We continue to be aware of the challenges that many, many are still facing up in Tohoku. Many of the homes where Eric and the teams have been ministering are ones in which the tsunami came through and wiped out the first floors. Many of the families have moved back into these homes, even though they have been condemned and many still without water or electricity (and will stay like that since they are condemned). Here is an article from this week about the challenges of many of the people in Ishinomaki and other affected cities who have returned to their “destroyed” homes, often because they have no where else to go.
The photo below (taken by Peter) shows the team at work this past weekend. The lines on the home in the background show where the tsunami water SETTLED – above the first floor. Last night Nozomi was describing this day to me. As they were cleaning out the gutters in front of these homes, they discovered it full of human excrement. Probably for the month or two without water and electricity, families needed to dump their “stuff” somewhere….and probably hoped that if they put it in the gutter it would go away somehow. It didn’t! The teams were careful to wear masks, gloves, and carefully wash all their clothes. (Eric is in the blue and black behind the purple raincoat). They managed to get those gutters clean and dispose of the nastiness!
There are still so many challenges. At times it feels too overwhelming. But here is our hope: “Every square inch of this world is Christ’s, and our role is to seek the redemption of all creation” (Abraham Kuyper). Love this promise! Even the crappiest (excuse the use of the phrase) inch of the smelliest part of Ishinomaki is Christ’s and can be redeemed. And is being redeemed. This is our hope. This is His promise.