Mind-numbing news from Japan

March 14, 2011


By Roberta Stephens

Many of our minds are numbed with the news of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.   Roberta Stephens, a missionary for the American Baptist Churches, USA, is there and has been filing reports.  This is the first few paragraphs of her latest entry, with a link to the rest of it on the ABC International Ministries page  …

Dear Friends,
Here at the end of the third day after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the numbers arrive with a terrific estimation of 10,000 deaths.  This is so unbearable, if one does not believe in God our rock.  Therefore the distress of this nation is truly understandable.  It’s easy to shrug ones shoulders after a while and wish that this would pass, or even pretend it would.

How does the rest of Japan live while the full impact of the earthquake-tsunami is yet to be felt?  In the nation’s capitol and surrounding area where one-quarter of the population of Japan lives and works everyone is left scrambling to “have enough” for themselves. Gas is short. Stores are running low on goods, because much is being shipped north, and nothing is being shipped south; on the other hand, the main staple of fish no longer comes from the north; the fields in the far northwest, however are abundant.  The small farmers there live well but aren’t big enough to have markets in the metropolitan areas.  It’s hard to find batteries and flashlights.  Blackouts occur in some places but not in others.  Is that fair?  Some trains are on one blackout schedule but others are on another schedule.  You can get ½ way to work.  Or maybe your company can’t find all their employees, so they are taking a 4 day holiday, like Toyota.  This means that you won’t be paid.  Schools are taking an unexpected disaster holiday, which means working parents must make other arrangements.  Schools like Shoshin Gakuin cancel high school graduation.  Nationwide English proficiency tests have been canceled, which will delay many a student’s plans to study abroad …

For the full story, go here



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About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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