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8/10/2011 - Newsletter 2In this issue:
Arriving in Tokyo and Tome
The entire team arrived safely in Tokyo. Some early travelers stayed at John's home in Machida (southwest Tokyo suburb) but then all team members met at a Converge Worldwide volunteer house in Higashi Tokorozawa (northwest Tokyo suburb) on Sunday night (where there was one shower for 9 people). We gathered all of our supplies and re-packed to minimize our luggage. Monday morning we ate breakfast together at 6:30am, had orientation at 7:30 when we met our last two team members, then gathered all of our supplies and packed it into a wagon and a van.
At 10:00 we left the Tokorozawa house and headed north to the Samaritan's purse Tome base (about 45 minutes north of Sendai). The trip took 8.5 hours including two rest stops, lunch and some significant construction traffic but we arrived just in time for dinner and orientation.
The Samaritan's Purse Base
Outside the main building are a large storage shed, 4 portable bathrooms, 8 portable showers and one sink. When running at full capacity, lines can be long during the morning and immediately after work, however we are fortunate that only a couple other teams are present this week so the base is only half full. Two more sinks will be installed and eventually these facilities will be enclosed. Three military tents will also be set up to house long term volunteers.
The base is run by a dedicated staff of volunteers that handle everything from registration, orientation, work assignments, translation, worship, cooking and cleaning.
A typical day at the base:
The First Two Days of Work
Tuesday morning we immediately began working on several projects in Shintate. First and foremost was cleaning up and weeding an empty lot that had been lent to volunteers by the owner. On the lot is a storage shed for CW supplies that had to be completed as well. Meanwhile three others moved belongings and supplies out of a building so it could be worked on. In addition to these tasks, any interaction with neighbors was considered ministry, whether it be talking, listening, playing with children and even supporting local businesses by getting hair cuts.
Wednesday our focus was on a community barbecue and concert. We arrived early in the morning and worked on setting up tents, a small stage, tables and a kitchen area in preparation for 60 guests from the community. Music was provided by two Japanese Christian musicians from Sendai that lived through the disaster. In addition, a Japanese chef who works at the Swedish and Norwegian embassies brought and cooked meat and yaki-soba (stir fried noodles) to supplement our terriyaki chicken and hot dogs. Following the concert we had shaved ice and cookies for dessert.
The day was extremely hot with temperatures in the mid 90's, 95% humidity and an intense sun, with little opportunity to work indoors. Some team members were quite fatigued and heat exhaustion was a concern for those working around the four grills, however regular sprays from the hose and an ample supply of water, tea and sports drinks kept the group in good spirits.
Prayer RequestsThank you all for all of your prayers. They have been encouraging and powerful as God has provided for us in every way. Here are some new prayer requests.
Posted 08/10/2011 07:54 AM in Christianity, Japan | Total Comments: (1)
Link To This Blargh
Working on the frontlines!
...I'll be prayin' for you. Stay cool!
Submitted by Dan on 08/13/2011 07:38 PM