One of the strange dichotomies about after-earthquake life is that there are statistics about an increase in suicides, and an increase in engagements. Tohoku has a higher rate of suicide anyway, and March is the time with the most suicides in the years. The tsunami and earthquake are already paying a toll on the suicide rates.
But there has also been a rise in the purchases of engagement rings and couples getting engaged. Men who couldn’t commit are ready to walk down the aisle! For a nation with a sharply declining birth rate and aging singles, this is interesting. Both of these statistics coincide with parallel increases following the Kobe earthquake fifteen years ago.
We are excited as Eric is making plans to go back up to Tohoku that our prayer for Japanese friends from our community to accompany him is going to happen! George and Aiko, newer believers from our community group, are going up with Eric (and possibly their high school son), as well as our good friend Yasko. I’m so excited about this team! We are renting a van for them to drive up; Peter is going the day before but he and Eric will go on Thursday to Costco to buy as many supplies as possible. Eric has a dream to work with the team to host a BBQ for up to a thousand people from the large apartment buildings where they have been delivering aid. They are hoping to get the community members to partner with them to clear out some of the parks in the area and then barbeque together. Peter is hoping to work with stores in the community for local purchases and distribution. We are praying about all that God has in store for this next trip, and for those who are up there ministering now in various parts of Tohoku. Our good friend Dee this week is up in one of the evacuation centers in Fukushima with a team ministering to the people there. I love how the body of Christ is at work!