Dear God, please SAVE the people in Fukushima!!!!

by Christine Huber

A young mother ( that our team  met on the last trip) is still living in a shelter with her 3 children, and her sister who also has two teenagers.  They have been there since March 11. We were able to take supplies to them that they requested through text messages.  We played “Uno” with the kids, talking and listening a lot with the adults.  Finally, before leaving, we cautiously asked, “Can we pray for you?”  She said,  “Yes, and please don’t forget to pray for my father, my husband, and my nephew too.”  They live in a lot of fear, since almost every day there are more aftershocks, and some are quite strong.  They can’t sleep well at night.  They are so excited about our next trip to see them.

We gave apples and oranges to each of the other people sitting on their mats in the huge gymnasium, and they were so thankful for fresh fruits, which have been hard to get because of the radiation in that area.  Many of them also wanted to talk and tell about the earthquake and tsunami and how it is affecting them–they are living in so much fear, and many of the children are afraid to go to school,  because that is where they were when the earthquake hit.  We are going again next week to take more apples and oranges and supplies, and hope to talk to more people, and pray with them if they accept it. Very few Japanese have ever prayed in their lives, and don’t know anything at all about God.

Right next to the area where many houses were completely washed off their foundations, we helped another family, whose house was still standing.  We worked for several hours picking up bricks, tiles, wood, broken glass, mud and debris. It was amazing to see the difference–the garden looked soooooo beautiful!!  They thanked us over and over, even though there are still many weeks/months of painstaking work to do inside the house–it’s such a mess still.  They would rather do that themselves, in case they find something they can still save…valuables and important memories among the trash.  We offered to pray for them before we left, and they said yes.  One of the volunteers said a beautiful prayer over them, that God would bless their family and protect them and give them His salvation.

During the prayer, I put my arm around one of the two women from the house.  She began to sob and sob, and all I could do was cry with her.  I hugged her tight, and she held on tight too, and cried more.  I told her that she is not alone–God loves her so much and with God there is HOPE.  I sure want to see her again sometime, somehow.  I did give her the name of the church there in case they need more help. We just feel so bad that we can not help at every house, but at least we can help one house at a time.  Some houses have been totally abandoned, and no one is around.

I couldn’t hold back the tears when a 74-year-old man told us how he and his wife barely escaped from the tsunami.  It just hit me that they were almost two of those many ”bodies”–27,000 people who died–I could not hold back the tears of thankfulness that they were still alive!!  At first, he didn’t talk at all–he just shoveled and shoveled and shoveled, as we also shoveled and bagged sand, and hauled sooooo many sand bags out of his wrecked house, sand from the beach that came in with the tsunami.  I couldn’t imagine how his back was feeling–he wouldn’t stop shoveling.  But finally when we finished that task, we asked him his story.  He said that the water came in so fast, it was already up to his wife’s chest, and he jumped up on a ledge and broke a hole in the roof with his fist, and pulled her up and they escaped through that hole!  He showed us the hole–it wasn’t very big–I was amazed.  They waited on their roof till the water went down again.  What a miracle that the whole house didn’t wash away, like soooooo many others!  I couldn’t help crying with him, and another pastor and I assured him that it was God Who protected him and his wife!!  He even has little grandchildren just like I do!!.  GOD was there to do this miracle for him!!   He continued telling his story over and over.  He said after that, his wife had to stay lying down for four days till she recuperated enough to get up.  We asked him (carefully) if he minded if we prayed for God to continue to protect and bless him and his wife, and he said yes, we could pray for him..  May God help him finish fixing up his house, and may he and his elderly wife, his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren come to know God’s intimate love for them!!  In Jesus’ Name!!

We  were sooo excited when our volunteer friend told us that the  “rice-man” was there that day–at his rice storage building that day.  At first, right after the tsunami, when the church staff asked permission to help him clean up,  he and everyone else in that area refused to take volunteers from the church!!  But finally, he was the only one who said he would accept help, and I was privilged to be with the group that went there that first day.  (When we go to them and ask if we can help them–they don’t know who we are or if we have good intentions, and at first they may say no.  But many times, they will change their minds and say yes, and afterwards they have thanked us endlessly and cried!) 

That first day we went, the “rice-man’s” storage place of hundreds of bags of rice was a complete mess, together with a mirage of other miscelaneous broken and wrecked items mixed in with the rice–office supplies, children’s toys, albums, tools, house-hold items, all muddy and destroyed along with all the destroyed rice-cleaning machines–such a huge loss!    The “rice-man” couldn’t believe we were working so hard for him!  At lunch time, we were all standing around eating riceballs and other snacks provided by another volunteer.  The volunteers invited him to eat with us, and they began to ask him questions about the earthquake and tsunami. He began to talk with them, and all of a sudden, I noticed he was crying!  He told the guys around him, “Now I believe there really is a God!”  (Japanese are raised to believe there are thousands of gods, but no ONE true God.)  “My mother is a Christian, and she has prayed for me!” 

Then last week, one of the volunteers from Korea (who is now a pastor in Japan) visited him and asked him if he wanted to receive Jesus!!  He did!!  And on this visit, a few days later, I saw such a beam in his eyes that wasn’t there before—his whole face actually changed!!  He was very happy to see us our pastor friend from Yokohama again.  I gave him a Japanese Picture Bible to give to his son, since he said he wanted his 3 kids to read the Bible.  His son came home early from school to get it, and the “rice-man” texted the pastor from Yokohama to say that his son (15 years old) also believed in Jesus!!   That was so exciting, because we had been told earlier that in that area, there were NO Christians at all, except for one elderly lady who was bedridden.  (I sure hope she is okay after the disaster, and I wonder who would know…)  But now there are two more who believe in Jesus!!!  We heard he went to the worship service at the church there.  May this family be completely protected from ALL attacks of the enemy, in the Name of Jesus!!  (The “rice-man” is wearing a blue shirt.  He said we could show his picture to our friends, so please pray for him and his family.)

There are still thousands and thousands and millions of people who need help and who also need God’s LOVE.  We are thanking God so much for Christian teams who are contacting us that they want to come and help!!!   NOW is the time for Japan!!

An Amazing Opportunity to show God’s LOVE, by Lending a Helping Hand!!!!

Our team of 5 from our church  just got back today (after 5 days) from the earthquake/tsunami area in Fukushima (Iwaki City).  About 5 others from our churches also went and returned at varied times, and some are still there.  It’s a 4-hour drive. 

We are tired but each one wants to go back again.  It’s hard to know what to include in this report.  There are so many, uncountable  people that need sooooo much  help.  All of us are overwhelmed.   Of course, many have died, too many and too painful to think about.  So many bodies still have not been found–either they were washed out in the sea or are still under the mud and destroyed houses.    

Many houses were also washed out to sea.  Many people are living in shelters with water and mostly bread, and now they are getting more fruits and vegetables and sometimes warm food being brought in to them, portable toilets for everyone to share.  No where to take a bath.  Some houses are still there, but will have to be torn down–houses where they and their parents and grandparents have lived for so many years–so many memories, documents, albums completely destroyed.  Other houses are incredibly messed up–the owners don’t even know where to start, and are feeling so alone.  

The amazing church there where we were helping (Global Missions Center) organized all the volunteers (about 30-50 from different cities in Japan and Korea), and we went out to help people…anything we could do.  

You just can’t imagine how much there is to do, and the old people trying to clean their own houses is overwhelming and pathetic.  We couldn’t complain about our backs hurting, because we could just imagine how much their backs hurt–elderly men and women with nobody to help them.  The tsunami-hit areas don’t even have running water or electricity. 

We worked together to help carry out completely wrecked furniture, broken windows, walls, anything you can imagine…tons of broken tiles, bricks, etc. etc., houses and yards that are completely full of mud and a maize of destroyed articles from other far away houses and buildings that came in during the tsunami–completely unlivable homes and shops.  We shoveled mud and filled wheelbarrows to carry it out, sweeping up broken glass everywhere, unbelievable messes.   

Japanese people don’t show much emotion, but when we helped them, several cried, even men. Japanese don’t hug either, but they gave us some amazing hugs and thanks, bowing over and over and over again, saying “thank you, thank you, thank you”!!   One man said that the first time he cried after the disaster was when our volunteers came to help him–he couldn’t believe it–and even as he was talking, he kept choking up.  One lady asked me why I came so far to help them, even to the nuclear radiation area where most people don’t want to go. I told her that we were Christians, and God wanted us to come there.  She asked several questions about Christians, and quietly thought about it all.  Other people wonder why we aren’t helping them, just their neighbors.  We want to help all of them, but there is no way.  We are so sorry.  

One lady told me that her dad helped carry the dead bodies from the beach–so many dead children.  He doesn’t sleep well at night–with all the memories and all the continuing earthquakes.  People are scared, trying to comfort their children.  One young beautiful mother said she had to be strong for her children, but she doesn’t have any idea about the future.  She cried and hugged me when her children were not around.   What a time to show God’s love to people.  They just can’t believe someone is there to give them a hand. 

Of course, there are many others who don’t even have houses to clean–they completely disappeared.  (Actually many of the foundations are still there.)   With the other Global Missions Center volunteers we made hot food to take to the shelters. It’s hard for them to bathe with no running water even in the shelters, and some have not had a bath since the disaster, March 11.  So we also took warm spring water to wash and massage their feet, which gives a chance to listen to their painful stories. 

One boy I met at one shelter, 12 years old who has three younger siblings, told me about his house that washed away with everything in it, while he was at school.  After the first earthquake, all the school kids thought they might die, but they ran to the emergency shelter at the top of the hill, and they were safe, but they kept feeling the earthquakes, had no food or water, were in the dark, etc.  But his parents were okay and found them there.  He was glad they were all alive, because many are not, and many have evacuated, and he doesn’t know where they all went.   He was too shy to get his feet washed.  When I asked him what he missed the most out of all he lost, he had to think, but he said  it was his baseball bat and ball. 

Japanese don’t usually open up with strangers.  But after they see you working so hard to help them, something changes.  I can imagine if I were in their shoes, how I would feel.  The next day we went back, they were so happy to see us.  We just felt overwhelmed because what we did was like a drop of water in the sea.  (The sea doesn’t look so pretty anymore either–it’s scary to them–and full of missing people–no one expected this horrendous tsunami.  And now the radiation problem, and for many, there is no where to escape.) 

I keep thinking, “Now is the time to help–now is the time they need help.”  We can’t close our eyes and walk around them on the “other side of the road.”  We need to stop and help them.

Loneliness at the Fukushima disaster area!

By Christine Huber

Tim and Yas showed pictures and told about the trip to Fukushima. Yasu preached 3 times on Sunday.  Fighting back tears, he told us many experiences from talking and interacting with the people there. 

The people in Fukushima prefecture are suffering– not only from the very destructive earthquake, the tsunami, many deaths and hurting people, and the radiation scare– they also feel ”discrimination” –that they are not getting the outside help that other earthquake/tsunami areas around them are getting. 

Yas met some very lonely people there who, besides having their lives devastated in an instant, are feeling very SAD because they are being shunned for no fault of their own.  They  live in or near the evacuation area–the 30-kilometer radius from the nuclear power plant that has been giving radiation problems after the earthquake and tsunami.

With tears in his eyes, one older man told Yas that hardly anyone is paying any attention to them or trying to help them.  Volunteers are making a detour around their area to help the other completely devastated towns and cities farther from the nuclear plant.  In fact, some restaurants and hotels won’t even serve people from Fukushima, because of their fear of radiation.

Anyone with money or position that could evacuate have left, including many city government leaders, hospital workers, etc.    But many others couldn’t evacuate–especially the elderly and the sick, and families who had no where to go or not enough money to go, etc. 

The church we are helping is in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefection.  It is the Global Missions Chapel, with Pastor Mori and his wife and staff.  They  have not evacuated the area, but are working hard to collect and deliver supplies to the many shelters where the suddenly-became-homeless people are located.    Japanese people do not normally show much emotion on the outside, but inside, many are so full of fear and deep grief. 

This week, I plan to go with several from our church to lend a helping hand.  Tomorrow 5 of us are going, and our other pastor from our church in Funabashi, Tomo Kobayashi, is there already, and others are going on Wednesday and Thursday, etc.  We hope to be able to lend a helping hand and give some hope, sharing God’s love with them. 

Our group plans to leave early tomorrow and be back on Friday, Lord willing.  (It’s about a 5-hour trip.)  Of course we are taking all the precautions, and actually, contrary to what the media says, the radiation levels are not high.   

Our church has “adopted” the Fukushima area, and best of all, God has  promised to take care of us.   Thank you soooo much for your love and prayers!!

Questions/Answers for Potential Volunteers


CRASH JAPAN is coordinating the Christian churches’ effort to reach out together to the disaster victims.  Here are some questions that potential volunteers with CRASH JAPAN might have.  (See   )
We are working together very closely with this Christian organization.  If there is anyone who would like to volunteer, please contact us!!

Questions About Volunteering

 When can I go?

We will be ready for relief volunteers by early April.  We are prioritizing our resources and volunteers in a database and will contact you when we are prepared to place you.  (For teams overseas, it will likely be at least April before we are ready to receive you.)

How much time do I need to commit?

Because of the immensity of the need and the inefficiency created in constantly rotating volunteers, we are asking for a time commitment of at least two weeks.

What can I expect to be doing?

Teams will be largely involved in clean-up and rebuilding.  The needs of communities are varied, and our response depends on those needs.  We review all the information you send us and match our volunteers to the needs that arise.

Why haven’t I heard from someone yet?

Our team has been in contact with a large number of potential volunteers in a small amount of time.  We are working hard to put infrastructure in place while we get our volunteers informed and ready.  All of our representatives are also volunteers, and we greatly appreciate your patience and prayers as we coordinate relief efforts.

What are weather and living conditions like?

Presently it is still late winter in Japan, and you can expect colder weather.  Spring and warmer weather is around the corner. However living conditions in work areas may be very primitive.

Is it safe for volunteers?

We are committed to sending our volunteers into safe areas.  Though conditions can change daily, safety for teams will always be our number one priority.  CRASH teams will not be doing search and rescue operations or be directed into dangerous situations.

How long will the opportunity be open for relief teams?

We foresee relief and rebuilding continuing for many months and even years.

Supplies are delivered to Iwaki City!! More volunteers are needed…

Thank God for cell phones!  I have been able to keep up with Tim and the group of 5 who left at 5:30 this morning, taking the church van and a rented 2-ton truck,  to deliver supplies that our church and neighborhood people collected to send to the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear radiation disaster areas.  God protected them, and provided the gasoline that they prayed for!  (Gasoline is now hard to find, and being rationed.)  They arrived at around 11:30 a.m. 

Along the way, they saw many caravans of army trucks, both Japanese and American.  When they arrived at the town, it was obvious from the empty streets and buildings that so many people have already evacuated.  However, many older people, sick people, and many others have not been able to evacuate. 

Global Mission Chapel

They arrived at the church where the supplies are being stored, Global Mission Chapel.  The pastor of this church, Pastor Mori,  is Japanese and his wife is from Norway.  Before arriving, Tim and the team were praying for the rain to stop (since rain is not a welcome thing when nuclear radiation levels are higher than normal.)  Praise God, that when it was time to unload the 2-ton truck and the van, the rain stopped!! 

Now Kazu and his son Justin have arrived back in Tokyo to return the rented truck, and Tim, Yasu and Makoto are there in Iwaki helping distribute the supplies. 

They took food and many other donations to a home for the elderly, and were so happily received!  They found out that today, the patients each had only eaten one small rice-ball!  They also took supplies to the refugees in a refugee center– in an Episcopal church that opened their doors to be a shelter for the earthquake/tsunami victims.  

Today they received a request from the City Hall for the church to help with volunteers.  So this evening, they were working with other volunteers at the Global Mission Chapel to load up 3 trucks.  Tomorrow morning, they will be taking these supplies to two areas that were hit especially hard by the tsunami:  Minami Souma-shi and Souma-shi. 

Other churches around Japan have also been bringing many supplies, as you can see from the church “warehouse” picture.  Tim asked Pastor Mori what else our church could do to help out.  Pastor Mori is requesting groups of volunteers who can help distribute the supplies to the many refugee centers in churches, schools, etc., and also they are requesting volunteers to care for the spiritual and emotional needs of the traumatized people, especially in all the many refugee centers where they are gathered. 

Praise God that the roads are now open to whoever wants to go to this region.  So our church is now sending out a request for volunteers who can drive, and who can listen to, care for, encourage, and pray for traumatized victims in the refugee centers.  This will be needed for many months to come. 

Thank you to everyone who  is praying!!  God is certainly answering, and we pray now for more volunteers to come and bring the comfort and love of God to these precious people!!

JOINT EFFORT–Taking Relief to Disaster Area!!

It was a joint effort—all of us working together in amazing unity.  We were all getting very tired, but it didn’t matter to anyone.  Everyone was working with SUCH amazing love and care, thinking about all those precious people who are now in such desperate need after the huge earthquake and tsunami, and nuclear radiation dangers.  We felt so thankful that we could finally put our deep sorrow into action!!

 So MANY people helped, I couldn’t possibly get a picture of everyone!  People bringing supplies, others organizing them and boxing them up, assembly lines carrying boxes upon boxes up and down stairs, others out shopping for more items, office work, labeling–all with soooo much love and pleasure. 

We are now all praying earnestly for our team of 5 who are taking the supplies to the disaster area–Tim, Yasu, Kazu, Justin, Makoto–about 25-30 miles (or so) to the nuclear power plants where few people are able to get in.  Yes, all the necessary precautions are being taken.  But most of all, we are believing God for HIS protection for them, and  we appreciate your prayers too!

Many people could not evacuate that area, especially the elderly, the sick, and many others.  They need help urgently.  Miraculously we got permission from authorities to enter that area!  Pray they can get enough gasoline. 

 Sooo many volunteers wanted to go on this trip, but we plan to take many more trips–it’s only about 5 hours’ drive from here–what a mission field, right in “our back yard.”  Many, many boxes are left over for the next trips, and people are still generously donating from all around the neighborhood!!  

We could feel the presence of God so strong in the worship and intercession, as we prayed for the people who have lost family, friends, houses, everthing.

Many people are very brokenhearted because of friends and relatives in the disaster area.  Our pastors who are going are not only taking supplies, but also eager to listen to, encourage, and pray with the many severely traumatized people.  Tonight during prayer time, one young man believed in Jesus, and became a member of God’s family.  This is our prayer for many, many Japanese. 

Thank YOU so much for praying with us!  Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted–Now is the time for Japan!!

May God save MANY Japanese, we pray, in the Name of Jesus!

Japan Earthquake-Tsunami Relief—YOU can help!!!

March 11, 2011–we were all shaken up–the biggest earthquake we have ever felt here in Japan.  Things were falling out of the cupboard and shelves and smashing on the floor, we didn’t know if the whole building was going to collapse or not.  Since then we have felt many aftershocks, and other earthquakes.  Not long after the first quake, we learned that there was a huge tsunami in Sendai, only about 5 hours’ drive from where we live in Tokyo.  The pictures were sickening.  You can see some of them above–I’m sure you have seen plenty yourself.  I copied them from the internet.  We ourselves are well–in spite of all the continuing aftershocks,  lack of food in the stores, gasoline being rationed and very hard to find, and the radiation scare from the nuclear power plants only 150 miles away.

HOWEVER, that is nothing compared to what others are experiencing.  Our mission and churches are now collecting relief supplies and donations to be taken to the stricken areas.  Tim and assistant pastor  Yasu, are planning to take the first relief trip by van on Monday, the 21st.  We hope to be taking many trips, because one trip is like a “drop in the bucket”.  We hope to be working together with other churches here in Japan, to not only take supplies for physical needs, but emotional help for the many who are completely traumatized. 

Today marks one week that their lives were completely turned up-side-down, in one short moment.  We need you to help us reach out to them with the love of Jesus–that people who have never heard of His love and power might experience it right now.  Let’s join together to show these precious people that they are not forgotten–God loves them and answers prayer.

You can bring needed supplies to our church, or you can donate online on our website,  You can also send a check to:  Paz Japan, P.O. Box 3253, Peoria, IL  61612. 

We will keep you updated!!!  We love you!!!!

Freedom from Depression–A teenager’s story!

    As you read this story, pray about more MISSIONARIES coming to Japan!   
We need at least 10 more missionaries soon, especially to reach out to Japanese YOUTH.  
If anyone has a passion for Jesus and a passion for youth, they qualify!    
 Applications are on the home page of our PAZ Japan website.
A couple of days ago, on Sunday night (Sept. 7), we were soooo touched to hear Mayumi’s story. She is now 15. She was nervous, but she talked with such vibrancy!!

She confessed that for a couple of years in junior high school, she became very worried and nervous, trying to be like her friends, fearful of being different and getting criticised  at school. She was trying so hard to fit in and be like her friends, that she became very depressed she didn’t know what to do. She was not getting along well with her parents, even though her father is a pastor. She didn’t like it that her father was a pastor, and she couldn’t understand why he cried so much when he talked about God’s love, or about how much the Japanese need to know God’s love!!

Emotionally, she was going down, down, down, until it came to a point where she decided she could not go to school anymore. She dropped out. She tried to study at home, but was still having a very hard time.

Her parents didn’t know what to do except to pray and ask God for His help! We were all praying so much for her. Her story is too common here in Japan. In fact, many Japanese young people go through problems that are even much worse than hers. So many even become complete shut-ins for years, not able to even leave their house or bedroom–not to speak about the increasing suicidal rate among Japanese teenagers, which is becoming one of the highest in the world.

We invited her to go to a Christian youth camp in a different location in Japan, with kids from several different churches. It was there that she felt God’s love in such an extreme way, she was enveloped in tears! She came back a different girl, finally realizing that she had become just like her dad–very emotional about God’s love! She even cried about her friends who don’t know God’s love! Many of them also have deep emotional and physical problems. She decided she didn’t care any more what others thought–she only wanted to make God happy!

She surprised everybody one day when she decided she wanted to go back to school! Everyone could see a new Mayumi!! And they liked her! Instead of copying her friends, she became an example to them.

God sent Debbie here just at the right time, to disciple and strengthen her in her faith. (Debbie, daughter of PAZ Directors Jeff and Becky Hrubik, was here for a year as a missionary with our new youth church, the Fuse Jesus Community.)

On Mother’s Day this year, Mayumi went to buy roses for her mother, which is something her friends never ever did, but instead of being shy about it, she boldly told them how much she loved her mother!! And guess what, for the first time in their lives, they went out and bought flowers for their moms too!! God is using her in different ways to show His love to her friends.

Her most exciting news is that she took a friend to camp this summer, and her friend believed in Jesus!! Now Mayumi has a Christian friend her own age! She wants to disciple her friend, just as she was discipled by Debbie!

Please pray for Mayumi and her friends, and for all the Japanese young people–that they might be set free by God’s amazing LOVE!!

Gospel Concert! 10th Anniversary of the Gospel Choir!!

On June 12, about 100 choir members celebrated our 10th Anniversary at the city hall auditorium!  About 600 friends and relatives came to the concert.   Many in the choir and audience are not Christians, but everyone could feel God’s love and presence so strongly–Many cried.   We all sang about 10 different praise and worship songs…it was so exciting! The choir leaders have all come to know Jesus through the choir, and their lives have changed tremendously.  It’s so exciting to see what God can do!  

 We hope you can worship God together with us through this video that someone in the audience recorded!  Listen to the very end–”He is Holy!  He is Mighty!  He is Righteous!  He is Awesome!  Halleluia!”  I love singing in this choir–praising God together with the Japanese is an awesome experience!!  God has done miracles for me, as well as for many of them!!   Tim was able to give the simple message of salvation.  It was awesome!

NEEDED: Ten more missionaries for 2010!!!

In June of last year, 2009, we started the new youth and young-adult church, the FUSE Jesus Community!  Mark and Yuiko Blakely are the pastors of this new church, which meets every Saturday near the Machida, Tokyo, train station.   Several young people have come to know Jesus’ LOVE in this new church!  We are soooo THANKFUL to God for all He is doing among Japanese youth!

Last year, God gave us even more than 10 short-term missionaries to help start this new church!   However, some of them have returned to their universities or jobs, and others will leave in a month or two.   They have done an excellent job making friends and introducing young people to  Jesus.  We are all going to miss them soooo much!!    But we know they will never forget their friends in Japan, and “Friends are Friends Forever!!”

Thanks to God, three new missionaries have arrived, and two others are arriving in the summer!   One is for long-term, and the others are for short-term.   ALSO, several Japanese young people are helping out now, and we thank God sooooo much for all of them too!! 

Mark and Yuiko are requesting ten more missionaries, urgently, to help for this next year!  If anyone has a passion for Jesus and for youth, they qualify!!    Please contact us if you have any questions!