This afternoon we had a huge earthquake in Japan, the biggest ever recorded here at 8.8. Providentially the epicenter was about 50 miles offshore and not on land, but there is extensive damage in many areas of the country with dozens reported dead and dozens more injured so far. There will be many more. When it happened I was at the church correcting our translation of the book of Jude with Uncle Miya, and Patty was at home. We felt the earthquake and I wondered at that because we never feel earthquakes in Asahikawa, since we are way inland on the northern island of Hokkaido. So I figured there must be a big one somewhere offshore. Sure enough, this earthquake was felt everywhere in Japan, from our northern island of Hokkaido all the way down to Okinawa. Shortly after the earthquake Patty called from our 5th floor apartment to say she was feeling dizzy from the earthquake. I also got a call from our BWM missionary down in Nagoya, who said they were all right. All of our BWM missionaries in Japan are okay--four families and two single people. Two families are on furlough right now including our co-workers, who kindly called in the middle of their night to make sure we were okay. Since Patty was okay, and there was nothing else we could do, Uncle Miya and I continued translating the book of Jude and then worked on his translation of a missionary's experiences when captured in the 1930s by the Communist Red Army in China during their "Long March." There are still aftershocks from 3.0 up to 6.6 occurring, though we haven't felt any in our town. Tsunami warnings came immediately after the earthquake, and waves of up to 8 meters high have hit on the coast of the main island of Honshu, with warnings still being broadcast. Fortunately a warning was broadcast a half hour before the first tsunami hit, so people were able to flee to safety. Fires have occurred in various cities, including a huge one at some kind of refinery in Chiba City. People have drowned in the various tsunami, died in landslides, been hit by falling debris, been burned in the fires, etc. Right now the big danger is aftershocks and more tsunami. We've seen images of the first big tsunami on TV, with 100s of cars swept away, some houses swept away, 50 foot fishing boats being swept inland, etc. Also, we've seen images of the earthquake from various cities that are scary. All the trains are stopped in Tokyo and probably most of the Tohoku region north of there. We have several friends we are worried about: Pastor Kosaki on the coast of Hokkaido, Pastor Tajima in Koriyama in Tohoku which was hit hard by the earthquake, Pastor Mita in the Tokyo area, Pastor Carter in the Tokyo area. Please pray for these families.