The JAG Relief Action Updates (English Edition)

On our suffering churches and relief activities

Japan Assemblies of God 2011 Tohoku Earthquake Initiative

2021-01-01 12:44:11 | Reports of Relief Activities

日本語ブログへのリンク(Link to Japanese Edition)

 This is the planned initiative of relief by the Japan Assemblies of God to the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.

 Stage 1: Support effected JAG churches and their members
 Stage 2: Equipping affected churches to be regional relief centers
 Stage 3: Continued support of disaster areas from the regional relief centers (churches)

 At the moment, in order to concurrently initiate all stages of the above plan we will make use of both the material and human resources of all JAG churches, as well as outside AG support teams; actively moving the plan forward.
 This blog will communicate one part of the Japan Assemblies of God’s relief efforts. We truly appreciate your understanding and support of our activities.

Link to Online Donation with PayPal

the initiative of relief by the JAG


Fraudulent Email and Phone Call Notice:

Recently there has been a fraudulent impersonation of Rev. Makoto Hosoi, General Superintendent of the Japan Assemblies of God, through spam email and phone calls internationally.  In the impersonating phone calls and emails there has been a request for money or help of some kind.  If you receive an email or phone call purporting to be from Rev. Makoto Hosoi, please contact the Japan Assemblies of God to verify the request.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (4/11/2014)

2014-04-11 20:59:45 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area.
 Here at the Higashi Matsushima Amazing Grace Relief Center we have had some volunteer staff members ministering to the disaster victims. Of them Ms. Nozomi Odajima from the Shinohara church will return home on March the 24th after nearly three years of service and Mr. Wataru Watanabe from Yamaguchi will return home after one year of service. I am so thankful for their entire ministry up to this point.
 Currently at the center we have two ladies and one man ministering daily. Recently there has been a break in the relief work because of the Izumi church's camp etc. but starting on April 2nd we will again begin the regular relief work schedule.
 On Thursday the 10th we held the 25th “Tea Party” event. There was the strong wind blowing that this area is known for but the sky was clear and so even before the start time of 2pm we had a number of people already gathered at the center. When we started nearly every table and chair was filled.
 We opened with a quiz based on cherry blossoms and then sang a number of beautiful folk songs that had a spring theme. Following that we watched the popular documentary, “Samurai Who Read the Bible”. Then there was a human video by the Izumi chapel youth followed by a message base on Psalm 37:3-5 “Let's Believe on the Lord and Pray!” given by our resident missionary Rhonda. Pastor Ito then prayed for the healing of sicknesses and the resolution of problems, bringing an end to the event. Even after the event finished many stayed around to fellowship and then, thanks to everyone pitching in to help clean up, we ended the day with a prayer of thanksgiving just before 4pm.
 Recently we have had two people give their lives to Christ and they are now preparing for baptism. Please pray that these two will be able to receive baptism.
 Thank you all for your prayers and support.

To view more pictures of this event, click this link and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (3/24/2014)

2014-03-25 01:09:18 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area.

 Here at the relief center on Saturday the 22nd we held the forty-third meal distribution event amidst the blessing of the Lord. At 9:30 the center staff, Izumi Chapel members, the Soka church children's choir and their leaders as well as a number of locals gathered at the relief center. Then Pastor Miwa Sato (formerly a famous female professional wrestler) gave a prayer of blessing and we started preparing for the meal distribution event.
 That day the sky was clear and it was unseasonably warm but the strong wind off the ocean that this area is known for was blowing fiercely. Before anything could be done all of the food, pots, burners, propane gas tanks and relief items needed to be carried out of the center to the outside tents. Then in order for the things to not be blown away the cooking tent, relief item tent and the trash station all had to be secured with ropes. In all it added thirty minutes to the prep time and once it was done the cooking could begin.
 Thirty minutes before the scheduled opening of 11:45 the stage performance began. Staff member Nozomi Odajima was the emcee and Pastor Ito gave and opening greeting. After that, some of the center staff members led everyone in the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.
 Immediately after that we invited our guest performers for the event, the Soka church Matsuhara Children's Choir, and they sang and performed a skit. After that, resident missionary Eric opened the meal with a prayer of thanks.
 With the strong wind and that fact that it was Higan (a Buddhist ritual day remembering the souls that have passed from “this life”) it seemed that people were slow in coming but sure enough as time went on, the center filled up and overflowed to the point that our secondary seating area was also full. During the meal we also had a special worship song by Mr. Futoda from the Izumi church and then Pastor Ito shared a brief message.
 After everyone had come and things had settled down around 1pm, the Matsuhara Children's choir came to the stage and face their second performance. This allowed all of those who arrived late as well as the volunteers who were busy earlier to get a chance to enjoy the worship as they ate their lunch.

  After everyone had come and things had settled down around 1pm, the Matsuhara Children's choir came to the stage and gave their second performance. This allowed all of those who arrived late as well as the volunteers who were busy earlier to get a chance to enjoy the worship while eating their lunch. Also, we had a youth member, Takahashi, who attends the Kanazawa church give a brief greeting. In the end everyone had a great time of fellowship.
 During a break in the ministry I had the chance to chat with people who had come to the event. I spoke with one disaster victim whom I have never met before and they shared about the terrible loss form the tsunami and the difficult life that they have led after that experience. I took a moment to pray for their comfort and healing and then they told me, “Ever since the tsunami you all have been a great help!” And then they encouragingly asked, “When is the next meal distribution scheduled for?!”
 We ended just a few minutes before the scheduled finish time of 2pm and then many people worked together to clean up the venue. We then took a commemorative group picture and prayed with the team from the Soka church just before sending them on their way.
 I am so thankful that I could share with you about God's blessing and protection over this most recent meal distribution event as well as share about the hands-on-way that we were able to display the loving gospel of the Lord
  Thank you all for your prayers and support.

To view more pictures of this event, click this link and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (3/21/2014)

2014-03-21 23:30:01 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area.

 On Friday the 21st we did some preparation work for the forty-third meal distribution festival was scheduled for the following day, Saturday the 22nd. Because of the low pressure system that brought in a lot of snow on Thursday the 20th, we left Sendai on Friday morning with about 10cm (4in) of snow on the ground. But over on the coast where Higashi Matsushima is it had only rained; there was no snow. Instead we we're blessed with a crisp blue sky.
 The center staff, members from Izumi chapel and a number of locals all worked together to prepared the food, stuff take home care packages, set up the outside tent as well as the PA and indoor seating.
 Just as we finished the preparation time, the stage performers for this event, the thirteen member Soka church children's choir, safely arrived. We gave them a quick orientation and then shared a time of prayer.
 On the day of the 22nd's meal distribution, all of the ministering volunteers will meet at the center at 9:30, we will pray together, discuss any issues and then begin preparations to open the event. Starting at 11am we will begin distributing the numbered meal tickets. We will officially start at noon and then end at 2pm. We are planning for about 350 people to attend. Please pray that the event will be blessed and protected by the hand of the Lord, that the gospel will be boldly preached to all in attendance and that the glory of God will be revealed.

 Thank you all for your prayers and donations.
To view more pictures of this event, click this link and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (3/20/2014)

2014-03-21 23:27:46 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area.
 On Thursday the 13th of March, Pastor and Mrs. Ito as well as two center staff members went on their regularly scheduled relief trip to the six households in Rikuzentakada city. Every time that we come to this town which was left in ruins by the tsunami I have no words to express the sadness that I experience and I feel that burden and pain that the people living here suffer.
 Of the six families that we deliver relief items to we took some time to hold worship in the temporary housing unit that one elderly couple live in. Then at the house of a lady who lost her beloved husband to cancer last July we were able to open the Bible and share about God's comfort for the first time.
 After visiting the six families, we started for home through the darkness and pouring rain. Passing through the streets of Rikuzentakada we said to one another, “What this dark and ruined town really needs is the light of the gospel of the Lord. There are still many here who need help and so we must continue coming. Let's come back!”
 Please continue to pray the ongoing relief work here in the Tohoku disaster area.
Thank you for your prayers and donations.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (3/14/2014)

2014-03-14 14:15:08 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area.
Here at the Higashi Matsushima Amazing Grace Relief Center we held the event, “Sharing of Disaster, Praying for Recovery” on the 3rd memorial of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake.
 This event was a chance for the disaster victims, the relief staff and members from Izumi Chapel to come together share about their memories surrounding the disaster. This meeting had the purpose of giving everyone a chance to lay down their burdens that they were carrying, to gain mutual understanding between each other and also to encourage each person to pray for one another. It also had the goal of seeing the healing, comfort and God's tangible love that comes through Jesus Christ work in the lives of the locals. It also served as an opportunity to pray over each person that they might be able to move forward with faith and hope knowing that they have a future.
 We opened with a song of praise and a prayer and then heard some testimonies from the center staff and missionaries about their disaster experiences and subsequent relief activities. We then heard accounts from a gentleman who lives in a nearby temporary housing site and is originally from the Omagarihama neighborhood where 300 lives were lost in the disaster, four of which were his close family members. We also heard an account from a lady who lives near the center and who barely survived the tsunami and then spent a number of harrowing days at an evacuation center. There were also various stories shared by people from the neighborhood about the confusion and mess that occurred as the tsunami pushed its way into this area.
 At 2:46pm, the exact time that the earthquake occurred, we held a moment of silence to remember those who were lost and to pray for God's comfort and salvation for those who remain.
 At the end of the gathering, Ms. Nozomi Odajima, a center staff member who came from the Shinohara church in Yokohama, gave a message of encouragement as well as a special song of praise that brought comfort to everyone. Sister Nozomi has been faithfully serving as a volunteer staff member here at the center in Higashi Matsushima for two years and ten months.
 In closing, Pastor Ito offered a prayer for all of the disaster victims that they would know the healing, comfort and restoration of the Lord and that each person would be able to move forward into a new future with faith and hope. With that we brought the 3rd memorial event, “Sharing of Disaster, Praying for Recovery”, here at the Higashi Matsushima AG Relief Center to a blessed end.
 I would really appreciate if you would continue praying for the ongoing relief work.
          All the glory belongs to the Lord!

To view more pictures of this event, click this link and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry.

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A Report from Pastor Okubo of Yonezawa Christ Church (3/11/2014)

2014-03-12 10:43:28 | Testimony

 Thank you all for your prayers and valuable offerings for the rebuilding work.
 Today is the Recovery and Memorial Day of prayer for the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake. Just a bit ago, at 2:46pm, a siren was sounded for one minute from the Aizu-Wakamatsu city office building. Upon hearing it, everyone in the surrounding area stopped for a moment of silence.
 Exactly three years have passed since that unprecedented earthquake, giant tsunami and nuclear disaster.  The media, the national government, the prefectural governments as well as local community groups are all reporting on the continued relief and recovery work. Two years ago I was petitioned by the Fukushima prefecture to daily take the 65 kilometer one way work commute over a 700 meter high mountain (by way of the route 121 tunnel) and work as a high school teacher in the Aizu area. I have just decided to continue the commute again from this April. Although I live in Yamagata prefecture I have been spending the last year praying and doing whatever I can to help the disaster victims in neighboring Fukushima prefecture. I am feeling challenged by reports which are saying, “With each passing day the volunteer activities diminish...” and so I decided anew in my heart to go again and visit the folks over on the coastline of Fukushima and continue the relief work there. I would ask that you continue to pray for the Lord's direction in further relief ministry.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (3/10/2014)

2014-03-11 06:53:24 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area.

Here at the Higashi Matsushima Amazing Grace Relief Center on Sunday the 9th we held the “3 Year Memorial Worship Service”. With the locals, center staff and members from Izumi Chapel we had about 70 people in attendance for worship.
 There was worship, prayer and then a testimony from center staff member Nozomi Odajima about God's grace in her life. After that, there was a special song of praise given by some staff members and Izumi Chapel members and that was followed by Pastor Ito's message titled “The Comfort of God”. We could feel the hand of the living God on everyone amidst the solemn presence of the Holy Spirit. We also held Sunday school on the second floor of the center. Praise God!
 Here at the Higashi Matsushima Amazing Grace Relief Center on the actual date that the disaster occurred, the 11th, we will hold “Sharing of Disaster, Praying for Recovery” from 2pm to 4pm.
 Please pray that the mighty work of God’s comfort, healing and salvation would be done among the disaster victims. All the glory belongs to the Lord! 

To view more pictures of this event, click this link and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (3/7/2014)

2014-03-07 23:37:53 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area. On Thursday the 6th, here at the relief center, we held the twenty fourth “Tea Party Event”. Even amidst the strong blowing wind we had a large number of people turn out and receive the healing and freedom that comes by the love of God.
 After the event we were able to baptize the second soul from among those who we serve and this happened to be the first person to actually be baptized at the center.
 The lady who received baptism is someone who lost everything that she owned in the tsunami and now lives in a small rented apartment near the center. Since she is elderly and has a visual impairment she specifically asked to receive baptism by sprinkling.
 After the party the center staff and ministers gathered to sing worship and as we did the presence of the Lord was evident throughout the entire baptism. Praise God! We prayed over her that the Lord would continue to bless her and that through her the glory of God would shine forth to the other disaster victims.
 Please pray that the seed of the gospel would continue to be planted in this disaster area, that more people would believe on the Lord and that we would see the abundant fruit of salvation.
 Here at the Higashi Matsushima Amazing Grace Relief Center on Sunday the 9th we will hold the “3 Year Memorial Worship Service” and then on the actual date that the disaster occurred, the 11th, we will hold “Sharing of Disaster, Praying for Recovery” from 2pm to 4pm. Please pray that the Lord moves in this events. Thank you for your prayers and support.

To view more pictures of this event, click this link and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry.

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A Report from Pastor Ito of Izumi Fukuin Chapel (3/4/2014)

2014-03-04 22:23:01 | Testimony

 Thank you for continually praying and lovingly supporting our relief work here in the disaster area.

 On Thursday the 27th of February, here at the relief center, we held the seventh “Beginners Bible Study and Tea Party”.
 This time around we had our largest attendance yet with 28 locals coming and the tables and chairs that we had originally set up were not enough. The theme for this class was “salvation” and the work if the Spirit was evident as the truth of salvation was birthed in the hearts of those present. It was clear that many of the people are having an increased thirst for the truth of salvation.
 After the class and the subsequent fellowship time, while everyone was heading home, I began the baptism preparation class for a lady that was recently saved and has decided to receive baptism. Her baptism is scheduled immediately after the “Tea Party Event” that will be held on Thursday the 6th of March. Please remember her in your prayers.
 We will shortly be holding the special third year memorial of the Tohoku disaster here at the center. We will hold a special “Third Memorial Sunday Worship and Sunday School” on Sunday the 9th and then on the actual day of the 11th we will hold an event that we are calling “Sharing of Disaster, Praying for Recovery”. Please pray that many disaster victims will receive the comfort, healing, life renewing hope and eternal life of the Lord.
 Please continue to pray for the many lost souls in the disaster area and for our ongoing relief work. Thank you all for your prayers as support.

To view more pictures of this event, click this link and scroll to the bottom of the blog entry.

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