Dear praying friends,
We finally got our power back tonight just as we were about to start another candle light supper. Last week when we had an earthquake I thought that would be as strong as it got. Yesterday started out pretty normal. I made pie for a special cafe event-Martin was doing a stained glass workshop with 11 people in the second floor of the bookstore/cafe. One of the ladies has been to several events and told me how much she wants to be invited to our house. We were having nice chats with people. I went down to help serve up the pie and drinks and then the earthquake began. It was the longest earthquake I have ever experienced. When it finally stopped everyone went back inside. The electricity went out pretty well right away. We thought it would come back so everyone went back inside and started to work on their projects again. But then it started shaking again so half of us ended up outside again. For awhile I tried to stop the hanging lights in the cafe because I was afraid they would shatter on the wall. It's interesting to try and figure out whether you should try and stop damage or run. But in the end we had no damage although we have had many aftershocks and some of them have been fairly strong. We lost electricity but had water and have a wood stove so have been warm and fed.
Yesterday and today some church members hung out at our house because it is warm and we could cook. I was worried about the coffee shop freezers because we didn't want them to lose what was in the freezers. We lost some of what was in the fridge. We moved our fridge onto the deck in the middle of the night to cool it down. We still don't know what will happen in terms of gas and supplies but for now we are ok. The place where we go on summer vacation has been hit. The tsunami hit the beaches we swim on and has taken out the villages there. There are two cliffs that have old cabins that missionaries stay in. The cliffs are ok but our friends are trapped on them with no way down because the water hasn't receded. They are melting snow to drink. News of the nuclear power plants down south is really disturbing. We have a nuclear power plant in our prefecture on the Pacific side as well as inground cannisters to store nuclear waste from France??!!!!! We pray it all stays canned. Fellow OMFers are all accounted for. We have much to be thankful for. We are safe and although it shook long and hard we only had a few things fall and nothing broke. But I think that the distruction up and down the coast will affect the whole country financially and emotionally.
Of the people killed most maybe even all of them will not have known Jesus. People already struggle with depression and hopelessness and it doesn't occur to them to look to Jesus for answers so the emotional blow to the nation will be huge...Pray that destruction will open peoples hearts to the message of hope and give us opportunities to share. Pray for our hearts to be protected. Pray for people to be rescued physically and spiritually. Pray for supplies to get to where they are needed. The reality is that we still really don't know the extent this will affect this nation. And of course we wonder whether we will keep getting aftershocks. We spent the morning listening to warnings.
We are supposed to have our annual meeting a week from tomorrow. It's hard to think about that right now but that really needs prayer as well. Will send you another update before it and probably say more at that time. We were so encouraged to hear of so many of you praying for us and for Japan.
THANK YOU!!! Love Martin and Ruth Mae