Questions and Answers

Q: From here we hear that everything in Sendai is destroyed? What about Hori’s house?

A: Sendai is a big city, most of which is actually not on the seacoast. So the tsunami did horrendous damage, but not to the whole city. The earthquake did do quite a bit of damage though. I don’t know for sure about their house. They live on the first floor of a five story
apartment building, but since their family is safe, I think it is probable that their apartment is not destroyed. They have moved (temporarily, I think) to her aged father’s house in Yamagata, since there is no electricity, and phone service is unreliable, and perhaps no gas and water either.

Q: One of our concerns for you is the radiation coming from the reactors. Some reports are it is affecting Tokyo????? It’s hard to know what is accurate info from the media. What direction is your apartment from the “heart” of Tokyo?

A: Yes, radiation is a concern. Wind direction was bad the other day, but word is (for what its worth) that radiation levels were still well below the danger level. We were advised to stay indoors as much as possible, so we did, but many went out as normal. There is a strong element of fear. No one knows what is coming next. People suddenly want to be prepared, and since normal life-style includes daily shopping, most people don’t have lots of food stored up. Sudden desire to load up on staples creates empty shelves in stores, and generates panic buying.

Rolling pre-planned blackouts and lack of fuel for cars, and less than normal train transportation also creates a sense of un-ease.

Q: Are you able to go to your offices?
A: Yes, but not much is happening right now in translation. Because of rolling blackouts, we’re off today, and most of next week staff will be working from home as well. Our leadership are pastors as well as translators, so right now their hearts are with people’s immediate needs–being the Living Word to the Deaf community is the priority at this point. Pray that the Spirit of Jesus will be strong in all of us.

Mary Esther will be at cleaning day next Tuesday. 40 people were evacuated from up north and are staying in the church where Wheelchairs of Hope operates. Though many of the regular volunteers may not be coming, it will be nice for the evacuees to be able to contribute, as well as to share their stories. Yesterday was the first staff meeting since the earthquake and was held at our apartment. Most of the 6 hours (is that a record for a staff meeting?!) was listening to each others’ stories and getting to hear that you’re not alone in what you face.

Q: What about the wheelchairs waiting to be shipped?
Haven’t heard anything about this since the earthquake.

Q: Are you planning on returning to the US now?
A: No. Our next planned trip is from the beginning of May.

Q: How can you be sending updates without internet?
A: The ViBi office has internet, so we go there during the non-blackout times when we can. iPhone helps, but its not a great solution for writing much.

Q: How can we be praying for you?
A: Please pray for restorative sleep at night. Pray wisdom and strength for the interactions with those around us. Pray for patience (we’re all used to everything working well and on time here in Japan.)

About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
This entry was posted in Prayer Updates, Translation, Wheelchairs. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Questions and Answers

  1. Deborah Penner says:

    Happy days!!! You are RSS’d to my home page and yay … I can then post these to FB …

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