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Feedback on visit to disaster area in North-Eastern Japan from Tu. 29 March to Th. 31 March 2011 PowerPoint Presentation
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Feedback on visit to disaster area in North-Eastern Japan from Tu. 29 March to Th. 31 March 2011

Feedback on visit to disaster area in North-Eastern Japan from Tu. 29 March to Th. 31 March 2011

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Feedback on visit to disaster area in North-Eastern Japan from Tu. 29 March to Th. 31 March 2011

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  1. Feedback on visit to disaster area in North-Eastern Japan from Tu. 29 March to Th. 31 March 2011 Tobie de Wet and Stephan van der Watt (delegates of Mission Japan) were accompanied by Rev. Kei Kataoka (delegated by the RCJ* Shikoku Presbytery as well as Tokushima en Tokushima West congregations). Rev. Taka Ashida (delegate of RCJ Synodal Commission for International Relations) acted as our escort. *RCJ = Reformed Church in Japan

  2. The main purpose of our visit was to: 1)     Visit as many RCJ congregations in the region as possible and to assure them personally of our love, prayers and support; 2)  Assess first-hand the actual situation and the needs of the people in the disaster area; 3)      Determine what the local congregations were doing to help deal with the immediate needs of the afflicted communities; 4)      Hear what the long term plans of the Church at grass-roots level are to help deal with the situation; 5)    Provide feedback as soon as possible and to discern in which way Mission Japan and the broader Church in South Africa could support churches within the disaster area to help relieve the need of surrounding communities.

  3. On the way from Tokushima to Sendai (about 1000km)

  4. Police officers in readiness on the way to disaster area

  5. Japanese defence force members set and ready with first aid

  6. Praying for guidance on the road ahead with Japanese pastor-friends

  7. Point of Call 1: RCJ Shiroishi

  8. Aiba couple – part of a 6th generation Christians who initially helped establish churches in Tohoku Region

  9. Earthquake damage in Aiba couple’s home

  10. Front wall of RCJ Shiroishi church collapsed as result of the quake

  11. Point of Call 2 – RCJ Watari Mission Station

  12. A colleague off-loading emergency supplies

  13. Tobie with Mr Inomata - (rice)bread-baker and member of RCJ Watari

  14. The local nursery school utilized as part of the mission station (all are safe, including Rev. Hayashi, local pastor)

  15. Point of Call 3: Yamashita Railway Station

  16. Destruction exposed at Yamashita Station (close by RCJ Watari)

  17. The last memory of a grandmotherand her grandchild...

  18. The vehicle in which their bodies had been discovered

  19. Cars had been swept along like pieces of toys

  20. One neighbourhood after the other lies destitute, devoid of children’s voices

  21. Crockery had been flung about ending up on desolate railway tracks

  22. Mr Inomata speaking heatedly about everything he lost owing to the tsunami...

  23. His bread-bakery was also destroyed by the flood waters

  24. Mr Inomata’s bakery partner, Mr Abe (his home in the background was also hit hard)

  25. The first floor of Mr Abe’s home was completely flooded.

  26. Point of Call 4 – RCJ Sendai

  27. Supper with our colleagues from around Tokyo (who also visited the disaster areas)

  28. Earthquake damage at RCJ Sendai congregation. Rev. Yoshida (RCJ Moderator) is the pastor here

  29. Rev. Kataoka sorting basic provisions at RCJ Sendai distribution point

  30. Point of Call 5 – Takayama (missionary holiday resort)

  31. Fuel is still very scarce and most people have to stand in long queues to get some

  32. The distorted tsunami warning signboard of the missionary holiday resort at Takayama

  33. Somebody’s shoe was left behind amongst the debris on Takayama beach

  34. The car of one of the missionaries (Rod Thomas) was swept away at the entrance to the resort

  35. Point of Call 6 – RCJ Ishinomaki

  36. Rev. Shiratsu from RCJ Ishinomaki embraced by our group leader (Rev. Taka)

  37. The church building of RCJ Ishinomaki was hard hit by the tsunami

  38. Rev. Shiratsu shows how the earthquake damaged the manse next door

  39. A group of RCJ volunteers had come to help with cleaning up operations (at Ishinomaki)

  40. Rev. Taka (and Tobie) with his children (Kana and Tooru) who also helped as volunteers

  41. Most of the neighbouring Ishinomaki coastline turned into a heap of rubble

  42. Policemen cleaning up

  43. Point of Call 7 - Onagawa

  44. At Onagawa the tsunami wave was higher than 20m, more than 2000 people dead or missing.

  45. Like so many others looking for what is left of an ‘earlier' life amongst the rubble...

  46. A dejected worker contemplating the devastated Onagawa (more than 10 000 people had lived there)

  47. A specialist team of rescue workers from India, looking for bodily remains

  48. Mr Kimura points to his car on the 3rd floor of a building – he had a very narrow escape ahead of the flood waters.

  49. This entrance to the hospital in Onagawa is more than 25 m above sea level!