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Update from Sayaka

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th 2011 by Machiko in Japan Distaster

Dear Friends!
 
First, I just wanted to say THANK YOU! Your response to my first email was just overwhelming! If I find the time, I want to respond to each of you personally for your encouragement, prayers, kind words...you guys really know how to make a girl tear up!
 
For now, please forgive me for sending out another general email.
 
My parents are still in Japan. They plan to return to Hawaii later in April.
I just talked to them on Monday April 5.
 
As it is expected things in Japan are slowly getting better. Most importantly the devastated areas now have some electricity. After over 20 or so days without any electricity, many in the area are expressing gratitude for the simple pleasure of taking a hot bath for the first time in weeks. Imagine that!
It is still bitterly cold in Japan.
 
The recovery and rebuilding of these devastated areas could take over a year.  The Japanese are preparing for the long haul. I don't want to sound like I'm criticizing other organization's efforts so please forgive me if I sound that way.... as I had mentioned in my last email, the greatest difficulty is getting the much needed supplies to some of the more remote areas. There are warehouses now full of "donated" items that will probably never get to the people who need it most. Because of the lack of storage space, some organizations in Japan working in these local areas have started to turn away these donations just because they see no way of getting these donated items distributed.
 
Though so much has been donated towards the Japan disaster relief fund from all over the world, there is growing doubt that the families, individuals and small mom & pop operations, even church in these areas, people who will need it most will receive much aid.
 
However, the area is starting to see some life...supplies have been readily pouring in so that many of the stores are now open. But many people have literally lost EVERYTHING. So though the stores are open, they have no money to buy the food. Though electricity have been restored, they have no electrical devices to operate. No refrigerator, stoves, microwaves, heaters, etc.
 
As the city and the nation of Japan starts their reconstruction efforts, my parents feel that it'll be the people, the ones who've lost everything, or have little or no money who will in the end suffer the most.
 
It is still very dangerous to travel in the disaster areas but more and more Japanese are offering themselves and their vehicles to help. People groups have come in with sincere desire to help. But right now, so many things are against them: cold weather, for foreigners-language barriers, needed supplies not being available, travelling being difficult, places for people to stay, not available...it is simply too difficult to get a group into the disaster areas to do much good. Many Japanese, and even people here in Hawaii want to go and help but are being discouraged to go for their own safety.  Still yet, many like my parents in my last email go into the Sendai area in twos and threes to do what little they can for a short while and return. My parents say that in the months to come the opportunity to help will grow as the initial horrors of this disaster start to taper off for world wide aid and the Japanese people will be left on their own to start rebuilding their lives.
Please PRAY...
My uncle and aunt just left on Monday to help deliver money donated by their church (Kogane church) to churches and family in the disaster area. They are driving from Tokyo to the Sendai area and will not return until Wednesday. Please pray for their safety and that the donations will reach those who need it most.
My father and mother are planning to have an evangelistic meeting for the people in the Sendai, in one of the worst areas. Please pray that God will work through them to bring hope and encouragement AND that the hearts of people will be open to the Lord!!!
Reiko Uehara - A gospel singer & song writer had already gone in once to do a concert. She will probably join them.
The date of this event is uncertain. It is difficult to try and get a large group of people into some of these areas. Please pray for safety as they travel and safety while there. Please also pray that the planning for this meeting will go smoothly. Their hope is to be there sometime between April 20-24.
April 9, my mother's ministry "Sambi Hula" (BTW sambi for those of you who don't know Japanese, means song or praise) and a group of over 100 dancers were planning to have a big production...a festival. When the disaster happened, many doubted that this event would continue. But due to the dedication and support from all involved, they have now decided to change it to a disaster relief benefit show. Please pray that people will attend and give generously at this event in Japan.
Lastly, so much help is needed. In the days to come, these areas will need able bodied people to help: rebuild, clean up, help distribute, talk to, and encourage,...people who will help to do whatever is needed. It is my parents' vision to be able to form a group of people from Hawaii who are willing to go for just this purpose. Please pray that God will confirm this vision and create ways and opportunities to bring this vision to fruition. To get a group in to help has been difficult and not recommended at this time.
Some people have asked so I'm just mentioning it but if you'd like to donate through Mount Olive Ministries (MOM), we are a 501c3 non profit organization. Your donations are tax deductible. If you'd like to give, please make your checks to MOM and designate to the "Japan relief fund." 100% of your donations will go directly to help the churches and communities of these devastated areas to help and rebuild.
 
Thank you again for all your support! Your prayers mean so much. I am constantly reminded of that verse in James 5:17...the prayer of a righteous man (woman or child) is powerful and effective.  May I encourage you to read that section in James if you're not familiar with it. May it encourage you to pray...that the best thing and the most powerful and the most effective thing you can offer to God right now for the people in Japan is YOUR PRAYERS.
 
With so much gratitude, on behalf of Mount Olive Ministries and my parents: Yuichiro and Meiko Nakano,
Sayaka Nakano
Mount Olive Ministries
5622 Haleola Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96821-2006

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