Samaritan’s Purse

April 27, 2011

A Wave of Revival

Samaritan’s Purse is equipping local Christians to minister to their neighbors who are trying to recover from the tsunami

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April 8/11  Japan Bicycle Initiative – Many cars and bicycles were lost in Japan’s tsunami. Transportation is a major concern for many survivors. Samaritan’s Purse is working with the local churches and shelters to distribute new bicycles.

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Tool Kits for Japan – Samaritans Purse teams are distributing took kits for cleaning mud out of homes and businesses.

View all the video reports of the work Samaritan’s Purse is doing in Japan at>bclid=831057262001

Franklin Graham Visits Japan

April 2 – Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham spent two days in Japan, viewing areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami, meeting with church partners in Sendai and Tokyo, and working with our staff as we continue to provide emergency relief supplies and other aid to victims of the disaster.

The trip underlines the commitment to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in the Name of Jesus

Graham expressed his sympathy for the people of Japan, and pledged to continue to give aid in the Name of Christ.

Samaritan’s Purse has been working through local believers and church networks to set up distribution networks and get help to people most in need. Graham assured a group of Japanese pastors of our ongoing support.

“We are here to stand by you for as long as you need us to help your people recover,” he said.

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Evidence of that support came Saturday, during a visit to Ishinomaki. Graham met with Masao Kanaya, pastor of Ishinominato Church and one our partners in the hard-hit coastal community.

Samaritan’s Purse presented Pastor Kanaya with a truck that he can use to deliver supplies as he ministers in Ishinomaki and nearby communities. In the bed of the truck was a mud-out kit that included a generator, power washer, shovel, and other items that will be a tremendous help in cleaning up flood-damaged homes.

“I’m so thankful for Samaritan’s Purse and all that you have done,” Pastor Kanaya said. “I want to now go and follow your example.

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The Samaritan’s Purse group then visited an elementary school that has been converted into a shelter for 300 people who lost everything. We gave then 30 bicycles to augment a “check-out program” that that the residents use for shopping, returning to damaged homes for clean-out work, and commuting to work.

“We give these bikes in the name of Jesus Christ,” Graham said in an address to all the people at the shelter. “We have come to tell you that we love you and God loves you.”

The shelter administrator thanked Samaritan’s Purse for the gift.

“Because of the tsunami our cars were all washed away and we lost most of our belongings that made up our lives,” he said. “Because we don’t have any cars, bicycles will be so useful. Here we see the restoration and rebuilding of this area. We are so grateful for all that you’re doing to help us rebuild the community.”

Graham then met with our staff, pastors, missionaries, and volunteers at the Samaritan’s Purse warehouse in Sendai, the city nearest the epicenter of the earthquake and tsunami and our base of operations.

“For all those who have helped in this warehouse, we certainly thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you, but we give God all the glory.”

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Starting Over

March 31 – Samaritan’s Purse is helping a village recover in the aftermath of the tsunami

In just a few short moments, the massive waves devastated the village of Baba Nakayama. The tsunami that washed ashore on March 11 came in on both sides of the small community of about 300 people. Houses were washed into the rice fields.

“We didn’t have a wall to protect against a tsunami,” said Kurayoshi Abe, a community leader. “The ocean is very deep, so if a tsunami comes it usually doesn’t phase us. This time, it was 10 meters high. The tsunami swept everything away. Our livelihood is washed away. There is nothing left.”

Even now, almost three weeks later, there are still places that are flooded. About 100 people sleep in cramped quarters in the community center on top of the hill, one of the only structures that escaped damage. Another 100 live up the road in a kindergarten building, while the rest live in their damaged houses.

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Samaritan’s Purse heard about Baba Nakayama, and visited the village to see if we could help. Our staff met with Abe and other community leaders, sitting cross-legged on mats around a small table.

Like most of the people of Baba Nakayama, Abe lost everything. There is nothing left of his house. But like his friends and neighbors, he plans to stay and rebuild. He said that about 30 percent of the villagers are elderly who have lived there all their lives.

“They don’t want to leave,” Abe said through tears. “So, we can’t leave them. We can’t leave these older people.”

Samaritan’s Purse, together with local church partners, began to help. We have built three temporary facilities that will house over 50 people, giving them a warm and comfortable place while the community begins rebuilding their lives. We also provided hygiene kits, blankets, plastic sheeting, and a heavy equipment excavator and dump truck for up to two months.

“I’m thankful you have a heart like that,” Abe said. “Whatever you do is a help. We want to stay here and rebuild the village. We don’t have money. If we work together, we can rebuild it. We are really thankful that you are here to help.

“Because you are here, we might be able to start over. “

“The reason we have been able to survive the last few weeks is because of Christians,” Abe said. “What you guys give is much stronger.”

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Supplying Hope in Japan

March 26 – On Friday, the Samaritian’s Purse disaster team purchased $250,000 of clothing items for distribution, and began loading provisions onto boats to go to a small island where 400 people evacuated and the remaining 500 were left with little.

A Samaritan’s Purse disaster response team is in Sendai, the city nearest the epicenter of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeastern coast of Japan on March 11. Every day, they distribute more of the 93 tons of emergency supplies from the airlift that arrived in the country March 19.

The simple things can mean everything in the aftermath of a disaster. That’s why the woman at the Yamashirocho Church began crying when a team from Samaritan’s Purse arrived with hygiene kits and blankets.

“She was really, really stoked that we were here,” said Dan Junker, a partner helping our team distribute relief supplies in Japan. “She said that they’ve been giving all they have to the locals, and today they almost had nothing left. Then here came all these vehicles coming in, and they are just blown away. The littlest things such as wet tissues mean tons.”

All the supplies have one thing in common. They are evidence that someone cares.

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“We’re moving supplies out through mostly local partners,” said Paul Chiles, a team member who arrived in Japan within days of the disaster. “They take the supplies out to the local church leader, and the church knows who around in the surrounding communities needs help. They go out and provide that help. It’s effective.”

So far, we have given out over 10,000 hygiene kits, thousand of blankets, socks, jerry cans, and bars of soap, and hundreds of rolls of plastic, buckets, and boots. We have helped hungry families by supplying bags of rice and boxes of milk.

“Shelter plastic is used to fix leaky roofs in the usual disaster situation,” Chiles said. “In this one, there’s so much mud on the floor and these are people that are used to being clean. People are rolling out the plastic so they can at least have a place to sit down, to lie down, just to stay a little bit cleaner. The hygiene kits contain things you need to feel a little better about yourself. There are some water trucks around, and a few water points. We’ve got buckets and jerry cans so they can collect water and bring it back with them. “These are just general things to make life possible at this point.”

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Japanese officials have said that more than 15,000 people may have died in Miyagi Prefecture, where Samaritan’s Purse is based. The official death toll has jumped past 10,000, and some reports suggests could go as high as 25,000 missing.

March 21, 2011

Over 90 tons of emergency relief supplies from Samaritan’s Purse have arrived in Sendai, Japan, aboard four C-17 cargo jets from Yokota Air Force Base near Tokyo. This special airlift marked both the first military delivery of emergency supplies for a non-government organization into the Sendai airport and the first landing at the airport of the Air Force’s giant C-17 cargo jet.

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But for the Air Force and Marine personnel who were directly involved in the airlift—and who are mostly based in Japan—the significance of the operation lay in the chance to personally help the Japanese people whom they see as friends and neighbors.

According to Lieutenant Commander Trey Hollis of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, the chance to be part of the Samaritan’s Purse relief effort in Sendai gave the men and women of the Marines an important opportunity.

“I think it’s very challenging and very rewarding,” he said. “It takes all the things we’re trained to do and puts them into practice in a real world event. The Marines here are very enthusiastic. We live among Japanese people and we can see first hand the pain they are going through and it motivates us more. The Japanese are our allies, but they are also our neighbors.”

Samaritan’s Purse is extremely grateful to the Marines of the Combined Arms Training Center at Camp Fuji, Japan, for their enthusiastic help in loading our trucks at the Sendai Airport. As well, we are very grateful to all the Air Force personnel both at Sendai Airport and at Yokota Air Base for their help in facilitating flights and off-loading aircraft. We are proud and grateful for their service to their home country and to the people of Japan.

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The situation in Sendai remains critical for thousands of people who have lost their homes in last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. The blankets, plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, and other relief supplies that have now arrived will be quickly distributed through local church and government networks to aid in Japan’s recovery efforts.

Please continue to pray for the people of Sendai and other nearby disaster-stricken areas. Pray that they would find hope in the Lord and hope for the future as they rebuild their lives.

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