Tōhoku still picking up the pieces

Minato, Japan a week after the tsunami hit.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Johnson - http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/5568261628/in/set-72157626249933148)

Minato, Japan a week after the tsunami hit.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Johnson – http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/5568261628/in/set-72157626249933148)

Japan (MNN) — Three years after Japan’s triple-disaster, families in Tōhoku are still picking up the pieces and trying to restore livelihoods. This week, an international team of Bible school students from Yamanaka Torchbearers Centre and SEND International will be helping them.

The world’s fourth-largest earthquake since 1900 struck just off the coast of Tōhoku’s Oshika Peninsula on March 11, 2011. It was quickly followed by a tsunami and consequential nuclear meltdowns, resulting in the deaths of nearly 16,000 people. Material damage costs hovered somewhere around $300 billion USD, making it one of the world’s costliest disasters.

Japan recently unveiled plans to expand and promote marine exports as part of a larger growth strategy for the nation. Fear of radiation contamination led many countries to ban Japanese imports immediately following the 2011 disaster.

Bible students and SEND are helping reconstitute the marine food industry on a local level. Working alongside fishermen of the Oshika Peninsula, they’re finding ways to rebuild and revive oyster cultivation businesses.

Students will also be holding programs in Tōhoku’s temporary housing units, bringing hope to disaster survivors who are still waiting for a permanent home. SEND is combining church-planting and discipleship with their community development efforts in order to share the Gospel in relevant ways.

Immediately following the 2011 disaster, SEND began a recovery fund to help their partners in Tōhoku. They’ve been able to give nearly $400,000 toward relief and recovery efforts, and are continuing to help through a project they call “Engage Tōhoku.”

(Logo courtesy SEND)

(Logo courtesy SEND)

Engage Tōhoku is a 10-year commitment to engage the unreached in three disaster-zone prefectures. Help their ministry go further here.

Pray for families in the disaster zone who are starting their lives over again. Pray that Bible students will be able to share with survivors the reason for their hope: Jesus Christ.

For more on how SEND ministers in Japan, contact their main office here.