Eric has spent his first day up in Ishinomaki. They got in a lot later than they hoped last night because three times they had to get off the freeway because of accidents and closed roads. Today, in addition to doing some picking up and dropping off of various staff, he and the team spent the day around the new rental home that will become the headquarters for this ministry. All along the streets there are gutters about 1 foot wide and several feet deep. Normally these carry out the rain water, but since the tsunami they have been full of rotting debris. The team today went along one street and filled many burlap bags full of the debris and hauled it off to a trash heap. Not a fun job, but still a great ministry to the neighborhood. Eric said he found – or smelled! – a disgusting big two-foot fish on someone’s front yard that no one had wanted to deal with. He put it in one of the burlap bags and hauled it off, but he is quite sure that he still is carrying around the smell of that thing on his body! (He didn’t make it to the public bath before they closed). Lucky team members tomorrow who get to work next to him!
Please be praying for Peter, his son Kendrick (13), and Nate as they make the drive tomorrow up to Ishinomaki.
I have been blessed today by the love of our community who have helped me and our family in various ways since my back went out yesterday. I am happy to report that I am no longer walking like a 90 year old; I would say I look more like a 70 year old. Progress! Looking younger! The kids have only asked me twice if I am dying. More progress.
Today in our ladies’ english class during tea time we did a phone call with our friend Kazue up in Sendai. I had asked if she would be willing to share her experience with my ladies. She had written out her story and shared it over speaker phone – about how she and her family managed to get away before the tsunami hit, but it had washed away their home and all their possessions. Then we had a question and answer time; I was really touched by the questions and concern that was expressed. Kazue is still wearing borrowed clothes; the home that they are living in has considerable damage that they can’t get fixed until the owners give approval. But Kazue expressed her thankful to God for protecting her family; for giving them a home for now. For most of the people in our Sanda community, they have seen stories and pictures on the news but the tsunami is not something that they think about in their daily lives. This was a good chance for them to hear first-hand what the tsunami has done to one family. As well as to hear how God has given one woman hope and has continued to give her perspective. I asked Naoko in our class to pray for Kazue.
When she said “Amen” there were four or five around the table with moist eyes. Kazue said she wished she could see everyone’s faces; we encouraged her to come and visit. (I really want to make this happen!) After we said goodbye and hung up, Naoko said, “It’s amazing that she lost almost everything but still trusts in God and knows what is important in life.” I love it that the ladies in our community had a chance to hear the realities of walking with God from someone who has just had their world washed away – and found that it’s still worth trusting Him.