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"The Japanese government is very strong and able to respond and is not asking for private help from outsiders," said Jeff Palmer, BGR executive director. "However, BGR working through our Japanese brothers and sisters, we will be able to mount a response that will be effective, meet needs in overlooked areas and help strengthen the witness of Japanese believers to hope in Christ. Please pray for the response. Please pray for wisdom and knowledge as we try and discern how to best help. Most of all, please pray for Japan: physically and spiritually."
"The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan," Prime Minister Naoto Kan told reporters.
Baptist Global Response has partners in the affected region who are moving to assess the damage, said Ben Wolf, who with his wife, Pam, directs work in the Asia Rim for Baptist Global Response. An initial allocation of $100,000 has been made in preparation for the initial response.
“We hope to have someone on ground tomorrow for an initial assessment and contact with Baptist partners there,” Wolf said. “We have great Baptist partners that we will contact and see how we can initially support them with resources and expertise in the response.”
Concerned individuals are asked to pray for families affected by the disaster and for humanitarian workers who are mobilizing assistance, Wolf said. Prayers should be offered that God would move through these circumstances so people would experience his love and discover the abundant life he wants them to enjoy.
Whether Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers will be needed remains to be seen until the assessment is complete and a relief strategy has been defined, said Jeff Palmer, BGR’s executive director.