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International Ministries

IM missionaries are safely outside the 50-mile radius of the exploding nuclear power plant in Japan

by Catherine Nold

American Baptist International Ministries missionaries, Roberta Stephens, John and Tomoko Armagost, Gordon and Lee Ann Hwang and David and Leslie Turley do not reside or work within the 50-mile radius of the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  According to U.S. officials, the 50 mile radius around the plant is now considered a “need to evacuate” zone.

 However, “the safety of our missionaries in Japan is our top priority,” stated Sharon Smart, IM’s Missionary Personnel and Services team leader.”  The IM crisis team and IM missionaries are keeping a 24-hour watch on the situation.  While the team is not taking steps to evacuate missionaries to locations outside of Japan, discussions are ongoing regarding the possible need for temporary relocation inside Japan. 

 Missionaries closest to the power plant are Roberta Stephens and Lee Ann and Gordon Hwang, who live near Yokohama which is 350 miles from the plant. John and Tomoko Armagost live near Kobe, 500 miles away.  David and Leslie Turley live in Okinawa over 1,000 miles away in the North Pacific Ocean.

 The decision to evacuate missionaries from Japan will be determined after prayerful consideration and in conversation with IM’s partners, the Japan Baptist Union, and/or after recommendations by the U.S. embassy.

 "3/11 will be etched on our heart and psyche just as 9/11 is imprinted on the American psyche," wrote Rev. Makoto Tanno, general secretary of the Japan Baptist Union, for the American Baptist Press News. "The reasons are totally different, but it is a single event which determines how we as a nation will live for many years to come."

 “In this season of Lent, we reflect on our own need for the grace of Jesus Christ. We pray for the victims and their families and for Japan’s faith communities, including our partners, the Japan Baptist Union (JBU), that they offer hope in a seemingly hopeless time,” commented Dr. Reid Trulson, IM’s executive director.

 A $20,000 grant from One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) was released to the JBU for relief efforts. The need for relief supplies is increasing, particularly in areas where the displaced people are now living, according to Church World Service. These sites are reporting a lack of food, water, electricity, health and hygiene kits, as well as blankets and stoves, which are critical giving the current cold and freezing temperature s in the affected regions.  Emergency donations can be made on the IM website http://www.internationalministries.org/items/221, or write a check payable to “One Great Hour of Sharing – Japan Relief” and give to your church, or mail to:

International Ministries
P.O. Box 851
Valley Forge, PA 19482

One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the General Board.  The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

To read additional journals, prayer requests, news updates and find out how to give to Japan relief, click here.

American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the first Baptist Mission organization formed in North America. We serve more than 1,800 short-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in more than 70 countries to tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.


International Ministries
P.O. Box 851
Valley Forge, PA 19482

Angela Sudermann
Coordinator, Volunteers in Global Mission
PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482
1-800-ABC-3USA (222-3872) ext. 2164
fax 610-768-2088

American Baptist International Ministries, organized in 1814, is the oldest Baptist mission agency formed in North America.  We serve more than 2,500 short-term and long-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in 76 countries in cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.


American Baptists can respond immediately to emergency relief needs by contributing online to the “Give Now” option available on either www.abcusamissions.org or www.abc-usa.org.

Please give to the relief efforts through your local church
or you may send it to the Putnam Baptist Church
and we will forward it, for you, to the fund you specify.
Thank you for your helping in the world
that has increasing needs from natural disasters.

The Xtreme Team has a website where you can find past team Xperiences, everything you need to apply, and more information about the program.  You can also send us an email to request a DVD.  The website is  www.xtremeteamonline.org.  To view a short video, go to :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmcswterEpY.

The Xtreme Team, a program of International Ministries, ABC-USA is designed to connect young adults with the global mission of American Baptists. Our purpose is to grow a passion and interest in mission for the here and now as well as to cultivate global mission leadership for the future.

Questions?: Call 800-222-3872 ext. 2366

or email  bimvolunteers@abc-usa.org for assistance.


Angela Sudermann
Associate Coordinator, Volunteers in Global Mission

Putnam Baptist Church Ladies Fellowship rip sheets for White Cross bandages in Feb.08.

Click here for White Cross website.

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