We're still shaking in Tokyo, both from our nerves and the aftershocks. It's been nearly 8 hours since the big quake here.
The phones are finally working again and we have heard from Justen. He is stuck in a monster traffic jam in his teacher's car. Unfortunately for him school is still in session, but he is safe and on his way back home. It may still take several hours.
At 8.9, this was the LARGEST quake in recorded history for Japan. You may have seen some of the incredible footage of the tsunamis (SEE VIDEO) that have swept through Sendai. I am afraid that many people have lost their families, homes or lives. Boats of people have also capsized. It is now night and quite cold here. My heart is heavy with grief for those affected tragically.
Kaori's family (from up north) and here in Tokyo are all safe. We have been in touch with almost all our Denen Grace church plant family and they are also okay. One, however, had a close call when part of the parking garage at the warehouse club, Costco, collapsed nearby her. We are anxiously waiting to hear from churches in our association that are very near the epicenter of the quake.
Millions are without power. Trains are not in operation. Many people are walking on foot back home from Tokyo. It is quite a sight to see.
On a note of sad irony, the multi-million yen hi-tech system that was supposed to ring cell phones throughout Japan to warn of an imminent severe earthquake has just rung our cell phone...several hours too late. Thankfully, other technology is working and we are very thankful for the fiber optic lines that let us communicate with you by email.
Things are still shaking as I write this email. This experience will remain in the Japanese consciousness and memory for some time. Pray that it brings them seek out God and know the Source of true peace.
...Justen will return safely from school (ANSWERED!)
...that the loss of life will not be great (WAITING MORE NEWS)
...that people will be rescued safely out of the disaster this has caused up north (WAITING & WATCHING)
...that Japanese people will call upon the name of the Lord who will comfort in this tragedy (PRAY HARD!)