Let me introduce our Japanese partners.
The churches that grew out the mission efforts of the Baptist General Conference (now Converge Worldwide) formed the Japan Baptist Church Association. In Japanese “association” is “Rengo.” This is a growing group of 62 churches mainly in the Tokyo and Osaka areas. Our Japan Mission works closely with the Rengo for evangelism, leadership development, and church planting.
One of the key Rengo churches in the Kokubunji Baptist Church in western Tokyo is led by Pastor Hiro Yonai, chairman of the Rengo. After the 3.11. disaster, this church has been very active in sending assistance and teams to the disaster area. Out of their ministry grew the vision for a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) called SOLA (Serve for Others, Live with one Another) which could meet the needs of children and youth disaster victims. Associate Pastor Miho Hirata is heading up SOLA and is ministering in the Ishinomaki and Minami Sanriku areas of Miyagi prefecture. Their ministry develops children events, educational support, and community events. They hope to develop international exchanges. She partners with Mr. Abe of the Ishinomaki House of Prayer and Dean Bengtson, missionary in the area. Our Converge Worldwide teams have been partnering with both Mr. Abe and Rev. Bengtson since the disaster.
Imagine everything you own disappeared in a matter of minutes. A tsunami took your house along with everything you owned. You are now living in temporary house. SOLA is helping children in the disaster area cope this this great loss. One important area is helping these children by providing them with school supplies. Imagine that you lost all your favorite crayons, coloring pencils, pencil sharpener, ruler, paper, eraser and your art supplies. How could you succeed in school?
For many of these children their parents are out of work and have little money as their workplaces were destroyed along with their homes. You can give so that these children can succeed in school and in life by supplying them with things they need for school. Also along with this comes the sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ. SOLA aims to share the hope of Jesus Christ with all these children. Will you pray and give that their tragedy may turn to hope?