Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Goodbye, August.

August in Tokyo is hot--up in the 30s (mid 80s and 90s fahrenheit) most days, with 80% humidity. In accordance with energy-saving regulations, offices (including CRASH) do not turn the air conditioning up, so its not too much cooler inside than outside. And then at night, it doesn't cool off because that's when the concrete buildings and roads release all the heat they've soaked up during the day. So when Obon (a Japanese national holiday) comes around, there is a mass exodus to find somewhere--anywhere--that's a bit cooler.

My family also left Tokyo to stay at a group of cabins owned by missionaries in the north of mainland Japan. Thomas, my fiance, was able to come, too. We had a wonderful time relaxing with friends and enjoying God's creation (see photo).

Thomas and I enjoyed the beach with our friends and their children. 

What has CRASH been working on? CRASH Japan has been getting ready to train members of Kuon Church in disaster preparedness. CRASH is dedicated to preparing the Church in Japan for future disasters, as studies show there is a 75% probability that there will be a massive earthquake in Tokyo in the next 4 years. 

Says Kazu Kurihara (see photo), CRASH's director of Tokyo disaster preparedness, "If you are aware of danger, you can prepare for it, and being prepared greatly increases the probability that you will survive and be able to help others." To learn more, read Kazu's blog.

Meet Kazu Kuriara, CRASH's director of Tokyo disaster preparedness.

However, the summer was not without trials. In the middle of August, Luke Nagai, the two-year old son of one of the Family Life Group families, was taken to the hospital with a high fever. He was diagnosed with Leukemia. He is now 2 weeks into a 6 week session of chemotherapy, and may have to stay in the hospital for the next year. The Christian community is working together to provide meals, childcare for Luke's five older sisters, and financial assistance with medical bills.  

What else has been going on?
  • Family Life Group had a special "American BBQ" gathering. It was a wonderful time of food and fellowship. Before dinner, I enjoyed getting to know the children by playing various relay games (see photo).
  • Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ) began its new school year and is off to a great start. CAJ Day Care started up again, and I've enjoyed seeing how much the kids have grown and learned over the summer! This year there are 5 kids in the day care, ages 1-4, who I work with in the mornings.
  • Not For Sale Japan continued to work with Sophia University students to build a student abolitionist movement. 
  • CRASH Japan has been moving towards entering a new stage of relief work in October, focusing on emotional recovery and helping relief programs to become self-sufficient. I have been helping prepare financial reports to determine what types of operations CRASH will be able to continue.
A fellow missionary explains a relay game to the kids of Family Life Group.

This month, please remember these prayer requests:
  • Pray that that I will have energy during the continued heat.
  • Praise God for the way the Christian community has come together to support the Nagai family. Pray for healing for Luke Nagai and peace and strength for his family.
  • Praise God that I have been able to make connections with the children of Family Life Group! Ask God to use the craft time I lead to help each child come to know Him.
  • Praise God for safe travels for CAJ staff and students this summer! Pray I will be a blessing to the children in the day care, and to their parents and the work that they do.
  • Pray that CRASH will transition well into the next stage of relief work. Pray that donations will continue so that CRASH will be able to support as much relief work as possible.


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