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VVIM Japan 2011
Japan’s Christians active in quake relief
NEW YORK (UMNS) — When Noriko Lao left her elderly mother’s home in Tokyo after a visit last March, she was unaware of the devastating earthquake that would strike her native country just a day later. Nearly 20,000 people died or were missing in the wake of what some called “the triple disaster” in Japan. In the year since, Lao, a disaster response veteran, has returned to Japan numerous times as a volunteer consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
Virtual VOLUNTEER IN MISSION (VIM) TRIP TO
Tohoku Region, Japan 2011
Raising money for earthquake and tsunami recovery in Japan
On March 11, 2011, northern Japan was struck by a 9.0 earthquake that caused massive destruction. Moments later a tsunami hit the coast and travelled miles inland, destroying everything in its path. The Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture suffered major damage causing explosions and a meltdown in several of its reactors. Spewing radiation into the air, sea and surrounding area, the effects of the disaster continue today. Official estimates state that 23,500 people died or are missing and 72,550 buildings were completely destroyed by being washed away or burned to the ground. Thousands of people have been displaced after losing their homes or having them damaged to the point of being unsafe to occupy and have lost their income as a result of their places of employment being destroyed. Damages are estimated at $305 billion, making this the costliest disaster on record.
We invite you to join in our virtual trip by donating funds as if you were going there as part of our recovery team to help put people back into their homes. If we were actually going to Japan for two weeks, it would cost each person about $3,000, including airfare and rail passes.
BE A TEAM MEMBER:By contributing from $100 to $1,000 (or more!) you will be recognized as a Team Member and will receive one team T-shirt. Join with those who travel to the disaster areas each year and become a Virtual VIM Team Member by making a substantial donation.
Other donors: Any donation will be appreciated and all will go to helping those in Japan. In addition, buying a T-shirt will help the cause.
PRAYER: We can all support the people of Japan in our daily prayers. Pray also for our VVIM activities and team members.
Have you been unable to participate in a Volunteers In Missiontrip because of physical limitations, time constraints, or a (perceived) lack of skills? Well, this year everyone can go on the 2011 FUMC VIM trip. Keep reading…
For quite a few years now, FUMC has participated in the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) program. Our FUMC VIM team--comprised of a group of stalwart “regulars,” and whoever else wants to participate—travels to a location (generally in the U.S.) to help repair homes damaged by floods, fires, earthquakes, or other disasters. UMVIM, in coordination with local authorities and congregations in disaster-affected areas, determines how VIM teams from Methodist churches around the country can assist in restoration and repair efforts. Early each year, our FUMC VIM team leaders review the locations identified by UMVIM and selects a site for our team. FUMC team members pay for their own airfare, housing, and a share of team costs, including rental cars, gasoline, and supplies. Fundraisers help off-set the cost of scholarships, building materials, and the other expenses.
This year, while our VIM team leaders were reviewing possible sites for the 2011 trip, the devastating Japan earthquake and tsunami occurred. The FUMC congregation immediately responded by donating funds to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). Our VIM team, in recognition of the enormity of the destruction and loss of life in Japan, came up with the idea of a “virtual” VIM trip: instead of traveling somewhere to provide assistance, why nottake the money we would normally spend on the trip and send it to Japan? Wow! The typical cost for a team member is $1000 for a two-week trip, or $700 for a one-week trip. A budget for team costs will be made, as it is every year, and that too will be donated by team members. Fund-raisers will still be held.
So what does this mean? It means you too can join the team and help the people of Japan. Your age, your schedule, your ability to use a hammer or a skill saw doesn’t matter. Whether through financial contributions, help with fundraisers, prayer, or a combination of all three, you can help put lives back together in Japan.
UMVIM exists to promote, encourage, and enable Christians to exemplify “Christian Love in Action” through short-term mission service at home and abroad.