Texas Baptist disaster response team scheduled to go to Japan - Word&Way

Texas Baptist disaster response team scheduled to go to Japan

DALLAS—Two veteran Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers, a Japanese Dallas pastor and a videographer are slated to leave for Japan March 24 to assist the disaster response effort there and look for places where Texas Baptists can serve.

This initial Texas Baptist team to Japan originally was scheduled to leave March 19, but disaster response leaders decided to postpone the trip due to the unstable nuclear plants in the disaster area.

“Although there is still some concern about the power plant in northern Japan, we believe there is an urgent need to at least get our team into Tokyo, which is 150 miles from the Fukushima facility,” said Chris Liebrum, coordinator of disaster response for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

“In Tokyo, they will be able to meet with the leadership of the Japanese Baptist convention and begin to discover ways that Texas Baptist can support and serve them in the recovery."

Members of the team are Texas Baptist Men disaster relief veterans John LaNoue and Gary Smith and Yutaka Takarada, pastor of Japanese Baptist Church of North Texas, accompanied by BGCT videographer Rex Campbell.

The team’s planned departure is the most recent action taken by Texas Baptists in helping victims of the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

The BGCT has sent $25,000 to the Japan Baptist Convention to help with the response effort, and Texas Baptist Men has sent $5,000 to help pay for fuel costs. The convention is in the process of sending requested Geiger counters and potassium iodide pills to the Japan Baptist Convention.

Both the convention and Texas Baptist Men regularly are visiting with Japanese Baptist  and Baptist World Aid leaders, Southern Baptist representatives in the region and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship officials.

For updates on the situation, visit www.texasbaptists.org/disaster. To give to Texas Baptists disaster response, visit www.texasbaptists.org/give. One hundred percent of donations will support disaster response efforts.