Major typhoon hits Japan: Missionaries okay

Posted on October 8, 2009 by Franklin Ishida

A major typhoon struck Japan Oct. 7, the first to directly hit the mainland in two years.

Typhoon Melor made landfall right around the central Japan city of Nagoya. And this is where ELCA mission personnel Charles Frederickson and Beth Borstad are serving at Meito Lutheran Church.

“We are hunkered down, wind is bad and so is the rain,” wrote Charles. “Around our area there are a lot of leaves and minor branches down but nothing to serious. We have electricity.” Schools in the whole area were cancelled and the whole family was home together.


Elsewhere, two people were killed and more than 40 injured as the storm moved across densely populated central Japan, with winds gusting up to 198km/h (123 mph). Heavy rains flooded roads while the strong winds ripped the roofs off houses and knocked over vehicles on the highways. Many transportation systems, including trains, were brought to a halt before the storm.

Among Lutheran churches in the affected area, a tree at Chita Lutheran Church toppled over, causing damage to a neighboring house roof. According to the Rev. Naoki Asano of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, “this damage is small compared to other places.”

In the meantime, your prayers and support are appreciated for other disasters in Asia: the typhoons that swept through the Philippines and other parts of southeast Asia, the tsunami that hit Samoa, and the earthquakes in Indonesia. Check ELCA Disaster Response for more information on how you can help.

Y. Franklin Ishida
Director for Asia and the Pacific, ELCA Global Mission