North Texan Heading To Japan Is Ready Get To Work

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Four North Texas Baptists are flying to Japan Thursday morning to help assess the disaster damage 150 miles south of Sendai.  The magnitude 9.0 earthquake earlier this month destroyed 7 churches in the area.

One of the men, Gary Smith, is no stranger to disaster.  “I’ve been to Turkey twice on earthquakes. Been to Chile. Earthquakes are pretty prominent.  Northridge, California.”

If there’s one thing his wife Sydney knows about, it’s how to help him pack for them.  “I tend to be overly cautious and pack too much and he forgets a lot of stuff.”

Gary Smith is headed to disaster ravaged Japan with several others affiliated with Texas Baptists.  “We’re the point man team, the point man team that goes in and assess the situation and brings the resources.”

Though radiation is the current fear, Gary isn’t worried. Neither is Sydney.  “That’s where he’s supposed to be. That’s just what he does.”

“Our job is to show them the love of Christ and when we give a cup of cold water in Jesus name, that’s what we’ve been asked to do. We let them make the connection.”

Gary won’t be able to use his cell phone in Japan. He will keep in touch through his iPad and Laptop.  He has just about everything he needs, even a pastor traveling with him who’s fluent in Japanese.

Gary himself only knows one word, ‘Sayonara,’ but will soon learn ‘Konnicihwa,’ as he begins his journey to help.

  • Christina Chavez

    We love you so much Grandad and are thankful that the Lord has put you in our lives. You are truly a servant of God.

  • Wyatt

    By all means help the earthquake victims in Japan, but do everyone a favor, leave your religion at home. The Japanese people have their own well established culture and religious traditions, any attempt at trying to convert the Japanese earthquake victims to Christianity is frankly offensive, and only makes Americans look bad to the Japanese people, and the rest of the world for that matter.

  • Marco

    Go in the name of a human first. A caring person. NOT in the name of Jesus or hopes for conversion (hopefully you are there highly cognizant of the Shinto, Kojiki, Buddhist, Ancestral, etc. faith/belief backgrounds of the Japanese people, right??) but rather as a person of compassion and hope. A person offering help with the guided spirit of sacrifice and unselfish servant-hood. As a devout Christian and as the previous poster (Wyatt) said , we applaud your intent, but for once put your denomination aside and serve those in need. If you can do that without pronouncing any protestant affiliation, your mission will be better more richly blessed and served.

  • Larry

    Marco – I’m glad you are NOT using the name of Jesus because your Christianity is obviously a masquerade. Who do you think you’re fooling?
    You’re “a devout Christian.” Don’t make me laugh!

  • Jan

    Carol, thanks for the report; good one. It was surprise to see our cousins in the news, actively involved in giving aid again. I’m sending link so other kin can see the news.

  • apfelbaume

    As one of Japanese living in America, I wanna thank you for going over there to help them. I know this is the “mission” since you are going there as part of your church but I am sure once you get there seeing the sites, all you probably will be able/want to do is “to help”. Seeing the death toll reaching over 10000, another 17000 missing and about 240000 people living in 2000 shelters.
    I know people will be very grateful for you to come all the way from the US trying to help fellow human being.

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