Staff Posts




Stories from our Missionary Staff

Editor's Note: This is an update from Kent Muhling on March 21, who went to Sendai with two other Asian Access missionaries...

Just wanted to give you a quick update of today’s activities. We left this morning with a car load of supplies, just a token of support, really, and went to visit two churches who are already involved in distributing support.

This used to be a rice field.

The first church is where our colleague Eric Takamoto used to serve when he lived here, and they were so surprised and happy to see him! They have been sending their church members out with supplies to help people in their own communities – exactly the type of thing we want to see the church doing! We left them what they said they needed – diapers, adult "diapers" (what are those things called?), wipes, and baby formula. They were tremendously encouraged by our visit, I think. Now that we’ve made contact we can continue to supply them with materials, and perhaps in the future help with rebuilding and other types of ministry.

On our way to the second church we visited the edge of the disaster area, where the tsunami had pushed furthest inland. No building damage from the earthquake that we could see, but the road and the rice fields were completely full of debris – uprooted trees, broken wood from buildings, cars, a pair of shoes, a computer box, a photo album, etc. Very sad to see, and that was only the edge of the mess. Pictures are below.


This was a farm road between the rice fields.

The second church we visited had been going out to areas where government personnel have not yet reached. One place, they said, was still waist deep in water, there was no drinking water supply and little food. I don’t know if the government has sent people out there already or not, but this church is planning to go out there again next week, and we put them in direct contact with one of the main volunteer relief supply points, so they can hopefully stay supplied with what they need.

In the meantime we gave them all the food and water we had brought – a couple hundred pounds of rice, several hundred packets of soup, a couple crates of fresh carrots, etc. They were very grateful, both for what we gave them, and for the contact to get more relief supplies.

Another view of the damaged rice field.

In the afternoon we waited…and waited…for the overdue truckload of relief that Samaritan’s Purse had flown in from the US. We helped unload the first truckloads, then headed back home. Tomorrow is inventory day, then on Tuesday they will be available for distribution.

Those were the day’s main activities. Tomorrow we leave at 5am to visit a town out near the beach that we heard has not been reached by relief personnel yet. We plan to take some supplies with us in case we find any immediate needs, then take our time on the way back to make contact with any churches we can find out that way. (We’ll check a church directory and make a few key calls to find out who is out there first, of course.)

A picture from the photo album I saw on the roadside.

Well, 5:00AM comes early, so I’ll say goodnight for now. Please do continue to pray for Japan and for all those involved in the rescue and relief effort.

OH, I nearly forgot! Some of the journalists here with us went out in a different direction today, and happened across a rescue in progress. They got awesome footage of rescue workers pulling a grandmother and her grandson out of the wreckage of their home – after NINE days under the wreckage! Amazing. That story may get picked up by BBC and ABC, among others, so if you see it, our new friend Sam, sitting right here with me, got it!

Once again, goodnight!

Love in Christ,

P.S. About the picture from the photo album I saw on the roadside: It looked like it was a child's kindergarten album from several years ago. Our daughter Sophie just had her kindergarten graduation ceremony (a big thing over here), and seeing this among the debris really touched me for some reason.

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