Once again we thank you for your prayers for us and for the people in Japan at this difficult time.
It is 10pm Japan time on Saturday and we've been monitoring the news in Japan most of the day as well as communicating with OMF colleagues, church members and friends in the area. All OMF colleagues have been accounted for and we have not heard of any injuries. We have felt a number of aftershocks today, including one as I'm writing this.
Here is our latest update.
- At around 3:30pm today there was an explosion at a nuclear plant in Fukushima, about 150 miles north of where we live. I don't have all the details, but it seems that it was the containment building and not the reactor itself that exploded. Residents in an area of 12 miles from the plant have been evacuated. We do not feel there is any danger where we are living, but we will continue to monitor the situation.
- Some years ago a missionary set up an organization called CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope), a network supporting Christians to do relief work in Japan and around the world. CRASH is endorsed by JEMA the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association (JEMA) and works in cooperation with the Disaster Relief Commission of the Japan Evangelical Association. http://www.crashjapan.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=7&Itemid=12&lang=en
- The leadership of CRASH will set up a command center tomorrow (Sunday) in an office near our children's school, and hold at meeting in the afternoon with mission representatives and other interested individuals. I will attend this meeting as a representative of both the JEMA Leadership Team and OMF. Please pray for me and for those assembled to have wisdom to know how to respond. OMF wants to do what we can to help, especially as we have two churches and three missionary families in one of the affected areas.
- There will be ways to give financially both through OMF and through JEMA. I will send those details later when I have the full information.
- There is a website that has helpful suggestions on "How to pray when disaster strikes." http://opsafeintl.com/2011/01/how-to-pray-when-disaster-strikes/
- We heard that there might be roving power outages in the Tokyo area as the electric company tries to deal with the shutdown of two of their reactors, but we haven't seen any change yet and cannot confirm this.
- The NY Times ran an article entitled "Japan’s Strict Building Codes Saved Lives". This is certainly true, especially of ferro-concrete buildings and newer wood buildings. However, a number of older, wood buildings sustained considerable damage. And buildings made of wood were not able to withstand the power of the tsunami. We've seen film of entire residential areas that have all but vanished as a result of the waves, some of which were estimated at over 30 feet.
- Tomorrow at church we will take time to reflect on Psalm 46 and pray for the people of Japan and for each other. We would appreciate your prayers.
We are grateful for your partnership in this ministry.