Monday, March 14, 2011

reflections on the Tsunami

Since the first earthquake on Friday, and the follow tsunami, I have been struggling to process the events. We've been getting many e-mails and facebook messages from concerned friends and family. I am so grateful to have so many people praying and checking in with us. My first job was to make sure everyone knew we were alive. Since that has been established, and we are finally back home, I feel I can finally process "out loud" as it were.

At first, when the earth quake struck, I thought it was a joke. I knew it was a real earthquake of course, but I thought it was fun and novel. Even though I am from California, I have never really felt an earthquake.
Then, it just kept going.
Then, it got stronger.

Yet, there was no damage done to our group, or the buildings.
It wasn't until we gathered around the news channel that the realness hit me. Reports of Tsunami, images of people gathered on roof-tops waving towels, cars floating down the road followed by fishing boats. This was major. Something had begun in Japan.
Our mission family, was glued to the news, watching the footage and praying for physical & spiritual rescue.

That next morning, at 4:02AM, we experienced another quake, this time from Nagano, the very same prefecture we were in.

I am not sure hoe many aftershocks there were that morning. I am sure my mind invented a few of them. Between the aftershocks and anxiety, I couldn't fall back asleep. My mind was racing with a thousand senarios all involving fleeing the building.
where were my socks, and shoes; could I get my shoes on fast enough to escape if there was another quake or should I run out into the snow barefoot; where was my jacket; should I get up and pack a bag; where's my waterbottle......

In my anxiety, I heard God say, "Put on your socks."

(Me) "What? Why? How would that even help?"

"If your socks are on, it will be easier to get your shoes on if you need to escape. If your socks are on, you can rest."

It seemed odd, but I grabbed my socks, put them on, and fell asleep within seconds.
God knew I would be safe, that the building would not fall, but that I needed something tangable to set my worries aside.

I've been reflecting on Psalm 46:1-3 these past few days.

God is our refuge and strength
an ever present help in trouble;
therefore, we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah (pause and consider)"

Although there is much turmoil here; God is our refuge, strength, and help.
There is much to be done here: much prayer, much labor. Yet, God is our refuge, strength, and help.


If you are interested in giving to the relief work to be done, Asian Access is collecting funds to be used in the relief efforts for Japan, directing them through our local network of churches in the affected area where we have had ongoing relationships.

CRASH is also collecting donations.

We encourage you to give through one of these organizations, because we know the funds will be used to directly impact the lives of the Japanese people, through the local churches in Tohoku.

1 comment:

  1. Kathryn, When I first heard about the events, my thoughts immediately turned to you and Stephen and the friends you have made in your short time in Japan. I was so grateful when I saw your first post on FB reassuring friends and family here in the States that you were safe and praying for those affected by the earthquakes and tsunami.

    Today, as I helped Katie get ready for school and read article after article about the pending nuclear disaster resulting from the quake and tsunami, I couldn't help but think about the lesson you would be giving your fourth grade students about the events in Japan if you were still here and working at VASA. In some ways I am sad...your passion for teaching and your love for Japan would have made it the most epic lesson those students would ever have.

    Yet, Jesus knew the exact timing of when you and Stephen needed to be in the place where He alone called you. He is going to use your passion for teaching and your love for Japan in ways that you have never even imagined. Your prayers are those of a righteous woman and powerful indeed.

    God be with you!


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