We received an email this morning from a mission we once worked for in Japan. The email was to request prayer for some of the missionaries we knew at the time who are still there, working at the mission rest and recreation facility up in the mountains near Tokyo.
Apparently the somewhat rural facility received over 115 cm of snow on Feb. 14th. Since that time the several missions families there have been cut off completely from the nearby town. Until yesterday no ploughs had come to dig them out. Even now they are only able to get to the main building of the facility on what has been ploughed and are still waiting for the plough to dig them through to the main road sometime in the next few days.
The bizarre part of the story is that a couple of days ago while they were digging pathways between the buildings, they were attacked by an aggressive wild boar who fell off the high snowbanks beside them and became trapped in the pathway. Two of the women were seriously injured with bites and gashes. The men finally drove the boar off by whacking it on the head with their shovels after they were knocked down several times. One of the women had to be loaded onto a toboggan and hauled across the tall drifts to the town where a doctor was located to attend to her and the other woman's wounds
Fortunately throughout this time of being stranded and then attacked by the boar they have had sufficient food, electrical power and water but supplies are getting low.
Being so close to such a large, urban centre as Tokyo it is easy to forget that the nearby mountains are habitat to wild animals the same way mountains are in any other country. The mountain town and recreational facilities are very modern and well equipped for city tourists at this point, so to have such a large group of people attacked by a maddened wild boar hit me as very shocking. When I was visiting there myself I never once considered that we could be in any danger from the inhabitants of the animal kingdom.
Hopefully our former colleagues will be all right and will soon be able to access new food supplies and proper hospital care for the injured.