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Archive for March, 2011

Earthquake Update 3-23-2011

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Good afternoon everyone!

I have some more news about the earthquake. This time, it is from some of the brethren that went up there, Brother Yokoyama, Brother Watanabe, and Brother Ishibashi. They left Saturday afternoon to deliver some supplies to a couple different places. Here is a report from Brother Yokoyama that will hopefully help to explain this better.

“Reports on the relief efforts in Sendai

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,

Brother Yokoyama

Northern Regional Director, Japan UPC”

Also, here are some pictures that were taken while they were up in Sendai. These photos were NOT taken by the news media. These were taken by our own brethren in the church.

Here is Brother Kon and Brother Yokoyama.

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This what was probably the line waiting for the supermarket to open. I do not know this for sure. This is just my guess.

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Here is Sister Kon and Brother Yokoyama holding what looks like a bag of rice.

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Here you can see Brother Goshi (far left), Brother Watanabe (holding the bags of diapers), and Brother Kon. I am guessing this is probably at the orphanage.

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This was at one of the evacuation centers. You can see that there is not much for warmth and comfort.

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This is at a Family Mart up in the Sendai area. The store is now closed. It looks like there is absolutely nothing left.

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Here are two cars sitting outside a Lawson’s convenient store. These were not old rusted cars before the tsunami came. These type of cars are seen every day here, but not normally in this condition.

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This is looking inside the store. I don’t know if this is the Lawsons or a different store. Wow. This is amazing.

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This is looking down a street. I have never seen anything like this before.

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Here is a car that is caught on a fence pole.

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Those are all the pictures that we have received so far. As soon as we receive more, I will be sure to update you.

Thank you so much for all of the prayers. Everyone really does appreciate them.

We love and miss all y’all!

Rachel

Church 3-20-2011/Earthquake Update

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Bro & Sister Kon & Sendai

 

Good afternoon everyone! First, I have to say something. My dad surprised us last night and came home a day early. First, him and Brother Datsomor were supposed to come home on Monday, but they decided to come home Sunday instead. So we were expecting them Sunday afternoon. Then my dad called and said it would be a little later Sunday because the flight time had changed. Then Saturday night, my mom went out for a while. While she was gone, I got a call on my phone…… from my dad. I was trying to figure out how my dad was calling from Singapore. I thought maybe something had happened and maybe that the phone company was letting people call overseas with the earthquake and everything. So I texted him saying, “How did you just call?” The we called him like 3 times and he didn’t answer. Then I got on Twitter and said, “Somehow my dad just called…from Singapore…where he doesn’t have phone coverage..ummm really weird. Super Odd.” About 30 minutes later, I found out how he had called. Him and Brother Datsomor had gotten an even earlier flight out of Singapore! I felt so stupid . So glad my daddy’s home!! Love you daddy!!! I wanted to show some pictures from church, one from last week, and several from today. After that, then I’ll give you an update on the earthquake news.  This is from last week. I took this picture, but then we ended up just having a big prayer service. It was an awesome service!! But we were praying for everything that has happened in Japan. And some of the questions the Brother Ephriam asked was, if the earthquake had hit Akishima, where the church is, during church, what would have happened to all of us there? Would we have all been ready? If we would have been on the coast where the tsunami hit, what would we have done? Would we have called on the name of Jesus? What would have taken place? Brother Ephraim had Brother Kwasi and Sister Victoria go up there,  and everyone went up after that and joined hands with them. By the time everyone got up there, we had a circle that went back to the third pew and all the way across the church.

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And now for the pictures from today. This is when my dad was speaking at the beginning of the service. We had a joint service with the Japanese congregation today, because Brother Yokoyama was at Sendai with Brother Ishibashi and Brother Watanabe delivering some goods to the church in Sendai, so Brother Kwasi was translating for my dad.

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And here is something else. There was a brother with us today, Brother Ohara, who lives in Fukushima, where the nuclear power plant is. Brother Ohara was in the US going to school there and he has just recently returned and he was getting ready to apply for medical school. His mom and dad are about 20 miles from the power plant. At the beginning, his parents had to stay there because his dad was the principle of a school and he was told that they were going to use his school as an evacuation site. But then when the evacuation area was extended out, his parents told him to get out. Now his dad is working at one of the evacuation sites somewhere. As of today, Brother Ohara is staying with his sister, but he will be going to his aunt’s house. It was so….humbling to be able to be around him, even for just a little while. He apologized to my dad because of the way he was dressed. He told my dad, “This is all I have left. I have nothing else with me. Everything else is at my house.” Anyway, my dad had Brother Ohara get up and testify today. I was almost in tears the whole time. It was so humbling and it made me realize how much we are blessed even with all of this stuff going on. So Brother Ohara testified while Brother Kwasi translated into Japanese.

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And this is during the worship service. Here is my dad literally on his face before God.

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And here I caught Brother Arai making a lap around the sanctuary.

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And here is Brother Arai and Brother Daniel leading the service.

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Here is Brother Perry.

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Here you can see Sister Yokoyama, Sister Igarashi, and Sister Victoria.

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And Sister Yokoyama and Sister Igarashi.

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Here is my dad again.

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This is after Brother Kwasi spoke. Sister Felicia Lotsu translated for Brother Kwasi and for my dad after Brother Kwasi was done speaking.

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And this was after church. Sister Arai come up to me after church, when we were getting ready to leave and asked if I would please get a picture of Brother Ohara. I thought she wanted a picture of her and Brother Arai with Brother Ohara, but they wanted just Brother Ohara. And from Brother Ohara’s reaction, I think he thought the same thing. So I got a picture of Brother Ohara.

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And here is my dad and Brother Ohara.

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And here is little Mack Lotsu. He is so cute!!!

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And as for the earthquake update, as I mentioned earlier, Brother Yokoyama, Brother Ishibashi, and Brother Watanabe went to Sendai with some different things to be delivered to the church there. I found out after writing that, that they also went and delivered some baby things to an orphanage up close to Sendai, if I have my facts straight. You may also be wondering what the picture at the beginning of the blog is of. That is a picture of Brother and Sister Kon along with some pictures of the church members and pictures from some of the damage in Sendai. Here is that picture again.  Brother Arai was kind enough to put this picture together for everyone.  God Bless Brother Arai.

Bro & Sister Kon & Sendai

Here is picture of Brother & Sister Kon.

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We are still doing fine. The power did not go out today or yesterday. For some reason, both yesterday’s and today’s power outages were cancelled. And although some people are leaving on with all the voluntary evacuation, all of the Japanese officials are saying we are still not affected and we will not be affected where we are at, so there is no reason to really leave this particular area.

And once again, if you get to see this, Brother Ohara, I would like to say it was so good to meet you and our prayers will continually be with your family.

Please remember all the people of Japan. This disaster has really rocked the world of the Japanese, and even those that are not Japanese. This has rocked my world. But there were many people who died from this that were not saved and now they will never be saved. But we still have a chance to reach the millions that are still here. Brother Kwasi made a very good statement today. He said, “If we all leave, who will be here to tell the Japanese about Jesus? No one will be here. And if everyone leaves, including the Japanese, who will be here to tell us what is going on? No one will be here.” I totally agree with that. If everyone in the church leaves, because we get scared, no one will be here to reach the lost. That really gets to me. But I am making this promise, and this promise I will keep: as soon as school is over (very soon), I am breaking out the Japanese language book again and I’m going to study this language until I can speak it to the best of my ability. This earthquake/tsunami has made me realize that there isn’t much time left to reach the lost. God has brought us here to reach the lost. How can I reach the people of Japan who don’t know God, if I cannot speak their language? So hopefully by next week, I will start learning (or continue learning) the Japanese language. I want to be able to do what God has called us here to do. That includes learning the language.

Also, we have received several emails asking what people can do to help and what type of things are needed here. It would probably be best to send money. By doing that, it will get here quicker and that way we can also get it quickly to where it needs to go.

There are three ways that you can send money to help. The first is through Compassion Services International (CSI) at http://www.compassionservices.com/.

Also, if you click on this link, http://www.compassionservices.com/newsItem.asp?NID=861, there is an update that was written by Brother Lucas on there. Brother Lucas tells in that why money would be better than the goods themselves.

The second way to donate money would be to send it to our church in Dayton, Ohio, the Apostolic Lighthouse Church. The address for that is:

Apostolic Lighthouse Church

2221 Harshman Rd

Dayton, Ohio

The third way to donate money for the relief effort in Japan would be through All In Him Ministries. If you go to www.allinhimministries.org, and if you look on the lower right side, you will see a donate button. Click on that and follow the instructions to complete.

And the last thing I want to show you all. My mom found these links that we all thought was pretty neat. This first one shows how many earthquake we have had since 9 March. There were two earthquakes on March 9th, and then the major quake on the 11th. As of Saturday night (March 19), we had had 420 earthquakes, I think at least 400 were over a 5.0. This is amazing. Anyway, this link shows where the quakes were and the size of the dot shows the magnitude of the quake. This was updated every half hour but it is very neat. That link is:

http://geofon.gfz-potsdam.de/geofon/alerts/gfz2011ewla/animation_h600.gif

The second link I would like to shares was found on Yahoo! News. This is from an observatory 1,000 meters below ground. This is kind of creepy sounding, but it is also neat. You would just have to listen to it to get the full affect. The link to that is:

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110318/ts_yblog_thelookout/listen-to-japans-massive-quake.

And the last link my mom found shows before and after pictures of six different places. When you get to the link, you will have to click the slider and hold it as you move it across the screen to see the after picture. It really makes me realize how much I am blessed. Here is the link for that:

http://www.whiotv.com/japan-earthquake/27230776/detail.html.

Okay, that is all for now. Please continue praying for Japan. Japan needs the prayers of every person right now. We need to get a hold of God for this country.

Rachel

Helpful Scriptures

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Hello again!

Real quick, I just wanted to share some scriptures that have really helped me over the past several days with everything going on. I haven’t really read these scriptures and I haven’t actually sat down to memorize these scriptures, they are just scriptures that have been spoken of so many times that you just know what they are. And the majority of them, when I get scared the most, I can’t remember the whole verse, just parts of it. But the parts that I remember, those are what help me. These are not only for us though. These are for the thousands of people who are homeless and who are going through the worst times of their lives right now. These are for everyone!!!

The first verse, or verses, that I will show you are found in Psalm 62. Verses 1-2 say, “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not greatly be moved“. Verses 6-8 of this same chapter say, “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out you heart before him: God is a refuge for us.

The first part of Psalm 5:11 says this: “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice…”

The verse that came to me over and over again was Psalm 9:9: “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”I have not read that verse in a very long time. I didn’t even know if I had the wording right. But I did know the jist of the verse: whenever we are in trouble, God is there for us as a refuge. Verse 10 of that verse, as I am looking at it now, says, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” God is always with us, no matter what.

Some of these are even still coming to me now, even thought we are more comfortable about it. But this verse Psalm 18:2 came to me last night when we were all worked up: “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust: my buckler, and the horn of my salvation and my strong tower.”

This was also a major scripture for me as well. Psalm 20:7-8: “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen , and stand upright.” Those horses and chariots were destroyed just as much as some of these boats and cars were destroyed. But those who remembered the name of the Lord our God, we have risen and stand upright. Every member of every church here is safe. God protected everyone and He will continue to protect us.

The whole chapter of Psalm 27 is good. Verses 1 and 5 stand out to me as I was just reading that chapter. 1 says “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD os the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Verse 5 says this “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”

As I just read verse 14 the same chapter the second part of the verse stands out to me: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait. I say, on the LORD.”  And Psalm 29:11 says, “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”

Like I said, some of these are just now coming to me. I have so many scriptures highlighted in Psalms that as I’m reading some of it, more scriptures are coming to me.

Psalm 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

This is the verse that help my mom is Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” She felt God telling her, while she was praying, “Be still and know that I am God.”

That is all the scriptures that I will put on here for now. Just know, whenever something bad comes along, nothing is greater that God, not even radioactive material!!

There is a song we sing here, I think it is called “Still”, but it mentions something about “when the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm. I will be still and know you are God.” The ocean has risen and caused a lot of damage, but we can still soar with God above the storm, only if we are still and know that He is God.

All the scriptures on here have helped me so much and we do not even have it bad here. We are still safe and sound in our home and we all have our health. We have so much to be thankful for. I thank God for everything He has done for us with keeping us safe and all that.

Please continue to remember Japan. And pray that the radiation continues to go out to the sea.

Love and miss all y’all

Rachel

Earthquake Update March 16th 2011

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Good evening everyone

I just wanted to update y’all on what we know so far about the earthquake, but different than what all the news sites are saying.

As of last night, we found out through an email from Brother Yokoyama that everyone from both the Sendai and the Ibaraki churches have been accounted for! Praise God!! Brother Yokoyama said that one of the brother’s was able to get a hold of everyone in the Ibaraki church. The Ibaraki church members have all been able to return home. They now have electricity but they do not have running water. As for the Sendai church, I think they are still in a public facility. The last I heard, they are not able to return home. We do not know if this is permanent or not. Wherever they are at, they do not have enough water, or there is not running water, something like that, so no one has been able to wash their face, take a shower, or brush their teeth.

Also, someone has had contact with a brother in Fukushima, where the nuclear power plants are. This brother has been evacuated, along with many others, to an elementary school that is 20 kilometers from the power plant. The only problems they have are that they don’t have enough water, food, or heat. For each meal, they are only allowed 1 rice ball.. There are mostly elderly people and babies/small children in that particular school. Please pray for all of these people. I don’t remember how many are there for sure, but there are a lot there. They were also saying that it gets unbearably cold at night in the school where they are at right now because they are further up north. The things they need most are food, water, and heat.

Also, as of 5 hours ago, was the beginning of our first blackout. It was supposed to last 4 hours but thankfully it only lasted about 2 hours. We went upstairs and talked a bit about everything going on and then we played a game of Phase 10. We all had blankets wrapped around us because it was getting a little cold in the house. Then we remembered that there are some who have had no heat (except the sun during the day) for almost a week now. We are very blessed to only be without power for 2 hours, or even 4. No matter what, we are blessed.

I don’t know of anything else to tell you all that you have not seen on the news. 127 million people need God. Please remember to pray for the whole country of Japan: all the lost people, the families of the people who died, the people who are without homes and jobs, the people who just got their lives turned upside down. They need our prayers.

In the closing of this entry, I would like to share something. From this point out, I’m going to start looking at us being here like this: I am in an army, called the Army of God, and my Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ, has stationed us at a particular spot and we are expected to stay there until He tells us otherwise. When I get my orders to move, I’ll move. Until then, if I leave, I will then be considered AWOL, absent without leave. If, in a secular military, someone goes AWOL, they get punished with whatever the Commander wishes. I do no want to know what my Commander will choose. I will not leave and I will serve my country and my people just as proudly as the soldier that is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are fighting a battle just as they are. They just see what they are fighting with their natural eyes and I cannot see with my natural eyes who I am fighting. Yes, soldiers get scared, but they also stand their ground. I’ll stand my ground and fight at my post until I get my orders elsewhere, even if we do get a little scared. Who knows, maybe we are here to recruit soldiers. Maybe we are here to help soldiers who have been hit and who are hurt. I do not know and I probably will never know. I just know that there is a country called Japan that needs to be fought for and we are going to run this race and we will fight the good fight. Soldiers don’t run in the physical sense and we won’t run either. I am in this army, not because someone made me, but because I want to be in this army and I have chosen to be in this army. From now on, whenever something comes my way, the first words will be “Sir, yes sir!” You know, Jonah was also in the army of God. I know I have written on here about Jonah before but when Jonah ran, things took a turn for the worse everywhere he went. And Job, also in God’s army, stayed, even when the going got tough, and look what God did for him. God gave him a double blessing. There are many others but I won’t take the time to write about all of them. I think two should let you all understand how we feel.

This analogy might come just from being the daughter of a military man, but to me, it seems to fit well enough. I hope you can see what I mean by this.

We love and miss all y’all. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. On behalf  of all of the churches and their members, we thank you and we appreciate it very much.

Earthquake Update II

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

I have just found out several more things.

According to Kyodo News there at least 427 are dead and 805 missing. I do not know if that includes the 80,000 that were reported earlier to be missing, but it is still a lot no matter which number it is.  Another recent article on Kyodo News says that there are more than 1,200 dead or unaccounted for in “megaquake”.

Also, www.whiotv.com said the 8.9 earthquake that hit last night was detected in Dayton, Ohio at Wright State University. From what I understand, at Wright State is where the only seismometer in that area and although the quake could not be felt, the seismometer, or something in it, is sensitive enough that it picked up the vibration. Wow.

Also, just reading from Kyodo News, that “radiation is high in and close to the Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima’s No. 1 nuclear power plant” and in the end, in a few words, Japan has declared a nuclear emergency, which is the first ever nuclear emergency. The police, or government, is asking that around the No. 1 plant, they are asking people to evacuate within a 10 kilometer radius. Around the No. 2 plant, they are asking people to evacuate within a

And is is believed that more than 1,000 people have lost their lives. We need to remember the families of these people.

The number of fires that have broken out in quake-affected areas has reached a total of 200.

Earlier today, my mom read an email from Brother Yokoyama who had spoken to Brother Kon’s daughter who said that Brother Kon and everyone is safe. They were evacuate to a nearby school, but they cannot return to their homes due to danger. Also, there are after shocks that have been going on constantly since last night. But praise God they are all safe!!

Please continue to uphold Sendai, Ibaraki, and all of the other affected area, in your prayers. The news is saying that there are constantly things happening to the affected areas.

On the lighter side, I heard earlier that last night after the quake, Twitter somehow counted, or something, that 1,000 tweets per minute were coming from the Tokyo area. But since phone lines were down, and people could still get on the internet, they used Twitter instead of texting or calls. Wow.

Thank you again  for your prayers.

(P.S. This entry was written about 2 something the afternoon. More information will be out by the time this is posted.)

Update on Earthquake

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Good morning everyone.

I just wanted to update everyone on everything that is going on with the earthquake.  As you can imagine, we are getting varying reports just like most of you are.  So some of this information may change frequently until they have had time to accurately report everything.

So far, according to some news sites, up to 88,000 people may be missing, at least 1,000 are dead, over 4 million are without power. In the city of Sendai, the city that was hit the hardest, we have heard nothing from anyone there, only that 300 bodies were found, but those were all unidentified and that was as 30 minutes ago. So please remember them in your prayers.

I also have a few more pictures from the hurricane. Please take note that these were not taken near us. These were taken closer downtown and nearer to Sendai and Ibaraki. So here are the pictures.

I don’t know where this was but one eye witness said that planes and vehicles were being tossed about like plastic toys.

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This is the initial tidal wave coming in from the Sendai area.

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This is also of the tidal wave coming in. It looks horrible.

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Something I just heard: this is the biggest earthquake in magnitude to ever hit Japan. Also, there have been at least 124 aftershocks of a significant magitude that has struck the main island of Honshu.   That is the island we live on.  These 124 quakes were only after the original 8.9 quake that hit last night. Also, the Ibaraki Airport was shaken quite violently, with parts of the ceiling falling in. Also, there were about 13,000 people, if I remember right, stuck in Narita airport and about 10,000 stuck in Haneda airport. My dad and Brother Datsomor are supposed to leave Sunday morning (tomorrow morning) to go to Singapore for the Mannafest conference. They are supposed to leave from Narita airport and my grandma saw that Narita is closed indefinitely, according to some information.

I have also just seen that a blaze was reported at a nuclear plant in Miyagi.

Here is the oil refinery that, when I last heard, was still on fire.

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And here you can see a whirlpool that was created from the earthquake. I don’t know if you can see it or not but there is a ship that is caught in that whirlpool and it cannot get out. It was carried out last night during the initial wave and has been there ever since.

whirlpool in pacific

Here is the Sendai airport getting flooded. You can see where the water is coming up the runway and going through the parking lot.

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This is in Oarai, Ibaraki. There are three ships here that were thrown into each other.

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Here you can see many of the buildings that were under water, and several of them on fire.

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I don’t know where these are, but the majority of these places are also under water.

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These people must be devastated.

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Another place under water.

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I think this is in Natori. You can see something burning and the majority of the place under water.

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And here you can see the wave coming in over some pieces of farmland.

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That is all I have for now. All that I ask is that everyone will lift up a prayer for Japan right now. Actually, I was thinking yesterday, while reading the news, about when Brother Stoneking said back in December at DCD that something was soon coming to Japan that would bring Japan to its knees. What triggered that thought was that one of the videos said that depending on how bad it got, Japan could be falling on her knees. And with everything that I have been reading and seeing, I think that it might just possibly be happening. But really, 128 million people in Japan and some reports are saying up to 80,000 are missing. That is 1/16 of Japan’s total population. I know 1/16 is a small number, but it is still a lot of people. Please remember Japan.  Japan, especially Sendai and that whole coast of Japan. Please also remember Hawaii, California, Oregon, Alaska, the South American countries, Russia, New Zealand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and every where else that has been/will be affected by this. And pray that we will hear from Brother Kon or someone else from Sendai very soon and well as from Ibaraki.

On behalf of everyone here in all the churches, I want to say thank you for your prayers and they are appreciated very much.

Rachel

Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Japan

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Good afternoon!

Just to let everyone know, in case you all have seen/heard the news, there has been an earthquake that has hit Japan. If I remember correctly, the actual earthquake hit in Sendai, or close by there. On the US Richter Scale, it was said to be 8.9; on the Japanese Scale it was said to be a 7.9. For more about that, you can visit http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/11/massive-7-magnitude-earthquake-strikes-japan/ for more info about that.

As for us, my mom and dad and I were in the car driving home from the base when all of a sudden, I felt the car shaking. I thought maybe someone was bumping into our car. I went to look back, at the same time that my dad also looked into his side mirror. Then he looked back at me and said, “Rachel, are you moving around shaking the car?” I was like “Ummm no…” My mom said, “Umm I think this is an earthquake.” We looked up and my dad said, “Look at the power lines! And at the stop lights!” We all looked up and everything was shaking. And the way the car was rocking back and forth, it was like we were on a wave. My mom and dad looked at each other and my mom said, “Rebekah is probably scared.” So she called Rebekah and Rebekah was scared because she wasn’t for sure what was going on at first. Rebekah had been sitting on the couch shaking her foot when she noticed that the whole couch was shaking. Then she noticed that the light fixtures were shaking. Then she went and looked out the front door (very cautiously) to see if anyone was leaving. No one was out so she just went back into the house.

Just a little bit later, we got back to the house (driving as the roads were shaking) and we all went into the house. Then we went to Aeon mall for a little bit. As we were pulling out, Kamata-san came out out and as we were talking to him, the car started shaking again. We looked over and saw Kamata-san’s car shaking as well. Then he told us to drive safely to and from Aeon. At Aeon,  the elevators were shut off as well as the escalators. So we walked up the non-moving escalators (which is kind of funny). We saw little food things that had tipped over. Most of the restaurants there had shut down, we are guessing because they had to use gas lines for cooking food and everything. So we just decided to get some donuts instead!! When we got home, almost three hours later after we felt the initial hit, we had two more after-shocks. My dad saw on the Japan Times Online that there may be aftershocks for the next month. One of the news websites said that up to 20 countries have been issued tsunami warnings. I don’t know what all countries were in that list but I do know that Hawaii and the rest of the Southern Coast of the US was in that list.

Please also pray. As I write this, we have not heard from anyone in the church in Sendai or Ibaraki, both of which were effected or are close to the effected areas. Also, since all of the phone lines are down, Brother Datsomor and his family have not heard from Sister Datsomor. I tweeted Dennis and Lynda earlier and Dennis told me that she may be stranded since a lot of trains are down right now. Please pray that everyone is safe.

Here are some pictures that were found online (Yahoo! News) during and after the earthquake.

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This next picture shows where the epicenter is (the red spot). Sendai is where most of the damage was. Ibaraki was also hit hard. Phone lines are down as far down as Okinawa, which is south of Tokyo.

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Another piece of information: of all of the aftershocks felt in Japan, 13 of them were over a 6.0 magnitude.

More pictures now.

This is in the Odaibai area. Those are not clouds above the building. That is smoke rising from the building.

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I don’t know exactly where this was either, but my guess is that the person in the background may be homeless. Please don’t quote me on that because I am not for sure.

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I don’t know exactly where this is either. I’m so sorry I don’t know these things!!

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Another picture of the tsunami coming into Japan.

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This may be the same place as in the previous picture. I don’t know.

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And here are the medics out and about helping.

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Here you can also see some of the people trying to help.

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More interesting peices of information: this earthquake is 100 times stronger than the earthquake that hit Kobe several years ago. Also, one Japan site said that this is the 3rd strongest earthquake to ever hit Japan. And I just heard that any flights to Tokyo have been diverted to Anchorage, Alaska, we are guessing probably due to power outages and all that other stuff.

And more pictures.

This s the Sendai airport.

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From the looks of this slide in this picture, I’m guessing this is next to a water park. Now they have A LOT of water to play in…Okay okay, I’m just trying to lighten the mood a bit. Sorry. By the way, this is in the Fukushima Prefecture

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Here you can see people after they were probably evacuated from wherever they were at.

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Here you can see may cars that are either fully or partially submerged.

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This shows some of the smoke seen from building that were/are on fire in the downtown area.

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Here is a crack in the ground caused from today’s earthquake. I have no idea where this is but my guess is that it is up north somewhere, probably near to Sendai or Ibaraki.

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Here you can see some debris falling in on a couple. This may be in a bookstore from the looks on what is on the table.

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I think this is the oil refinery that was on fire. This oil refinery is still burning (at 9:00 pm Friday) and it has been burning since 3:00 pm, when the earthquake struck. They have not been able to put the fire out, or even get close to it, because the fire is so hot.

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Here you can see some of the waves coming up to the road. People were pulled over with the earthquake. It looks like that ship might be getting ready to be tossed into the side of the road.

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Here, in this picture, you can see, again, where the epicenter was (where the red “x” is). Where the red line is, that is where the major tsunami’s a located and the height is 3 meters or more. The orange line is a regular tsunami where waves are about 2 meters and yellow lines are where tsunami’s estimated to be about 0.5 meters were. We are too far inland though to get any of that. The highest wave was about 10 meters.

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Here you can easily see the wave coming in. All the dark it the water (it was mixed with a lot of mud) . There are whole houses, vehicles, and even ships coming in.

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You can see more houses floating while some are on fire.

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Another interesting fact: The country of Beijing felt the earthquake…1500 miles away.

I just heard from the live feed from Foxnews that 61 people have been confirmed dead and those are only confirmed. There are many more missing. Also, there was a ship that was carried away in the tsunami which was carrying 100 people. In the Sendai airport, there are about 1100 people stranded. Phone lines, landlines and cell phones, are down. Several areas are without electricity. As of right now, only one train line is running and that only started about 16 minutes ago. There have been things that I have read over the last 5 hours that have said that this is the biggest earthquake that has hit Japan in 140 years and it may be the most expensive earthquake ever. My mom said, “Doesn’t that make you feel special? Maybe it will take another 140 years to get this bad again.”

Anyway’s, please keep the country of Japan, as well as all of the other countries that will be hit with these tsunami’s, in your prayers. Maybe God will use this to bring people to Him. Who know’s? I will try my very best to keep everyone updated. I will try to do another blog entry as soon as possible. This is all I know for now. Please continue praying. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.