Praise the Lord!
It was by the grace of God, your prayers and support that we made it on this trip to Sendai for the relief efforts. Special thanks go to CSI, UPC Gulf State, who have committed funds promptly and UPCI Foreign Missions, who coordinated to set things in quick motion.
After the earthquake, out of fear and anxiety people bought supplies excessively and they became very limited and short in Tokyo. Living in Osaka, Brother Watanabe offered to purchase the supplies there and come to Tokyo to join with us to our trip, which he did.
God made a way for us to get an Emergency Vehicle Status granted from the Police and this enabled us to be exempt from tolls and drive all the way on express way to Sendai, while regular vehicles are very limited on express way and can go only so far. Another benefit was due to gas shortage, most gas stations are closed, however because of the Emergency Vehicle Status we were treated very well and even at the closed gas station, they provided the fuel when they see the special permit.
After driving about 10 hours and arriving in Sendai, we visited Brother Kon's home, pastor of Sendai Church. They spent 8 days in the evacuation center with very little food in freezing temperatures. They were obviously exhausted, but welcomed us so warmly with full of joy.
The next morning, we took variety of supplies to Kons' and other church members' home. They were very grateful and overwhelmed with the kindness shown by God's people.
We could have a service in the leader's home. The church people were so touched when Brother Yokoyama talked about how Christians all over the world care and are praying for them including CSI, UPC Gulf State, and Japanese churches to name a few.
Thanks to the quick decision and action by CSI and UPC Gulf State, we were able to provide packs of rice, bread, noodles, kerosene, portable gas range, baby milk, diapers, gloves, disposable body warmer, paper plates and cups, wet paper towel, rubber boots, rain coats etc. We donated some of these items to an Orphanage which has thirty babies to take care of, a Nursery and Evacuation center. They all expressed heartfelt appreciation for our donations.
I was shocked to see the evacuation center where Kon's were staying. Some people were sitting and sleeping on the thin plastic sheets and others on thin Tatami sheet. No wonder Sister Kon and Brother Kon's daughter expressed that it was unbearably cold at night. There was no privacy and very limited food, however people were so patient and no complaints were heard. People in the North East area are known for their patience.
We witnessed that as they were waiting very patiently and quietly in long lines, hours before supermarkets would open.
It was so shocking to go and see the devastation of seaside area in Sendai. TSUNAMI brought disasters and turned towns into the ruins. We were literally astonished by the power of water since what we saw was the once the lively, populated town which was reduced to rubble. Many people were left without houses, jobs, and families.
They need healing, physically and emotionally. They need to experience the Love of God.
Your continued prayers are greatly needed and appreciated for people affected by this earthquake and TSUNAMI.
With sincere appreciation,
Northern Regional Director, Japan UPC