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Great East Japan Earthquake, Update 5—Lauers and Coulbournes

03/15/2011

[Note: Links to other "Great East Japan Earthquake Updates" may be found here.]

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 3:30 p.m. EDT

Earlier today, Woody Lauer reported (from Numazu):

Woody and Laurie Lauer
Woody and Laurie Lauer

I just bought cell phones for Murray and Cal; getting in touch with them has been quite difficult. Luke Cummings is planning to drive a truck from Tokyo to Sendai tomorrow, so Laurie and I will drive the phones to him tonight, and give him some diaconal funds to use for buying supplies for the future for Cal and Murray to use or distribute as they see fit.

And within the past couple of hours, Woody followed up with:

We just got back at about 2 am from the trip to Tokyo. Why? While we were away and our 13 and 16 year old boys were minding the church/manse, an earthquake of 6.4 struck (10:30 pm), centered two towns over from Numazu, in Fujinomiya. (Our son Jonathan, 18, was at a retreat for university students below Nagoya). There is no internal evidence of structural damage, though of course our shelves did dump enough contents to make a mess. Thankfully, our kids had labored all afternoon to pack away breakables, especially the valuable ones. We will have to wait for dawn to examine the outside of the building for damage.

As is routine after a medium or large earthquake, the expressway was closed, forcing us and all of the other night time traffic from the major artery between Tokyo and Nagoya onto a 2-lane highway on which one can in theory travel 35 mph. Last night it was stop and go for much of the way. At any rate, we are deeply thankful that the Lord took care of us and our brood. ...

One other report that gave great joy to our hearts: Mr. Omizu, whom I baptized about a year after arriving here, is native to Iwate prefecture, just above Miyagi. His roots are in a small seaside town that was pretty well wiped out, we have heard. We had been joining him in praying for his older sister (60) and her husband who lived on the family homestead. As the days had passed and he had heard nothing, he was obviously suffering, but continued to resort to prayer. He called me before we left for Tokyo to tell me that his sister had called from a shelter; they made it out in time!!! PTL

Last night, we also heard from Craig Coulbourne (in Urayasu):

We continue to be OK. We don't have water at the moment (expected to be restored by Thursday) and there are planned electrical outages to conserve energy, but all of that seems relatively minor compared to what people in other parts of the country have suffered. Please continue to pray for opportunities to build relationships with our neighbors in the wake of all that has happened.

We were excited to see three non-Christian husbands of church members at Sunday morning worship at Makuhari Church. One said that he came to worship because he felt that perhaps God was saying something to Japan and because he wanted to pray for those who suffering so much from the earthquake and the tsunami. That's exactly the kind of response we are hoping to see. Please pray that God would open the hearts of many Japanese through these difficult circumstances, and that it would be more than a passing openness that fades when the crisis has passed.

The missionary team in Chiba was able to deliver a truckload of supplies to one of the hard-hit areas. They are working in cooperation wTsunami in Japanith a church in that area so that the relief is clearly being given in the name of Christ. They hope to make multiple runs to this location, and other Christian groups throughout Japan are seeking to show Christ's love through relief. Pray that such opportunities would speak clearly of God's existence and His love and that the Japanese would have ears to hear.

Please continue to pray for the missionaries laboring in Japan, especially that it would please our Lord to open the hearts of many to the saving grace of Christ.

[Note: Links to other "Great East Japan Earthquake Updates" may be found here.]

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