Rampflits: Aardbewing / Disaster-newsflash: Earthquake – 14 April 2016

Foto’s van aardbewing met erkenning aan www.cnn.com 

ENGLISH FOLLOWS HERE BELOW

Beste ondersteuner,

‘n Paar dae gelede – soos jy seker reeds bewus is – het twee baie sterk aardbewings die Suid-Weste van Japan geruk. Intussen het meer as 500 skuddings voortdurend die inwoners van Kumamoto omgewing (op Kyushu eiland) in angs en onsekerheid gedompel. En die nood verdiep. Meer as 1000 huise is totaal verwoes, en meer as 4000 beskadig.

Die dood van 42 mense is al bevestig, en heelwat vermiste persone word nog gesoek. Meer as 100 000 slagoffers het gevlug na tydelike skuilings. Dáár sukkel hulle om iewers ‘n stukkie ontvlugting en rus te vind. Maar allerlei ontwrigtings maak dit uiters moeilik. Rommelhope vorm orals en gesondheidsrisiko’s ontwikkel plek-plek. Baie mense slaap in hulle motors of tente, terwyl kos en water nog op talle plekke skort.

Die meeste treinritte kan nog nie hervat word nie, lughawens is gesluit, en baie paaie is onbegaanbaar verskeur, en dit maak toegang tot en voorsiening van nooddienste in sekere dele moeilik. Deskundiges vermaan almal om hoogs waaksaam te wees. Minstens twee aktiewe (ondergrondse) foutlyne is versteur, en die waarskynlikheid van nog skuddings oor ‘n wyer area is hoog.

Hoe kan ons betrokke raak? Ons woon (padlangs) amper 700km van die rampgebied, en is nie direk geraak i.t.v. skade nie. Maar ons harte en gedagtes is diep geraak (soos in Maart 2011) deur hierdie skokkende gebeure. Ons bid gereeld, en is ook in direkte kontak met ‘n predikante kollega (Ds. Hajime Nishibori) van RCJ Kumamoto (wat ek in Oktober 2015 besoek het).

RCJ Kumamoto se kerkgebou is beskadig. Ds. Nishibori en ‘n klein groepie lidmate het Sondag in die kerk se parkeer-area ‘n erediens gehou. Hy en sy gesin het die vorige aande in hulle motor geslaap, en is tans in ‘n plaaslike skuiling (skoolgebou).
Een van die lidmate se huis is platgevee deur die aardbewing, maar almal is genadiglik veilig.

Die RCJ (Gereformeerde Kerk in Japan), saam met wie ons in diens van Missie Japan hier werk, is besig met indringende gesprekke en ‘n ondersoek om die nood en behoeftes van die gemeente en omgewing te bepaal. Ons wag op hulle verslag wat DV sal kan inhoud gee aan ‘n uitreik aan die rampgebied. Die Kobe kweekskool (www.krts.net) waar ek klasgee, oorweeg om vir ‘n week te sluit sodat ‘n groep studente DV as vrywilligers ontbied kan word om te ondersteun waar nodig.

Ons vra jou om ook asb. in te tree vir ons Japannese broers en susters wat deur hierdie ramp getref is. Bid asb. vir die uitreik van die RCJ (wat ons insluit) wat nou beplan word. Vir wysheid en beskerming van vele ander kerke wat ook nou aan die uitreik is. Dat die Here in hierdie krisis tóg Sy hoop en genade sal laat duidelik word. Bid asb. ook vir Missie Japan se leiers wat hieroor biddend besin, in vennootskap met die plaaslike RCJ (wat die kweekskool insluit).

Vrede in Christus, ons Hoof en Here,

Stéphan en Carina,
(ook namens Carina se ouers, Tobie en Annalie de Wet, wat destyds jare lank in RCJ Kumamoto bedien het, en tans by ons is op besoek).

 

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Dear supporter,

A few days ago – as you are probably aware already – two powerful earth quakes shook South-Western Japan. Meanwhile more than 500 tremors have caused the inhabitants of Kumamoto region (on Kyushu Island) a great deal of fear and anxiety. And the needs are deepening. More than 1000 homes were totally destroyed, and more than 4000 were damaged.

42 fatalities have already been confirmed, and several missing persons are still being searched for. More than 100 000 victims fled to temporary shelters. There they battle to escape from the trauma and find some rest. But all kinds of disruptions make it extremely difficult. Heaps of rubble are accumulating everywhere and health risks develop sporadically. Many people are spending the nights in their cars or tents, while food and water are still in short supply in many places.

Most trains have not yet started running, air ports have closed down, and many roads have been torn apart, making them impassable. All of these factors hamper access to and provision of emergency services in many parts of the disaster-stricken area. Experts have warned everybody to maintain a high level of alertness. At least two active (underground) fault lines have been disturbed, and the likelihood of more earthquakes over a larger area, is high.

How can we become involved? Measured by road we live almost 700km from the disaster area, and have not been directly affected, in terms of damage. But our hearts and thoughts have been deeply touched (as in March 2011) by these shocking events. We pray regularly, and are also in direct contact with a minister and colleague (Rev. Hajime Nishibori) from RCJ Kumamoto (whom I paid a visit in October 2015).

RCJ Kumamoto’s church building was damaged. Rev. Nishibori and a small group of church members held their worship service in the church parking lot on Sunday. His family and he had spent the previous nights in their car and are at present in a local shelter (school building).
One of the church members’ home was destroyed by the earth quake, but all are thankfully safe.

The RCJ (Reformed Church in Japan), our partners along with Mission Japan, is busy with in-depth consultations and an investigation to determine the needs of the congregation and vicinity. We are waiting for their report which, God willing, will provide details to a planned outreach to the disaster area. The Kobe Reformed Theological Seminary  (www.krts.net) where I lecture, is considering closing down for a week so that some students might, be sent as volunteers to render support wherever it may be needed.

We request you too to intercede in prayer for our Japanese brothers and sisters who have been struck by this disaster. Please pray for the outreach which the RCJ (which includes us) is now planning. Also for wisdom and protection of many other churches that are already busy with outreaches, that the living Lord will still clearly reveal his grace and hope in this crisis. Please pray also for the leaders of Mission Japan who are prayerfully considering their involvement, in partnership with the local RCJ (which includes the seminary).

God’s Peace in Christ, our Lord.

Stéphan and Carina,
(also on behalf of Carina’s parents, Tobie and Annalie de Wet, who had ministered in RCJ Kumamoto for many years, and are at present paying us a visit).