My brother is a missionary to Japan, living there with his wife and two small children. My parents were on a plane to Japan when the earthquake hit today, so they could not land in Tokyo, but instead headed to another Japanese airport. The earthquake’s aftershocks are still shaking my brother’s home, but the tsunami did not touch them. Our entire family is safe, thank God. But my parents are stranded in a strange land where transportation systems have been shut down, and not a soul seems to speak English. They don’t know where they are or how to get to my brother. We are hearing very little from them.
I sat in a waiting room at the pediatrician’s office today and watched horrendous scenes of devastation in Japan. We’ve seen scenes like this before from other catastrophes around the world. Only this time, my family is in the country affected. No, they are not directly in the natural disaster. But they are affected. The T.V. was not showing “some distant land.” It was showing my brothers’ home and my parents’ location.
The world is closing in.
I cannot look at the beautiful Ugandan princess in my living room without remembering that 1 out of 5 people in Uganda is an orphaned child.
I cannot watch the news today without my stomach churning with anxiety for my family — even though I know that they were not injured. Even though I know that God is in control.
Perhaps this is how it is supposed to be. The orphans in Uganda are supposed to feel like our daughters and sons. The victims of a deadly earthquake and tsunami on the island of Japan should cause us to grasp our hearts and pray as if it were our own family there. Today, it is my family there. Will you pray?
God, unite our hearts to yours. Help us love the people of this diverse world like family — the way that You love them. The way that You love us.
UPDATE: MY PARENTS MADE IT SAFELY TO MY BROTHERS’ APARTMENT IN JAPAN. ALL ARE SAFE. THANK GOD. LET’S KEEP PRAYING FOR THE REST OF JAPAN, AND THAT THEY TURN TO GOD IN THIS CRISIS.