Ayumi, our beautiful friend in Tokyo, made it back to her apartment earlier today. She has been reunited with her mom and her sister and family. Ayumi's dad was able to make contact with her brother. Everyone is safe. Please continue to pray for Ayumi's brother as he is in one of the most devastated areas of northeastern Japan.
Ayumi, we praise God that you and your family are safe. We love you!
Our other lovely Japanese friend Nozomi has heard news about her mom who is in a nursing home. Nozomi's mom is alive, but there are food and water shortages in the area where she lives. Please continue to pray for relief workers to be able to get much needed supplies into damaged areas and for their safety. Nozomi has not heard news on her grandparents or other family members that live near the coast.
Nozomi, Mark and Towa we love you and are continuing to pray for your family.
Our sweet friends, the Caughlin's, have been hosting stranded students in their home. Here is an update from Kristen. In the update, there is information about an organization called CRASH that is based in Japan. Donations can be made by visiting this website or this website.
10,000 missing people, but none that we know personally. A grandma of a friend is missing, others have been evacuated and are staying in school gym-type places. One of our kids expressed feeling guilty that we have food, water and warmth when others don't. A boarding student-friend asking "Why, God?" with intense worry for their recently evacuated family. Hearing talk of nuclear meltdown effects. Unsure what's rumor and what's true, but not panicking. Wanting our kids to see "fuel for worry" is Satan's ploy. God is our unshakable anchor. My cell phone warns us of an upcoming aftershock, and we huddle together as, about 30 seconds later, our home sways a little again. But it's less frequent. Elisa said that she awoke last night often feeling like she was swaying, and would glance at the dangling earrings on her earring-holder by her bed to see if they were swaying or not. Electricity is being conserved for the areas in greatest need, so there are some planned power-outages. We were surprised to see delivery man early this morning with a package from Cam's mom; he told us that he'd been stuck in downtown traffic till 5am... Japanese work-ethics. (It was fun timing for our kids.)
Yes - we all need your prayers. In one town in Miyagi, over half of the population is unaccounted for. Rescue efforts from South Korea and elsewhere are arriving. CRASH (Christian Relief Assistance Support and Hope) is coordinating church responses here, and we covet your prayers for them. JCCC is on stand-by. CRASH can receive gifts online through Horizon at http://www.horizonsd.org/index.php?p=170. So thankful for the calm environment that our school maintained for our children through the quakes. Trains are mostly running again, and the damage, though horrible, seems less than would be expected from the 5th worst earthquake since 1900, and 700 times stronger than Haiti's with a death toll of over 300,000.
The coming days will unfold further devastation for sure, though. 10,000 missing! Pray that the people of Japan would toss aside idols and empty materialism and fall on our knees before our Creator and loving Redeemer. Psalm 46 begins: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." I see people cursing God in the comment area under English online news updates, as if they are higher than God, and totally miss the point that He is our Refuge! We cry "Why!" yet we are "still and know that He is God" (Psalm 46:10) and trust Him wholly.
Please don't just read this update, but draw near and talk to God with us! We are thankful for your prayers.
Cam, Kristen and kids thank you for sharing this update. We are very glad that you are safe and we are so grateful that you are able to help in your community. Thank you for being such servants and for sharing the resources that you have with those that are stranded. Thank you most of all for sharing your faith. We will continue to pray for you and those who you are helping. CRASH looks like an amazing ministry. We will spread the word.
So, to all of us who are eager to help Japan, here is the plan:
Pray and then give. God hears our prayers and we can help!