It is 11 pm, and Eric is starting to pack his own clothes for the next two weeks. The last sixteen hours have been spent at many grocery stores, drug stores, electronic stores, and home centers trying to get as many supplies as possible. Even this far away from the danger zones, stores are sold out of many of the things that we need to buy: cup ramen, liters of water, even blankets are sold out in our city! But we have been touched by the friends who have stopped by throughout the day to bring donations and check in on us. Slowly but surely we have been filling up the back of a 2 ton truck that tomorrow will make its way up to Tokyo and then to the disaster zone – diapers, formula, water, towels, rice crackers, ramen, large water tanks, a generator….
It has been an on-going learning curve even for what the guys will need to take with them for their own survival and safety. We’ve been scrambling to put together first aid kits, work gear (steel-toed boots!), easy-to-prepare food for them for the next two weeks (think freeze-dried miso and sardines – yumm) , a GPS system that will help navigate the roads, toilet paper, camping gear… One fortunate thing, perhaps, was that late this afternoon Ian got fussy and I ended up taking him to our doctor. He is a believer, and very concerned about the earthquake. He wrote a bunch of prescriptions for Eric and the team just in case: antibiotics, anti-diarrhea, cold tablets, etc. Really thankful for that. So, what are we missing?
Details have changed throughout the day. A few hours ago we got a call that they may need to go further north from Sendai if the radiation affects continue to worsen. We will probably not know until after they get to Tokyo, the CRASH headquarters, where they will set up base camp. Tomorrow morning our fellow missionary, Erick, will pick up the truck and we will load it with all the supplies we have accumulated. We will gather to pray and send them off. They will use one car to take all the way up to Sendai (it is actually the car that we actually bought nine years ago while living in Sendai, and has been passed down to two other missionaries since), and the truck will leave the load in Tokyo where there are other trucks heading north with supplies.
You have probably heard that many North Americans are leaving the Tokyo area and Japan, as well. The information about radiation concerns has been a bit extreme on both ends, ranging between no problem and extreme danger. We are thankful that our mission and the CRASH Headquarters continue to monitor the situation. Our mission does not feel that it’s necessary at this point to have our staff evacuate from the Tokyo area. We know there are a lot of unknowns, and thus have continued to commit our ways to God and ask for His guidance. The more we watch the news, though, the more we are sure that much more help is needed for the victims of this quake. There is a grave shortage of supplies; tonight we are hearing of many seniors who are dying from the cold because there is not adequate heat or supplies. We can’t help them all, but our hearts are to help as many as possible.
My sister Hannah is thinking about coming to help our family for some of the time that Eric will be gone. If anyone knows of any bargains on airlines or have frequent flier miles you could donate, let us know. We’d appreciate that!
Some ways to pray tomorrow: for the guys as they travel – safety; ability to find enough gas to make it; good fellowship and preparation from God for the times ahead; for those in the disaster zones who are lacking supplies – for God’s care and love on them. For God’s supernatural strength for all of us – we are all very tired and in need of His renewal and patience.
Thanks for praying for us. We are grateful for your concern. It has felt very “right” as we have pursued this course and we sense that we are following God’s path and especially His heart for the helpless. We will keep you posted.