Begining of the second year

July 2012
Praise be the name of Lord who brings light out of darkness. We deeply appreciate your prayers and support since March 11th, 2011. The earthquake deprived us of so many things. But in the midst of suffering God has been with us. Up until now, we have been able to cope with the disaster because of being upheld by your prayers.

We would like to announce the beginning of the second year at Touhoku HELP from July 2012.
Even though Touhoku HELP started March 18th, 2011, the office itself started to function fully only from July. It was initially managed by two pastors on a volunteer basis. Due to the vast amount of work for the disaster areas, and assured funding, we hired staff and started operating fully.
Our committed staff worked long and hard hours. But the needs have been greater than we could ever have imagined. Our finances have been stretched to the limit. We have helped many people in the disaster areas but have used up much of our resources.

We are not sure about our financial situation for the second year but we have every intention of continuing if we receive support.
There is information about our situation on the homepage (link).

The situation in the disaster affected areas keep changing dramatically each moment as new needs arise. How does God want us to respond to so many needs? It is not easy but so many people have been trying to help us. So we pray and press on.

The Touhoku HELP board members wish to continue and keep our office going.
We take each day one step at time. Our motto is “ until September and beyond.”
Through the prayers of so many people, we will maintain the office and continue our ministry for as long as we possibly can.
The formal name of the current office is called “Touhoku Diakonia.”“Diakonia” means “service” in Greek. For us, it has been Spirit-empowered service guided by faith.
But the original meaning was “making dust.” There is a old Japanese saying about the “ sticky rice ball from the shelf.” (A similar saying in English is: “Pennies from heaven.”)

If we wait for the work of God while we go around and make a lot of dust, we might receive something unexpected from the heaven….. I think the word "Diakonia" implies this kind of meaning. This might be a play on words, however, it reminds us of hope.

In the disaster affected area, brand new problems arise daily and are constantly challenging us.
Even with the greatest of effort and good will, organizations in Tohoku have trouble meeting all the needs and are overwhelmed. We have observed that some of the supporting agencies and residents’ organizations in Tohoku have started falling apart and the staff are burned out.
This is part of the suffering in the disaster affected areas. Touhoku HELP suffers in solidarity with them.
But in suffering, we are experiencing the power of prayer.
Prayer is the shield to block any kind of despair. We hope to stand firm with our appreciation to all of you and with praise to God as we are protected by a shield of prayer.

In this year, we have received uncountable and unbelievable blessings. The blessings have been prayers from so many people in Japan and world wide. We have no words to thank you enough for your support. We are especially grateful for the prayers of NCCJ and JEA. The prayers are our light path.

As we walk in this path, we can see is God's promised land. Please pray for us to continue as to be protected.

In the beginning of our new fiscal year, we request your support and prayers.

Rev. Dr. Naoya Kawakami
General Secretary of Touhoku HELP

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