Dear West Tokyo Union Church members and friends;
This is indeed a crisis as so many are affected by the quake and tsunami. Two days into Lent and we begin with an earthquake. This has been indeed a disaster for Japan. I have been busy since yesterday responding to emails from former WTUC members asking if we are alright,from churches, mission boards related to NCCJ, and others as well as trying to find out about the missionaries I know throughout Japan. So far, thank God, all are safe. A UCC missionary in Sendai and former ASIJ graduate, Re. Jeffrey Mensendiek, is fine but his housing people at the Sendai Christian Center who are not able to return to their home. I talked to Jonathan McCurley a few times at Asian Rural Institute in Tochigi-ken and he said al the ARI buildings have been badly damaged, only a few buildings have any electricity or water so half the staff and volunteers have evacuated. There is great concern at ARI abut the leaking radiation at Fukushima Power Plant 100 kilometers away. My husband, Toshi, was in Hong Kong for a conference since lats week and is due back today but sent an email that all planes have been delayed. He was scheduled to arrive in the late afternoon but may make it back at midnight (or may not). So this is a challenge for many and a time to not only pray but act.
NCCJ ( we are a member church) has set up an emergency relief fund to help the people in the hardest hit areas. ARI ( one of our church’s outreach projects) will need funds for repairs. So tomorrow at church WTUC will have a basket on the table to collect an emergency “Love and Care Offering” for victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
We begin Lent in prayer and we continue in prayer.
In prayer from your pastor Claudia