‘God, why did you do this?’ Japanese Christians cope with loss as they rebuild
SENDAI, Japan — For one hour, there were no atheists…
A Facebook group designed to help streamline Church of Christ relief efforts for victims of the Japan earthquake has grown to more than 1,300 members.
Jonathan Walter Straker and his wife, Michiko, started the Facebook page, called “Working And Praying for Japan Earthquake Victims.” The page contains firsthand accounts of needs and experiences from Japanese church members.
“Michiko and I met in Sendai, Japan, where I was on a Church of Christ mission team with Ben Berry, Joel Osborne and Crimsen Ruhnke,” Jonathan Straker told The Christian Chronicle. “My first contact with Sendai was in 1998 on an LST (Let’s Start Talking) team. We worked there full time from 2002-2007 and have been back twice during the summers.”
One of the Facebook group members, Dan Harris Lovejoy, has created an interactive Japan map to help Christians understand what areas were affected and where Churches of Christ are located.
“Right now I’m working on adding every Church of Christ to the list,” said Lovejoy, a member of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, Okla.
Jonathan Straker is an M.Div. in Missions student at Abilene Christian University in Texas and serves as interim young adult minister for the University Church of Christ in Abilene. He is the son of Walter and Shirley Straker, who serve with the Bramalea Church of Christ in the Toronto area. (I was blessed to stay with Walter and Shirley during a 2009 reporting trip to Canada.)
The younger Straker recommends that North Americans who want to give directly to churches route funds through these two congregations, which will send the funds to the Mito Church of Christ in Japan:
ATTN: Dwight Albright
5295 Park Ave
Memphis, TN 38119-3543
Phone: 901 682-1220
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ATTN: Walter Straker
750 Clark Blvd.
Brampton, ON L6T 3Y2
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Other Japan earthquake coverage:
– Prayers needed for ‘quite desperate’ situation in Japan, former missionary says
– Christian relief organizations prepare to respond to Japan disaster
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For more information about the 2005 trip, the link is http://www.york.edu/alumni/heritage/summer05.pdf