We give thanks in all of God's good providences. The more we learn about the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami, the more we marvel at God's goodness and grace in sparing those in Japan whom we hold dear. All our missionaries and all those in our sister churches there, as far as we know, were spared loss of life. Two churches sustained significant if not total loss. But these are things that are replaceable ... and there will be a time and season for that.
Regarding the OPC's Disaster Response, we have set up a Japan Tsunami Relief Fund to which donations can be sent. This can be done through giving mailed into the office in Willow Grove or on-line at http://www.opc.org/donationsjapan.html.
Through the generosity of the church over the years, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries has been able to build up a healthy reserve from which to pull funds for such a time as this. So we do not have an emergency need for donations, but would like to replenish that reserve to support the continuing need that we see in Japan. Also, we desire to give the church the opportunity to respond financially to this disaster through the church where that "cup of cold water" will be given in the name of Christ.
At this immediate time, your gifts are being used to provide blankets, rice, ramen soup, toilet paper, fuel, and other basic necessities. These are being purchased in the Tokyo region and loaded up in rental trucks. Our missionaries have obtained permits to drive on the expressways, reserved exclusively for relief workers. The supplies are then being driven the 200 miles north to the Sendai area, where cold and even some snow has fallen. Upon arriving there, the supplies are being distributed, along with Bibles and tracts, through church members in those areas.
We also plan to send some money to the Yaegashis. They live in Yamagata which is about 30 miles inland from Sendai. Many refugees from Fukushima are being housed at the sports center here. There are multiple opportunities for the Yaegashis and their congregation to share the love of Christ in this region.
In God's providence, we have five missionary families in Japan through whom to work. They are on the front lines and guide the Disaster Response work on the ground. Soon, we hope that they will also be guiding us in working more closely with and through the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ). The RCJ's Diaconal Action Committee (DAC) has established an "Emergency Response Headquarters" and is currently urging their denomination to "pray earnestly and cooperate in this endeavor." We hope to do the same.
Continue to check for updates at OPC.org and http://www.facebook.com/OPCDisasterResponse.
Please continue to pray!!
Yours in the service of Christ,
Disaster Response Coordinator
The Committee on Diaconal Ministries
THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
607 N. Easton Rd, Bldg E, Willow Grove, PA 19090
Off: 215-830-0900 Cell: 562-760-7606
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