[toggle]Hope Beyond Relief
Neighborhoods remain lost, scattered, or neglected even 10 years after the tsunami, so current ministry has shifted from immediate relief to building relationships and community. Many leaders have taken to creative, entrepreneurial community-building solutions.
For example, The Nozomi Project emerged from the disaster to provide a space for women to find dignity, employment, and hope as they created beautiful jewelry out of broken shards of pottery. “Amid setbacks and challenges of keeping a business afloat, I have realized that when God breathes into projects, they can become much bigger than ourselves,” said Takamoto, who directs the project which has now sent more than 60,000 “pieces of hope” to more than 45 countries.
For the past two years, Nozomi has also been serving a group of vulnerable women in Cambodia. “It’s been one of the most amazing experiences of my life to see former tsunami victims reaching beyond themselves to bring hope to women in Cambodia with needs greater than their own,” said Takamoto. “Whether they recognize it yet or not, this is the gospel, and it is beautiful.”
Beyond survival and recovery, church networks discovered a need to refocus on reaching the unreached. The tsunami destroyed five Tohoku churches, which was a small statistic in comparison to the $250–$500 billion worth of damage wreaked on Japan. But it was a wake-up call for Japanese pastors. It proved how few churches had been planted along the coast.
“We had to repent once we realized it,” said Hari. “It was not intentional, but those people were abandoned. These were, for the most part, unchurched areas that had slid out of our sight.”
There is social division between Fukushima and the rest of Japan, and even within Fukushima due to the radiation and the scattering of communities caused by the power plant meltdown. The government may take more than 50 years to fully decommission the reactor, and although radiation levels are much safer, hardship and stigma linger.
Today, Asian Access estimates that 75 congregations, including 33 house churches started by a single pastor in Miyagi, have been planted in the area since the disaster.
“I’m really concerned about Fukushima, especially the next generation that has to deal with the same issues,” said Hari. “After the disaster, hundreds of missionaries flocked to Miyagi and other areas affected by the tsunami, but very few to Fukushima. We know there was risk, but we hope people can overcome the fear and the stigma and come. That is where there is a huge need.” [/toggle]







福島と日本の他の地域の間、そして福島内でさえ、原発のメルトダウンによって引き起こされた放射線とそれによって散り散りになった地域社会のことについては社会的分断がある。 政府が原子炉を完全に廃止するのには50年以上かかるかもしれず、(事故当時と比べて)放射線レベルはだいぶ下がったものの、困難な状況、そして風評被害は長く留まっている。




原口 建

原口 建