Thank you for your continued support, prayers and patience as we look to the Lord for guidance and direction in moving forward in our disaster response in Japan in a manner that strives to be timely, yet in good order. When disasters happen on fields where we have a missionary presence, its very important that the OPC's response to the disaster be guided by our missionaries. They are "on the scene" and know best the culture and practices of the people to whom we hope to minister.
This week we were thankful to receive an official invitation from the OPC Japan Mission to send a 4-5 person team to help them evaluate possible sites for establishing a for the next phase of relief efforts, including housing and storage facilities, and the longer term use of evangelistic outreach that grows out of the relief efforts. They would also like this team to evaluate damage to the church members' homes and church facilities with a view toward drawing up specific proposals for repair or rebuilding.
Knowing the desire, abilities and resources of the church here in the US to help in this time of crisis in Japan, the time in Japan will be ideal for a joint discussion between our missionaries and representatives from the OPC as to how best to utilize the resources we have. There are great needs; responding to that are large hearts who desire to give and to serve. How can one part of the body of Christ serve another that is hurting so badly? How can we show the love of Christ to those who have lost everything? How can we come alongside our brothers and help? Please keep praying for wisdom. Lord-willing, this team will go toward the end of April/beginning of May.
The Japan Disaster Relief Fund is now up to $130,000 raised. The Japan Mission continually expresses their thankfulness for the outpouring of love demonstrated through these gifts.
On Friday another 7.1 earthquake struck Japan. Laurie Lauer reported the following on Saturday morning:
After last night's quake, I have heard this morning that Murray, Cal, and Ogata sensei are OK. I believe that Yoshida sensei is also, although previous damage to the church there appears to have worsened. Electricity came back at Cal's at 7:30 this am. Don't know if Murray has electricity yet. We felt the quake here in Shizuoka so it must have been very unsettling up there at 7.4 mag. Roads and rails were closed last night. 90 people injured at last report. Tsunami was smaller this time. Damage should be assessable now in the daylight.
David and Noriko were scheduled to make a trip up there early this morning to Kessennuma and Ofunato, both hit last night. Roads are still closed, I think. I have called, but have not been able to get through to them. I am hoping they hold off for today.
We appreciate your prayers. Aftershocks have been occurring daily and are very wearing on the people. This quake just adds to the stress. May the comfort of the gospel be spread far and wide, and may the Lord be pleased to stop the quaking.
Thank you for your continued giving and prayers!
Yearning for the wisdom of Solomon,
Disaster Response Coordinator
The Committee on Diaconal Ministries
THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
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