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East Hill missionary living through Japan disaster

Facebook posts describe chaos, confusion in country
by: Contributed photo Andy Meek

Andy Meeko, a longtime missionary in Japan from East Hill Church in Gresham, is among those living through the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear nightmare in Japan.

Pastor Ray Young of East Hill says the church financially sponsors Meeko, who works under the auspices of Campus Crusade for Christ. Meeko works with folks in Japan suffering from depression and also ministers to married couples.

Meeko lives in the Tokyo area with his wife, June, and their four children - three at home - and has been keeping folks informed via his Facebook page, the posts of which also are available on East Hill's Web site, easthill.org/blog/.

Here's a sample of what he's written so far.

Friday, March 11 4:18 p.m. (Japan time)

'Strongest shake I ever felt, and I was raised on the Ring of Fire! Hard to stand up. Cell phones down all day. Kids at school but trains stopped all day and they got stuck till late evening. Roads completely backed up, so hours to drive for their pickup. We had a few stranded people spend the night at our house.

'No injuries in our area, but I've ministered in churches of towns hardest hit by earthquake and fishing towns hit by the tsunami. Please pray for these churches in this vital time. Especially (the) towns (of) Kesenuma, Kurihara, Shiogama.'

Saturday, March 12, 12:28 a.m. (Oregon time), shortly after the quake:

'We are fine after some serious shaking. No damage. Kids stranded at school. Trains down. Cell phones down. Roads jammed but drivable. We are thankful to have power (we went solar) - 4.5 million Tokyo homes without power.'

Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m.

'Our power will go out as rotating blackouts begin in an hour. Quick update. The info coming in is staggering. 10,000-plus feared dead in Miyagi Prefecture. In Iwate Prefecture just one town has 10,000 missing. Japan is best prepared in the world, but between quake and (tsunami) people didn't even have time to get in their cars and drive away. One town I have known since I was a boy is washed away.

'I haven't been able to make contact with many people … Our lives are being re-altered. I am overseeing mental well-being of all volunteer teams for relief so dropping everything I can.

'Over 150 have been exposed to radiation now … Please pray as we set up teams and sub teams, this is going to go on for a very long time, and the devastation and grief is unbelievable.'

Tuesday, March 15

On Tuesday, Meeko wrote on his Facebook page that he was able to get gasoline and then asked for prayer as he attempted to get his family out of Tokyo and away from the imminent nuclear threat zone in the southern part of Honshu.

Thursday, March 17

'Miracles happen! We got a full tank of gasoline in 30 minutes when now it can take hours to get the three-gallon limit! So on Thursday, I was able to send June and the kids south of Tokyo to Nagoya (Gifu) till things stabilize.

'Tokyo is a mess. Daily blackouts, trains irregular or not running. Roads jammed. Store shelves lack most commodities. Further north, though, a half million people displaced and perhaps 20,000 lost. The earth shook like I had never seen on March 11, but it's been earthquake, tsunami, nuclear catastrophe, and perhaps Tokyo panic (which could be as bad as any of the other…)

'Appreciate your prayers so, so much!

'I am in Tokyo to oversee the trauma intervention and compassion fatigue of relief teams (thousands?) with CRASHjapan (the Christian relief work of this country). Over my head, but in something like this we just do what we can and trust God's intervention.'

For more information on Meeko's ministry, visit newdaytoday.net/tccc or drmeeko.net.