Severe Earthquake Hits Japan

March 17, 2022

From Laurie Lauer:

We are thankful for God’s mercy to us and to all those whom we know as no one was seriously injured.  

This quake was very long, and the damage was equal to, some say worse than, last year’s February quake.  As you know, the proximity to the epicenter as well as the depth of the quake itself determines (along with God’s smiling providence) the amount of destruction to any given area.  For us, on the Japanese quake scale, this was a 6 plus out of 7 which is more descriptive than 7.3 on the Richter scale.  The tsunami warning which required evacuation of all coastal areas in Miyagi including our town lasted until 5 AM.  The first wave was small, but subsequent waves and aftershocks add to the force of tsunami; therefore precaution is warranted.  Following that the clean-up of breakage, furniture, etc. within the homes began.  Cracked walls, water line breaks, and roof damage will need to be addressed.  Frequent aftershocks leave everyone on notice that a larger quake may be a possibility in the next few days as was the case 11 years ago.  Some people in our town were without water yesterday.  Today, they are repairing those lines.

We were thankful to be able to help an elderly man who can barely walk along with his wife and dog evacuate to high ground as the sirens were blaring, and everyone was fleeing.  Yesterday, we worked in the morning visiting neighbors to assess the need for help.  Woody was able to do some repair in the home of an elderly friend whose husband is incapacitated.  In the afternoon, we helped an elderly widow secure plastic sheeting over a hole in her “sun room” which was created by heavy, fallen and broken clay roof tiles.  We encouraged her to open a second route of egress in case of emergency since many more roof tiles make the front exit of the home dangerous.  Following this, we began the work on cleaning up breakage and damage at Nozomi.  Likely, this will take us several days as we have just the three of us to work on it (Woody, Sara, and I).  We were thankful that our granddaughter Anna was able to clean up our own kitchen. We plan to tackle our home next week.  In the meantime, we have had to cancel our evangelistic Friends’ Lunch yesterday and the cafe today due to the condition of the building.  We hope to have it usable for English classes Saturday and worship on Sunday.

Our prayer request is that the Lord would give us wisdom for use of our time and energy, and that He would lead us to those neighbors who need our help and whom he is calling to Christ.  We pray for opportunities to share Christ in Word and deed.  We would also ask prayer for strength to persevere in these tasks and that we would not be overcome with exhaustion.  We are especially aware that our circumstances cannot be in any way compared to those who are suffering in Ukraine and under persecution for the sake of Jesus.  Even as we visit neighbors, people here are very concerned for Ukraine.  We thank you for your prayers and for thinking of us.  We thank God for this earthquake–for the fresh reminder to us all in a most vivid way that God Almighty reigns and that Jesus is on his throne. 


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