Eric pulled in tonight just as we were starting a late supper to the thrill of our kids! It is great to have him home again. It was an eleven-and-a-half hour drive by himself, caravanning with friend Chad who was in a van behind him.
He has many great stories to tell – I look forward to him sharing them through different venues over the coming days- but wanted to post just one photo for now.
Their last day we wrote about how they ran out of food in the afternoon. Playing “high and low” with the kids at dinner, Eric said it was his low of the week. They felt so bad for people who had been waiting in the rain and they didn’t have enough to give them!
This woman (above right) was waiting and when she got to the front realized she wasn’t going to get very much. Maya (left) is a karate champion who lives locally but has been helping out the teams. She is a student at the dojo where the team is staying. Maya had the bag of scarves, and offered one to the lady. She picked one out, still looking unhappy, and she wrapped it around her neck. Eric said she broke out in a wreath of smiles and said, “Atatakai!” … “It’s so warm!” She left with the scarf, and a smile.
One more picture from Eric’s iPhone. The senior center where they took vegetables and underwear…. and the staff loved the underwear – they started opening the boxes and holding them up for size (which is when Eric and Chad exited). Here they are, enjoying the new goods.
Thank you for praying for Eric and the others. All of Eric’s teammates and our Sanda teammates are home safely tonight, able to celebrate Easter with families. Eric has said that there were so many little ways where he saw God’s hand at work throughout this trip.
Today we have been working on plans for him to leave in a week again, this time taking with him three or four japanese friends from our Sanda community. We are really excited for them to have this opportunity to serve and love. We are still trying to work out details of vehicles and buying supplies. We know it will be worth it.
Tomorrow we have a 6:15 am prayer meeting for Sanda and Japan at a nearby park (we set that time- what WERE we thinking?) Then we have an Easter celebration/outreach/worship at a nearby community center and park in which Eric is sharing an Easter reflection based on his experiences in Tohoku…. it will be a busy day. We will post more soon.