March 26th, 2011 at 1:41 pm
Note: This post is from pastor Yutaka Takarada who is currently in Japan ministering alongside Texas Baptist Men volunteers in the wake of the recent tragedy. Takarada pastors the Japanese Baptist Church of North Texas. To support the ongoing ministry efforts of Texas Baptists, click here.
Dear Brothers and Sisters;
We are grateful for Bro. Steve Vernon and Bro. Chris Liebrum who were at the airport praying for our trip. By being with us at the airport, I felt that our trip was truly supported by the BGCT churches.
We are arrived safely in Japan after taking 10 hours or more sleep on the airline. I have to correct that it was just me because others seemed to have only 4 or 5 hours sleep at the most. At the Japanese customs I talked to an officer, and he told me that very few foreigners coming to Japan after the catastrophe now. This is true not only in Tokyo but in the city of Nagasaki as well, which is located in the far south where no effect of radiation is present. Between the airport and the hotel where we stay there were unusually no traffic jams, which is telling me that their economy is being affected.
The hotel where we are staying is about a 10-minute walk from the convention, so after we checked in at the hotel, we went to the convention office to meet people there. Pastor Kato was on the road to the disaster area with a Japanese pastor from Atlanta who will stay in the area for the next two weeks to research and see what the convention needs to do the next. At the convention office, most of the workers already had gone home, but the director of missions and the director of the Sunday school education program were there. Pastor Noguchi, the director of missions, explained to us the current situation. A lot of food and water is now reaching the shelters, but there are people who are still living in their own homes without electricity and food supplies, and the church members in the disaster area are searching for those people and providing them supplies. In one instance, they are planning to start digging the mud-out of the houses.
Here, the electric company schedules black out hours each day to preserve electricity for future use, such as the coming summer, which is the high power consumption season always. The black-out hours scheduled in the area where our hotel is started around 6:30pm until after 9pm, so we drove to Tokyo to have supper tonight.