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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Do Japan’s Troubles Touch Us?


In light of Japan’s not-so-natural natural disaster, I wonder if it makes us all more thoughtful. Maybe not. I went to the store today, and the girl scouts were out front, hawking their heavenly cookies. Sports fields were packed with teams giving their all. Cities are holding St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It’s hard to just drop everything. Yet, it raises the question of whether we’ve become somewhat calloused to pain and suffering. Has this affected your family at all?

We have our own issues to deal with, and unless you’re going to send an online donation, or pause for a moment in prayer, I wonder if people are becoming disastered-out, like they can’t take any more bad news. Even with all the media overload of information where we can see opposition rallies in Arab nations, political and Union struggles in America, raging wildfires here and there, rain and mudslides elsewhere, are we, in essence, still committed primarily to “us four and no more”?

I wonder. Benedetto and I found news clips online that we handpicked and showed to our kids. It’s important to understand the force of nature, but also the extent of others’ sufferings. We prayed together, asking for God’s help for those who were lost, missing, or in need. There was a lady we knew on a cruise ship, heading up California’s West Coast toward Seattle. I wondered if we were touched in direct proportion to how many people we knew that might be affected, or by the geographic proximity of a disaster–the ones happening closer to us naturally drawing more of our attention.

Possibly.

There was the 2004 undersea rupture off of Indonesia (9.1), causing the tsunami killing 200,000+ people, Hurricane Katrina in 2006, the Haitian earthquake (7.0) in 2010, the Chilean earthquake (8.8) of 2010, and now this 8.9-magnitude earthquake. Add to this, the photos of flood waters rising in Pakistan a couple of months ago, China’s floods caused by dam-building (figure that one out), and Europe’s freak snowstorms this winter. There was the Icelandic volcano spewing ash and blackening the skies during peak spring and summer travel times to Europe. That’s just a brief overview, I’m sure you know of more, particularly if you live in New Jersey and are keeping an eye on the rising tides this weekend.

So how do we handle Japan’s triple-whammy of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant explosion? Do we turn and look the other way? Are we thankful that we’re far from there? Do we hug our loved ones and hold them a little closer?

Probably.

My oldest son, Petya, was away from home for his first overnight youth group lock-in. He’s 14 and I’ve been parted from him before on business trips, but I missed him so much. And it was just over 12 hours. I’m such a wimp.

Imagine the families in Japan who cannot find family members. The phones are down, the trains are stopped, any remaining roads are gridlocked, the food and water are limited, the homes are gone, the airports are closed, no one knows the extent of the nuclear disaster. It’s awful to try to communicate or find out what’s really happening.

The size of the devastation is staggering. What’s unique about this tsunami is that in many areas, specialists say that the water will not be receding. Ever. It has permanently sunken certain land masses that will never be above sea-level again. There’s no way to rebuild land that is gone.

Life can change in an instant. Live every moment to its fullest today and pray for those who could really use some help.

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Using your cell phone, you can text-message donations of $10 to the Red Cross. Text the letters REDCROSS to 90999 to make the $10 donation.

The Salvation Army, which has had a presence in Japan since 1895, is sending an assessment team from Tokyo to the city of Sendai “to assess damage and will begin providing basic necessities (food, water, etc.) beginning as soon as possible tonight or tomorrow,” a spokesperson said. In Tokyo, the Salvation Army “opened its main building to help shelter commuters who were unable to reach home. They served hot drinks and packed meals.” You can text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts.

Portland, Ore.-based Mercy Corps is “accepting donations to help survivors of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami through our longstanding partner, Peace Winds Japan.” Donations will go to meeting the “immediate and longer-term needs of the survivors,” a spokesperson said. You can text “MERCY” to 25283 to donate $10.

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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    Rest in peace.

    I cannot fathom what happened in Japan. Cannot. Tried. Failed.

    If I cannot get my own house clean… how in the world will Japan clean up and move on? And yet, people and societies DO clean up, and DO move on. For which resiliency, to God be the glory!

    Thank you for pointing out easy ways to fund the aid groups working in Japan.

    • avatar admin says:

      I know, it’s shocking, and the amount of devastation will likely skyrocket in the coming days. If you have few ways to communicate from the stricken areas, how can the rest of the world be receiving an accurate picture? Still so many separated and missing people–our hearts go out to them! (I know about the house-cleaning…!)

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