Friday, March 25, 2011

Japan - Day 13 Where do i start...

Thursday was surreal. (please read to end)We spent the day in a number of cities/towns along the coast near Sendai that had been hit with the tsunami. Ishinomaki has a seawall 30' above sea level protecting it from tsunami, except this wave was about 40 feet high. It smashed homes near the seawall, and then flooded the rest of the city. Where we were working, the neighborhood had 10,000 people living in it. Every person's home was flooded, and several hundred were killed.
We met one lady on the street, who we conversed with through our interpreter. She said she was in the 4 story school when the tsunmai hit. As she watched out the window, she saw her neighbor driving down the street trying to outrun the wave, and saw the car swalloed by the torrent.
Many people are back living in the undamaged second floor of their homes, with no heat or water (it's still like winter there). As the team was distributing supplies to families who were still living in the community, Carl (RG Asia Lead Team) and I went wandering /praying. We found a lady who was trying to clean a few things in front of her house, and I realized her and her husband we trying to clean out. We had been told that Japanese we're closed and would not let foreigners in their homes, even flooded. But following the Holy Spirit I asked in my best sign language (my poor french and worse spanish were no help) if we could help them. We entered the house and started picking up heavy things, and they got the idea. We spent almost 2 hours with them emptying out the contents of the house. an impossible job for the two of them, but doable with the extra hands. It was a joy to see their energy increase as we worked side by side. In the process of cleaning we, were able to help them save dozens of hand made wooden dolls that were family treasures.
Before we were done, they offered us a drink, and water (very hard to get in town) to wash our hands. We were blessed by their giving as we served them. We were able to get their contact information and then they allowed us to pray a prayer of blessing over them.
We ended the day visiting the school, now a shelter for hundreds of families. They are living communally with 12-24 people to a class room. They have no heat, water or electric. We saw men drawing water from the adjacent swimming pool for cleaning.
Carl and I connected with a house church planter that was organizing a distribution center. (us assessing - pic below). And of course we wonder about the kids.

But most incledible, we found another area later in the day that was hit with a 60' wave. We found debris up on a cliff next to the only 2 habitable homes, all the rest lower in elevation were swamped or totally gone.
Today, we:
- were able to make connections to get 200,000 meals moving to the Sendai region through our partners.
- purchased and loaded a truck with several thousand pieces of new underware....a luxury item now for the people in the shelter and othr areas of Ishinomaki. They have no money, no cars, no fuel, no way to buy replacements.
- Invested hours in partnership devleopment and equipping our partner and a local church on how to do intentional, sustainable, disciple-making ministry leading to church planting in the wake of crisis.
- Purchased a generator and communications equipment for our new base in the Sendai region.
- For cold and hungry people now forgotten...since all the coverage focused on the nuclear sitaution.
- For the Church to represent the King well, and for the Lord to build His Church from the Harvest.
- For God to raise up staff (especially Japanese speakers).
- For God to mobilize resources to sustian along term response.


overholt said...

I know an American Penn State student working with the Navs who is fluet in Japanese and is free starting June. Let me know if we should recruit him.
Dean Overholt

Jean Stott said...

Blessings, Prayers, thoughts for you all. In Christ Our Lord.