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I wanted to send out a brief update to let you know that we are all okay in the midst of the 8.8 earthquake that has hit the east coast of Japan. Our mission has been gathered since yesterday in the Nagano mountains, about 200 miles from the epicenter, for our annual retreat.
Even as far away as we are, the earthquake was a bit scary and lasted a long time. We were all put into one room for an hour or two while the retreat staff checked for gas leaks and other earthquake concerns. We are fine here now, but our hearts are heavy from the news that has been coming in.
Some of our missionary friends with us here used to live in Sendai, which is the city closest to the epicenter of the earthquake. We've been watching video footage from Sendai, of the tsunami sweeping away huge amounts of earth, cars, houses -- it looked like leaves and dirt begin washed along a sidewalk, then you realize that you're seeing buildings and vehicles rushing across rice fields. Unbelievable.
God's timing is strange. Last Saturday I attended an all-day training to help Christians in Japan be prepared to respond in case of earthquake. On the ride home I was wondering how the Lord would want us to respond, but I really felt a desire to be part of relief efforts the next time a disaster struck.
I had no idea the next disaster would be one week later!
We will pray and wait to see how God may use our family, our mission, and the Church to bring much-needed relief as the days unfold. Our prayer is that God will quickly move and unite the Church to reach out during this terrible tragedy. The news that we are hearing is that it may be the worst earthquake in the history of Japan.
We also believe that God has our mission gathered at this time for His purposes. Pray that God will give us wisdom and allow us to be strategic in what will be challenging days ahead. We do pray that the God of Psalm 46 will bring hope to those who right now are buried in tragedy.
Thanks for your prayers and your concern. We will continue to bring you news as we can from in-country. It is hard to know how to pray, but we believe that the Spirit intercedes for us when words do not come. Earlier tonight we prayed Psalm 46; we have prayed for mercy, for miracles, for accounts of Japanese whose eyes are opened to the realities of His love even in the midst of this.