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First Texas Baptist team heads to Japan

March 24th, 2011 at 8:59 am

DALLAS – Two veteran Texas Baptist Men volunteers and a Japanese Dallas pastor are set to leave for Japan March 24 in an effort to assist the disaster response effort there and look for places where Texas Baptists can plug into serving there.

This first Texas Baptist team to Japan originally was scheduled to leave March 19, but Texas Baptists disaster response leaders decided to postpone the trip due to the unstable nuclear plants in the disaster area.

“Although there is still some concern about the power plant in northern Japan, we believe there is an urgent need to at least get our team into Tokyo, which is 150 miles from the Fukushima facility,” said Chris Liebrum, coordinator of Texas Baptists disaster response. “In Tokyo, they will be able to meet with the leadership of the Japanese Baptist convention and begin to discover ways that Texas Baptist can support and serve them in the recovery.”

Members of the team are Texas Baptist Men disaster relief veterans John LaNoue and Gary Smith and Yutaka Takarada, pastor of Japanese Baptist Church of North Texas.

The team is the most recent action taken by Texas Baptists in helping victims of the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The convention has sent $25,000 to the Japan Baptist Convention to help with the response effort. Texas Baptist Men has sent $5,000 to help pay for fuel costs. The convention is in the process of sending requested Geiger counters and potassium iodide pills to the Japan Baptist Convention.

Both the convention and Texas Baptist Men regularly are visiting with Japanese Baptist leaders, Baptist World Aid leaders, Southern Baptist leaders working in the region and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship officials.

For updates on the situation, visit To give to Texas Baptists disaster response, visit One hundred percent of donations will support disaster response efforts. For more information about Texas Baptist Men relief efforts, visit

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2 Responses

  1. Chearl Dickerson says:

    How can I get involved? I am in the final stages of my doctoral dissertation, and my mentor and his family lives in Japan. I would certainly like to be part of the relief efforts. Can I help in some way?

    Chearl Dickerson
    LifeCall Volunteer

  2. John Hall John Hall says:

    Ms. Dickerson, let me pass your information along to some folks and see.

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