City Harvest Church Pastor Kong Hee has said that relief teams helping victims on the ground in Japan are continuing to share the light of Christ amidst the humanitarian tragedy that has stricken the country following the massive earthquake and violent aftershocks.
Kong said in a Facebook message on Sunday to CHC relief teams helping people in Japan: "Thank you, guys, for working so hard for the Lord Jesus Christ in Japan. We are so grateful and proud of you. Everyone here in CHC Singapore and the Harvest family of churches everywhere are praying for you. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."
He provided an update of the various efforts CHC teams have been undertaking in the past week, and said that on Tuesday one of the teams in Kumamoto delivered water, bread, tomatoes, rice balls and basic toiletry supplies to Sakura Hospital in Mashiki, Mashiki Health & Welfare Centre and the suburb of Higashi-ku.
The team in Kumamoto also provided aid to one of the churches that was destroyed there, and later brought supplies to the Hukurounimori Old Folks Homes, where team member prayed with residents.
Relief efforts continued throughout the week, even on Thursday when it was raining very heavily.
"It was difficult to do many repair works but our volunteers became creative. Since there is very little water supply in those towns, they collected a lot of rain water to use it for washing and toilet use," Kong explained.
Volunteers and team members from Fukuoka Harvest Church separately repaired the badly damaged church roof of a hearing-impaired congregation, climbing onto the roof to cover it with a blue canvas sheet.
Naomi Matsuda, one relief workers, said: "We will not stop touching lives here no matter what. … We are living for this!"
As USA Today reported on Friday, the 6.5-magnitude earthquake on April 14 and even more powerful 7.3-magnitude tremor 28 hours later caused widespread damage across Japan, killing at least 48 people and injuring nearly 1,200 others.
The United States military has also lent assistance to Japan, in form of sending food, water, and other emergency supplies.
"Everybody looks at the Marine Corps as 'guns and bullets and bombs,' but we do a lot of disaster-relief missions, too, because there are so many out here. We look forward to it because it's personally rewarding for everybody," said Marine Corps pilot Chris Murray, commander of a squadron of V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft based in Okinawa, Japan.
Kong, who has been conducting worship and healing services across several different East Asian countries this year, had preached in Japan only weeks before the earthquake hit.
"CHC will be sending at least three teams of disaster relief workers to assist in the town of Mashiki. Our first team, led by Rev. Kenneth Sim and Naomi Matsuda, has arrived this morning and they have been working very hard. Please pray for their safety," the CHC leader announced last week about the relief effort to the country.
"God loves Japan. Let us keep interceding for the people and nation of Japan. God is a good God. May His light shine brightly in the midst of the darkness," he added.