Ongoing needs in Kumamoto
For the charity concert in Sendai today, I will report on the current situation in Kumamoto. Though unable to visit recently, members of our Tokyo church network or missionary agency have continued to go about every two weeks, following up on needs and new contacts.
-Aftershocks less frequent. Fear abating.
-Many need to move but not enough apartments available. Many still live in temporary housing, shelters, or cars.
-Heat making life in shelters unbearable.
-City hall or hospital employees overworked. Many yet to clean and fix own homes.
-Children showing signs of emotional trauma related to earthquake, such as fear of homes or dark areas and worsened mental state exhibited through uncontrollable anger and cursing.
-Reports of food poisoning from cookouts at shelters and hospitals have shut down that work in many places, leaving concerts the main path for relationship building, heart care, and other help. (See "CONNECTING" below.)
-Kyushu Christ Disaster Support Center at Harvest Church building condemned. Headquarters moved to nearby church building with ample parking and facilities, greatly helping relief effort.
Japanese government responding to widespread need but not equipped to meet needs of individuals or neighborhoods, making individuals volunteers, NPOs, and church networks essential.
DEBRIS REMOVAL - The government cannot remove debris from individual homes and apartments. Some are unable to do it themselves. Often multiple visits by volunteers are needed.
CONNECTING - Many do not know how to receive financial remuneration and other help offered through city hall, NPO's, and church networks. Volunteers pass on news of services available and get forms submitted when necessary.
HEART CARE - Cafes, counseling, concerts, etc. It is difficult for people in Kyushu to show weakness to neighbors. This is true throughout Japan but is strongest in Kyushu, because Christian persecution hit here the strongest. Neighborhoods were broken into groups of five families. Infractions of the law brought punishment, in some cases death, to the whole group. Culture of not sharing true self continues today.
CHILDREN - Programs for children needed!