Late last week I received and update from a Phil Melton, a long-time family friend who has been a missionary in Japan with Evangelical Baptist Missions for over 20 years. Although we have all seen the pictures and heard the reports, I thought it might be helpful to hear from someone on the ground:
Today is one week since the great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Confirmed number of deceased is now over 6800. Confirmed missing is now over 10,000. Family members are still seeking to determine whether their relatives are missing or deceased by visiting holding areas where bodies are waiting to be identified.
Those in evacuation shelters because of loss of home or the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant radiation evacuation area now number almost half a million Japanese (over 450,000), and many foreigners are either leaving the country or doing what they can to find a place to stays outside of evacuation areas. One of our goals is to be able to provide shelter for as many as we can through utilizing Camp Raphayada when the time comes.
Last Sunday our church gave an impromptu special offering for the needs of the evacuees and our first donation of food and supplies leaves for the area tomorrow morning through Don, who will be working with CRASH Japan answering the phones for them for eight days.
Much of the north is low on gas, food, heating fuel, and water. We were planning on sending down several special gasoline containers filled with gas for the worker transportation, but after visiting three hardware stores here, we were only able to find one gas container high up on a shelf that was evidently overlooked by early shoppers.
They are now rationing certain supplies even in our area, and we were only able to buy 12 bowls of instant ramen and one box of drink, along with other supplies that were not restricted, to send down to the affected areas. Along with paper supplies, Don took down the new container and two larger but used 5 gallon gas cans from the campsite.
If you would like to have a part in directly meeting the immediate needs of those in the evacuation centers as well as in the lives of Christians and churches in the affected areas, we invite you to join us by making a donation designated Japan Earthquake Relief Fund through EBM at www.ebm.org.
Thank you for your love and concern for us and our ministries here. Contrary to US media, please do not fret too much for us over the radiation fallout. Experts agree that most areas outside of the evacuation area are not exposed to dangerous levels of radiation from the power plant damage.
God is already answering your prayers. The weather is warming. The power plant work is progressing and not getting worse, and there is hope that within the next two days they will be able to provide power back to the plant to restart cooling motors. The Japanese people are amazing in their resilience, mutual respect, and work ethic. Even those within the evacuation centers are actively participating in the care of fellow evacuees. Thank you for praying for Japan. Do pray that God will use this to turn their hearts to Him.
- Chris Carr
- I am a husband to Eva, father of 4, pastor, and most of all passionate follower of Jesus Christ. The focus of my life is to make the most of every opportunity God gives me to bring glory to Him. Outside of the time spent in my role as a pastor, I spend most of my time with my family -- a good deal of that coaching various sports teams that my children are involved with. Every fall and winter you will find me rushing to the woods of Indiana and West Virginia in search of a monster whitetail buck.