Offering and Answering Prayers

Shizuoka, Japan 2009

I've had a sinking feeling in my gut since early Friday morning. Sho and I have had 24 hour news channels streaming on the computer non-stop. My daily work at Japan-America Student Conference has been centered around responding to the destruction in Japan.

Sho's Father, brother and sister all work in downtown Tokyo as do a good number of very close friends. They are all fine despite being jolted at least once an hour since last Friday. One good friend walked close to 20 miles to get home to his family. Sho's father walked for over an hour to get to Tokyo station where he had to wait for the bullet trains to restart service so he could get home. Sho's sister just spent the night at her work.

North of Tokyo whole cities have been completely erased. Those who got out or to high ground fast enough have been surviving by collecting at schools by the thousands. Supplies such as drinking water, rice, and warm clothing have finally started reaching these groups. At the worst hit areas it snowed the night of the first earthquakes.

Now they are facing serious issues with the failures at a nuclear power plant that has already forced evacuations of anyone living within 30 kilometers.

Shizuoka, Japan 2009

Sho and I saw a post on Facebook that bothered us. The person was mocking all of the people who had been posting things like "Praying for the people of Japan". He believes that praying for victims only makes you feel better but it doesn't do a thing to help anyone. We believe differently.

We believe in faith, hope, and charity. Belief which leads to action, which permits you to expect a positive result. He doesn't believe in prayer because I believe he does not really understand it.

Shizuoka, Japan 2009

I have felt helpless as I have watched earthquake after earthquake shake our second home. We would like to do something about it, and we want to share that opportunity with anyone who reads this blog.

First off, there are two groups we feel confident contributing money to knowing it will be put to the best possible use.

American Red Cross has a specific fund set up for relief effort in Japan.

We also like the International Medical Corps.

Shizuoka, Japan 2009

Secondly, if I could go over to Japan and use my camera to help spread the word of the victim's needs I would go right now. Unfortunately, that is not an option right now. However, I can use my camera to raise money. So for the next two months, if you would like a portrait, engagement photos, wedding, or any other photos done, we will donate your fee directly to one of the two organizations mentioned above.

In addition, if you would like to buy a print of any of the photos you see on this blog, email me at info[at]oscarsonphotography.com and tell me which picture and what size you are thinking about and I will get you a price. I will try to post more details about this soon, but we did not want to wait any longer to get the ball rolling.

Shizuoka, Japan 2009

You get some lovely pictures, and we all get to actually do something to help. Now, I realize that the majority of people who look at this blog are not in a position to have us fly to you for pictures, but you may know someone nearby us who is.

I can't be there to swing a hammer, clean up debris, or deliver needed supplies, but I can pray. And I can do what I can with what I have. My belief is that by doing that, He will make up the rest. We pray that we all can be motivated and inspired to help those in need.

Shizuoka, Japan 2009


michaelstubbs said...

Good idea. You are generous. We'll pray for these people too. It is good to hear that some of your family members are all right.

Emma Jo said...

A beautiful post and beautiful pictures. I am grateful too, for prayer and for the power that it provides in numbers. I am so relieved that Sho's family is alright.

katyvee said...

You're one of the good guys.

Suzie Petunia said...

I'm spreading the word via Facebook! Spencer, you are awesome. I am so glad Sho's family is alright.

mo said...

We are so relieved that Sho's family is fine but our hearts ache for everyone who has been affected by the devastation. We are adding our prayers to yours. Proud of you two for doing what you are doing to help.

Jangs said...

We are praying and believe it will help. I donated my United frequent flyer miles to the American Red Cross so they can get more workers over there. I am glad United will let them pool the miles for that kind of use. I am glad Sho's family is ok. It is hard to watch what is happening over there so I can't imagine how you feel.

Abby said...

This is beautiful and so smart. As are you both. Miss you.

Julie said...

Fantastic idea, Spencer. We pray for your family over there every night.