Salvation Army Car Will Put Petal to the Metal in Saturday’s Fontana, CA Race

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Morgan Shepherd and his #89 Salvation Army car will be burning rubber this weekend at the Nationwide Series event in Fontana, CA on Saturday, March 26.

Saturday will be a once in a life time opportunity for two lucky kids from our local Salvation Army program, as Shepherd has generously donated pit passes for them to get the full NASCAR experience. Just like Daytona, it’s going to be awesome!

We’ll post pictures and updates from Fontana when we receive them next week.

When Shepherd was racing in Bristol last weekend, Salvationists Major Peggy Mullins and Brenda Kent met up with him and his team for dinner. Shepherd said, “It was certainly a pleasure having The Salvation Army folks here at Bristol for a prayer, a meal, and good Christian conversation.”

To learn more about NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd and his racing ministry, visit www.racewithfaith.com.

A Japan Evacuee’s Perspective of Heartache and Hope

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[Lis Bennett]
Lis Bennett (top right) poses with some of her Japanese students.

Lis Bennett is a young American who has been teaching English in Japan for 5 years. When the earthquake and tsunami struck, she lived only 25 miles away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that is now the focus of much international attention.

For security measures, she was evacuated yesterday by her employing organization to the United States as radiation fears increased. After spending many years pouring into the local community and lives of her students, it is difficult for her to suddenly leave behind these dear friends and a country she’s grown to love.

The Daily News out of New York ran an interview with Lis in which she discussed what it was like at the school when the earth started shaking and the state of Japan in the days after. You can read the article here.

[School]
The school where Lis taught.

A friend of The Salvation Army, Lis shared with us via email how these events have affected her personally:

“Since this started, there have been days of peace and days where there is NO peace. It’s been a real roller-coaster ride for my emotions… Since there became concerns that the radiation was reaching our area, our bosses (the family who takes care of us so well) made a very difficult decision to send our whole team home. Which is a relief in some ways, yet so heartbreaking in others. I know in my heart that it’s best for us to go, but my heart aches deeply for the people of Japan, leaving these friends that I love so dearly, while they are here amidst devastation.

The family who takes care of us and many of my friends will stay in their homes until the [government] tells them they can no longer live here…this is their home, the one they’ve spent their lives building up…my heart is breaking.

It’s humbling to realize that some things, no matter how hard we try, can never be on our control. But what a relief to let go and just fall into the loving arms of our heavenly father, who’s the one IN control…THAT’S when we find our rest, reassurance, comfort, and peace…I am so thankful to know that God will make a way where there seems to be none…especially for Japan.”

To learn more about how The Salvation Army is providing relief to Japan, including Fukushima evacuees, click here. Thank you for your continuous prayers for the people of Japan.

Get Creative with Japan Relief Fundraising

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Since Japan was struck by disaster just over a week ago, the immediate reaction of so many Americans was, “What can I do to help?” I’ve been wonderfully overwhelmed by responses from blog readers like you, leaving comments and asking questions about how you can show your support.

When people work hard to use their talents and good ideas for the purpose of disaster fundraising, amazing things result. On The Salvation Army Western Territory’s Expect Change blog, they’ve shared some creative efforts going on right now in the San Francisco Bay Area of California!

One involves an 11 year-old piano and singing prodigy Shane Tuner. Another is a local radio station’s “Bid on Britney for Japan Relief” auction – and yes, they do mean Britney Spears.

Read the full story here how some compassionate, creative people are using every opportunity to support Japan.

Photos: Japan Relief

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank you to everyone who has supported or is following our ongoing relief efforts in Japan. We’ve received more photos of the response work and have shared them below. Salvation Army International Headquarters also has them posted to their Flickr account here.

A Japanese Salvation Army emergency vehicle en route. Three Salvation Army emergency response teams were sent out from Tokyo to Sendai, Mito and towards the Fukushima area.

One of The Salvation Army Japan’s emergency canteen vehicles, preparing to serve up a fresh batch of hot noodles – very welcome in the cold temperatures.

The Salvation Army’s emergency canteen vehicles have been working hard, serving hot food and drinks to a thousand people at a time.

Poor weather did not deter the crowds, lining up patiently outside The Salvation Army’s corps (church) in Sendai.

The Salvation Army’s corps (church) in Sendai, near the epicentre of the earthquake, is also distributing essential supplies.

Relief supplies, comprising bottled water, biscuits, blankets, towels and diapers were prepared for distribution.

A Salvation Army kitchen in north-east Japan, with officers and members catering for some of the thousands who have been displaced by the earthquake and tsunami.

[Japan – SA Officer Distributing Food]
The Salvation Army’s officers and volunteers in Japan have been distributing packed lunches to evacuees and residents of earthquake-affected areas.