Day 1 – Aizuwakamatsu Chapel, Fukushima Prefecture
After years of praying, dreaming, planning and saving, the members of the First Baptist Church of Fukushima were excited to finally be able to gather together in their own brand new church building, near the coast of beautiful Fukushima prefecture.
But their joy was soon replaced with despondency as their whole town became part of the radiation exclusion zone due to radioactive fallout from the nearby nuclear reactor disaster after the March 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
After the disaster the church members despaired at their immediate concern—where could they go now they could not even enter their homes or town? They were a church family, and wherever they were going to go, they were determined to go together as a family.
One church member remembered another church building that had only finished construction the year before. It was in Aizuwakamatsu, in the far west of Fukushima. She attended this church years ago—would they be able to help?
Yes! The pastor of Aizuwakamatsu Chapel welcomed them with open arms. Perhaps it was God’s providence that the church was completed for such a time as this?
The church members at Aizuwakamatsu Chapel all pitched in to settle the 61 evacuees as best as they could in the cramped hall. Local residents even helped by lending their mattresses. What a great opportunity to show love to brothers and sisters in Christ in dire need!
That was five years ago. The church members from First Baptist Church of Fukushima have since resettled in various places throughout Japan. Sadly, despite their church standing in near new condition—it remains unused and abandoned. Perhaps it may never be used.
Despite the city of Aizuwakamatsu being quite safe and unharmed from the nuclear fallout, the effects of the radiation have still been felt. One by one church members have felt the need to live somewhere far away from Fukushima and so one by one the church has been losing members. What was once a growing church is now down to 10 members.
Written by Andrew
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray for Aizuwakamatsu Chapel to be remain faithful to God’s Word despite the low numbers.
- Pray God will send Christians to come and help this church continue it’s vision to reach the lost in it’s local area?
- Pray that every “lost” church member be replaced with someone has been “found”.