Thank you so much to everyone for your prayers and supportive e-mails.
We are gathered with all of the Asian Access missionary family at a retreat centre in Karuizawa, Nagano. On Friday afternoon we were gathered for an afternoon session when the chapel started to shake, lights started to sway and windows began to rattle. Even for those accustomed to Japan, the quake seemed longer and more intense than normal. When things settled down a little, we ran to collect children and went to the gathering point on the centre grounds.
We felt smaller aftershocks in succession for the next hour or more. We learned of the tsunami warnings that were being given from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south. Then the footage of the tsunami hitting the east coast started on the tv. It was hard to watch.
That night we slept with shoes, coats and backpacks at the door should we need to evacuate quickly in the night. At 4 am, there was a sizeable aftershock that was centred in another part of Nagano that brought us out of our futons and into the doorways.
The aftershocks have continued and the details of the extent of damage and loss is slowly coming to light. Our extended family in the Tokyo area is safe and well.
We have found comfort in Psalm 46 (God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…)
We see how God has brought the Asian Access family together in one place specifically for this time. The team from the Osaka went through disaster relief training just one week ago. Asian Access is linking to other Christian relief groups already in Japan, as well as the Japanese churches of the JCGI network, and provide relief, help and love in this difficult time. Details are posted at www.asianaccess.org.
Please keep praying for Japan, that through these disasters, people will turn to God to seek true and lasting hope. Pray that the churches across Japan will be able to share God’s love effectively. We are already hearing stories of churches in the hard hit areas that are serving as evacuation centres.
Thank you again for praying for us, Christian brothers and sisters across Japan, and the vast majority of Japanese who do not yet know Jesus.