The Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church has a long standing companion relationship with the South Carolina Synod who sent early missionaries to help form the Lutheran Church in Japan. As part of our relationship many of you may remember Pastor Naoki Asano who came to South Carolina in 2005 -2006 as part of an exchange pastor ministry. During that year Pastor Asano visited and preached in many of our congregations and built special relationships with the people of our Synod. Today, Pastor Asano serves as Pastor of Ichigaya Church and also as the Secretary of Global Mission of JELC.
Pastor Asano shared his reflection of the February 13, 2021 earthquake:
“It was a few minutes past 11 pm last Saturday, when there was an alarm popping up from the TV calling out to be prepared for an earthquake. In a few seconds I felt a little shake, then it got larger enough for me to feel that I got to do something, not knowing what to do. What do you think you can do when you suddenly have an alarm and feel shaky right at the time about going to bed? I was sitting on the couch in pajamas. There was not much you could do in such a moment but sit still and see what was going to happen next moment. Our dog Bijou was beside me at sleep. The best thing I did was to hold her tight. It lasted long I thought, maybe more than ten seconds, then came to stop to my relief. It was a fearful quake, but fortunately no major casualties nor deaths, though some roofs and walls fell off near the epicenter. Tokyo is far away from the epicenter, but even in the distance in Tokyo we felt a big quake.
There are two Lutheran congregations in the vicinity. It was fortunate that they had no damage. It seems damage is minimum throughout the affected areas.
We appreciate that you stay close to us in prayer with warm hearts. Thank you. “
Pastor Naoki Asano
Japan Evangelical Lutheran Ichigaya Church (JELC)
Secretary of Global Mission of JELC
We continue to hold our sisters and brothers in Japan in our prayers, giving thanks that the damages from this quake seem minimal and no one seems to have been harmed. May the work at recovery be smooth and as possible for all the residents of our companion nation.