Missionaries George and Ruth Young live in a port city northeast of Tokyo, closer to the quake epicenter and more at risk from tsunami. Although Ruth left for the U.S. to welcome a new grandchild just before the quake, George was home when it happened and quickly made his way to a 30 foot (10 meter) hill near their home. By God's grace he is physically well. Meanwhile, Rev. Yoshida, moderator of the Reformed Church of Japan and pastor of the Sendai Reformed Church was very near the epicenter. He writes of God's grace for his congregation in the midst of this disaster in a letter to all members of the Reformed Church of Japan that should soon be posted on our website.
As you have seen on the news travel and communication remain very difficult. The full extent of the damage and final death toll will be some time in coming. Many bodies will never be found. The rebuilding process, even in an economically developed country like Japan, will extend for years.
For 60 years the Christian Reformed Church, through World Missions and Back to God, has been deeply involved in Christian outreach among Japanese people. Our partner there, the Reformed Church of Japan, consists of about 9,000. Many of the congregations are quite small. 50 people give sacrificially and of their lives to witness for Christ in a society where about 1% know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Pray for the Reformed Church of Japan in these days as they reel from their own losses, and seek to communicate the unshakeable love of God in Jesus.
For updates on the CRC's response to the situation, visit www.crcna.org/Japan