Earthquake quick update

(We just sent this out as an email- wanted to post this for others as well). We 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.  There are six members from our church in Washington D.C., Fourth Presbyterian, who are here with us as well to minister to our children during this time.  We have been very thankful for their presence and stability to our children during this scary time.

Even as far away as we are, the earthquake was 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 grieving from the news that has been coming in.

Eric and I first worked together from 2001-2003 in Sendai, which is the epicenter of the earthquake.  We were able to call one of our closest friends, Kazue H., and are incredibly thankful that we reached her cell phone since other phone calls have since been hard.  Their home is very close to the coast.  She and her family were able to get to her mother’s home, much farther inland, before the tsunami hit.  But they are sure that their home is gone (the name of the small village is Arahama- one of the terrible videos on the news of houses, roads, and fields being washed away is Arahama).  She has not been able to contact our other friends from our church there, L’Abri Bible Chuch.  The church and our neighborhood are less than 2 miles from the coast, so we are just too sad as we imagine the possible devastation.  We are sure, though, that God will use the faith of these believers to reach out to the hurting in the community.

God’s timing is strange.  Last Saturday Eric and I attended an all-day training to help Christians in Japan be prepared to respond in case of earthquake.  Eric was supposed to teach that day, but we felt this was really important.  We both sense that it is likely that Eric will go and be part of relief efforts.  How thankful we are for God’s timing in preparing us to be able to more practically help..  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.

With love,

Eric and Sue

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12 thoughts on “Earthquake quick update

  1. How we ache and are praying for all of you. Thanks for this hot up date about your conditions. May the Savior move miraculously and swiftly to aid the ones in greatest need. Be strengthened in the Holy Spirit and be the presence of Christ amongst the dying.
    Drop us a note if you can. You are in our prayers.
    Buzz and Ruthi Curtis, Saraburi Thailand.

  2. Thank you so much for the update. My heart went immediately to you and Eric and the children–so thankful you are all safe. My heart aches for those who have suffered devastation and, I pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen you and Eric in the coming days as you reach out to those in need. Please know that my prayers are constantly with you all….renie

  3. Thank you so much for the update, Sue! I am still waiting to hear from friends in Sendai. I will pray for Eric. Keep us all posted! What a powerful reminder of the power of our God and His presence with us.

  4. We are praying for you… amidst the shaking. Praying that He is keeping you safe under His wings…. amidst the 6.2 aftershock near Nagano .

  5. Searching thru FB and blogs trying to find my friends and aquaintences. Glad you’re well – sorry for your friends’ devastation… Praying for peace on you all, and that in it all, God’s glory will be seen.

  6. Thank you for the updates and please, let us know if/when you find out anything about the families we stayed with over spring break in 2003.

  7. Hey Sue- thank you for your updates. I sent parts of it to my contacts too to pray. I asked them to pray specifically for a few things, one of which is for Eric and perhaps going to do relief work. My heart is with all of you and the country I love so very much. I talked to Katsuta people in Ibaraki and they said they are okay too. It’s very strong there, and that was 150 miles away from Sendai. Praying for Sendai as well. Please let Emi know that Katsuta people are all safe. There is a mess but they are safe. Thank you for your updates.

  8. Hello Eric and Sue,
    You and your ministry has been heavy on my heart today and I have prayed for all of teams there. I rejoice to hear news from you and am grateful to God for providing for you. My prayers go out to those heavy on your hearts today.
    Blessings to you and those around you.
    Renee

  9. Hi Sue and Eric – Praying for and with you. Praying for comfort, wisdom, and restoration. Very thankful for your ministry.

  10. The best to you and your family. Any word from the church where Shayna and I were in 2003, and any word of the Yoshida family?

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