided to every shelter by self-defense forces, thus, we did not carry them on our vehicle. Although we were surprised, we could notice that there is a still need of clothes and bedclothes at certain percentage in the houses where people can still go on to live despite of being flooded above the floor. It was a new discovery and a good example to realize that it is not easy to bring the appropriate supplies unless we go each devastated area practically.

24th, March, 2011, 13:10 updated

Today, we headed for the seaside bible church of Jesus gospel group where the tsunami hit worst at Miyagino ward in Sendai city. We were together with Pastor Kenichi Ohashi, Pastor Tetsuya Otake at Mukonoso Evangelical Free Church, four of their church members who came all the way from Hyogo prefecture, and the team from Nagaoka, Chubu region who arrived the day before yesterday.
We were hoping to meet with the pastor and the members of the church and handing over the relief supplies to them. There again was the huge devastation as far as we could see. According to the local person whom we met on the road, only those who fled up to the roof of the local school nearby survived but multitude of people lost their lives since they evacuated into the sport hall at the school where it was located in the lower part of the building.
Although we followed the guidance of GPS about the location at the church, there was nothing when we arrived. Again we asked the local person, who were passing by, he told us that the church used to be around there, yet there only the foundation was remaining.
Suddenly, we heard the voice, shouting that ‘Pastor, we found a pastor!’ As we ran toward the voice, we saw Pastor Naito who accidentally came to see the aftermath of the disaster with the members of his mother church. It was even more surprising that many of the members of the Mukonoso Evangelical Free Church have known the people who were with Pastor Naito. Although at once we were surprised by the connection they had even in such a far place, we felt the providence of the Lord. We prayed altogether in a circle for rebuilding of the Lord’s church. According to Pastor Naito, there was a person still missing among his church members, and at present he is renting a small flat in a little distance from where the church used to be. We were deeply sorry that the building of the church broken down only five years after the construction. We once considered of going on our way back since there was no one and no place available to receive the supplies. Yet Pastor Ohashi suggested heading for another nearest church, and we went to Sendai Agape Church at koucyo in Miyagino ward. According to Evangelist Honjyo who welcomed us, there was a huge need of relief supplies since there is a shelter at Kocyo primary school just in front of the church! Immediately we began putting the supplies down. He was greatly rejoiced and wanted to give the supplies to people at the shelter as a church and to make them happy. We were thankful from the bottom of our heart the wonderful divine guidance. During of this mission, such thing has often happened. We strongly feel that God has been going ahead of us and preparing the way for us. We are so grateful. Please remember us in your prayer that tomorrow we are heading for Kesennuma where there is the Kings garden, yet the weather forecast for that area is rainy snow.

23rd, March, 2011

The joint volunteering team of Nagoya, East Nagoya and Nagaoka who arrived last night came to our church with the full of supplies on the microbus which can hold 29 people. We are heading for the Elderly welfare institution, called ‘Kojyuen’ , in Rikuzentakata city, where we had heard of the great need through one of the friend of sister Nakada at our church. Since our vehicle was reserved as an emergency vehicle, our journey was smooth using the highway. However, suddenly the scenery changed completely when we came to the point where we were only 7km to go to Rikuzentakata. There was the mountain of debris as far as we could see. We drove through the wall made of debris in the both side of the road which were heaped up high. We have no idea how many times we just murmured, ‘how terrible this is…’ It was literally beyond our expression. We were moved most to tears when we found an album of a family. The album covered by mud supposed us that there was the peaceful ordinary life of the family till only 10 days ago. We were wondering whether there was really a destination out of this mountain of debris, yet eventually we reached to the Takata primary school where the tsunami hit at highest. From there, the scenery again changed totally. Since ‘kojyuen’ our destination was built on height, the institution was undamaged. However, there were over 300 refugees joining the residence of 200 elderly, who had been sleeping crowded together in the same hall. Fortunately since there was an electrical supply, they could warm the hall, yet there were overwhelmingly lacking in incontinence pads, towels and whole food. What we brought were to the very point, and especially the sweets out of supplies were very pleased by about 30 primary school children. While we were wondering whether we should have left for home since we handed over most things that we brought, someone suggested, ‘let’s go to the church in Rikuzendakada’. According to an iPod, the church is only a few hundred meters away. Although right away we were on our way, we had no idea where the pastor was. While we were no clue what to do, a young man volunteered to go to the church to find him getting over the mountain of debris, to our surprise he found the pastor Tamekichi Morita and his wife and they came to welcome us. They were really grateful to receive the remaining supplies, and even the neighbours were bowing down their head over and over again, saying’ thank you!’. The debris headed up on the road toward the church makes very difficult to bring the supplies, and at the same time water the supply for water and electricity has still not been recovered. The physical distribution to this town was completely blocked. Pastor Morita and his wife told us that they moved here from Tokyo 40 years ago. At that time they used to eat ‘millet and barnyard grass’ as a common food in Iwate prefecture. The wife has been supporting the pastor’s ministry while she has been working at other place. Such an admirable life of the couple who has been working in the rural town in Iwate made me feel shame at lenient faith of myself. We were waving our hands, saying goodbye to them after praying together with tears. ‘I wish everything is not a real but a dream…’, I thought so when finally I lost the pastor from my sight. Yet, it was the reality. It was completely different from what we see through television or internet. We were showed off the reality of ‘disaster’ vividly. It was the day I was challenged to see the rebuilding of a church like this as a mission God has entrusted us as believers of his church.

21st of March, 2011

From today, the relief supplies have started arriving to our church from Kanto and Kansai regions. At first, four people (pastor Hiroshi Takao, Kou Saito, Toshihiko Takao and brother Aono) brought it to us after long driving, departed in Saitama prefecture at 1a.m in the middle of night, went through Nigata prefecture and arrived here at 9:30a.m. They said that the highway run smoothly. It was the first arrival of the relief supplies since the day of disaster, and was so touching us when we saw and hugged them and shook our hands with them. Immediately we carried the supplies and prayed altogether after and sent them back.
Then mainly the ladies of our church made over 100 of ‘support set’ of which each set includes some food and several living material with a notice paper which informs that the relief supplies are now available at the church, together with the map and contact address lists of our church. Straight after we brought them to each house around our neighbors, immediately people responded with gratitude and began coming to the church one after another, asking like ‘do you have a cassette cylinder?’, ‘have you got baby nappies?’ or ‘could I have power milk for my baby?’ etc… Since so many people were coming, we eventually run out of things and had to ask them to come back from tomorrow onwards.

While we were responding to the people, the couple called Ogawa brought us petrol with their track. It is very precious to get petrol at the present situation in Sendai. It is impossible to do anything without it, especially not able to bring the supplies to the most devastated area. According to the couple, the farmers of their neighbor offered their petrol which is for their farming machines and their tanks for it. We were so grateful and could not stop giving thanks for them. This couple Ogawa is running vineyard, so we would like you to visit them whenever anyone travel to Nagano, since their grape is so tasty!! The wife of this couple volunteered to remain here to help us.

After this, the chairman of the ‘Trenta-Express’, Mr. Yamaguchi called us that he will be here around 17:30p.m. We appealed the manpower to the church member through the mail, and they started coming and eventually 30 people gathered! Just about the time when we started explaining the way to store the supplies, 4ton track arrived church at 17:30p.m. As we expected, it was literally ‘like a mountain’ of the supplies. We stored the boxes one by one with assembly line, and though at some point we were worried the capacity of the storage space, eventually there was some space remaining when we finished all the storing process. Mr. Yamaguchi told us after he finished getting down all the supplies that he would go back to his place straight after this in order to transport the next supplies to here. As a person who knows the exhaustion by the long driving, I bowed my head in gratitude for his faithful and hard working. We photographed altogether and sent him back with thankfulness. The huge amount of supplies remains…
Since we were asked to share the supplies with the members of our church and their neighbours at first in order to show the love of Christ, each of them brought some supplies home. Everyone smiles, smiles and smiles…. Since the disaster hit, it was the first time that this place is filled with such a smile.
In the evening, we heard that other supplies from Chubu and Kansai region also arrived safely to the Meisei-Academic School. Six volunteers from the churches in Nagoya already began working there. We are supposed to bring the supplies, which is brought with much love, to the area where tsunami hit, such as Ishinomaki area, ;;;;, Wakabayashi and Miyagi area. We are grateful if you can remember in your prayer that the supplies will be used effectively. Yes, we forgot to report the one more joyful news that water supply at the church is recovered today! Hallelujah!
This will release us from worrying about using toilet and from carrying water from other station. We thank God for this! With regard!

20th of March, 2011
We had the second Sunday service yesterday since the disaster. There is a situation in the local city of Sendai where people have still been struggling to come to worship due to the lack of petrol. Yet, around 98 people attended the service and about 15 people joined us through the internet relay. We are so grateful! There are numbers of people both men and women who were shedding tears, overwhelming by the presence of the Lord in the midst of their singing praises. It was a very touching service, filled with the heart for the Lord, seeking and expecting him even more in such a difficult situation. I have never felt before how blessed and wonderful the ‘God’s family’ is. Because we have tough time and hardship, we rather trust in Him. When we are facing such a disaster of which no one could expect, we feel that our relationship with the Lord is going deeper. This is exactly what it means to be a blessed one in Christ.

19th of March, 2011
According to the social worker, the voluntary party of disaster prevention at this area of Kawahira had dismissed today due to the closing of the shelter. It seems that the biggest need of supplies is at the shelters of ward where tsunami hit and is lacking of materials.
Also, according to the members of our church, some certain people are struggling most, such as, elderly people who live at housing complex where the supermarket and shops near from their housing are closed, and people who used to live depending on convenience stores and not having any extra food stock. We feel this is argent to bring the supplies to those people and area.
There has no water and gas supply yet, but electricity, phone line and internet have been fully recovered.
Today we have heard from the Evangelical Free Church in USA for offering the manpower and relief supplies as well, and it is supposed to be helped by the pastor MB who used to be the missionary at our church. Thank you so much!
About the physical distribution, although it is quite costly, for instance, one package of port costs 1000yen, there are available to buy meat at several shops, and so as little kind of vegetables. Also, some petrol station has begun to open daily basis, though the petrol will run out immediately. Since there is no water supply, it is quite difficult in terms of using toilet, taking a bath and washing clothes.
Because it will take another a few months to get the gas supply back, it would be very appreciate if anyone can offer us heating product for bath (‘bath-heater’), since it will enable to take a bath in the areas where the electrical supply has recovered. There is also an argent need of cassette-cylinder or cassette-stove for cooking. We deeply appreciate every hand for support…!!

18th of March, 2011
Last night there was a meeting held in Sendai where the pastors of Sendai Christian Association and over 10 stuff from the disaster support organization gathered together and shared the situation of damage at each church and the support plan as a denomination. It was very meaningful time to get some useful information. Please have a look at the short video recorded at the meeting and uploaded below.
From tomorrow, we are supposed to start up a system of which to share the information of relief supplies.

Water supply at church and gas supply at every house has not yet recovered. According to the information received today, water supply will be recovered by the end of this month, which means to take almost another two weeks before the recovery. We need to be patient. We are pushed to prepare for receiving the relief supplies which will arrive from all over the Evangelical Free Churches early next week.

17th of March, 2011
The water and gas supply has still not been recovered. Within 3km from our church in Miyagi prefecture, there is some supermarket where now open with the restriction of admission. Large vehicle has started driving in the main highway. It is said that Port Shiogama, Sendai airport, Matsushima Self-Defense Force base, have also started their operation. The president of Petrolatum Association of Japan prospected that petro supply will be back to normalize by either within next week, or till the end of this month at latest. It is the first bright news since the electrical supply was recovered.
However, it has been snowing heavily even it is out of season in Sendai, and it became the heaviest snow even in this winter. The possibility of the several accidents is concerned, such as skid or turnover of car, or aggravation of the health condition of the people who are in shelter. We as church launched a support team and had a meeting for many hours to discuss about how to make the most use of the relief supplies arriving from Monday next week. We will continue prepare for this from tomorrow onwards.

16th of March, 2011
Here is today’s update. It is officially announced that the gas supply will not be able to recover within a month but will probably take more than a few months due to the hug damage. Therefore, the difficulty of the living, such as taking a bath, will continue even if the water supply will recover.

15th of March, 2011

We are so grateful for many who have shown concern and support, and who have prayed for us. We appreciate that many people have asked about our situation more than we expected. Now we offer the following information regarding what we are facing:

First, we can now confirm that more than 95% of our church members are safe. Presently none of our church members were seriously physically injured. However there are some whose parents and relatives have not been able to communicate with them yet.

The church building withstood most of the serious quake shocks, so damage is minimal. Some items fell down, and a few dishes broke. Since quite awhile ago we had thought that our building was strong because it stands on solid ground which had been leveled from a hill. The foundation of the church building has some little cracks which need to be repaired.

As of Tuesday, March 15 in lifeline the only utility which was restored is the electricity. Some have reported that water supply has been restored to a nearby neighborhood a few blocks from us, but not yet to us, so we are uncertain about that point. The gas services announced that it might still be a month before gas can be reconnected. The most pressing problem now is the shortage of gasoline, with almost no service stations open. In those few places where gasoline is available the line-up of cars waiting may stretch for more than 500 to 1000 m, and then only a 10 liter maximum purchase is allowed so that supply is very limited.

Shelves in the food stores are almost empty. In those stores which are open for business the customers must queue for several hours. Each is given 3 minutes in which to choose a maximum of 10 items. Each day we face uncertainty about our next shopping. We save food at home to eat little by little. If this situation continues a week, or possibly 2 weeks, we certainly will be in a very critical condition.

Above reports about our present situation.

This last item we mention because we have been informed that some wish to make relief donations: Our account information is below. We will be prudently responsible about the use of donations. Our principal intent is 1) to support the church and our members and 2) to help reconstruction and repairs for churches which have been damaged or destroyed along the coast. We appreciate your consideration about this intention. We do not imply any donation to be mandatory, but only of your willingness to help.

<Bank Account Information of Sendai EFC>
Name: Religious Corporation Sendai Evangelical Free Church Director Kouzou Yoshida
Address: 5-3-8 Kawadaira, Aoba, Sendai, Miyagi, JAPAN 981-0954
Bank Name: The 77 Bank,Ltd.
Swift Code: BOSSJPJT
Branch Name: Choumeigaoka Branch
Account No.: 276-9109749

(English translation by Shino Mortensen)

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