Japan Update

The recent tragic disasters occurring in Japan have many people and nations around the world once again in fearful awe at the destruction that an earthquake can bring. Just 14 months after Haiti's calamitous earthquake, we now sit and wait to hear just how devastating Japans 9.0 earthquake last week was.

In response to the disaster, we have been prayerfully seeking next steps and ways we can help. Right now, the biggest need from Heights Church is prayer. Pray for the Church around Japan to rise to the occasion and be a city on a hill and a light in the present darkness. Pray for the Japanese people to turn to Jesus in their greatest time of need. Pray for God to use the brokenness to reach a people that is so far from Him.

In speaking with Tom and Ginna Sloan, long-time Japanese missionaries and dear friends to Heights Church, we realize just how important our prayers are. Here is an email sent from Tom this morning:

For our area of Japan there is an overall cloud of fear that has settled upon the area from Tokyo up to the northern tip of Honshu.

1. Last night we had another large earthquake that was centered in the same area as the first one and another large one just south of us.

2. The Northeast area has devastation beyond what we know. The news is focusing on the major coastal areas, but there are also many inland villages that are cut off and no one knows the situation. Snow, landslides, etc are keeping people from getting in there.

3. The nuclear power plant situation is a daily concern. Some people are very afraid of the radiation and some are very nonchalant. We are among the nonchalant group.

4. Some missions and some embassies have ordered their people to leave the country. Our mission doesn’t think it is necessary yet. The US embassy doesn’t either.

5. There is limited gasoline and traffic is backed up as people try to buy gas.

6. The stores are running out of some food products, partly due to panic buying and partly due to disruption of the transportation system. As an example, this morning Ginna could only buy a half a cabbage, and many items were limited to just one. Eggs and bread were not available. We went to a MacDonald’s for a breakfast-calendar-check-time and they did not have any muffins for egg McMuffins.

7. There are scheduled rolling blackouts that affect certain areas around us, but as of yet, we have not experienced one. In a few days, Toyota and Honda and some of the larger industries are to start working again which will increase the demand for limited electricity. That impact is yet to be seen.

8. The train system has had two days of serious disruption. It is back to running in some places and some areas are still having troubles.

9. The Japanese economy is facing a serious threat. We will have to wait and see what the overall and long lasting impact will be. Stock market took two days of serious losses and today (Wed.) as of 10:00 am it is up significantly.

10. Because of the loss of electric generating capacity, most of the stores are closing at 6:00 pm. It is very strange to come out of a train station and have the whole area closed, when normally it is alive with people and lights.

11. Many meetings and events have been canceled.

It is my thinking that it will take a week or so for things to settle down to some adjusted realities. There is a huge need for rebuilding lives and cities in the northeast. Until the nuclear power plant situation is under control, there will be that fear to deal with. There will be a reduced amount of electricity for a long time. There will be a huge economic impact. There may be transportation disruptions for some time. But for most people in the Tokyo area, life continues on somewhat normally with limited and small disruptions. We will just have to wait and see how things unfold.

The Lord has always been in control and continues to be in control, so we can trust him.

Wow, what an important Truth to hold on to. The Lord is and has always been in control, so we can trust him.

Thank you for your continued prayers. I will continue to post news of how we as a body of Christ can serve our brothers and sisters in Japan.

Praying with you,



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