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I landed at Narita airport in Tokyo, Japan on Monday afternoon. A quick three hour commute got me to John's house (John is my friend and a Converge Worldwide missionary) where I would stay for the week.
For my first week I helped John with some IT related tasks for his ministry, then hooked up with CRASH Japan, a Christian relief organization that is setting up long term base camps for disaster response. CRASH is growing fast and needs a lot of volunteers in their headquarters which moved into a new building this month. 30-50 volunteers work in the HQ every day in the midst of renovations.
The needs change on a daily basis requiring flexibility and a willingness to serve in whatever capacity is needed. I was assigned to help maintain the database of volunteers and donors as well as to help develop a tool to aid with automatic translation between Japanese and English.
Today (Sunday) I will be heading up to the disaster area for a week with a local team to do more hands-on work. Specifically we will be driving to Miyako, which is about 100 miles north of Sendai (300 miles from Tokyo) and will take 8-10 hours.
Our main task will be to distribute supplies in the area though that may change on a daily basis as well. We may also be removing debris, cleaning, watching children or just helping people emotionally. More details below.
We will be staying in an old ryokan (Japanese inn) that survived the devastation and is owned by a couple who lived through the earthquake and Tsunami. Electricity has been restored in the building but there is no water so we will need to bring drinking water and travel 20 minutes to a public bath every day.
I am currently packing supplies for the trip which include rain gear, waterproof boots with armored soles (so we don't step on nails), safety goggles, particulate masks, work gloves, flash lights, sleeping bags, food and duct tape of course. This should be an interesting trip!
Here is some additional information from John.
John Back to Iwate, May 14th
Posted 05/14/2011 06:21 PM in Christianity, Japan, Travel | Total Comments: (1)
Link To This Blargh
Praying for you
Thanks for the update!
Submitted by Ben I. on 05/14/2011 08:20 PM