15 March 2011

Church responds to cries for help from Japan

The Methodist Church's World Mission Fund has launched an appeal on behalf of its partner church in Japan following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck on Friday (March 11).

Reports from the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) reveal that the 8.9 magnitude earthquake, which has left more than 10,000 people missing, has damaged at least 36 churches in the affected Sendai region.

Teruki Takada, a representative for the UCCJ, reported that the UCCJ established a relief planning team on March 12. The team arrived in Sendai on March 13 and visited the sites of the local churches in the area.

Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, said: "It is not possible to comprehend the scale of this disaster. Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters there. Our Mission Partners in Japan are safe and well, but they are worried about people they know in the north and on the coast. I have assured my colleagues at UCCJ that Methodists in Britain and Ireland are praying for them and that we will respond to their financial appeal."

Revd Makoto Kato, the Executive Secretary for Ecumenical Ministries at UCCJ, said: "We truly appreciate your deep concern and encouraging prayer following the gigantic earthquake which we have never ever experienced before. Churches in Tokyo are okay, but we are still not able to get contact with people in Sendai where the earthquake hit most severely. Please keep on praying for us".

People can donate to the World Mission Fund appeal via the Methodist Church Just Giving page or by sending a cheque payable to the World Mission Fund to Steve Pearce, World Church Relationships, at Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Postal donations should be labelled 'Japan Appeal'. If you are a UK taxpayer, you can Gift Aid your donation, which allows us to reclaim the tax you have already paid. Just include a completed Gift Aid form with your donation. 

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