The guys are on the road, the first five hours or so retracing the route we just returned from following our retreat this past week. They are expecting to arrive in Tokyo around 7 pm, where they will unload the truck and reload it onto other trucks headed up north. After a night sleep, Eric and two of the other guys from Sanda will head up to their assigned locations for the next two weeks in the midst of the disaster zone. Our friend Erik B. will drive the rental truck back to Sanda, and help keep the wives and kids in our four families a little more sane.
The past few days feel like a blur, but a really blessed one. Yesterday we cancelled my ladies’ English class, and the word went out to our community. Up until 11 pm last night, friends were dropping by our home with bundles-full of supplies for the guys to take to those in need. This morning the doorbell started ringing at 7 am, with a good friend of Eric’s coming by to wish him God-speed (OK- so I have no idea why the pictures are right side up until I put them in the blog. Sorry).
A group followed us over to the Thomsons for the loading of the truck. A few minutes earlier, we had called the rental company to see if there was a smaller truck available — NONE. We didn’t think we could fill up the extended 2 Ton. But we were greatly surprised!
several of our friends made onigiri rice balls for the guys, noting to Eric that they made them with konbu, a form of seaweed. Eric said they didn’t need to explain- konbu is high in iodine, which helps counter radiation. Just a precaution…
After the truck and car were loaded full and tarped up, we read Psalm 46 in Japanese:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way, though the mountains be moved inot the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling…
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns..
And we closed with a time of prayer for those still hurting and in need; for God’s safety and step-by-step guidance for our guys.
One of our long-term prayers in serving in Japan is to help those we work with see the joy that comes from helping others outside one’s group. These past two days brought great joy to our hearts as over twenty-five friends from our community came by our home to bring their contributions and help out. Our former language teacher came and brought a monetary gift, as did several others. God – its a small thing, but let this be one of the ways that you draw people closer to your heart. We pray, too, that God will direct these goods to people who direly need them at just the right time. Place our men just where you can use them the most to be your hands and feet; to bring physical and spiritual comfort to those in such great need.