Jonathan Straker ('11) | Graduate School of Theology

jonathan straker

When a massive earthquake struck Japan on March 11, Jonathan Straker felt aftershocks 6,000 miles away in Abilene, Texas.  

The tragedy hit at a personal level. Jonathan and his wife, Michiko, served for five years as missionaries in Sendai, the nearest major city to the epicenter of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake. And Michiko is a native of Hokkaido, Japan, which was hit by the resulting tsunami.

Now Jonathan is calling on ACU to help with disaster relief and is working with the university to organize ways for students to get involved.

"Frankly, Michiko and I would much rather be in Japan right now," Jonathan says. "But since we're here, we'll do what we can."

Jonathan has partnered with ACU, as well as other Christian universities and several relief organizations to raise funds and awareness. He also started a website of encouragement that provides information on how to help.   

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. The Christian Chronicle published a story about the Strakers, and Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president and dean of student life, commends Jonathan for being a "conduit for God's work."

This summer, Jonathan plans to spend most of his time with his family in Japan helping guide and translate for mission teams from Global Samaritan Resources in Abilene, Bread for a Hungry World and CRASH Japan.

However, Jonathan hopes ACU students will help Japan now. He spoke in Chapel April 6, appealing to students to do three things: "Pray, give and remember."

"I would love for ACU to really get behind this effort," Jonathan says. "ACU already has a good reputation in Japan through recent graduates. Please help me help ACU help Japan!"

Read more about Jonathan and Michiko in the Christian Chronicle.

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