Japan Update #05 – #03 Tohoku Earthquake 2011

Mar 13, 2011 11:30pm Japan Time: Leaving to go in

No email next 24hrs; write Carol (below)
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Dear Family and Friends,

Dan, Dedachi and Rich Rainsford are leaving in about an hour to head north to a town named Iwaki, just 30 miles south of Fukushima (sight of the nuclear plant). After much prayer and searching for a place to help, they were able to contact a pastor in Iwaki who has asked them to bring water and gasoline. They have rented and loaded a truck with large tanks of water and about 60 liters of gasoline, along with a room-full of supplies like blankets, coats, boots, food. Their plan is to use back roads to enter some of the coastal areas, distribute all that they are able, establish contact with a few more area churches, then head back tomorrow. If they are able to get through, they are planning for three more people to leave tomorrow with another truckload. Our hope is to focus on these particular communities and continue supporting the recovery and rebuilding efforts long-term.
Tonight is a reconnaissance mission of sorts, borne from a meeting of the CRASH emergency response team of JEMA (Japan Evangelical Missionary Association). Several other members are taking trains farther north, renting motorcycles, and hoping to do some recon of the hardest hit areas, then communicate needs back to the team.
Please pray with us. Surely if the LORD has led, He will make a way for the truck and supplies to reach those who need them. We are trusting that the roads will be passable – the pastor has told us that they are, but the Japanese government may not welcome volunteers and have the roads blocked. There is also the imminent danger of a strong (7+) earthquake occurring in the next few days according to seismologists. We continue to experience tremors regularly. There is also the danger of radiation following the release of radioactive steam from the explosion yesterday. Even though the government has said that there is no danger, the levels close to the plant rose to dangerous levels today. We will be having “brown-outs” beginning tomorrow when we will be without electricity for several 4-hour periods.
Worship today was rich and helped us all to focus on our Sovereign, who is our only refuge, strength and ever-present help. He who created the forces of nature dwells with His church and “will help her at the break of day.” We look for Him to be exalted in this nation, in these times, and pray that He who is with us would send us out to that end.(Ps 46)
Thank you for praying!

In His strength,
Carol (for Dan and team)

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March 12, 2013
Dear Family and Friends, Thanks for your prayers and care.

Just as I wrote this, a fairly large tremor shook the church building again. # 130th or something since 2:46 pm Fri afternoon. Incredible.

1. Donations for Japan Earthquake via MTW: see www.mtw.org

Send to MTW “93993 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami”

2. This is incredible devastation. Please ask your church to take special offerings for this tomorrow. And pass the word to Christians to give and pray for this. We have already spent almost $1000 tonight renting a first truck and buying food to take north, Lord willing tomorrow night. This is a very small start on a huge and expensive project these next months. Pray that we can really help, and show the love of Christ in this lost land.

3. One news report an hour ago said that in a hard hit northeastern prefecture a village of 17,000 people was missing 10,000 people. That seems impossible, and they had not confirmed it yet, but what is for certain is that the devastation is incredible. And the confirmed death toll goes up much every hour.

4. Pray for us as people bring money and food and water and diapers etc to worship in our church plants here in Chiba 12 hours from now. We plan to load the truck and a couple vans, and maybe leave at 2am as daytime traffic bumper to bumper (so gov’t shut down the highways going north, only police and military can use, we have heard) We are tentatively planning on going to a an area south of Sendai and the worst devastation, and south of the nuclear plant problems (hard to get in further north … roads are blocked except for emergency vehicles). Pray we find a needy town and a church to partner with in a hard hit area on the coast in north Ibarki prefecture, or south Fukushima prefecture. Someone who knows the area and worst places on the ground will really help.

Your CNN and other news is pretty much same as what we are getting here in Japan.
Keep praying about nuclear reactors, and that we and lots who are mobilizing teams to go in and help the devastated areas can indeed get in, and can get to where they can really help with the right relief materials and people.

Well, I need to get some sleep and get ready to preach in 12 hours.

Thanks for caring and praying for the now doubly needy people of Japan.

Dan

We had a great concert today with the group from Korea who arrived yesterday. Wonderful for Christians and non-Christians.

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Now as I send this after writing below info (w/o proofing), news is saying 1400 dead and missing, including 4 trains of people, and 5 nuclear power plants in trouble (Japan news is still saying only 2 nuclear plants… trying to prevent panic, maybe???)

Sat 3/12 12:10 pm Jpn time (USA EST+14 hrs)

Family, Friends,

Please pray for us we decide where to go and help with hands, food, water, diapers, and money, etc. More than 1100 dead or missing, which sad expectation that this will go much higher considering how big and widespread the tsunamis were.

Where to go?
130 miles, 200 km of coastal area devastation from monster earthquake and resulting tsunamis, so it is difficult to know where we should go to help. We are looking for missionaries or churches in area to partner with/ be a base. Pray for wisdom: when, where, who to go… what to take.

1100 killed= 12 day total of suicides in Japan
To put the spiritual darkness of Japan in perspective, Japan averages about 90 suicides per day. It is so sad that already 1100 people appear to have died in the earthquake/tsunami and that is making world-wide news. It needs to also break our heart that this very rich country is really so spiritually impoverished, with so many with no hope. But if indeed 1100 are dead from the killer earthquake, we need to also remember that a normal 12 days in Japan brings about this many suicides. But it does not make CNN news.

Poor Japan in 1970 had half as many suicides as today’s rich Japan with so much “abundance.”
it is sad but telling that Japan had half its current @32,000 suicides a year in 1970. Japan was poor, beginning to grow strong economically and educationally. Now Japan “made it”, has 100 literacy, longest life expectancy in the world, etc, but with the Bible’s Ecclesiastes 2, so many Japanese people who sought the “abundant” life have found that “all is vanity.” Pray for a new turning to the One who really does give abundant life (John 10:10b).

So, as we and so many Christians mobilize and seek to relieve incredible suffering and pain in the name of Christ to the 5 million people of the devastated areas, pray that this will bring a turning to the true and living God, and to Christ and his grace and love. Japan really needs true hope that does not disappoint.

Below are some stats on the affected areas, and just how lost and unreached they are.

We are just having another tremor right now, not so big, but no one even stopped what they were doing… it must have been the 100th I felt… but we all stopped counting. What power and might!

How do we help? Our plans?

Concert with Korean professional choir today at 3pm, now turned into concert and offering and prayer time afterwards:
We have a concert at 3pm, in 3 hours, here at our church building, planned from long ago as an outreach event. The choir arrived yesterday (Fri) to Narita airport 30 min before the 1st and biggest earthquake. The airport was soon closed down.
So we decided to go ahead with it, make it shorter, and use it as a time for witness to the many non Christians who will come (if they still come with all that has happened… we were expecting about 100), and offering for the devastation, and prayer afterwards for Christians to stay and join in on. Non-Chrisitans will be welcome to stay, and some probably will.

Rented a truck, preparing to go: Need to know where to go. Please pray for that.
We have rented one truck from tonight, and are having people bring supplies to take north to worship tomorrow. Email and cell etc are down in the Sendai area, where things were the worse. We know OPC missionaries there who could be a base for us to help with their churches, if they and the churches are okay, but all we know is that “OPC missionaries the Cummings are okay, but have no electricity or other utilities” (word we finally got 2d hand). And, because the two nuclear power plants in the affected region are a very serious concern, we may not be allowed into some areas to help.

The stats on Japan’s spiritual poverty, and especially the affected area:
The areas affected by the earthquake and tsunamis of Miyagi, Fukushima, and Ibaraki are some of the most spiritually needy places in Japan. With over 4.9 million people yet only about 9,000 active Christians (about 0.15%; about 1/6 of 1%). Fukushima has the lowest average worship attendance in all of Japan with only 19 per church. There are is one city and 44 towns with no church at all. There are 86 missionaries (adults, including husband and wife) assigned to these prefectures.
One town in Ibaraki has over 46,000 people with no church (OperJpn 24) and several others have over 24,000 people with no churches. Average attendance for all the churches in Japan is the lowest in Fukushima prefecture. Ibaraki prefecture has the least number of people claiming to have any religious beliefs.

Please do pray for Japan! And for us.

In Christ, who rules all,
Dan

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