Family gospel group survives disaster in Japan

The Taylors

March 14, 2011 8:24:37 PM PDT
Three Lillington siblings from the well-known gospel quartet called The Taylors are home and sharing their story of survival.

The siblings were vacationing in Japan when the earthquake struck.

Steve, Leslie, Suzanne and Jonathan Taylor say it's a miracle they made it home and that they relied on their faith to get through the ordeal.

"We were utterly helpless...didn't have any contact with our family," Suzanne said.

Jonathan says the group had thought about renting a car and exploring northern Japan Friday but opted for a tour of Mt. Fuji. It was a potentially life-saving decision.

"We were fortunate to be there," he said. The group would have been in big trouble if they had of taken the tour by car.

The Taylors took pictures on the mountain, enjoying what started as a beautiful day before it turned into a nightmare.

"We noticed as we got to the bus that the buses were shaking, our feet were moving," Jonathan said describing the earthquake.

Suzanne says the bus ride home was supposed to take two hours but took 14 hours because they had to take the back roads.

As soon as they arrived, they reached out to their family in North Carolina to let them know they were okay. Then the seemingly impossible task of leaving Japan began.

Jonathan says their brother, who was in the states, started calling around trying to book a flight. He was able to get the siblings on a flight that same day.

The Taylors had less than four hours to get to the airport, so they packed what they could and ran 30 minutes to the subway where they found chaos.

"Entering that subway everyone was scattered, so many people in there," Suzanne said.

That's when they say a man named Yudai approached Jonathan and offered to help. Jonathan asked the man to help them find a train to the airport.

The Taylor's made their flight and eventually landed in Charlotte where their parents were waiting to welcome them home.

"It was a blessing," Leslie said. "It was incredible."

The Taylors say their thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan, and they hope their story will inspire others to help those who are in need.

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