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 in Christ;
We all slept well, and everyone was ready to walk through this new day. The sky was blue and the sun was up, but it was so cold and windy today that we needed our jackets. In the cold weather like this, our presence gathered cheers of hotel receptionists and hotel guests in the lobby. We were in the center of a cheerful atmosphere created at the lobby this morning. I am sure they sensed something different from us.
I forgot to tell you about the assistant at the rent-a-car office yesterday. She told me we were so different from other customers because we were such gentlemen that we wouldn’t mind waiting for her to finish with another customer before she led us to our van. Small things like this made things different and created warm relationship with others. Love is in action.
This afternoon, we found out about a meeting they were about to hold at the Tokyo Baptist Church. So we decided to observe the meeting. Japan Baptists were getting ready to take supplies to Sendai on Monday with a pair of two-ton trucks and a van. They were discussing how and where they should bring the supplies to because they don’t know how safe they will be from radiation.
Tonight I dropped the group off at the hotel and went to the convention office to park the van. It was after 9 p.m. and Pastor Kato was in the office. He just returned from Sendai. I had a chance to talk with him in his office for about an hour. In the meeting, he asked me if the BGCT can provide six more Geiger counters for each church standing in the vicinity of the nuclear plant. He said some members of those churches evacuated to the convention office and are living in their guest rooms. But other pastors remained at their churches and are fearful of how much radiation they are receiving daily. Pastor Kato said that he would like to provide a Geiger counter to each pastor in the area to give them assurance that they are safe. So can I make a request of 6 more Geiger counters to ship to the convention office as soon as possible?
I mentioned to Pastor Kato that we at the BGCT and TBM are totally behind them up now and for many years to come. I also told him that Steve and Chris and other committee members firmly stood up in the meeting to say that we will commit our relief effort not though other entities but through the Japan Baptist Convention. He bowed deeply to the floor thanking me for your commitment. He said that there are many Christian groups doing relief efforts such as IMB and BGR but most of them are coming to them for correct information about the effected area.
At the end we prayed together for those victims and volunteers and churches.
Now it is almost the end of the day, and I say to you that this is our second day in Japan.
In His wonderful name,