From BBC News: “The evacuation of residents near Japan’s quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant will be long-term, officials say. Three weeks after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the true number of those who died is still not known. More than 11,500 people are confirmed dead but nearly 16,500 remain unaccounted for.” In other words, the true death toll could be around 30,000 people.

Our friend Cal Cummings wrote today, “I checked with Tohoku Gakuin High School…to find out how the student body had been affected. 20 students lost their entire homes, 40 lost half of their homes, two lost their fathers, one lost his mother, three are yet living in shelters. I have heard that seven students at Miyagi Gakuin College have been orphaned as a result of the disaster. The newspaper this morning was appealing for the need to build facilities to care for the orphaned.”

The only way I can imagine the pain the Japanese are feeling is to remember how I felt on 9/11. I remember the gut-wrenching emotions I felt as watched the towers fall, knowing thousands of people had perished in such a hideous way. I was in Japan at the time, and it was so hard to carry on; I wanted to collapse and weep all day long and I felt broken and shattered in my mind. I can only imagine that the Japanese people are perhaps even more traumatized, distressed, and on the edge than we Americans felt after 9/11.

Matthias and I would love to go to Japan to help. At the moment, Matthias is thinking of going in May while the tickets are super cheap, and most likely Matthias would go alone. We’ll see how things pan out, but it is our hope to go and help for a few weeks, even though we are so weak and small. I keep thinking of all the small children living in temporary shelter and wishing I could do something to offer them hope and comfort. Oh, how badly we wish we were in Japan right now!