Larry and Bella (who serve with EFCA’s ReachGlobal) and their two children, along with Gina (who serves with the EFCCM) are right now evacuating Sendai (Thu PM, Mar 17). They are driving to the northern point of the main island of Honshu, from where they will catch a ferry to Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan. We are not sure where they will be staying once they get to Hokkaido, but it will likely be at the ReachGlobal owned house in Sapporo city.

This evacuation trip will take them all night. Their evacuation will take at least 14 hours on our Mar 17. But that is not inclusive of the driving conditions, with cracks/bumps in the road, difficulty in finding gasoline to buy, etc.

The reason for the evacuation is that the US government has declared an 80 km evacuation radius around the Fukushima nuclear power plant where at least one reactor may be approaching meltdown. Sendai falls within that radius-just barely.

If you would like to donate to relief efforts in Japan, you can do so through our donation page by specifying account 2-4615.

You can follow updates from the earthquake more closely by visiting Dale and Ann’s ministry blog — they are keeping it current with information as soon as it becomes available.

We recently received these updates from our missionaries in Japan.

At the moment half of the population here is trying to live normally, and half has taken on a bunker mentality and is hoarding necessities.  My bath tub is full of water in case the water stops.  I have charged all my batteries to be ready for the 3 hour planned blackouts.  There is no gas at the stations and the trains are not running because the are electric.  The banks closed at noon yesterday and the supermarket closed at 3:00.  People are being advised to stay in side and to wear masks if we go out to protect us from breathing nuclear debris……

Isaiah 49:8 –  This is what the Lord says ‘In the time of my favour I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you;  I will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritance.’  I am praying that God can use me in some small way to be a reflection of and messenger of His restorative power.  However, all alone in my periodically shaking apartment I am well able to realize that without Him I can do nothing.”
– Laura

The EFCCM has a single missionary in Sendai, the worst hit area of Japan.  Her name is Gina Lo and she is working on a team with an EFCA church planting couple Larry and Bella Mori and their family.  The Moris also have a number of Canadian supporters who give through our Joint Venture agreement with the EFCA.  Here is an update from the EFCA website concerning this team.

“Praise God that one of our (EFCA Reach Global) leaders was able to establish contact with Larry and Bella Mori in Sendai.  They are safe and well, staying in the church building since it is only one storey.  They are without electricity and water supply, although they have been able to obtain water from a community center. They are keeping warm with kerosene heaters.”

Please continue to pray for these people and their country.

If you would like to donate to relief efforts in Japan, you can do so through our donation page by specifying account 2-4615.

Further follow-up was added by Dale below in the comments. He’s also posted lots more information on his own blog.

As you’ve likely heard by now, Japan has suffered an earthquake that measured 8.9 on the Richter scale. That’s one of the most intense earthquakes on record, anywhere. And more significant than the earthquake itself is the resultant tsunami, fires and damaged nuclear reactor(s).

Summary information is available by clicking here.

Currently we have heard from all of the missionaries that serve with us in Japan, and as of earlier this morning they are all fine. In fact, people in Nagoya hardly even felt the quake. But one of our missionaries serves in Sendai with a family from ReachGlobal (EFCA), the city that was hardest hit. While we have heard word that she is safe, I’m sure her life and her community will be greatly impacted by what’s happening there. Estimates place 4.4 million homes without electricity right now, and several power stations and forms of transportation have been shut down while they are inspected.

Pray for Japan. The recovery effort is already an international push, there will be some longs days and weeks ahead for many Japanese people.

Update:
We’ve just initiated a way that you can donate directly to the relief efforts in Japan.

If you would like to donate to relief efforts in Japan, you can do so through our donation page by specifying account 2-4615.

 

Recently, the EFCCM Director Team began searching for new Area Directors to give leadership to our growing mission and direct care and oversight to our missionaries. We are now pleased to announce we have found some gifted and passionate people to fill these roles, effective January 1st, 2011. Both will be serving part-time.

Africa Area Director
Our new Africa Area Director is Petros Yergatian. Petros was born in Cyprus and later immigrated to England with his family. He attended Capernwray Bible School in England and made his first journey into missions in 1985 when he participated in a short-term trip to Israel.

After moving to British Columbia in 1988, Petros became a member of the Johnston Heights Free Church in Surrey, where he currently resides. He serves as the Missions’ Chair there and plays an active role in supporting and visiting missionaries, while at the same time running his own business. Petros also recently served two years on the EFCCM’s International Mission Committee. He has two adult sons and one daughter currently in high school.

Petros has felt the Lord consistently placing a call on his heart toward missions for the past 25 years and looks forward to serving Him in this capacity on the EFCCM team.

Asia Area Director
Our new Asia Area Director is Melvin Sayer. Melvin grew up on a dairy farm near Carstairs, Alberta and went on to receive his MDiv from Prairie Grad School and his ThM from TEDS in Deerfield, Illinois. He married Priscilla (PJ) in 1984 and they now have four wonderful adult children.

The Sayers previously served with the EFCCM in Ukraine from 1996-2008. During that time, Melvin and PJ served in many capacities including Director and teacher at DBI (Dnepropetrovsk Bible Institute), as Ukraine Country Leader, at various levels of involvement in the Summer English Language Institute, leading Bible studies and developing the Stewardship Development program, not to mention home schooling their four children. Beyond that, they were an important part of the Morning Star Church, helping in many areas of church life.

The Sayers currently reside in Milford, Delaware, but spend a number of months on their farm near Carstairs, AB in the summer. Because of their great love for the Lord and desire to serve Him in missions however possible, Melvin & PJ are excited to take on this new role with the EFCCM!

The larger cities of Japan are cosmopolitan — to an extent that is perhaps surprising. Among their large populations (we’re talking multiple millions of people!), they have people groups from many places around the world, and Nagoya is no exception. One of the largest subcultures that we work with is Filipino, who migrate to Japan as a land of opportunity. One of the opportunities that they embrace is training, and programs typically last 3 years. At this time of year there is a natural transition point. Those who have accomplished their training are set to return to the Philippines, and a new group gets ready to begin. Several of them were part of a recent all-nighter hosted by the local English school. In this case, that school is headed up by Kurt and Akane, serving with us in Japan.

In the course of the evening, Kurt shared his testimony with the group of young adults, and Pastor Nino Solito shared from God’s Word. But here’s the big news: that night, six of the young adults gave their hearts to Christ!

Each was given study Bibles for them to begin to read Scripture on their own, and they attended church the next day. They were also introduced to communion. Please pray that these new believers would find important relationships in the church, and that their curiosity would lead to faith-strengthening knowledge.

The one request that Kurt wanted to make specifically about this, is for Bibles. Finding an inexpensive supplier for English study Bibles in Japan seems to be impossible, so he has needed to resort to importing them. By the time the Bibles are paid for and shipped to Japan they cost nearly $30 each. If you would like to help share the Gospel to one of the most non-Christian countries in the world, you can give to code 2-2900 (just fill that in at the comment bar under the donation heading).