This was taken from our team leader’s blog. This is an update of how our team in currently involved in relief efforts.
Today we jumped in with both feet, knowing the pool had many uncertainties, many unknowns. As we have been watching on TV the unfolding of the empty shelves in the Tokyo area and long lines for daily basics, we realized that we must act while the Nagoya area is still receiving abundant supplies. So earlier today we were able to rent a 4-ton truck for three days, and have begun working with our Central Presbytery churches and friends to gather supplies to send to the quake area.
But as we’ve been fanning out across the area this evening, starting to shop for supplies, we are finding that the situation is changing so quickly…no water to be found, no instant food, very few canned goods…there is a sense of mounting fear. My new friend Ruthanne and I went to a large grocery store tonight, and managed to spend about $1000 on soy milk, canned corn, canned tuna and bottles of tea. We gathered quite a crowd as we worked with a store clerk to load up 400 cartons of soy milk. An elderly man asked me if we were taking it up North. I said yes, not us personally, but our friends. He was surprised, and asked, “Can you get through?” I answered , “Yes, we’ve found a way.” “Oh, that’s wonderful…thank you.”
It remains to be seen if we can gather enough tomorrow to fill the 4-ton truck. A friend called tonight after he heard we’d rented a 4-ton, concerned because the brake system on that size truck is different than a smaller truck, and difficult to drive. We haven’t found a single fuel can, something we must have filled with at least enough fuel to get there and back. There are many unknowns…and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But the choice seems clear: give in to the fear of the unknown and do nothing, or trust God and move forward as well as we can.
Ruthanne encouraged me and my small group this morning with this passage: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. This is our hope, this is what compels us! We have the comfort of a God who is near to us in all our troubles. And we can in turn offer the same comfort we have received to those who suffer. Our suffering is nothing in comparison to those in the Tohoku area…and so we move forward with faith that the God of comfort with be our companion each step of the way.
Please pray with us for a successful delivery of these supplies to the people of Fukushima, particularly those in Iwaki. We will be stopping in Chiba to join our coworkers there, and travel together with possibly two truckloads. Pray for Wayne and Pastor Otake to have the strength and stamina for this long journey. And as they go, the rest of the team will be continuing to coordinate more items, preparing for the next trip to come as God continues to open the doors.
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