Quake 9.0

A quake with a confirmed 9.0 magnitude shook Japan on Friday the 11th causing a devastating tsunami that wiped out entire towns. This is a note I provided on my Facebook Page as an update of our situation, but for the readers who don’t have a Facebook, I am providing it here as well.  I have also provided a few pictures here that I did not post on my FB profile.

I know you probably saw my facebook, but I thought I would also provide a few more details about Kyle & my situation in Japan. Here in Hirosaki, we felt strong quakes and aftershocks for 2 days, but did not receive damage from the quakes or tsunami in our town. We were lucky and lost power for only one day. Some other parts of the city however still do not yet have power (2 days later). Amazingly, our gas still worked, so we were able to eat the ramen and eggs that we had at our house already. We do live in Northern Japan however, we are roughly 175 miles away from Sendai near the epicenter of the quake,  and 215 miles away from the nuclear reactors in Fukushima. Today the Japanese Meteorological Agency confirmed the quake was a 9.0 magnitude quake, not the 8.8 as thought earlier. If you want to see our location, look up Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan.  

Here is a picture of the epicenter of the quake in relation to Hirosaki (where we are) and Tokyo.

Our house had stayed remarkably warm all weekend. We had about 8-10 people staying at our little apartment eating food, drinking tea, spending time together, and just talking by candle light. It was beautiful seeing people come together and discuss life. Phones were not working, but my amazing iPhone was able to get internet signal and post a few messages on Facebook to let everyone know we were alive. We had no news or any idea of how bad the situation actually was, so as soon as we received power and better internet service, we spent an entire day just contacting our families back home and watching news reports. Kyle and I also have 2 guys visiting from California and Tokyo who came just a day before the quake hit. They are currently stuck in Hirosaki without a way to get back home, and it looks like they may be here until Thursday at the earliest. Some of our Japanese friends cannot contact their families and friends in the cities who were hit the hardest, just keep them in your thoughts. 

Our genkan (Japanese entryway) with all our shoes.

Part of our main room where everyone hungout together. I'm standing in the kitchen with my camera, while a few others are sitting on chairs and futons next to me:)

Snacks and makeshift candle holders everyone worked together to create, perched nicely on our living room table. Thanks to our neighbor Nancy Velasquez we had plenty of light.

If you are one to put a shoutout to the Big Man, I ask that you please pray for the country and the many families who cannot contact loved ones. Pray for the people who still need blankets or warm clothes during the cold winter days that number is very high. As of now, trains are not running all over the country or even within cities, the small amount of flights within the country to other places are selling out in minutes, and bus services outside city limits are not running. Many people are stuck in cities they were visiting and are unable to get home. Hirosaki, our city, is rationing our gas and heating fuel. We also don’t know when the next shipment of food and goods will be shipped (although we are PERFECTLY well stocked and fine for now) 

All the supermarkets are barren waste lands as people try to stock their houses in case of another quake, or not knowing when shipments of food will make it to Aomori next. Milk, bread, pasta, ramen and meat is virtually non-existent wherever you go.

I found this picture on a news website. The Japanese culture amazes me. Even in chaos the Japanese people patiently wait as only a few people are let into supermarkets at a time. Neatly filing themselves in line, only taking what they need and leaving enough for others. Looting, is nowhere to be found, caring for the greater community.

I am currently working in the JET program as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) and there are some in other parts of the country who have not been contacted yet. Please pray for their safety and for a way for them to be safe. Pray for their families back in their home countries as well who are no doubt sick with worry. Also, pray for the people who I come in contact with every day who have a lot of pointed fingers at God, Christians, and questions of ‘why?’. I hope this time will help those who are busy arguing about theology among their circle of Chrisitian friends, to see that when lives are stripped bare, that in the end, all that matters is Jesus, all that matters is love for and between people. I hope that people of all backgrounds can forget their disagreements with each other and see that every life is beautiful and precious regardless of peoples’ pasts. It is such a difficult thing to discuss with anyone at a time like this. Please pray for wisdom for me, and for my heart too, as this is something I have never been able to understand.  

Thanks! I know that there is beauty in this disaster, I just cannot see it quite yet.

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