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8/14/2011It's hard to believe that our time in Japan is almost over. We have just one more day of work before heading back to Tokyo for debriefing and rest! Thanks for all of your support and prayers for making all of this possible!
In this issue:
Significant progress has been made on the store house. The steel siding was completely removed, as was all dry wall. Due to the corrugated steel siding, the store house was the primary source of minor injuries. Several team members received multiple small scratches and cuts, however last Thursday Dexter received a severe cut on his finger despite his leather work gloves. He was taken to the Red Cross hospital where he received six stitches. His wound is healing well.
The home being stripped has seen significant progress as well. All five closets were stripped and the owners were so pleased with our work (we didn't damage or ruin any expensive wood pieces) that they requested that we perform additional work. Unfortunately, Phil stepped on a rotten floor board on Friday which gave way and dropped him half a meter to the ground, resulting in a sprained ankle. His ankle is healing well and he should be fully mobile in a couple days though he will not be able to do any more heavy lifting or strenuous activities.
We finished Friday by driving to the coastline of our city, Ishinomaki, to view the destruction there and pray for the city. After five months, much of the coast line is still devastated and several intersections, including major roads, remain without traffic signals or electricity.
Over the weekend we continued various projects in the neighborhood but also prepared to visit some temporary housing facilities (trailer homes) by purchasing over $1000 of food, including non-perishables, fresh produce and frozen meat for forty families. On Sunday we visited a small home church for worship service where our translator, Pastor Mas, gave the message.
After church we distributed clothing and basic supplies at a small temporary housing facility. We then visited another housing facility and distributed food to the families there. This was a tough time emotionally as we got to meet and talk with families that had lost their homes. Some tears were shed and we received many thanks for our help. In this city alone (Minami-Sanriku) there are 58 housing facilities with over 2000 units housing approximately 6000 displaced Japanese.
In the second week we focused on finishing as many projects as possible. We finished "mudding out" the newly exposed sections in the home being stripped. We also power washed and disinfected the store house in time for Japanese carpenters to begin rebuilding it. Other tasks included removing several dead trees and stumps from a garden, putting up a fence to protect a field, weeding the area around a house, cleaning a graveyard, removing debris from a farm field, moving accumulated trash to the road for pick-up and power washing the street.
Lastly we canvased the neighborhood and invited the community to our final event, a Hawaiian Hula show and Kaki-gori (shaved ice) party. This gave us an opportunity for the whole team to spend time in the community developing relationships, listening to stories and offering additional help. This was another difficult time emotionally as we heard many stories and saw many tears.
Team ChangesOn Friday, the team said goodbye to Ken and Gerry Millhous. This couple served in Japan for 40 years and retired 6 years ago. After the disaster they felt called to return to Japan and spent two more months serving. This was their last week in Japan and their kindness faithful service will be missed. They also took their car back to Tokyo leaving the remaining 9 team members and all of our gear to fit into a single van for the weekend.
Sunday night, the team welcomed two new Japanese members: Suzuki Hirohumi and Araki Hiroto. These fresh volunteers joined our team for the second week of work. They will be a great asset as they are native Japanese speakers and will make it easier to build relationships at our Hula and kaki-gori party. They also brought a car so we will be able to return to Tokyo with all of our equipment in two cars (like we arrived in).
Devotions and Sharing
In the midst of all the destruction that surrounds us in Japan, some of you may be asking, "Why did God let this happen?" Maybe some of you have even struggled with your faith because of this disaster.
Posted 08/16/2011 07:48 AM in Christianity, Japan | Total Comments: (1)
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