— This just in from Japan Bethel Mission’s head pastor, Yoshio TSUZAKA —
Pastor Tsuzaka and a team of four have just returned from earthquake-tsunami
stricken Rikuzantakada City, where the tidal wave stopped just 30 feet in front of
the JBM Rikuzentakada Christ Church.
In the following pictures, please notice especially the smaller one with the
arrow showing just where the church is located in comparison to the path of the
tidal wave took.
From: Yoshio Tsuzaka
Date: April 13, 2011 10:40:49 PM GMT+09:00
To: Olson Nils
Thank you very much for your prayer.
Pastor Tamekichi & Emiko Morita are fine.
We met them and gave JBM’s offering.
And we brought many things.
Their needs are satisfied now.
We stayed one night in Hanamaki city in Iwate prefecture.
We came back safety to my home.
Ruth (Askew) Edwards, daughter of former pioneer BFI missionaries to Japan, Manfred & Hope ASKEW, writes:
This is from the Pastor Morita where the tsunami hit the hardest, via friends who have been keeping me informed. He & his wife, Emiko, went out from the Mizuho church that my parents built. I have had great concern for them, because their whole town was washed away. Their church/home building was damaged by the earthquake but was not washed away. The tsunami stopped 30 feet from their door (a miracle).
What I find amazing is that they are not asking for anything for themselves, but for families in their church who lost everything. In a time of great need, they are reaching out to others. I am also heartened that other churches around Japan have gotten things to them, even though it was difficult because there are no longer roads. Please keep them in your prayers.
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011 1:48 AM
Just got this email from Ai-Sensei:
This message was given by Pastor Morita dictating to Pastor Ito, who has written down on his computer and was sent to Ai Sensei:
We (Moritas) watched the tsunami waves destroying Takada Town (in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Pref.) We ran to the mountain behind us, seeing black water coming closer, and we prayed! Ps.46:1 was given! (God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. )
Tsunami washed away all electric lines & poles, so no electricity! Everyday water truck comes. Pick up water & food (mostly bread, sometimes rice balls)
One week later, a bus loaded with things came from a Sendai’s church. As where we live we have no road fixed, people had to make people chain to bring things up to the church! We distributed things to people all around us!
Misaka Sensei’s Church (Haijima, Tokyo)(Missionary John Bell pioneered it) sent lots of things to us!
Some non-Christian owners drove two hours to bring “butajiru” (hot Japanese pork stew) as they thought that
people must be cold without heat!
From Tokyo’s Agape relief group many things came.
Because of people love & concern, we have enough things here to live & survive!
But we too have concern for the five church families who had lost everything as their place was in the town! Only thing they have is what they have with them at the evacuation center! How we want to bless them! The best way for us to bless them is to provide them some financial needs!
I feel overbearing to ask you to send money, but it would be so great if we could give them some money to encourage their broken hearts!
We appreciated your prayers!
In the Love of the Lord,
Morita (April 2)
BFI missionary in Japan, Nils Olson contacted the Japan Bethel Mission (JBM) office today where he talked with Pastor Yoshio Tsuzaka and asked about the JBM Rikuzen Takata church and Pastors Tamekichi & Emiko Morita.
Communication with the church is still next to almost impossible, but Pastor Tsuzaka said the Rikuzen Takata church is okay after the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11th. The tidal wave stopped just 10 meters in front of the church building. Tsuzaka also said that the believers and Pastor & Mrs. Morita are well.
At its headquarters in Fussa City, JBM has formed a committee which is now strategizing on how to send relief to the Rikuzen Church. JBM churches on the island of Kyushu (Kurume Bethel and Munakata Bethel) will also be participating by sending offerings directly to JBM in the metropolitan Tokyo area, where they will in turn implement plans to send relief-aid north into Fukushima Prefecture and the Rikuzen Church.
Pastor Tsuzaka also related that there are five Christian men working inside the perimeter of nuclear reactor site. They are all members of the Fukushima First Baptist Church. Let us remember these men, thank God for their courageous spirits, and continue praying for relief in all areas of this disastrous situation.
“Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, He saveth them out of their distresses. He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh, that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.” Psalm 107:19-21