3/27 Earthquake Update03.27.11

Today did not turn out as expected. Yesterday Tim asked me to go with him to Costco to finish up details on the large order of goods to be trucked up to Fukushima (the area near the reactors). These goods will be distributed through surviving churches to very needy people. Since the nuclear crisis, people still left within 30 kilometers of the plants were told to stay indoors, but many don’t have heat and most companies are not shipping things into that area any more. Since we had to go to Costco anyway, I thought that it might be a good chance to become a member and buy a few things to help us if we are going to dig in here for a while. We have a mission prayer meeting at our house on Tuesday, and since one family has a baby, I hoped to buy some bottled water to share since it is generally unavailable and from day to day there are concerns about the level of radioactive elements in the drinking water, particularly for babies.

The whole northern end of the Kanto area must have had the same idea, since it took us 40 minutes to inch down the off ramp towards the road in front of Costco. Tim finally got out and walked since he had a time certain to meet with the trucking company and the Costco marketing agent.  A long time later I managed to find parking at a completely different shopping complex. Costco was a zoo. Sky needed lunch since it was already 1:30, and by the time we bought it and found a place to eat, it was 2:30. I tried to shop, but there was no room to push a cart since all the aisles back from the cash registers were filled with lines of people waiting for check out. These lines went all the way to the very back of the store and didn’t seem to be moving much. I noticed that most of the shoppers either had small children with them, or seemed to be shopping with small children in mind- most carts included bottled water, diapers, etc. Finally Tim and I decided that since the main purpose of our trip was fulfilled- food, clothing, and useful paper products were paid for and loaded on a 4 ton truck which had been sent off- we were better off  heading home even if our own cart was empty.

On the way back, what I had thought was merely bad allergies took a turn for the worse, and I ended up with a terrible cold and low fever. I hoped it would respond to all my home remedies of prayer, strong raw ginger tea, raw green onions and Chinese herbal medicines, but  this morning Tim and I decided that it would be better for everyone if I stayed home in bed and he took my place at the Isesaki worship. Tim reported a really good time of worship and fellowship together.

Today the news is darker than usual. In a funny-if-it-weren’t-so-serious vein, the lack of open and clear communication between Tokyo Power Co., the Japanese government, and the people of Japan has come to a head. Apparently Tokyo Power Co. knew that there were high levels of radiation in the reactors where workers were sent in to repair the power cables, but did not adequately inform the workers or the government of the risks. (…not to mention that the workers’ outfits were inadequate for the level of radiation….) Today it has become almost undeniable that there is a crack in the protective covering around the core of reactor #2 from which very high levels of radiation are being released. Scientists on the news are carefully wording their personal opinion that the current official Japanese rating of this nuclear crisis is not accurate and does not reflect either the level of radiation released to date or the lack of viable plan for containment. I’m not the only one who wishes they had more trustworthy information available.

In the midst of this, Exodus 17 rings in my ears. The Israelites complain to their leader Moses about their legitimate need for water. God meets their needs, but it is obvious that the people haven’t learned to approach God first. Instead their panic pushes them to blaming, anger and doubt in the character of God. Most of my Japanese friends don’t yet know that the God of heaven really cares about them, so I take this passage as directed at me rather than them.  Lord, hear my prayer for the needs of all around. I believe you hear the prayers of the oppressed, of the hungry, of the thirsty, of the lonely and discouraged, and you desire to draw all of us closer to you. Strengthen Japanese Christians in shelters and houses with no heat or food tonight, and help them to believe and see your care for them. Use them as channels of strength, encouragement and blessing to all around them.


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Posted by Andrea Johnson under Uncategorized.

10 Responses to “3/27 Earthquake Update”

  1. I hope you feel better soon… I will be more thankful next time I go shopping!

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    Posted by Kristine on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 5:55 AMReply

  2. Yes, Lord! Hear our prayer!

    Thank you, Andrea, for your faithful reporting. I love the way you draw me in to the situations at hand, and you have given me words and prayers to pass on to others.

    You might be interested in hearing that the plight of the Japanese people has really touched the hearts of children here in Seattle. Kids are making origami cranes to send to the people in shelters, they have held birthday parties (as shown on the news) where the birthday child receives checks and cash for relief agencies in lieu of gifts, and the penny jar at my own school (to benefit Japan through World Vision) is getting fuller every day. A couple of teachers made a beautiful power point presentation that was shown in an assembly to the entire school.

    I hope your cold gets better soon!

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    Posted by Sonja Anderson on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 6:44 AMReply

    • It’s great to hear about all the creative ways people are embracing Japan. A number of artists are working on music to dedicate to the people of Japan also. We all need to express pain and sorrow and hope, and turning it all into prayer as we use our abilities is so beautiful.

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      Posted by Andrea Johnson on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 9:38 AMReply

  3. Andrea — Again I’m amazed at your reporting of experiences, conditions, needs, on & on & on & on. . .

    Thank you for the prayer, which I am forwarding to our church prayer “chain” initiators so that all of our faithful prayer warriors will have a good sense of how to pray.

    I think I’ll be reminded to be patient in line next time I’m at Costco!

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    Posted by Arleen Johnson on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 10:49 AMReply

    • Thanks for reading and passing on to others who might be interested. Writing helps me see things (and myself) more clearly so I am really glad to have this avenue to process all that is going on around and in me.

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      Posted by Andrea Johnson on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 1:22 PMReply

  4. Hi Andrea, sending many prayers off and on! Each letter you send shows me more to be thankful of and more to pray for each of you! We are having turmoils at work here, like a cloud over all of us, ‘tho I know it is NOTHING compared with ALL those suffering there, your words remind me how the Lord cares for ALL kinds of suffering and difficult situations, and that HE wants to work especially thru His people, to reach those who don’t have the hope, strength, and promises we have from Him thru Christ Jesus! I pray too for each of us believers(here, in Japan, and everywhere) to draw NEARER TO HIM, so HE will lead us on down his path with His light shining thru us to all around, for His glory! Healing, blessings, and strength be to you Andrea too I pray!

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    Posted by JulieH on 12/13/09 March 28th, 2011 at 2:37 PMReply

  5. Hi Andrea,
    Just wanted you to know I’m reading everyday and we’re praying for you.

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    Posted by Debbi Larson on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 7:13 AMReply

  6. Andrea–

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful updates. We are praying for you every day.

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    Posted by Norma Wyse on 12/13/09 March 29th, 2011 at 11:02 PMReply

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