Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Like many of you, I have been thinking a lot about Japan this week.  I have poured over scores of pictures; have been shocked at before and after satellite image; have learned (and taught) more about plate tectonics, the physics behind a tsunami and aftershocks; have learned that the earthquake changed the location of Japan, changed the length of our day and altered the axis of the earth; been thankful, in a weird sort of way, that the disaster happened in Japan where engineering standards and building codes are strict enough that millions of lives were protected by it; learned more about nuclear power, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island than I ever thought I would; been amazed by unexpected rescues including a man ten miles out to sea and a lone baby four days after the disaster; and have been thoroughly impressed with the Japanese people and their reaction--there has been no looting and no whining on the rooftops while we have witnessed an incredible, organized, well-rehearsed disaster action plan.

I don't know anyone in Japan.  I have no Japanese friends or friends living in Japan.  As far a personal connection, it is only in my love for mankind that has had my heart breaking and kept my prayers sincere.

Yesterday, my husband sent me a link this blog.  I don't know where he got the link, but he doesn't send me stuff very often so I thought I should check it out.  Oh, my.

They are an American military family living on base in Japan.  Her name is Emily, she has a large family, she blogs, and she shares my religion.  Obviously, I felt a connection.  Her first post after the quake was an informative human interest story.  She shared first responses and the success of their emergency preparedness.  It was interesting to see how all of our instruction to prepare can pay off and what holes she had found in her reserves.  I will be using her suggestions.

Her subsequent posts continued in the same vein, but she began to get more information about what happened around her (they had virtually no information for the first day because of loss of power and phones).  She told of families in shelters and other families needing immediate help.

Remember, there is an ongoing, major emergency in Japan.  There is no knowing when stores will be re-stocked or international supplies brought in.  People are living on what is in their homes--with little (sometimes NO) water and inconsistent electricity and heat.  Still, when a plea came for help, look at what just one small group of people donated.  THIS IS WHAT A FOOD STORAGE IS FOR!!  Yes, you must think of your family, but then you must think of your neighbors.  (How many of those neighbors had a food storage that was swept out to sea?)  You see no one brandishing guns and screaming at their needy neighbors to stay away.

 You see them sharing their stored food, generously.

I stole these pictures from her blog.

Will this decrease the comfort of some of the donating families?  Certainly.

Will they starve for their generosity?  Did the widow's grain and oil fail?

Then, she told of  two separate women who found her blog and asked her to find their daughters.  They were some of the people in the shelter and communication was difficult to impossible.  In this post, she tells of visiting them.

Can you imagine sitting in a cold gym, having lost everything (or not knowing what you lost) and then having a stranger come to you and say, "Your mother sent me."

Mothers amaze me in the ways they find to bless the lives of their children.  I have no doubt that were I in a similar situation, my mother would find a way to send me her love and the comfort of a long-distance embrace.

Anyway, there is more over at Acte Gratuit that might be of interest to you.  I was so moved by her story I just had to share it.

Have a wonderful day and I hope we will all be a little more grateful for our comfortable lives.


  1. Thanks for posting this. That is my daughter in the first picture. I have three daughters and this one is my middle daughter. My oldest daughter's college friend sent a link to Emily's blog. I still don't know how she found it but things just began to fall together after that. What a blessing Emily has been to our family just to see Melanie's face and know that she is well! We are in prayer for all of the people in Japan who are suffering. Thanks again for the post!
    Beth Fullerton

  2. Thank you for reminding us that part of our preparation for future events and disasters should also include preparation for ways we can help others, not just help ourselves survive. Without all of us together, we would be nothing.

  3. Thanks for sharing this link - what an amazing & sad story. My preparedness efforts have been rather pathetic lately - this is great incentive to get cracking!!