Once again, we sincerely apologize for the long silence. We are in Japan for a few more days and will return to our home in Germany on Thursday. Our time in Tohoku was amazing and very eye-opening. At times we felt like newspaper reporters as we gathered information from various Christian leaders and groups working in Tohoku.

One of the greatest needs in the region is for the people living in temporary housing to receive care, love, and counseling. Here is a map of temporary housing units scattered across Tohoku:

You can access this map here.

View of a row of temporary housing units

Please pray for those living in temporary housing. Speaking from very limited experience, I feel like the very people who need the most emotional care are actually quite hard to get to, sometimes literally. Many units are located in hard-to- reach, quite remote places. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the system  – how do you go from, for example, wanting to do a kids’ program or music concert in a temporary housing unit to actually doing it? To me, it almost felt like one has to jump through lots of hoops to actually be able to do get near these people. You definitely have to know someone to be able to get into the units at all, or talk with the kaicho (community leader) or something along those lines. My hope and prayer is that these people will have the chance to receive the help and care they need. That means that we Christians will definitely need to think of very creative ways to reach those living in temporary housing. A really neat one that a friend thought of was a photo restoration ministry – offering to scan and restore photos damaged in the tsunami. I had the idea of a mobile music therapy ministry; of course, we could also try offering private English lessons to folks living in temporary housing. Any other creative ideas, anyone?

Another view