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Japanese Missionaries Fear for Loved Ones

NOVI, MI (March 15, 2011) – Shunichi Miyamoto, one of two missionaries from the Japan Covenant Church to the United States, learned Sunday that his elderly mother is safe although the tsunami that devastated Sendai also destroyed her home.

Shunichi’s wife, Masako, has yet to learn the fate of her brother, a government employee working in Sendai.

Nathan Pawl, pastor of Community Covenant Church (C3) said Monday afternoon that Shunichi’s mother, who is about 80 years old, is staying with a friend, but they have no electricity, heat, water, or food. Temperatures have been dropping to near freezing at night.

Pawl said the Miyamotos are “very upset” as they wait to hear whether Misako’s brother is safe and how Shunichi’s mother will withstand the harsh conditions.

The Miyamotos arrived in the United States last August to reach Japanese nationals living in the Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. They have been working primarily through C3 and representatives from conference churches who have formed the North American Japanese Outreach (NAJO). Click here to read an earlier published account of their work in the conference.

The Japanese are meeting in home groups. “Their ministry has just exploded,” says Pawl of the Miyamotos.

The house meetings and Covenant churches have been holding prayer meetings for the people of Japan and to support the Miyamotos, Pawl said.

Japanese in the United States continue to fear for the safety of their countrymen as dangers from multiple threats mount. “The ground is almost constantly moving,” Pawl said. “When you are talking with them on Skype, you can see the camera is shaking.

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