Updates of support mission for 3.11 earthquake sufferers | Sendai EFC http://sendaiefc.com/311/en Reports about activities of Sendai EFC after the earthquake happened at 11th of March, 2011 Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:58:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 24847377 2013.10.3 76th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1571 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1571#respond Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:27:59 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1571 Continue reading ]]>

Place of Activity: Ishinomaki east bypass temporary housing
Number of Volunteers: 2
Content of Activity: helping out with a craft workshop, testimony

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2013.9.26 75th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1562 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1562#respond Wed, 09 Oct 2013 10:00:36 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1562 Continue reading ]]>

Place of Activity: Northern Watanoha #1, #4 and #5 housing unit
Number of Volunteers: 11
Content of Activity: Painting workshop (worship, lunch, game, gospel presentation) distribution of relief supplies (canned fish, cup noodle, tissue box, sweet potatoes, gospel tracts)

    It has been 5 months since I moved to Ishinomaki. I did not actually experience Tohoku earthquake since I lived in Kansai region (south-west Japan) back then, but I moved out here in hope to support and encourage the survivors here. I take the supplies that come in from churches all over Japan to each household in the area. When I see these people living in temporary housing and hear about how they survived, I am reminded once again that it is not over yet. TV may not report on this topic as much anymore, but there is still an ongoing pain in their lives, and people have not forgotten what they saw and experienced on that day.

In our area, there is a woman whom many dearly call “Mom”. She survived the tsunami and now lives in a temporary housing by herself. She still keeps in touch with most of the relief workers and volunteers she had met in the past two years, and the wall in her house is filled by pictures and letters from them. She is a cheerful, kind and strong woman, and I see why people love her so much. Relationships that man can build on this earth may be temporary and frail, but I see God’s everlasting work in them. I pray that we can one day reap the harvest of what we are doing now.  (Tomoe Teramura)

Sweet potatoes, eggplant, carrots, persimmons, cosmos…fall vegetables and seasonal flowers are laid out on the table, ready for the painting workshop. At our workshop, people paint however they want to paint in friendly and laidback atmosphere. It feels as if the distance between us gets closer and closer as we spend time together painting and chatting. Once it is done, we take pictures of the participants with their work. Most of these people lost their pictures when the tsunami washed their houses away. We develop and deliver the pictures afterwards, hoping that this would cheer up their hearts.

After the workshop, we had lunch and played icebreaker games, followed by Pastor Kurihara’s message. He preached about resurrection and our one true home in heaven. One of the ladies who was listening very attentively said she never believed in the resurrection of Jesus before, but she understood it fully today. Praise God! We pray earnestly that the seeds we are sowing will sprout, grow and bear fruits one day. (Machiko Yoshida)

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2013.9.12 74th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1550 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1550#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2013 03:49:58 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1550 Continue reading ]]> Place of Activity: Northern Watanoha #2 housing complex (26 households)
Number of Volunteers: 8
Content of Activity: Painting workshop, a time of worship and a short message from the Bible, distribution of packaged relief supplies (canned fish, cup noodle, tissue box, sweet potatoes, gospel tracts)

The last time we visited this housing complex was in May, so we were glad to be able to come back again. We noticed that few things have changed around there since then, but they seemed like positive changes for the most part, including their attempt to revitalize the town with their local delicacy.

Only 5 people showed up for the workshop, but a small turnout is never a bad news for us, for it allows us to pour into each person. One of the ladies who joined us today heard about today’s gathering through a letter that was sent to her by one of our church members.

We learnt that however small or fruitless our effort may appear, we must continue to be faithful in little things and be good neighbors to those we are reaching out to. (Hiroko Takahashi)

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2013.9.5 73rd Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1543 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1543#respond Tue, 10 Sep 2013 08:12:26 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1543 Continue reading ]]> 73rd Relief Work Report 2013.9.5

Place of Activity: Eastern Ishinomaki residential unit near bypass
Number of Volunteers: 3
Content of Activity: Helping out with a quilting workshop, sharing personal testimonies, distributing relief supplies

Content of relief supplies (packaged): gospel tracts, noodle, noodle sauce, tissue paper, jelly juice, heating patch

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2013.8.22 72nd Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1537 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1537#respond Tue, 10 Sep 2013 08:05:44 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1537 Continue reading ]]> We volunteered at 3 different locations today.

1. Summer festival at Takayasu Liquor Store
2. Yosuke Asano’s tenor concert at Mangokuura residential unit
3. Tea and erhu performance at Ourahama

We are truly grateful for our visitors from Oumi church, Kawagoe church, Urawa church, Musashino church and Kansai Council who came out to join and help us today.

1. Summer Festival
Place of Activity: Takayasu Liquor Store
Number of Volunteers: 23

Although we originally planned our event to begin at 10am, we decided to start earlier since we had enough people waiting for it to start when we arrived at the venue. We started it off with a singing of Japanese folk music, followed by Mrs. Noriko Hamaoka’s worship concert and Pastor Hamaoka’s short message from the Bible. People seemed to have enjoyed the singing of folk songs a lot, and they were also listening to Pastor Hamaoka’s message attentively. We played bingo together, and had a food stand which served 70 servings of fried noodle, cotton candy and shaved ice. Thanks to the volunteers for all their hard work and prayer, we were able to prepare all the food successfully despite the large quantity which intimidated us at first. It really made my day to see smiles on everyone’s faces. I was especially touched when I heard people tell us how thankful they were for our longstanding service. (Takahashi)

2. Tenor Concert
Place of Activity: Mangokuura residential unit in Watanoha area
Number of Volunteers: 15
Number of Participants: 30

We were welcomed by few gentlemen who were waiting for our arrival. It seemed that a lot of people in the neighborhood knew about today’s concert through the fliers we distributed, and they had been looking forward to it. Mr. Asano sang for us for almost a whole hour, and the 15 songs he sang showed us how large his repertoire was! He sang Japanese folk songs as well as hymns and even some old Japanese pop music. People seemed to have really enjoyed the atmosphere of today’s concert, which was so laidback, warm and fun.
Pastor Kurihara told us a short message from the Bible, in which he also shared humorously about his sickness. We were truly encouraged by his transparent and positive attitude. We hope that God will continue to help us build a more solid and long lasting relationship with these earthquake and tsunami survivors. (Mariko Fukazawa)

3. Onourahama
Place of Activity: Oura town, Onagawa town
Number of Volunteers: 12
Content of Activity: Erhu performance, tea ceremony, lunch, distribution of goods
Number of Participants: 17

Onagawa is a beautiful town by the ocean. When we arrived at Onourahama beach, it felt livelier than other beaches with all its fishing boats on the shore. This fishing town is known for salmon, oyster and Japanese scallop, and it is slowly recovering from their initial damage. Government, however, is bringing an end to subsidizing their capture next year, and the fishers are still suffering from the reputation risk regarding the safety of their catch. We believe that we can help make a change by purchasing these fish and letting our friends and neighbors know that they are delicious and safe to eat.

The sound of erhu (Chinese violin) was beautiful. Ms. S played various folks songs for us, and with some we were able to sing along. The performance was followed by a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, some fun quizzes and games, and a scripture reading by Pastor Nose. He read the following passage from Psalm: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth (Pslam 46:1-8)”. We hope that one day, these people will come to know and make God their refuge. (Yuki Aizawa)

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2013.7.25 70th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1512 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1512#respond Tue, 30 Jul 2013 22:50:59 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1512 10 people from 3 different churches drove over 10 hours from Nagoya to join us this week. During their 4nights … Continue reading ]]> 10 people from 3 different churches drove over 10 hours from Nagoya to join us this week. During their 4nights 5 days stay in Sendai, they did a tremendous amount of work to help us and those in need in the disaster stricken area. We are especially thankful for them clearing the land, which we recently purchased for our new church plant. They did it all by hand, plucking grasses and weeds! We believe that their selfless service and hard work were a great witness to the people in that neighborhood.

Place of Activity: Meeting hall of Taremizu temporary housing unit in Watanoha area (participants from surrounding areas in Watanoha)
Number of volunteers: 24     Sendai church (12), Furukawa Church (2), West Nagoya Church (7), Nagoya Church(2), Kasugai Church (1)

It was raining since morning today, and it had no sign of stopping even when we entered the Ishinomaki City. It was our first time holding a social event at this particular temporary housing unit in Taremizu area, but there were a lot of people waiting for us when we arrived. They were very excited to hear that some of us came all the way from Nagoya to spend time with them.

Accompanied by guitar and keyboard, we first sang few Japanese folk songs together. We then had a time of sharing and listening to the stories of those who suffered the tsunami and earthquake. Time went by really fast. As we listened, we were reminded once again of the depth of their sorrow, unimaginable and unforgettable fear they underwent, and the great loss they suffered.

After lunch, we sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, and read Matthew 11:28 together. Although it was probably the first time for most of the residents of this temporary housing to recite the bible verse, they read it very powerfully. We closed the gathering with prayer by Pastor Kadotani. We earnestly pray and hope that the Word of God we read together today will touch their heart, and that God will bring a complete healing to their wounded hearts.

The participants went home with some rice, juice, and clothes we distributed. We also visited few houses in the neighborhood with relief supplies to give. We would like to thank each church as well as brother and sister in Christ who generously gave us to take these supplies to those in need.

We came back to Sendai filled with joy and thankfulness for God’s mysterious yet perfect guidance and providence. Praise be to God. (Machiko Yoshida)

*Text translated by Ayano Iizumi

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2013.6.27 69th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1505 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1505#respond Wed, 24 Jul 2013 13:12:49 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1505 Continue reading ]]> Place of Activity: a) Missionary Catherine Long’s residence b)Watanoha area
Number of Volunteers: a)2 b)12 (9 from Sendai Church, 1 from Keyaki Dori Church, 2 from Furukawa Church)

Content of Activity: a)Helping with preparation for the party at Ishinomaki East temporary housing b)Visiting each household to distribute relief supplies (sauce, noodle, tissue paper, powder juice, gospel tracts)

It was a beautiful morning. Before we head over to Watanoha area, we stopped by Ms. H’s place in Iwaida to give her some diapers and baby sling for her new born grandchild.  In Watanoha, we got into pairs and started visiting each housed in the area with relief supplies. Often times, people look at us suspiciously when they come to the door, and that makes us very nervous to be honest. We learned, however, that the expression on their faces usually changes when we greet them with smile and explain to them that we are doing a relief work. When we tell them that we are the ones who used to distribute relief supplies at Takayasu liquor store, they often respond with “oh I was there few times” and “That was very helpful when you did that”.  We met a man in his seventies, who shared with us an interesting story about his safety box which was dug out from the debris five days after the earthquake. When he found it, he realized that someone had destroyed it and stolen the cash inside of it. Visiting homes in disaster stricken areas could be nerve racking at times, but there are things we can learn only by visiting them. We would like to continue doing this, and we pray that God would empower us as we carry out this ministry.

We had a special opportunity today to visit the Onagawa area to hear a tour guide specialized in disaster stricken areas talk. This area had about 10,000 people prior to the incident, but 800 of them had passed away due to the disaster, and more than 200 are still missing today. This area was almost completely cleared out, and the construction to elevate the land was going on. The town is gradually but surely changing.  (Hiroko Takahashi)


*All texts translated by Ayano Iizumi

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2013.6.4 68th Relief Work Report (with Kanto Women’s Association) http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1494 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1494#respond Tue, 16 Jul 2013 05:39:00 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1494 Continue reading ]]> With the members of Kanto (“Eastern”) Women’s Christian Association, Sendai church, Furukawa Church as well as missionaries in Ishinomaki area, 86 of us gathered together for today’s relief work. The team from women’s association arrived at Sendai on a micro bus, and held a session at our church on June 3. We are so thankful that people traveled so far to share their love with the earthquake victims in this area.

We got into five different groups so that we can visit the temporary housing in one of the 5 areas we regularly go. At each place, we got to mingle with the residents of the temporary housing and also hear about their stories from the day when the earthquake hit them. We prepared lunch, a package of relief supplies as well as gifts that were brought by women’s association for each person who attended today’s gathering. They also prepared for us some special performances by their talented members, creating a warm atmosphere. (Hiroko Takahashi)

Place of Activity: Temporary housing in Iwaida area
Number of Volunteers: 12
Special Performance: Recorder

On June 4, our group drove up for an hour and a half to Iwaida area to visit the temporary housing there. Wind was blowing gently, stirring up the surface of the Kitakami River as we crossed over it. Through two tunnels we reached the Watanoha area, where a junior high school and a girl’s trade school had been torn down completely after the tsunami. This is our 7th time visiting this temporary housing since we stared delivering supplies to it in October 2011. I have came here on my own numerous times too, I lost count of it already.

When we arrived at the temporary housing, the town leader’s wife welcomed us warmly. 8 of us from 4 different churches waited for the residents of the housing to show up for our event, but no one did, so we decided to drive around the area to greet and invite people over. 8 people came out as a result. Ms. A from Sendai church opened up the event by saying, “the relief work that our church has been doing was made possible by the support of many people like these women here. They made a long trip from Eastern Japan so that they can hear your stories and know how they can better support you in future.”

A member from Soka church played some hymns on the recorder for us, and the area was surrounded with beautiful sound of the recorder as we listened to it. We also had the chance to listen to people talk about their experience and memory of the tsunami and the earthquake. This is the story told by Ms. S whom I was talking with: “I lost my granddaughter in the tsunami. I was in deep grief for a while, but my son told me that I cannot be sad forever, that I need to cheer up and move forward. His words encouraged me to get up and move on finally. I am moving into my new house in June.” It was very moving to see a smile on her face despite all the hardships she had gone through.

The time of fellowship came to an end; we had to say goodbye. Some were exchanging their addresses and some were taking pictures. Snacks were given to each guest as a gift. The members of the women’s association had to go, but some of us stayed behind to eat dinner with people who came out today. During that, an old lady asked us about the location of the new church that will be built in Mitsuwa town in Watanoha area.  She said she read about it on a flyer we distributed before. To our surprise, other residents of the temporary housing knew exactly where that church was going to be, and started explaining the location to her. We were very excited to know that our new church is eagerly anticipated by many people in the area.

It has been two years since the disaster hit Japan. Our relief work started soon after the event and has been going on to this day. Countless love and support has been delivered to the disaster stricken area with much prayer. I would like to thank the members of Kanto Women’s Christian Association as well as those from Ueda church who visited the temporary housing with us today. (Hiroko Shoji)

Place of Activity: Temporary housing #1 in Northern Watanoha area
Number of Volunteers: 13
Special Performance: Picture-story show, book reading

We arrived at the temporary housing at 9:30 in the morning, and had some light meal with the residents of the temporary housing as we waited for more people to gather for today’s event. At 10:00, people started to show up. We were told that a lot of the residents are gone for an elderly day care today, but we had 13 people showing up.  We started out by introducing ourselves to each other, and then sang few worship songs. And then the member of women’s association read few books for us, which we enjoyed thoroughly. After that, we had the chance to listen to each resident of the temporary housing share about their experience of the March 11.  I saw people listening very sympathetically.  We ended the day with Pastor Wakabayashi from Ueda church praying over us.

After the members of the women’s association left, our church members stayed behind so we can spend more time with people who came out today. They said the government’s plan to elevate the road is not moving fast enough, affecting their plan for constructing new houses. I saw how people are still forced to living with great uncertainty and hardships. (Yoko Ushiku)

Place of Activity: Temporary housing #3 in Northern Watanoha area, temporary housing in Tarumi area
Number of Volunteers: 12
Special Performance: Piano performance

Praise our father in heaven! We held a joint event for two temporary housings today, where we had 12 residents joining us. We have been praying and preparing for this day for two months, so I thank God for blessing us with wonderful time today. We first had the members of the Kanto Women’s Christian Association introduce themselves. They then asked the residents of the temporary housings if they could share about their experience of the day when the earthquake hit the area. People kindly accepted the request and started sharing about their experiences. Although we could not to give enough time to this part of the program, many of them were listening sympathetically with tears. After the members of the women’s association left, we stayed behind to eat lunch with those who came out today. It was a relazing time of fellowship with delicious green tea, which was made by a member of our church. (Mariko Fukazawa)

Place of Activity: Mangokuura temporary housing
Number of Volunteers: 28
Special Performance:  Ventriloquism

It was a cloudy day in Ishinomaki, but there were people waiting for us when the church van got there. We started to visit each household with an invitation to the event we had prepared for them, and people started to come out. When a large bus full of members of women’s association arrived, people’s faces lit up and immediately started mingling, introducing oneself to each other. Soon after, there were many groups of 2 to 3 people, sharing with each other their memory of the March 11th. Despite our concern that it might cause them too much pain to tell stories about that day, they were very open about it. They even told us that it lifted their hearts up to be able to talk about their experiences. We sang some hymns together, and enjoyed the ventriloquism that one of the participants from Nagareyama Church performed for us. Rev. Munakata then prayed very powerfully for the people in the disaster stricken area; each word he prayed made as feel as if we were made one in heart.

The participants of the women’s association left for Onagawa town to observe the coastal area that were severely damaged by the tsunami, but members of Sendai church stayed behind for lunch with the residents. We were also able to give each one of them a gift that the women’s association had prepared. I thank God and every participant for the great time we got to spend together today. (Machiko Yoshida)

Place of Activity: Takayasu Liquor Store
Number of Volunteers: 22
Special Performance: Apron theater (puppet show)

Among the 21 people who showed up today, there were some whom the owner of the liquor store had invited on behalf of us. He even asked two of them to share with us their story from that day when the earthquake hit their town.

We started off the event by singing few worship songs together, then the members of the women’s association performed a puppet show for us, It was a fun, very well-made show, and we all truly enjoyed it. After that, we listened to Ms. Konno share with us about her experience. It was a story of fear, despair, and love. We could not listen to it without tears. It was very unfortunate that we ran out of time for another person to share.

I felt God’s abundant blessing upon us, especially when recalling all the hard work that was put into preparing for today’s event. I am truly grateful. (Atsuko Ishikawa)


*All texts translated by Ayano Iizumi

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2013.5.23 67th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1484 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1484#respond Thu, 30 May 2013 03:19:52 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1484 Continue reading ]]> Place of Activity: 1) Watanoha North No.2 housing estate 2) Ishinomaki East temporary housing unit
Number of volunteers: 1) 10 people 2) 3 people
Content of Activity: 1) Painting workshop, lunch, distribution of relief supplies, worship and short message, lucky draw 2) Helping out with a quilting workshop
Content of the supply packages: cup noodle, tomato, kitchen detergent, sports gel, tracts, message booklet, church invitation

On a beautiful spring day filled with fresh air and sprouting greens, ten of us from our church headed over to Ishinomaki area to visit residents at temporary housings. We knocked on the door of each household in the unit with fresh tomatoes as a gift, inviting them to come out for the workshop and lunch with us. Ten of them showed up, and some worked on paintings, while some others enjoyed chatting. We spent such a pleasant, relaxing time together.

While we were delivering gifts to people, we came upon a man who was weeding a garden. He said he was doing it for his son’s family, who just moved into this temporary housing unit 3 days ago. This man used to live with them in his own house which was damaged by the tsunami. They have been working on repairing the house ever since, but repeated earthquakes slanted the house from its foundation, made it impossible for them to live there anymore. The son and his family were finally approved to move into the temporary housing, but this man and his wife were not. On top of that, he somehow was demanded to return the relief donation he received for fixing his house, when he was already struggling to find a job that will make his ends meet. We were in great shock when we heard his story. Our heart ached for him for all the hardships he has been going through for the past 2 years.

The Mother’s day is over, but we carried on the theme and shared a message on God’s love, which we believe often resembles the love of mothers. We gave carnations to each woman who were there with us today to celebrate their motherhood. (by Takahashi, translated by Ayano Iizumi)

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2013.5.9 A Report on Relief Work at Iwaida Temporary Housing Unit http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1478 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1478#respond Mon, 13 May 2013 04:35:00 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1478 Continue reading ]]> Our team arrived at the site of today’s relief work on the beautiful spring afternoon. Cherry blossoms were blooming gorgeously around the temporary housing, where few of its residents were waiting for our arrival.

All together 9 people showed up to our event, where we enjoyed chatting and painting handmade postcards together. After lunch, we sang the hymn “Though Far You May Stray, Though You Circle the Earth” for the lyrics of this song was perfectly suitable to celebrate this special day: Mother’s Day. I also had the opportunity to share a short message on mother’s love, and I was grateful to see how attentive my listeners were.  We sent them home with some carnations and fresh tomatoes.

It was very disappointing and also heartbreaking that the two people we usually see when we are around in this area did not show up today because they have been hospitalized. We prayed for them that they will quickly recover from their illness and be healed completely. We were also able to visit individual households in the Iwaida area, as well as the craft workshop held at a missionary’s residence in Onagawa area.  We thank God for the fun time we were able to spend together with the participants.

The town of Mangokuura is rapidly changing with the shore protection works in progress; the area looks drastically different every time we visit. We hope to walk alongside with these people who have stood up in the midst of their hardships to rebuild this town. Please keep this town in your prayer for a safe and quick reconstruction. Praise God for His abundant blessings and unfailing love.

(Machiko Yoshida, translated by Ayano Iizumi)

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2013.4.18/25 ’64/5th Relief Work Report’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1463 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1463#respond Wed, 08 May 2013 11:12:22 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1463 2013.4.18 64th Relief Work Report Place of Activity: Temporary housing in the east of Ishinomaki city Number o … Continue reading ]]> 2013.4.18 64th Relief Work Report
Place of Activity: Temporary housing in the east of Ishinomaki city
Number of Volunteers:  3
Content of Activity: 1) Helping out with the quilting workshop 2) Sharing personal testimonies with the workshop attendees

2013.4.25 65th Relief Work Report
Place of Activity: Temporary housing in northern Watanoha town #3 (11 households) and Tarumi town (24 households)
Number of Volunteers:  11 (9 from Sendai EF Church, 2 from Furukawa EF Church)
Content of Activity: 1) Hosting a painting workshop 2) Serving lunch and distributing relief supplies 3) leading a time of worship, sharing of personal testimonies and playing games
Content of a gift package: 1 piece of cup noodle, 2 tomatoes, 4 cups of uncooked rice, 1 bottle of kitchen detergent, 2 sports gel,  some gospel tracts, a letter from church, and a booklet containing sermons

We stopped by Mrs. H’s place before heading to temporary housings to deliver some gifts for her two newly married sons and their babies due in June. We received donations of used child car seats, baby chairs and buggies, so we took them with us along with infant underwears and milk bottles we purchased new. We are very thankful for those generous givers who responded to our calls for donations.

As we always do, we visited each unit in the temporary housing to deliver the gift packages we had prepared. We were very glad that people who received the packages loved the fresh tomatoes we included in them. There was also a dental check up service taking place in Taremizu temporary housing, so we were able distribute these packages to the patients and dentists there as well.

At the temporary housing in Ishinomaki town where we held the workshop, the same five people who joined us last time showed up again. We have been building a relationship with them slowly yet steadily by returning to visit them every few months, and we feel that they are becoming more and more welcoming and accepting of us as a result. We praise God for this great opportunity He has given us to meet and get to know these lovely people.

Hiroko Takahashi
(translation by Ayano Iizumi)

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2013.3.28 63rd Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1444 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1444#respond Tue, 09 Apr 2013 08:02:06 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1444 Continue reading ]]> Place of Activity: 60 households in Watanoha, Mangokuura, and Mitsuwa town
Number of Volunteers: 10 (8 from Sendai EF Church, 2 from Urawa EF Church)
Content of Activity: 1) Visiting individual homes in the area and distributing relief supplies

The area we visited today was where we will be planting our new church soon (we have already bought a piece of land in the area). After having a dedicated time of prayer, we got into 5 different groups to visit homes in the area. We were well received by the residents there: they said they rarely receive relief supplies.

A butcher in the area was running its business in a still damaged store. They deliver to schools and kindergartens, but the number of orders had dropped significantly since the earthquake, they said. The sign of water damage is still very visible in their house, where crystalized salt covers the Japanese floor mats (tatami). Due to the unavailability of carpenters, they have not been able to fix the house yet. Another family we met had their house completely washed away by the tsunami. They now live with their daughters and their families, who also lost their homes, on the second floor of what used to be a supermarket. We met a barber, who was reminiscing about the days when this area used to be the center of activities of Watanoha town.

On our way back to Sendai, we visited a charity market, Mt. Hiyori as well as Kadonowaki Elementary School. The school was burnt as a charcoal from the fire that followed after the earthquake and the tsunami 2 years ago. That day, children, faculties, and townspeople ran up the hill by this school to escape to Mt. Hiyori.

It takes courage to knock on strangers’ doors, but praise God, He guided us and helped us as we carried out our mission. We were able to visit 60 families in the area and told them about the church that will be planted there soon. We pray that this new church will bring light and hope to this town.

by Hiroko Takahashi
( translation: Ayano Iizumi)

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2013.2.21 60th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1405 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1405#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2013 01:35:44 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1405 Place of Activity: Temporary housing in Northern Watanami Unit #1 (11 households), Unit #4 (17 households), Un … Continue reading ]]> Place of Activity: Temporary housing in Northern Watanami Unit #1 (11 households), Unit #4 (17 households), Unit #5 (17 people)
Number of Volunteers:  12 (11 from Sendai EF Church, 1 from Otsu Church)
Content of Activity: 1) Visiting individual households in the temporary housings and distributing relief supplies (Content: cup noodles, dish soap, heat patches, towels, flu masks, church and Christian pamphlets) 2) Organizing a recreational event (painting workshop, worship and testimonies, games, lunch, distribution of supplies)

Our biggest prayer for today’s relief work was a road safety. It has been snowing quite heavily lately, and we were worried about our cars slipping on frozen roads. However, God answered our prayer and protected us from accidents.

We had about 10 people gathered in the hall of Unit #1 to do some paintings together. We also had Ms. Ota with us today, who is currently serving in Pakistan as a missionary. We had a lot of fun learning from her some Sunday school songs sang in Pakistan.

There was a lady who just moved here from another temporary housing unit we visited before, and she was very happy to have us here. We went to pick her up at her place so that she can join us for the recreation meeting we hosted.

Temporary housing units in this area are small, so we went to 3 different units to distribute goods and also to extend our invitation to the event we’re hosting. We heard some say that they do not feel comfortable going to an event that is held at the hall of other unit, so we let them look through the supplies we brought in their unit’s hall. These were mostly young mothers, so we are hoping to take more clothes for children next time.

We met a person who just moved into a temporary housing (almost 2 years after the earthquake) because the land underneath her house sank.  There was also a 73 years old man we always enjoy seeing. He told us some fun and interesting stories, and we had great time together.


2013.3.7 61st Relief Work Report

Place of Activity: Temporary housing unit in Eastern Ishinomaki
Number of Volunteers:  3
Content of Activity: 1) Giving people pictures that were taken during the previous event 2) Helping out with the craft workshops

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2013.2.7 58th Relief Work Report (by Hiroko Takahashi) http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1385 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1385#respond Tue, 19 Mar 2013 13:46:41 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1385 Place of Activity: Temporary housing in Northern Watanami Unit #2 (27 households) Number of Volunteers: 9 Cont … Continue reading ]]> Place of Activity: Temporary housing in Northern Watanami Unit #2 (27 households)
Number of Volunteers: 9

Content of Activity: 1) Visiting individual households in the temporary housings and distributing relief supplies 2) Organizing a recreational event (painting workshop, worship and testimonies, games, lunch, distribution of supplies)

We were anxious about today since only a few showed up when we held an event in this same place in November last year. To our surprise, however, we had 9 people today and we were very glad.  We wanted to be intentional about calling them by their names, so we had them put a name tag on themselves.  This turned out to be a very good idea, allowing us to have more personal interactions with them during games and workshops.

When we visit individual households with supplies, we invite them to the event we will be hosting later that day. Most of them cannot make it to the event for different reasons, but some would come out just for the part where we distribute more supplies (we set up a market so people can come and take whatever they need for free).

We had the opportunity to visit the surrounding area as well. There was a factory manufacturing wooden boxes for fishes.  They resumed their business three months after the earthquake, and they said they are in huge debt now for re-opening the factory. With sigh, they told us about how they just stood there and watched as the tsunami gushed into their property from the bridge behind.

An old couple who used to be in charge of the temporary housing unit in Mangokuura (another location we often visit) just moved to this area where they have built a new house, so we went to pay a visit. They both got a job, and they seemed like they were doing really well. We also encountered some people who were patrolling around temporary housing units for traffic control, so we gave them some relief supplies. They live in their own houses but they needed to fix them first.

It depends on people, but it feels that people are becoming more and more open to talk about themselves. Perhaps it is due to the trust that we have been able to built with them for visiting them continuously.

2013.2.20 59th Relief Work Report (by Hiroko Takahashi)

Place of Activity: Temporary housing unit in Eastern Ishinomaki
Number of Volunteers: 3
Content of Activity: 1) Giving people pictures that were taken during the previous event 2) Helping out with the craft workshops

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2013.1.10 56th Relief Work Report http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1320 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1320#respond Sat, 26 Jan 2013 13:00:16 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1320 Continue reading ]]> Place of Activity: Temporary housing unit in Northern Watanoha unit #3 (12 households) and Tarumi unit (24 households) in Ishinomaki district
Number of Volunteers: 9
Content of Activity: 1) Visiting individual households in the temporary housings and distributing relief supplies 2) Organizing a recreational meeting (craft workshop, worship and testimonies, games, desserts, distribution of supplies)

This was the first relief work this year.  When we got to the temporary housing in Watanami, its residents were already waiting at the meeting room for us to start the program. There were 7 participants including 3 men, and they all seemed to have enjoyed the craft workshop we prepared. We also had the opportunity to hear about their stories and experiences as earthquake victims. For the first time, we had one of our church members sing worship songs with Japanese traditional tune known as ‘enka’, and another shared her personal testimony. It was such a great time of experiencing God’s grace, mercy and His power.

We got to mingle with those who were unable to join our program when we visited their homes with gifts.  They told us about how a lot of their old friendships were disrupted and ruined after the earthquake. We also met an old man in his seventies, riding a bicycle to check up on his destroyed house every single day from the distant temporary housing he was allocated to live.

We don’t get many participants for our programs on weekdays, but it allows us to sit down with them and listen to them. What we can do is very limited, but we hope to continue this ministry to walk alongside with those who are still hurt and affected by the disaster.

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6th December, 2012 ‘Christmas Party in Ishinomaki District and a Relief Work in Mangokuura Area’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1274 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1274#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2012 08:00:36 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1274 Number of Volunteers: 26 Urawa Church (2), Tokyo Musashino Church (1), Higashi Omiya Church (1), Furukawa Chur … Continue reading ]]> Number of Volunteers: 26
Urawa Church (2), Tokyo Musashino Church (1), Higashi Omiya Church (1), Furukawa Church (3), Sendai Church (19)

1.    Christmas party (Mangokuura temporary housing )
Singing Christmas carols, message from the Bible, bingo game, lunch, distribution of relief supplies
2.    Distribution of 300 Christmas gift packages to 300 households in the area
Content of the package: Christmas card, 2 heat patches, toilet paper, snacks, and hats, gloves, socks, or scarves

We are truly excited to report about the relief work event we organized for this very special season of Christmas. First of all, we would like to thank all of you who sent us supplies for distribution (they came in from all over the world), and also those who traveled all the way to help us with the work. In addition to the basic Christmas gifts described above, we also assembled few different kinds, such as a package of sticky rice for Japanese New Year’s celebration, as well as a package for children.

This year, we divided the whole team into half. One team led a Christmas party at temporary housing, while the other took the gift packages to individual households in temporary housing and homes in the surrounding area, knocking on their door one by one. We would normally try to spend as much time as possible talking and listening to people, but today we had to focus on distributing the packages. It took longer than we expected to distribute all of them, but other teams, including the one putting up a Christmas party, were going over time as well, so all teams ended up finishing around the same time. Praise the Lord for His perfect timing!

I visited the same area about a month ago, so when I started going around the area with packages, people remembered us and were really excited to see us again. Ms. S is in her seventies, living at temporary housing by herself. She had a surgery for her cataract only 2 days prior to our visit, and she shared with us how excited she was when she was able to put a thread through a needle that day! It was such a blessing to be able to share an exciting moment with her.

My love and understanding for these people grew as we visited them repeatedly. I am no expert in communication, but I am humbled by the power of God that allows me to take part in this ministry despite my incapability.

(Takahashi Hiroko)

    I noticed that the expressions on faces of those who came out to chat with us today were calm and relaxed. People approached us with smile when they learnt that we were from church, which we owe to those who had faithfully and continuously visited them with love over the past years. A lot of people were gone when we visited their home, but I hope it was due to their new employment or improved mood to spend time outside, not because of the gambling centers that have been becoming increasingly popular in the area.

    It made me happy to see people’s faces brighten up when we told them we had gifts to give. However, my biggest prayer is that they will experience even more joy when they read the Christmas card with bible verses and a gospel booklet we included inside.

    When I took some baby clothes to a mother there, we were informed that there is a great need for baby clothes in the area. I promised her that I will return with more in future. When I asked for donations of baby clothes to my friends back home, they thanked me for collecting and carrying the goods to people for them, since they can’t visit them themselves. I was really encouraged to realize how blessed I was to be the person to take the gifts full of love to people.

    It’s been over a year and a half since the earthquake hit this area, but people are still making the sacrifice to send us so many supplies to distribute! I would like to thank all of those who have been partnering with us in this ministry through donations and prayer. As much as I am relieved to see people doing well in the area we visited, I am aware of temporary housings that have not received much or any visit yet, and it breaks my heart to imagine how lonely they might be. Please keep those people in your prayer.

(Sachi Aizawa)

    We started planning for this Christmas event in early September, discussing over and over again about details and praying as we prepared. It was very encouraging to see so many churches respond to support us. We had 26 people joining from various churches today, including the Gilberts, a missionary working here in Miyagi. It was our fourth time visiting this temporary housing unit, so people were very welcoming. About 40 people who came out for the party enjoyed the beautiful voice of our guest musician, Mika Takana, and they were also attentive to the gospel message that Rev. Kurihara shared. We had a wonderful time together. Almost all the winter clothes and hand crafted gifts we took there were gone at the end. I was also glad to see how much they enjoyed the bingo game, especially the prizes they won! As people started leaving, I heard so many of them talk about how much fun they had. Praise God for the opportunity He gave us to spend fun time together!

    Some of us went back to the same area next day to deliver an electric blanket to an old lady, Ms. S. It was truly moving to see Christians respond to God’s grace and love by giving and caring others, and to imagine how much joy that must have brought to people. To God be the glory.

(Mairko Fukazawa)

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28th Nov., 2012 ‘Support activities at Northern-Watanoha 2nd Temporary Houses’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1258 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1258#respond Wed, 28 Nov 2012 06:55:34 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1258 Sorry, this entry is only available in Japanese.]]>

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8th Nov. 2012, ‘Watanoha and Iwaida area support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1238 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1238#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2012 06:04:11 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1238

Sorry, this entry is only available in Japanese.

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25th Oct. 2012, ‘1st, 4th and 5th Nothern Watanoha Temporary Houses support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1183 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1183#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2012 11:31:04 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1183 Sorry, this entry is only available in Japanese.]]>

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11th October, 2012 ‘Iwaida and Ohmori Temporary Houses support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1140 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1140#respond Mon, 05 Nov 2012 01:07:57 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1140

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27th of Sept., 2012 ‘Hokubu 3rd, Tarumi 2nd, Ishinomaki By-pass support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1128 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1128#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2012 08:29:25 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1128 ]]>

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6th of Sept., ‘Ishinomaki Eastern By-pass Temporary Houses support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1126 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1126#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2012 06:33:13 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1126

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2nd, 20th, 21st and 27nd Aug., 2012 ‘Summary of summer support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1117 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1117#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2012 08:20:49 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1117

Sorry, this entry is only available in Japanese.

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23rd August, 2012 ‘Watanoha-Mangokuura Temporary Houses support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1096 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1096#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2012 08:00:35 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1096 Sorry, this entry is only available in Japanese.]]>

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Year 2011 Annual Financial Report was uploaded http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1086 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1086#respond Wed, 22 Aug 2012 12:09:13 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1086 Continue reading ]]> Thank you for your daily prayer and support for our activities.  We also really appreciate your financial support for us.  Here we upload year 2011 annual financial report of all the donations.

Please click this link –> Year 2011 Annual Financial Report

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19th July, 2012 ‘West Ishinomaki Bipass Temporary Houses support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1044 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1044#respond Sun, 29 Jul 2012 00:21:54 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1044

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5th July, 2012 ‘East Ishinomaki Bipass Temporary Houses support activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1041 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1041#respond Sun, 29 Jul 2012 00:17:52 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1041

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21st June, 2012 ‘Support activities at Second Temporary Houses in Watanoha’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1025 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1025#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2012 07:35:49 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1025

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7th June, 2012 ‘Support activities in Iwaida and their neighbors’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1023 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1023#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2012 07:32:57 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1023 ]]>

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24th May, 2012 ‘Support activities at T Store in Watanoha’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1020 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/1020#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2012 07:32:00 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=1020

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9th of Feb., 2012 ‘Iwaida Temporary Houses supporting activities’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/941 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/941#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 12:24:10 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=941 Volunteers: 10 persons Visitors: about 20 persons It had been snowing from the previous night, and the snow be … Continue reading ]]> Volunteers: 10 persons
Visitors: about 20 persons

It had been snowing from the previous night, and the snow became heavier when I entered into the Sanriku Highway(the way we used to use going to Ishinomaki from our church).  But when we reached at Matsushima, suddenly snow was stopped, and the road became dry condition.   Although we departed with some hesitation, God answered to our prayer.  Blessed be His name always!

After arriving and unloading the stuffs, sisters went to visit to each temporary houses under very cold wind.  This was our second visit to Iwaida.

A few minutes later, people living in the temporary houses and around them gradually came to the meeting space.  They enjoyed looking winter cloths, eating Oshiruko (a Japanese sweet soap made by the combination of Azuki beans and Omochi, sticky rice balls) and chatting.  I was glad to meet with an aged lady who has came to our previous activity again entered vigorously.

Also Andy and Lorna Gilbert, Longs and Ann joined to us.  So the fellowship warmed up.  We had a Janken (Japanese rock-paper-scissors game), singing worship songs and a payer at last.

Sisters asked their needs to each attendants, and we could offer Kotatsu (Japanse style table with heater covered by blanket), blankets and futons according to the requests.  People who hasengaged in support activities in Oshika peninsula (south-eastern part of Ishinomaki city, about one hour far from Iwaida) brought the left cloths for their purpose.  I was glad to see  every stuffs sent from entire country used effectively for devastated people!

[Machiko Yoshida, Sendai Evangelical Free Church member]

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23rd of Feb., 2012 ‘Support activities at Watanoha 1st Temporary Houses’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/964 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/964#respond Mon, 19 Mar 2012 05:50:43 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=964  ]]>  

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23rd of Dec., ‘Ishinomaki Christmas festival at T store of Watanoha’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/871 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/871#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2012 11:30:15 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=871 It was in the Christmas season, so we asked T Store again whether we would be able to hold on ‘Ishinomak … Continue reading ]]>

It was in the Christmas season, so we asked T Store again whether we would be able to hold on ‘Ishinomaki Christmas Festival’ there.  Owner Mr. T again accepted our plan very warmly.    We had seven different programs that day: 1.distributing winter cloths and Omochi (kind of solid rice ball) for new year celebration, 2.feeding Oshiruko (Japanese sweet soap using adzuki beans), 3. visiting houses around T store, 4. distribution at Second Watanoha Temporary Houses, 5. lot drawing, 6. Christmas-box present, 7. Christmas song caroling and short message.

We had 66 members, the largest number of volunteers ever on our activities.  Especially 9 members from MCC (Musashino Chapel Center), and 5 from Nagoya-Nishi Evangelical Free Church gave us so much help from the stage of preparation.   Also many brothers and sisters of entire EFCJ assisted us by sending wrapped Christmas present and message cards.  Those were more than dozens of corrugated box in total.  We want to say sincere ‘Thank you!’ to them on this blog.   You can see the photos below of how we made Christmas boxes by those presents.  (If you push “i” button, you can see the description.)

We also set up two hundred ‘New year kit’ including Omochi and Anko (sweet, mushed adzuki beans) because it closed the day of new year.  We used a fund from Ms. Monica Blettel, the teach of Tokai Seisho Shingakujuku for this purpose.  We also really appreciate to the fellow Christians living in her country, Germany.

Activities were divided four groups, and done simultaneously by couple of hours: 1 and 2 for our church members, 3 for MCC members and 4 for Nagoya-Nishi members.  After the end of each works, we gathered again, sung several Christmas songs, and pastor Yoshida (senior pastor of our church) spoke a short message, then we distributed Christmas boxes.

Because we had already have several time of activities, more than 170 people came to the festival.  Unfortunately there was strong north wind reached to 10m/s this day, but people made a line and waited long.  The patience of devastated people was really amazing to us.

Here is one of the sentiments from the volunteers:

“This was my first time volunteer work for SEFC’s activities.  I went there with the members of same church and company.  Eventually a cold snap hit Tohoku with very cold north wind this day.  I felt the solid sense being in Tohoku, and also understood that people living there has fought with such a coldness everyday.

I was in charge of visiting houses.  I brought some kits of Omochi and Anko and Christmas boxes by the team of three members each, and went to the houses in Watanoha one by one.  One thing I really amazed was every people living there was so kind to us, the strangers.  I am tend to have wariness for strangers because I have grown up in newly built urban area in Tokyo.  If I were them, I would open the door fearfully a little.  So I was impressed by their openness that they could naturally believe strangers like us.

One owner offered us teas and snacks, and shared many stories of the day of earthquake.  Although they have faced so severe experiences, why they can welcome us, the strangers?  I also received a warm message from them saying “You are young yet.  Future is yours!”.  I thought that what would be able to do on my life, and felt “Until today, how much tears dropped and sunk into this land..?”

After the visiting, we sung  Christmas songs together.  I really appreciate that the people listened quietly under the cold air.  This time we have prepared and distributed 160 cookies and cards with hand-written message.  Our friend who could not come also assisted this work.  It was also amazed that the preparation work of SEFC members.  I want to come this place again with our church members and colleagues.”

(written by Ms. Momoko Fukuda, member of MCC)

[See post to watch Flash video] [See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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24th of Nov., ‘Support activities at First Watanoha Temporary Houses’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/853 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/853#comments Sat, 03 Dec 2011 13:31:01 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=853 Continue reading ]]> Number of houses: 89

Although it was very cold this day, meeting space was filled with many people and warm.  The leader of the houses asked beforehand to pack relief supplies into a bag for individuals.  It was first time being asked such an offer, but we could do the distribution smoothly than usual.  I want to appreciate for this idea.

We arranged winter cloths and set up a coffee corner.  Everyone enjoyed searching their favorite cloth, eating rice balls, so there was a very relaxed mood there.  At last, Andy Gilbert led the bingo game as usual and people enjoyed it.

Also three other sisters and brothers from Urawa Evangelical Free Church joined to our mission this time.  One sister of them testified about a lady.  Her card already became “one to bingo”, but the number(“24”) had not been called.  Finally she prayed “Ah! God of heaven!”, just the same time “24” was called!  The sister who was supporting her realized the reality of “Lord is alive”, and felt the solemn feeling with a joy.

Also pastor Kurihara of Furukawa Evangelical Free Church joined our ministry, and talked with people of the houses individually.  I want to give thanks to our Lord for the prayers and offerings from many EFCs, and the great assistance of Christian volunteer workers.

[text by Machiko Yoshida]

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15th of Nov., ‘The LED lighted cross was set up on the roof’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/826 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/826#respond Fri, 18 Nov 2011 04:46:51 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=826 A few months ago, I received a flier about a project that DRCnet(Disaster Relief Christian NETwork) will freel … Continue reading ]]> A few months ago, I received a flier about a project that DRCnet(Disaster Relief Christian NETwork) will freely set up LED lighted cross for fifty churches in disaster area. Although our church is located in the midst of disaster area, but wasn’t damaged severely. So I felt that our church wasn’t appropriate to receive such a wonderful support. But decisively I applied to the project, surprisingly the application was accepted cheerfully.

Though it was very cold and windy at 15th of November, pastor Ha and other three brothers came from Kanto. They built up the cross quickly using some tools like electric driver and so on. All work was finished within two and a half hours. When the cross with a LED light turned on, I felt that it was like a light of Christ’s love illuminating the world, especially for the Tohoku area which was still under so much painful situation.

Until now, residents who live near our church sometimes said “Oh, there is a church around here?”, despite the fact we had continuously delivered many fliers to their house. Even some of the church members haven’t known the existence of the cross yet. But now there is a cross lighted by itself, so I hope many will see it and know indeed here is a church around them. We really appreciate for DRCnet’s kindness.

I also heard that this cross would be set up at Watari Bible Church, the newly born church in the midst of tsunami devastated area, Kurihara Bible Baptist Church and Ishinomaki House of Prayer, too. In order to boost up the publicity of these churches, I hope this project will be used more.

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10th of Nov., 2011 ‘Support activities at 2nd Temporary Houses of Watanoha’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/794 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/794#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 07:57:16 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=794 Number of visitors: 140 Volunteers: 16 This time we borrowed the meeting house of ‘2nd Temporary Houses … Continue reading ]]> Number of visitors: 140
Volunteers: 16

This time we borrowed the meeting house of ‘2nd Temporary Houses of Watanoha(2THW)’, constructed at 2nd ground of Miyagi Prefectural Fishery High-Schoool and did a distribution and coffee corner. Four brothers of Nagoya and Naogya-Nishi Evangelical Free Church came by micro bus with so much blanket and rice. Also Mr. and Mrs. S from Minnesota joined to our work.

The 2THW has 16 jointed houses and about 160 families live there. Although it was almost noon, the leader welcomed with us and assisted our discharge from the cars. More than hundred people already made a line. Fortunately it was good weather, so we didn’t let them wait under the cold wind. Because of a little happening, we had to clear up the meeting house before planned schedule. So we were very busy, but it was good time to have bingo game outside the house under nice sunshine. Everyone enjoyed it.

By the representative’s request, we dedicated a color printer to meeting space for printing fliers or posters.  This is from Ms. Monica Blettel’s offering.  We appreciate for her and friends living in her country, Germany.

During the game, I met an old lady and heard her story. She is 91 years old, and carried on a tourist home in front of the sea before the earthquake. Tsunami was taken three family away from her. Her daughter’s husband was very responsible man and he encountered tsunami on the way to his company. His body was found fifty days after the day.  She also lost one grandson, and finally entered to this temporary house with her daughter 71 years old.

The most difficult thing is a cost to go to the hospital. There is no shared car at this temporary houses, so she has to use taxi. But it costs over 7,000 yen (about 90 dollars) for a once. She hesitates to ask other residents who have a car because they also are in difficult situation. Everyone needs some medicines in his nineties. Of course her house was gone away completely, lost her life base. What a big pain she still has to pay. How severe to live only with over seventy years old daughter. She cried quietly. I wasn’t able to do anything else rather than praying for them.

You know already 8 months past from the earthquake. But once you will face to the people, they still have unhealed pain, deep anxiety and tears. You will see the real which you will not be able to see when you think them as a whole. I realized that we have to see ‘A tree, not a forest’. I want to continue the supporting work as long as I can.


[Nobuaki Kadotani]

[See post to watch Flash video] [See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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27th of Oct., 2011 ‘Support activities for Iwaida temporary houses in Ohmori, Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/768 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/768#respond Sat, 05 Nov 2011 14:29:28 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=768 Number of visitors: 26 Volunteers: 11 We received a request from Mrs. H when we had a distribution on T Store, … Continue reading ]]> Number of visitors: 26
Volunteers: 11

We received a request from Mrs. H when we had a distribution on T Store, and went to Iwaida temporary houses (9 houses) and their neighbors.  Going across the Mangokubashi bridge and the road beside sea, those houses were located there on a hill.  People said that this was the very first distribution except for governor’s.  First we offer rice balls and teas for lunch because it was almost noon.  Although we brought so many winter cloths sent from a lot of places, they received almost all of them.

Andy and Lorna Gilbert lead a bingo game as usual, people enjoyed a relaxed time just as their child age.

A lady asked us “Are you Christians too?  There Christians repair the house”.  They were volunteers of Samaritan’s Purse.  I really appreciated that many Christians were used by the Lord in this place, then left Ishinomaki of fall season.

[ Machiko Yoshida ]

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10th of Oct., 2011 ‘Support activities for Mangokubashi area of Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/736 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/736#respond Thu, 03 Nov 2011 02:00:32 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=736 Number of visitors: around 150 Volunteers: 48 Our church has a group named “Samariya-kai”(means &# … Continue reading ]]> Number of visitors: around 150
Volunteers: 48

Our church has a group named “Samariya-kai”(means “Samaritan’s Group”) which supports aged or physically or mentally weakened people.  This supporting activity was held by a Samariya-kai’s appeal for entire the church.  Volunteers were raised up from Tokyo, Osaka and Furukawa, 48 persons in total.  T Store, located beside Mangokubashi bridge, offered the store for our activities.  We want to say sincere appreciation for their kindness.

We divided volunteers for four team: distribution, feeding, visiting houses and delivery, and do each work simultaneously.  Samaritan’s Purse again offered us many blankets, kerosene stoves and commodity kits, also we had to bring a lot of equipment for feeding, we borrowed a 3 tons truck.

We offered 250 cups of “Imoni soup” (Japanese taro and other vegetables mixed soup tasted with Miso) for local people.  More than 150 people waited our distribution from early in the morning, ate Imoni, had a relaxed time with coffee.  They looked being anxious about the preparation for coming winter season.

Please look at a report by Ms. Matsubara about visiting houses and the preparation at previous day.

Nobuaki Kadotani

This was my first volunteer work for supporting activities from Tokyo.

I engaged in the preparation of supply kits for visiting houses with church members of Sendai EFC at 8th and 9th of October.  It was planned to do distribution, feeding, coffee corner and visiting each houses borrowing T Store at Mangokubashi Bridge.

Not to let local people queue up from early morning, turns of each person were chosen by lottery.  I thought that this was very good idea, and an example of good use of former experience of support activities.

We made four pairs visiting houses around T Store.  When I went to 5 or 6 houses, I experienced the real facts that people live in devastated area still had severe difficulties for daily life even after 7 months from the earthquake.  For example, some could not repair the house yet, some appealed the lack of infrastructure, a man own a store sadly said that he could not restart the store yet.  Other store of delivering lunch box shuttered.  Owner said that he could not have an outlook for his enterprise.  He looked something depressed.

On the way of visiting, there were some houses left with destructed first floor.  I felt those houses told me that people’s life was totally changed by the earthquake and tsunami at 11th of March.  It would soon become cold winter season in Tohoku.  So I thought that they need many stoves and winter cloths, people who hear their sad experience, and experts for construction of houses and infrastructure.  I can’t do something big, but I want to make a time and join to this support activities.

Izumi Matsubara,
member of Musashino Chapel Center


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29th of Sept., 2011 ‘Support activities at temporary houses in Mangokuura, Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/704 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/704#respond Fri, 07 Oct 2011 08:43:23 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=704 Done by 14 volunteers, welcomed 80 visitors This time Mrs.S had some difficulties of assignment for cars.  But … Continue reading ]]> Done by 14 volunteers,
welcomed 80 visitors

This time Mrs.S had some difficulties of assignment for cars.  But the day has came, there were appropriate number of cars and volunteers.  “There is a preparation on the Lord’s mountain!”, indeed.

Before our arrival, many persons have waited to us.  After the distribution in the meeting house, I visited each of temporary houses.  I knew thankfully almost half residents have gone to the meeting house for our ministry.  I delivered support kit to the people in the houses with an announcement  for the distribution.  Some of them were physically disabled, so I asked their personal needs and delivered them.  Other people came along with a person whom she used to care as her job.  I like these kind of eventual re-encounter.

When I returned to the meeting house, there became little stuffs.  But many people have had a chat around the coffee spot.  Then we had a bingo game, and delivered some heaters, kerosene cans, electric carpets, radios and rices as a gift.  Entire the time, there was a harmonious mood and we could share the relaxing time with suffered people.

Some of them asked me when we would go there again.  I felt very sorry I could not promise them because we support a few places as round robin.

The leader of the residents said that this was the first time such many people gathered to meeting house from the beginning of that temporary houses.

People have a smile with a support stuff, and there become a peaceful mood.  So the distribution and fellowship time both are the pillar of our ministry.  I do realized the importance to become a neighbor with sincere care for them.  I wanted to depend God’s guidance and continue this work as long as I can.

Also we really appreciate to do our mission with the member of Kawagoe Evangelical Free Church in this time.  Thank you!

Hiroko Takahashi

 On every supporting work we bring three kind of stuffs: sent from many fellow Christians in Japan, offered from Samaritan’s Purse, our own bought commodities and seasonable goods.

 The most popular and hoped stuffs are these:  rice (2kg per each, really needed), wool blankets, boa sheets, cover and under sheets for Kotatsu (*Japanese style heating table with blankets) and warming pans.  I really regretted to hear the voice like “Oh, is there no other one like these for me?” when we have no more stocks for them at that time.

 The Kahoku-Shinpo (*local famous newspaper of Miyagi) reported that temporary houses of Miyagi “doesn’t have thick floor with heat-insulating material, and have no eaves for entrance. So they are very weak for both heat and coldness.”

You know winter season is coming day by day.  Of course we can’t rebuild that houses, but we want to offer the stuffs which can make people warm.

Hiroko Shoji

“About Kawagoe Evangelical Free Church volunteer team”

Seven volunteers joined to our ministry this time.  We are really encouraged by their sacrifice of coming from the distant place.  Actually their car faced some critical damages such as punk of the tires, and engine blow.  But God had always guarded their ways, so they dedicated themselves into the work with kindness, humors and the heart of comfort.

Pastor Nose also came to our church to pick them up from afar.  I feel that our ministry is supported by the prayer, love and encouragement of many distant Christians such as them.

With sincere appreciation,

Machiko Yoshida

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8th of Sept., ‘Distribution and coffee time in Watanoha’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/682 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/682#comments Sat, 17 Sep 2011 01:55:56 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=682 It was good fall weather with a refreshing breeze this day. We again borrowed Takayasu store in front of Mango … Continue reading ]]> It was good fall weather with a refreshing breeze this day. We again borrowed Takayasu store in front of Mangokuura bridge. The owner of this store, Mr. and Mrs. Takahashi, is the one who welcomed us on the first meeting in April. He has freely lent us his store more than five times for our activities. When we went into well clean-upped store, there was a banner “Thank you for Sendai EFC!” on the wall. Such kindness of sufferers gave the power to our work.

After every stuffs went away, Andy & Lorna Gilbert led a bingo game. We prepared some goods for a prize such as electric pan, wall clock and blanket, sent from many places. As the progressing of the game, there spread sighs, laughs and shouts with peaceful mood. After the game, some people stayed relax and had a chat for a while.

Other team simultaneously visited the temporary houses in which people who couldn’t come out to our distribution place. We really appreciated the we were used to deliver the love of God with some stuffs to those people. Here the report of the team:

“I visited the houses with a guy whom I felt like my real son. We brought “Kits” including towels, noodles, instant foods, teas, gels and so on. In that area, tsunami hit the houses severely. Residents initially lived on the 2nd floor without sufficient support, and then somehow repaired their houses. I hoped to visit more, but ten houses an hour in maximum. There was a lot of aged people in each houses, so I was glad to deliver easily drinkable and eatable foods for them.”

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]> http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/682/feed 1 682 1st of Sept. ‘Relief activities in Mangokuura of Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/648 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/648#respond Sat, 03 Sep 2011 02:11:56 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=648 Where: temporary houses in Ishinomaki Suisan High-school Region: Mangokuura of Ishinoamki Member: 9 persons Th … Continue reading ]]> Where: temporary houses in Ishinomaki Suisan High-school
Region: Mangokuura of Ishinoamki
Member: 9 persons

This was our 19th time of relief activities in Ishinomaki.  This time we changed the method, from bazaar style distribution under the open sky, to visit temporary houses individually, encouraging people with relief supplies matched to their own needs.

It has never been rainy during our relief works before, so we departed from Sendai with a prayer for good weather.  But as we closed to Ishinomaki dark cloud appeared and when we reached there, it was heavy rain as tropical squall.

But God gave us wonderful blessing beyond our expectation.  When we arrived at target place, there was a meeting place of temporary houses.  We asked whether we could use the place for our relief work, and they welcomed us.  If we couldn’t use this place, it was impossible to do this relief because of so much rain.

We also offered unexpectedly the communication time between each persons living in those houses.   Andy and Lorna Gilbert made a bingo festival for them.  About 50 persons enjoyed it.

Also coffee corner was opened as usual.  I met a lady there.   When she had came from a settlement near the place at 6th of June, she had no acquaintance within those temporary houses.   Sorrowfully, her husband’s body was found two days after the movement.  When she had talked this story with me, her eyes had been filled with tears.  I thought that she has never spoken this story to other people, just lived each days without any mental and spiritual care.

After the great earthquake of Hanshin happened in 1995, it has often reported that aged people had died alone in many temporary houses.  I realized that if there would be no special care, this problem would happen again.  So I understood the importance of healing activities for mentally and spiritually wounded people this time.

At last, I want to say sincere “Thank you!” for everyone who assisted our work such as sending a donation and relief supplies, especially for your prayer!

text by Hiroshi Kato

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21st of July, ‘The 3rd distribution in Kazuma of Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/599 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/599#respond Sat, 23 Jul 2011 08:29:45 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=599 The big typhoon had gone away from Tohoku and cool wind has been blown in Ishinomaki at this day.  Amazingly w … Continue reading ]]> The big typhoon had gone away from Tohoku and cool wind has been blown in Ishinomaki at this day.  Amazingly we have never had any rain for 15 times of distribution.  I think that’s truly God’s grace.

Although we planned to use parking lot of Gyukaku restaurant, that place became unavailable.   So we borrowed  another free space.  It was really good place.  An American guy named Tom Salmon joined us this day.  He is a member of EFCA, optometrist and really good at Japanese.  He said that he came to Japan to do something for devastated people.  Fortunately we brought blood pressure measuring machine, so he receive health consulting at the coffee corner.  He speak softly and warmly with local people using nice Japanese.  That’s was another great help for us.

Because it was summer vacation season, many children came to our place.  We gave them some toys and books.  They really enjoyed those stuffs.  I also met a lady who was asking us ‘Please come to our area!  It’s OK it will be even only one time!’.   When I heard this voice, I felt that if only there is one person who needs us, I want to continue this mission as long as possible.

On returning way we went to Koganehama, and delivered a fan and electric cleaner.

Also this was the last time of volunteer for our member Ise Kotaro.  He has assisted our distribution work very well, but he will move to Ibaraki because of entering employment.  We really thank him for his great job.   May God’s bless his life!

Text by Machiko Yoshida

# of volunteer: 15
# of receiver: 111

These photos below are meeting held in front of the church before departure.

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6th of July, 2011 ‘The scene of preparation for distribution’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/584 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/584#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2011 15:20:41 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=584 [See post to watch Flash video] ]]> http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/584/feed 1 584 23rd of June, 2011 ‘Third distribution in Watanoha of Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/521 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/521#respond Wed, 22 Jun 2011 15:00:34 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=521 This is our third time distribution in Watanoha area, south east of Ishinomaki. Again the owner of T Sake shop … Continue reading ]]> This is our third time distribution in Watanoha area, south east of Ishinomaki. Again the owner of T Sake shop openly permitted us to user his currently closed store as a distribution spot. It was expected heavy rain around distributing time, he also offer space inside the store for us. Fortunately the weather was nice during the distribution, so we could give thanks to our Lord. Also EFCA(Evangelical Free Church of America) missionary Andy and Lorna Guilbert and other American volunteers assisted our work. Andy has worked long in Kyushu, the south part of Japan, then moved to here Miyagi for relief mission in this June. So we had more than twenty persons. That’s very nice to build a relationship with local people.

Because of the gradually raised temperature, so many flies were breeding these days. People needs an insecticide, fans and other summer equipment.

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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9th of June, 2011 ‘Second distribution in Kazuma of Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/513 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/513#respond Wed, 08 Jun 2011 15:00:53 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=513 We had a distribution in Kazuma, east part of Ishinomaki. We borrowed parking space of a restaurant placed sou … Continue reading ]]> We had a distribution in Kazuma, east part of Ishinomaki. We borrowed parking space of a restaurant placed southern at Kazuma primary school. We now routinely go three different places in Ishinomaki. Some of local people open their mind to us and we can gradually have mutual trusting relationship with them. According to the media you may feel situation is going well these days. Surely rubble beside main street has been mostly taken away, but once you go into each alleys and talk something with them, you will understand their ‘real’ condition. There is still so much difficulty there. So many people came to our place.

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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2nd of June, 2011 ‘Second Distribution in Koganehama of Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/500 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/500#respond Wed, 01 Jun 2011 15:00:45 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=500 [See post to watch Flash video]]]>

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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26th of May, 2011 ‘Distribution in Mangokuura, Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/468 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/468#respond Thu, 26 May 2011 14:00:57 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=468 We went to Mangokuura, Ishinomaki for distribution today. This is a weekly mission by volunteer members of our … Continue reading ]]> We went to Mangokuura, Ishinomaki for distribution today. This is a weekly mission by volunteer members of our church. Mangokuura is located in the root of Oshika peninsula. There was a devastated convenience store. The parking lot of the store was suitable for distribution. Because of an announcement for distribution before arrival, more than hundred people were waiting at there. Some of them had waited for two hours. It is the fact there has still been so much needs for distribution. We also put a small table beside distribution lot to deliver free drink service. Many people took a cup of coffee, and spoke their experience of tsunami and current condition of daily life.

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19th of May, 2011 ‘Re-visit to Ishinomaki, Onagawa and Ogatsu’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/451 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/451#respond Thu, 19 May 2011 13:10:33 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=451 Continue reading ]]> Due to preparation of women’s assembly tomorrow, weekly relief supply distribution in Ishinomaki was passed to next week. So I decided to see Minamisanriku, the middle east coast of Miyagi prefecture. On the way to there, I saw Ogatsu town again. It was still completely destructed and left.

[See post to watch Flash video]
Next I went north to Minamisanriku, but Shin-Kitakami bridge was closed because of tsunami damage. I had to turn around to across the Kitakami river. So I gave up to go Minamisanriku at this day. Here is a current condition of the riverside of Kitakami river. That place is very close to Ohkawa primary school. That school is known as miserable place. Almost 80% of the students died there due to mistaken judgement of evacuation route.

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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12th of May, 2011 ‘Distribution at Watanoha in Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/314 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/314#comments Thu, 12 May 2011 12:51:27 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=314 Text is now under translation.]]> Text is now under translation.

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11th of May, 2011 ‘Inspection team from foreign EFCs came to Miyagi’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/437 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/437#respond Wed, 11 May 2011 12:02:29 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=437 ]]>
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9th of May, 2011 ‘Re-visit to Ishonoamki, Onagawa and Minamisanriku area’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/275 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/275#respond Mon, 09 May 2011 03:20:30 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=275 Text is now under translation.]]> Text is now under translation.

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5th of May, 2011 ‘Distribution at Koganehama in Ishinomaki’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/290 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/290#respond Thu, 05 May 2011 12:25:50 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=290 Text is now under translation.]]> Text is now under translation.

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19th of April, 2011 ‘Classification of relief supplies in Ishinomaki & a delivery to the shelter’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/101 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/101#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2011 12:56:23 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=101 Text is now under translation.

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18th of April, 2011 ‘Arrival of the 5th volunteer team, transformation of works’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/99 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/99#respond Mon, 18 Apr 2011 12:55:44 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=99 Text is now under translation.]]> Text is now under translation.

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14th of April, 2011 ‘Distribution at Watanoha & cleaning of Japanese restaurant’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/97 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/97#respond Thu, 14 Apr 2011 12:55:06 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=97 Text is now under translation.]]> Text is now under translation.

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13th of April, 2011 ‘JEA vists, failed Ishinomaki cleaning and re-visit to Onagawa’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/95 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/95#respond Wed, 13 Apr 2011 12:54:32 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=95 Text is now under translation.]]> Text is now under translation.

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12th of April, 2011 ‘Ishinomaki distribution and cleaning day’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/93 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/93#respond Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:53:55 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=93 Text is now under translation.]]> Text is now under translation.

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11th of April, 2011 ‘The arrival of the fourth volunteering team’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/91 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/91#respond Mon, 11 Apr 2011 12:53:22 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=91 Continue reading ]]> From the region of Kansai and North Kyusyu, the fourth volunteering team has arrived this late night. From Gunma, Kyoto, Hyogo, Okayama, and even some of them came from North Kyusyu, taking a ferry and car for over 25hours. We bowed our head with gratitude for their spirit and sacrifice. This team characterize the young generation from junior students will the middle of fortieth. It must have been very tough journey for them since the aftershock hit on the Tohoku highway and the road was blocked for the check-up which led them to get out from the highway and came through the local road, even it was only two more hours to be here. Together with the aftershock in the last night, we felt that this time of earthquake has not passed but ‘still ongoing’.

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7th of April, 2011 ‘Day of Ishimaki distribution, and a big aftershock’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/89 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/89#respond Thu, 07 Apr 2011 12:52:41 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=89 Today was the day of opening the distributing station that we prepared yesterday at Ishimaki Christ Church. At … Continue reading ]]> Today was the day of opening the distributing station that we prepared yesterday at Ishimaki Christ Church. At first we made tickets for crowd control and handed over to people in the line, and ask five people at a time to enter. We displayed sorted clothes in front of the church, served coffee and also supplied food for them at the same time. Before the opening time at 11a.m, already twenty people were waiting.
The volunteering team which to set the mobile distributing station was heading for the area called Ishimaki dai kaido. This is the place where the damage from the flood is severe, and numbers of people have been living at the houses of the second floor since the first floor was flooded. They were quite struggling to remove and clean all debris and mud from the first floor at their house in order to be able to live at certain level. Because the flood ruined their household effects, cars and money, they were unable to go even for shopping. Therefore we selected mainly cleaning stuff, food, underwear and pillow at the material collection centre of Samaritan perse and brought them by two station wagons.
We were amazed by the multitude of people coming one after another to the distributing station where was set just with a blue sheet on the road. Even it was not fast enough to put things down from the wagons. Surged two hours passed and to our amazement everything we brought was completely gone. Yet at the end an elderly lady came and said, ‘I did not know that everything is finished. Have you got anything to eat? I have not eaten since this morning.’
What a painful word… After she left, we found a package of food, so immediately run after her, yet we lost her. This incident convinced us the countless need of this area.
When we returned back to Ishimaki Christ Church, they were also almost a time to finish distributing. Until that time, 190 tickets were handed over, and it seemed quite amount of materials had gone. According to a person working at the entrance, there was even a man who once went home and came back again and again with different clothes and waited in the line. He must have been desperate to get things. Many people asked the same question, ‘are you going to open tomorrow again?’ However, since the third volunteering team is supposed to leave tomorrow, they felt sorry for not being able to answer ‘yes’ to those people.
After returning to Sendai safely and thinking to finish the work of this week, suddenly a huge earthquake hit Sendai. It was at 11:32p.m. The magnitude was 7.4, and the earthquake registered an intensity of 6 plus, which was the biggest aftershock since the disaster. Although I was waiting for stopping the tremor in the middle of bating, and hoping that the power would sustain, it was cut and complete darkness covered our house. The tremor lasted about 1-2minutes. I was reduced to wander to grope for a torch with naked, despite I learned through experience of how important to grasp the place of it. I run into the bathtub to store water when last time of the suspension of the water supply crossed my mind. After storing water, it got already muddy, thus I was convinced the suspension of the water supply, and filled water in the portable water tank. When finally I took breath, it was already around 1 a.m. Since the highway was blocked, it became uncertain for the departure of the third volunteering team in the early morning. It must be only this team which got an experience of aftershock and power cut. Yet, for those of us who have experienced the earthquake, this kind of aftershock really depress us, ‘are we getting back to the life again…’ With fearing, this night was passing.
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6th of April, 2011 ‘To set Ishimaki Christ Church as a distributing station’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/87 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/87#respond Wed, 06 Apr 2011 12:52:00 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=87 After having a prayer meeting, we were again heading toward the Ishimaki Christ Church of brethren in the afte … Continue reading ]]> After having a prayer meeting, we were again heading toward the Ishimaki Christ Church of brethren in the afternoon. It is to set a distributing station within the church in order to make opening the supplies for the neighbors, which we brought by a track last week, donated by the Evangelical Free Churches. Under the leadership of the Evangelist Noriko Ito, the third volunteering team started sorting out the supplies and displaying them at once. They were piling up toilet papers, sorting medicines, classifying chargers of mobile phones, and packaging diapers by ten. They were impressive serving so vividly despite of the steady work. Without hindering, the station, where the thought for the sufferer was all over the place so that they could easily find their needy material, was set by the evening. There were over 10000 materials, and the items were even over 100. We were already hearing the voices from the neighbors, bursting away like  ‘when is the opening!?’ It made us be more aware of the huge need of this area, and so we prepared for the opening tomorrow. The female volunteers from our church will also go to the area of severe damage tomorrow to set ‘ a mobile distributing station’. Thus, tomorrow seems to be a decisive day.
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5th, April, 2011 ‘Continued Rikuzentakada Relief Mission’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/85 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/85#respond Tue, 05 Apr 2011 12:51:31 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=85 Continue reading ]]> We decided to visit Rikuzentakada city again since we have got a lot of vegetables and also the third volunteering team from Kansai and Kyusyu region last night. The destination is same as before, the Elderly welfare institution, ‘Kojyuen’ and Rikuzentakada Christ church. We selected mainly vegetables and underwear since we had heard from Kojyuen the need of these particular items. In Rikuzentakada city it seems the cleaning of debris has progress! ed than our last visit since two weeks ago. The petrol pump at the station which was bent was detached and we could see the ground under. The crane which fell sideways and was covering the ground was removed as well. Yet it was same as before that building after building have gone. We had to detour our way to Kojyuen since the excavator was removing debris on the road.
We lost over an hour to find another way to reach Kojyuen, since despite of a car navigation system, the actual road was damaged by the fallen bridge or obstructed by debris. During the time, we had an opportunity to ask two boys the way to Kojyuen, who seemed to their way back home after playing. They replied vigorously despite of their home tomn being destroyed as far as they could see, ‘we were from there, you can go from the other side.’ They must have a scar which cannot be easily healed in their heart, yet they are trying hard to live ! on, which moved our heart.
It seems the situation is getting better at Kojyuen after two weeks. There were two other groups that were delivering the supplies for them, which were not happening two weeks ago. We felt that the need of the larger scale of the shelter is getting to be met little by little. However, there are very few groups who bring fresh vegetables like us, thus, they were really joyful to receive them.
When we were on our way to Rikuzentakada church next, we were surprised that the mountain of debris on the road which obstructed our driving two weeks ago was cleanly removed! Although I was only one who was here last time among this team, I was so impressed personally.
When we arrived at the church, the pastor and his wife were away. They told us through the phone that they would be back in 10minutes. They seemed to little haggard, but welcomed us into t! he sanctuary, saying ‘let’s have a fellowship!’ We spent about 20-30 minutes together, and they told us that they were just back from bringing the supplies to the house of their church member in Ofunato. Indeed, there were many supplies at the sanctuary, though there was empty last time. Those supplies are actually offered for them, yet they are eager to give them out to others, even bringing by themselves. It is understandable to do such thing for like us from Sendai. But they are in the total divested city of Rikuzentakada. There are still no electrical, water and gas supplies. In such a place, it is normal to wish to keep things ‘for themselves’, being protective. And no one can accuse such an attitude. Yet the wife said, ‘when you give, God will also give us!’ Actually a ligament on her knees has been broken, in spite of that, she has been helping around and caring her church members and neighbours. It moved my heart, and! at that moment I felt ‘what a half-hearted faith my me…’� �
By the way, at the almost same time, another group arrived with supplies, saying ‘we heard through the radio that this area is in lack of materials…’
They were in their 20-30th, wearing towels around their head. Neighbours came and received the supplies with reserve. This incident indicated that the opening of roads has made people enable to receive supplies like this.
On our way back home, we saw the coast area where we did not see last time. The land subsidence was remarkable, and the hotels along the coast were partly covered by the water. A bridge was flushed, and a concrete building was lying next to it. It seems to be a longer and tough way to revive this town. ‘May the Lord grant his mercy upon this place…’, looking over the town where there was no light but only wild ! land near the sunset, we were praying in our heart.

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4th of April, 2011 ‘Continued Ishimaki Relief Mission’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/83 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/83#respond Mon, 04 Apr 2011 12:50:55 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=83 Continue reading ]]> In the early morning, we welcomed the pastor Yokoyama and Maki and the theological student Hina those who came all the way from Saitama prefecture through over the night. They brought the massive amount of flesh vegetables by their station wagon. In a disaster area, there can be a place where there are no vegetables available despite people can get enough preserved. In such a place, it is easy to be a bad health condition, thus, we were very grateful to get those vegetables.
After letting them to have a break, we were heading to Ishimaki area again. Today, we were supposed to transport the relief supplies to a person whom Mr.G from the Domei-Evangelical group asked for. Also we were to clean the Ishimaki Christ Church of bretheren, where it has covered by mud. For this mission, we brought a high pressure washer which I personally bought a few years ago when the drain at my house was clogged. In an ordinary life, this is not so much of use, yet, it has been tremendously useful to clean at the places where were damaged by flood (Of course I had no idea how it would be useful like this time at the time of my purchase of this product…).
This was our third visit to Ishimaki, but another problem has occurred due to the improvement of petrol supply. It was ‘traffic’. Usually it only takes 1hour and 45minutes to go through the national 45 highway between Sendai and Ishimaki, today it took 2hours and a half hour. However, since we drove around the Ishimaki port area in order to detour the traffic, we could again face the awful damage by the tsunami. I guess the height of the tsunami around this area was about 4-5m, there were things like; a road with a huge hole, a diesel engine tuned over like a toy, huge rolled papers which became useless after absorbing water in a paper mill, breakwater flattened, scorched primary school where it seems leaking oil ignited… It was another terrifying reality of the damage, comparing with the ‘ruin’ like Rikuzentakada or onnagawa cho.
Finally we arrived at the house of the couple T who lives in Ishimaki Saiwai-cho. Mr.T who had used to run the processed and marine company lost the facility of the company by the tsunami. The whole figure of the house was horrible, that a car jumped into the house upside down, and the main house was collapsed by a half part of another house running from 10m away. They served us coffee and shared to us about their story since the disaster for a while. At this point, we were to experience the reality of the security which was getting worse. A high school student was stealing the expensive guitar from a damaged house. There was even a thief who cut a finger of a dead body to get a ring. Of course, electricity, water and gas, none of these supplies have been recovered. In such a situation, still people who used to be at a shelter have started coming back to their ‘home’ one after another.
No matter how much the house was flooded or almost came tumbling down, it is better to be back than being stolen their household effects by thief. What a enormous fear they must face especially in a night. Yet, Mr.T says with confidence that, ‘we cannot help doing what has happened. I have already started thinking of how to rebuild my company. I will call two cranes tomorrow to get rid of this debris. I am in the middle of contacting with my workers.’
What an amazing strength! If I were him, I might be just perplexed, and realized that this is the temperament of Tohoku region. However, of course there are controlled their inner heart. There are things which were stored deep inside of their heart and cannot be opened up. If they could open up to Jesus and ask him to search for their heart, how much their heart would be relieved? We could only pray that the supplies we brought could manifest the love of Christ even slightly.
Although we were bit late due to having a coffee, we arrived at Ishimaki Christ Church safely afterword and immediately started cleaning mission. It is not easy to find an opportunity to flash water toward a wooden house. The floor became completely black because the flood ruined tatami entirely and made the Japanese cedar uncovered. Yet fortunately it became so clean beyond all recognition, using the high pressure washer.
At the same time, the other team worked hard on preparation for the distribution centre where is to open in the following day. It became dark, and so we decided to continue tomorrow after, when the arrangement of the enormous amount of corrugated boxes was just in sight, after beating their brains out for the most effective arrangement. The person who has been putting effort was an evangelist Noriko Ito whose father was the pastor Ito at Sendai Church of Brethren. It was such an encouragement for us to see how she worked so powerfully.
After all this, we were on the way back to our church, and came to very close to the church, we got a news that the third volunteering team has arrived from Kansai region, under the leading of the pastor Ohashi. Even in the evening, another track with supplies from Nagoya has arrived, thus we were so grateful. Tomorrow we were again heading to Ishimaki Christ Church.

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3rd, Apiril, 2011 ‘Fourth Sunday service’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/81 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/81#respond Sun, 03 Apr 2011 12:50:24 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=81 Continue reading ]]> We had the fourth Sunday service since the disaster hit. Since petrol is getting more available, there were 129 attendances in the service, and 10 people through an internet relay. We could meet with those who had been unable to come to service for last three weeks, and could share the experiences of the disaster, encourage each other and pray together. Comparing with people those who are perplexed by not knowing ‘to whom I shall pray’, and being even unable to pray to the ‘8000000 gods’, what a blessing for us to be able to worship the Creator God of heaven and earth. The grace we receive as Christ’s followers seems to be increased even more in such a difficult period.
We also had a great success at the youth meeting, having a send-off party for those three students who graduated their high school. They must have a special feeling to depart from this place for their next step in the midst of disaster. Yet the fact that one’s faith will be strengthened in an adversity has been already proven within them, and we are very grateful for that. All we wish for them is God’s abundant blessings.

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2nd of April, 2011 ‘resting for a while’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/79 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/79#respond Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:49:53 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=79 Continue reading ]]> Today is regular day off of a week. We get tired mentally at most when we continue such a relief work. When we encounter the situation of the disaster area which is too terrible one after another, we sink into unusual mental condition in some sense. It is to feel as if we are committing sin in terms of our ordinary life by then. For instance, it is easy to compare ourselves with people at the disaster area and feel guilty of turning on the switch of the stove, when we remember them those who have been freezing without heating system. Such a sense of guilt is applying for almost anything, such as TV, Internet, taking a bath, eating a meal etc. I had had such a feeling especially for the first week after beginning of the relief work, which made me very exhausted. In such a situation, what is most important is to go back to the Scripture. In this time, especially the Scripture, Ecclesiastics 5:18-20 had lifted me up, which says
‘Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him-for this is his lot. Moreover, when God fives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. ‘
Through these scriptures, I learned afresh that my mission God has entrusted me is not to alienate the things he has given me, but to rejoice wholeheartedly, find satisfaction in it and to enjoy it as much as I can reasonably.. Not only so, I realized that it is not possible to continue the relief work if I do not stand on this belief. It seems some people sacrifices for their own life or health for the sake of this kind of work, especially those who have the strong sense of equity, or those who are loving people. However, the Lord teaches us to rejoice and be thankful at most for what he has given us at present, and out of such gratitude, we are to work according to our own capacity. I was so relieved when I came to understand this, and I had no need to be lost when I faced with the suffering people.

One more important thing is to have a full rest once a while, since the Lord says, ‘Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy’. It is to apply also for the one who involve a relief work. Especially it is a pastor who has been involving the work, unless he takes a day off apart from Sunday, he will surely get tired. It is what the Lord commands us to do.

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1st. April, 2011 ‘Secondary Volunteering team leaving, & relief mission at Natori area’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/53 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/53#respond Fri, 01 Apr 2011 08:48:26 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=53 Continue reading ]]> This early morning around 4:30 a.m. the secondary volunteering team left for Kansai and Hiroshima region. It will take such a long journey back home, about 12 hours to Kansai and 20hours to Hiroshima. We were to bow our head in gratitude for those pastors, brothers and sisters at the churches who came all the way from such a distance.
We, the remaining members of our Sendai church and a person from the cyubu team decided to deliver the supplies to the Southern area from Sendai where we had never been. Among the area, there is Natori city where the NHK televised live through aerial image of tsunami at …coast and Arakawa area. Because it takes only half an hour by car to get there, the image was shocking and could not help crying. We were heading for the New Life Natori Church (Pastor Takashi Onuma) of Conservative Baptist group. Before visiting there, we had look around the …area, again we saw the aftermath of tsunami, which was over 5-6m high. We were astonished by the fact that a material, which we thought it was a cloth rolling around the tower, was actually made of steel. Not only so, we were shuddered at the scenery where the breakwater made of concrete has completely brown off with its iron framework, and nothing was remaining. An another thing which was very interested was that the all the utility poles and trees have fallen down towards the same direction, since it was how tsunami hit. Yet, only a few km driving into the inland from the coast line, there were the McDonald opening normally and the multitudes of cars running on the national highway. In such a environment, a bowling centre was used as ‘an place to keep body’. Such a huge gap in such a close distance made us feel dizzy.
Due to such a situation, we were very wondering of the safety of the church, however, thankfully the sanctuary has remained without any damage since it is located about a few km away from the highest point where tsunami reached. The Pastor O who used to be a supervisor of KGK, welcomed us warmly, and we, the student subjective team, had a great fellowship with him. They had had enough supplies, and indeed the supermarkets nearby were opening as usual. According to the Pastor, in the first week after the tsunami was quite difficult, like he had to wait in a queue for about 12 hours to get petrol for his car, yet at present almost everything has recovered. This Natori area got a fast recovery of the gas supply, and there is only very few places where it still has not recovered.
Since we brought the supplies, we drove around three places of shelter and church. Yet as we expected, the shelters have got enough supplies, and there was no one around in the church. As a result, it was the first time we did put the supplies down nowhere and returned. However, it was a fruitful day that we could have a good fellowship with the Pastor O and that we could find out that the Natori area mostly has got enough supplies. By the way, the supply for gas at this church has not been recovered yet.

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31st, March, 2011 ‘ Kesennuma second relief mission’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/51 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/51#respond Thu, 31 Mar 2011 08:47:30 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=51 Continue reading ]]> Today’s Kesennuma mission was the biggest scale ever of relief work since this ministry has started. This project was planned to reach the total of 13 different places. Among the 12 places are related with the members of our church, and plus Kesennuma Island where the regular ply has just resumed from today. We prepared the three vehicles and loaded the supplies: one in 2.75tons truck which was to go to Kissennuma Island and both the car from our church and the station wagon from the Kansai team which were to go to the remaining 12 places. Altogether 15 of us were joining this project. Although we were late for departure, we safely arrived at our destinations around 2:30p.m. Since we had too many places to distribute the supplies, we divided into the two teams to work parallel. Before separating, we quickly had a look at the Port Kesennuma, and Pastor K murmured, ‘here is a graveyard of ships…’ As he said, the huge ships, which some of them might weigh 1.000 tons, were running on the land and scorched. Although not many houses where were located near the port were collapsed since they were made of concrete, yet they were still lying in the dust. It was unforgettable that ‘the sea was unusually close to the land’ due to the land subsidence. It seemed that plenty of the sea water could enter the land at the time of flood tide. Even some part of the quay was covered by the sea water, and the water smelled out slightly by the oil floating on the water. It seemed it would take more than a year for the port to be fully retrieved.
The team which was distributing within the Kesennuma city finished their task after about two hours, though they struggled to drive due to closing of the roads. They loaded the supplies on the sitting area of a passenger boat, called ‘Himawari’, in order to deliver those supplies to Island as well. According to S captain on the boat, ‘I came to offing to protect the boat straight after the earthquake. After a while the tsunami which was like a mountain high hit. When I climbed up onto the wave, plunging the top of the boat into the wave, I felt like falling down into the valley of 10m high. The wave stroked many times, and it was very awful.’ But there were only very few captain those who could save the boat like him. Therefore, there had been almost no provision of relief supplies for the first week after the earthquake to this Kesennuma Island. An hour after we loaded every kind of supplies on the boat, such as vegetable, underwear, disposable heating product, sanitary material, winter cloth, stove, kerosene, or battery etc, we got a phone call from Mr.S who was at the disaster countermeasures office, saying that ‘we received the supplies safely!’ we were very grateful to see that the supplies we delivered will be used effectively.
On the other hand, the team which was working around the 9 places of Otani coast area and Honyoshi were driving forward, but struggled by the rough roads alongside of the coast. They finally completed their mission after three hours, facing the fear of puncture of the tire, the obstacles of the debris on the road, and the narrowed line alongside of the road which was shrunk till only 10cm, washed by the tsunami. On their way back at Senyama, both teams joined again. When they returned, there was an atmosphere of comfortable tiredness among them. We were so grateful for the great work of the 9 volunteers those who are leaving tomorrow early morning. One more thing which made us surprised on this day was that the petrol station near the Ikkan interchange were opening even in the evening, and only 10 vehicles were queuing there, since all the more there was a long queue at least 500m long in Sendai on that same day. It seemed that the situation of the petrol supply has been completely back to normal in the place where the population is relatively few within the local core city, although it was extremely costly, 166 yen per liter, probably being taken advantage of the situation…

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30th March, 2011 , ‘A sequel to the Ishimaki relief mission & Teacher tsumura and Akasaka visiting Sendai’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/49 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/49#respond Wed, 30 Mar 2011 08:46:25 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=49 Continue reading ]]> We had a prayer meeting with the volunteers in this morning. It is very important moment in order to make this relief work on the basis of fellowship among the church members and be supported by prayer. Not only so, it is a significant time to get to know each other between the volunteering team who have been working from Monday to Friday and even on Sunday and the church members, through prayer in small groups of three.
From the afternoon, the volunteering team headed for Ishimaki Christ Church of brethren for cleaning mission, started yesterday.
The church was flooded which was 1.5m high, and took three days for the water to draw, which ruined most of the things in the church. On top of this, the church greatly has needed for manpower since the enormous amount of mud entered into the sanctuary. They flushed the mud and salt which covered the wall and floor of the church, using the high pressure washer brought from our church because the supply for water and electricity has recovered since yesterday. They came back late night, which seems to be a decisive game.
I (Kadotani) was staying back at our church since two of my former teacher from Japan Bible Seminary were supposed to drive to visit us. They were on their way back from their visitation to the coast area of Iwate for two days, guided by Pastor Kondo at Morioka Bible Baptist Church. I was so grateful for their visit all the way from faraway. I guided them to the disaster area around Sendai port. To my surprise, the whole four tires of a car have completely gone with their hubs which were still there at my last two visits. It could be a handiwork of a thief at a fire, anyway I thought I caught a glimpse of the reality of the disaster area which are getting worse, as it has been rumored. It is very regrettable that there is such a person whose interest is nothing other than on money even facing how terrible the disaster is. I am afraid that probably the invaluable household effects have been suffering with the similar cause. It should never happen that the bereaved those who come to search for their memorial things of their lost one’s have to go back with empty hands.

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29th of March, 2011 ‘Relief mission for Ishimaki, visit to Onagawacho’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/47 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/47#respond Tue, 29 Mar 2011 08:45:10 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=47 Continue reading ]]> We were heading for three churches in Ishimaki area. The first two churches were where we were requested to bring the supplies through the friends of the members at our church, called ‘Ishimaki Glorious Church of Japan Christ group (North Daigaido in Ishimaki city) and Yamajyocyo Church of the same group (Izumicyo in Ishimaki city). The Glorious Church has resumed its work of kinder garden where was build next door to the church. The staffs were continually working to clarify the mud in the garden. Fortunately, the flood came only till under the floor. Already they have got certain amount of supplies, we handed over mainly food. Right after some of the local young mothers came to receive the supplies, probably they heard of us.
The Yamajyocyo Church where we visited next was a historical church, completed in the Taisyo 12th year.
The sanctuary was choked up with supplies, and women were classifying them. It was the best time since they were in the middle of the process of distributing the supplies to their neighborhood. They were very pleased to receive all the remaining supplies on our track and station wagon.
From this place, it was a really terrible road toward the Ishimaki Christ Church of brethren where the other support team was working, since the flood was severe probably due to the low altitude. When we arrived there, we saw the EFC volunteering team was working hard, clarifying the mud. The enormous household effects which were flooded chocked up the front of the church. From here we as pastor team with the brothers and sisters from our church decided to head for Onagawa cyo, where it is said that the largest tsunami hit (18m high). Because of the landscape which all the buildings were centralised in the small land behind the narrow bay, tsunami enormously demolished, for instance, a concrete building was smashed like a biscuit, or a foundation was eradicated with its pillar.
The situation was exactly what it is said to be ‘nothing remained’.
A brother G from our church, who is from this place and has experienced the Sanriku massive tsunami which happened thirty years ago, was shaking with his voice explaining how his hometown has changed. We were deeply affected by his pain. We can hardly imagine what it means to see the destruction of one’s hometown. It was totally beyond my understanding.

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28th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/45 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/45#respond Mon, 28 Mar 2011 08:44:08 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=45 Continue reading ]]> I would like to report you today about the lifeline physical distribution in Sendai. At present, the supply for electricity, water and telephone line have retrieved in almost every area. Yet, according to a local newspaper, the supply for gas seems to take much longer time than within next a few days as we expected. My family is grateful that by chance we have got a bath heater for keeping water warm, which provides to make a bath daily without using gas, though it will take throughout night to make water warm enough.
The situation of the physical distribution has got better, and food and general things are available without queuing and restriction. The variety of these things is also increasing, such as cassette cylinder, which had used to run out completely from the stores. It is still not so easy to get petrol as mentioned yesterday, but it seems to rotate faster and the queuing is also getting shorter to get.

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27th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/43 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/43#respond Sun, 27 Mar 2011 08:43:12 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=43 Continue reading ]]> Due to the Sunday service, we took a break to do house-to-house search and transportation of the relief supply to the remote places, though we were still welcoming the local people for getting supplies. About 6 people came to receive the supplies from 10a.m. to 5p.m. There are over 100 attendances at the worship service, just as last week, and 3 brothers from JIFH also attended with us. The third worship service has 21 attendances that was very thankful, and also 12 people joined us through the internet relay. The physical distribution in Sendai has been much improved and the numbers of the shops where do not need to queue has been increasing. It is getting much easier to get meat stuff. Although it still needs to wait in a queue to get petrol, the situation is getting better since at least we can get for full tank comparing with before that there was restriction, like only up to 3000yen for instance. Although we have heard that the gas supply will be recovered within next a few days, not yet.

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26th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/41 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/41#respond Sat, 26 Mar 2011 08:42:38 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=41 Continue reading ]]> Since today is a holiday, we stopped doing house-to-house search and the transportation of the relief supplies to the remote places. However, the brother Mizoguchi, Hasegawa and Hananoi from Shinmatsudo evangelical free church came to bring the supplies by a station wagon in the rainy snow. They left at 1a.m. At first they put some supplies down at furukawa evangelical free church, and arrived here. We bowed our head in gratitude for the support giving to us even by a single church like them.

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25th of March, 2011 ‘Shichigahama and Higashi-Matsushima relief mission’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/39 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/39#respond Fri, 25 Mar 2011 08:41:11 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=39 It was the day for the team of 12 people from Cyubu, Nagoya and Kansai region to return their home. They left … Continue reading ]]> It was the day for the team of 12 people from Cyubu, Nagoya and Kansai region to return their home. They left here for a long journey by 8.30a.m, after preparing from the early morning.
We prayed altogether in a circle, by giving thanks to the Lord for stretching his hands upon the work that has been done till this day. We felt how wonderful to have fellowship in the Lord, when we shook our hand firmly to each other.

After sending them, our Sendai team left heading for national village in Nanahama where we heard that there is lacking in materials.
The low area in Nanahama was still under the water. Although we had to detour near the seaside since the destruction of the area was severe and there was a bridge fallen down, we could manage to reach there. It was the manager of the café in the national village who welcomed us. He gave us the information which concerned us: ‘vegetables have not been supplied at all’, ‘For the moment, we have got materials, yet we are concerning that food will run short from now on due to the decreasing of the donation for Sendai city’. He smiled at us and said, ‘I can go on with these food for next a few days’, when we handed over some food mainly vegetables such as carrot, potato, cabbage and leek. It seems that the prospects for the material supplies are not good even in the area like this where is so close to Sendai.
Since here was almost no need of daily material, we decided to head for East Matsushima city where the volunteer from TCU is working today, after considering of what we should do with the remaining supplies. On the way we went through … and …, … was damaged severely mainly by flood, and also we saw things on the road such as an overturned ship. The street called ‘menukidouri’ in Matsushima was entirely damaged by flood. We headed for Miyagi Bible Church of Seikyo group, after we arrived in East Matsushima. When we came close to the area, we could immediately understand the problem of the hygienic condition, since the entire town was covered by mud, and the sludge, which almost became 10cm thick, was covering not only in the gardens but also even into the houses and stinking badly. It seems there is a plenty need of manpower to clear up all these sludge. We assume that the work will be legitimate from now on since we heard that finally this area has got water supply. After we brought the supplies to the supply station in front of the church, the local people rushed into there as if they were competing with each other. According to them, they have not been receiving any supplies at all for a while. It was the first time we were asked whether we have got a blanket. Until this time, we were told that the plenty of blankets were provided to every shelter by self-defense forces, thus, we did not carry them on our vehicle. Although we were surprised, we could notice that there is a still need of clothes and bedclothes at certain percentage in the houses where people can still go on to live despite of being flooded above the floor. It was a new discovery and a good example to realize that it is not easy to bring the appropriate supplies unless we go each devastated area practically.

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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24th of March, 2011 ‘”Kesennuma King’s Garden” relief mission’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/239 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/239#respond Thu, 24 Mar 2011 04:53:29 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=239 [See post to watch Flash video] ]]> http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/239/feed 0 239 23rd, March, 2011 ‘Relief mission for Miyagino ward’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/37 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/37#respond Wed, 23 Mar 2011 08:40:02 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=37 Today, we headed for the seaside bible church of Jesus gospel group where the tsunami hit worst at Miyagino wa … Continue reading ]]> Today, we headed for the seaside bible church of Jesus gospel group where the tsunami hit worst at Miyagino ward in Sendai city. We were together with Pastor Kenichi Ohashi, Pastor Tetsuya Otake at Mukonoso Evangelical Free Church, four of their church members who came all the way from Hyogo prefecture, and the team from Nagaoka, Chubu region who arrived the day before yesterday.
We were hoping to meet with the pastor and the members of the church and handing over the relief supplies to them. There again was the huge devastation as far as we could see. According to the local person whom we met on the road, only those who fled up to the roof of the local school nearby survived but multitude of people lost their lives since they evacuated into the sport hall at the school where it was located in the lower part of the building.
Although we followed the guidance of GPS about the location at the church, there was nothing when we arrived. Again we asked the local person, who were passing by, he told us that the church used to be around there, yet there only the foundation was remaining.
Suddenly, we heard the voice, shouting that ‘Pastor, we found a pastor!’ As we ran toward the voice, we saw Pastor Naito who accidentally came to see the aftermath of the disaster with the members of his mother church. It was even more surprising that many of the members of the Mukonoso Evangelical Free Church have known the people who were with Pastor Naito. Although at once we were surprised by the connection they had even in such a far place, we felt the providence of the Lord. We prayed altogether in a circle for rebuilding of the Lord’s church. According to Pastor Naito, there was a person still missing among his church members, and at present he is renting a small flat in a little distance from where the church used to be. We were deeply sorry that the building of the church broken down only five years after the construction. We once considered of going on our way back since there was no one and no place available to receive the supplies. Yet Pastor Ohashi suggested heading for another nearest church, and we went to Sendai Agape Church at koucyo in Miyagino ward. According to Evangelist Honjyo who welcomed us, there was a huge need of relief supplies since there is a shelter at Kocyo primary school just in front of the church! Immediately we began putting the supplies down. He was greatly rejoiced and wanted to give the supplies to people at the shelter as a church and to make them happy. We were thankful from the bottom of our heart the wonderful divine guidance. During of this mission, such thing has often happened. We strongly feel that God has been going ahead of us and preparing the way for us. We are so grateful. Please remember us in your prayer that tomorrow we are heading for Kesennuma where there is the Kings garden, yet the weather forecast for that area is rainy snow.

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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22nd, March, 2011 ‘Relief mission for Rikuzentakata, Iwate’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/34 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/34#respond Tue, 22 Mar 2011 08:36:37 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=34 The joint volunteering team of Nagoya, East Nagoya and Nagaoka who arrived last night came to our church with … Continue reading ]]> The joint volunteering team of Nagoya, East Nagoya and Nagaoka who arrived last night came to our church with the full of supplies on the microbus which can hold 29 people. We are heading for the Elderly welfare institution, called ‘Kojyuen’ , in Rikuzentakata city, where we had heard of the great need through one of the friend of sister Nakada at our church. Since our vehicle was reserved as an emergency vehicle, our journey was smooth using the highway. However, suddenly the scenery changed completely when we came to the point where we were only 7km to go to Rikuzentakata. There was the mountain of debris as far as we could see. We drove through the wall made of debris in the both side of the road which were heaped up high. We have no idea how many times we just murmured, ‘how terrible this is…’ It was literally beyond our expression. We were moved most to tears when we found an album of a family. The album covered by mud supposed us that there was the peaceful ordinary life of the family till only 10 days ago. We were wondering whether there was really a destination out of this mountain of debris, yet eventually we reached to the Takata primary school where the tsunami hit at highest. From there, the scenery again changed totally. Since ‘kojyuen’ our destination was built on height, the institution was undamaged. However, there were over 300 refugees joining the residence of 200 elderly, who had been sleeping crowded together in the same hall. Fortunately since there was an electrical supply, they could warm the hall, yet there were overwhelmingly lacking in incontinence pads, towels and whole food. What we brought were to the very point, and especially the sweets out of supplies were very pleased by about 30 primary school children. While we were wondering whether we should have left for home since we handed over most things that we brought, someone suggested, ‘let’s go to the church in Rikuzendakada’. According to an iPod, the church is only a few hundred meters away. Although right away we were on our way, we had no idea where the pastor was. While we were no clue what to do, a young man volunteered to go to the church to find him getting over the mountain of debris, to our surprise he found the pastor Tamekichi Morita and his wife and they came to welcome us. They were really grateful to receive the remaining supplies, and even the neighbours were bowing down their head over and over again, saying’ thank you!’. The debris headed up on the road toward the church makes very difficult to bring the supplies, and at the same time water the supply for water and electricity has still not been recovered. The physical distribution to this town was completely blocked. Pastor Morita and his wife told us that they moved here from Tokyo 40 years ago. At that time they used to eat ‘millet and barnyard grass’ as a common food in Iwate prefecture. The wife has been supporting the pastor’s ministry while she has been working at other place. Such an admirable life of the couple who has been working in the rural town in Iwate made me feel shame at lenient faith of myself. We were waving our hands, saying goodbye to them after praying together with tears. ‘I wish everything is not a real but a dream…’, I thought so when finally I lost the pastor from my sight. Yet, it was the reality. It was completely different from what we see through television or internet. We were showed off the reality of ‘disaster’ vividly. It was the day I was challenged to see the rebuilding of a church like this as a mission God has entrusted us as believers of his church.

[See post to watch Flash video] [See post to watch Flash video] [See post to watch Flash video] [See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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21st of March, 2011 ‘Receiving relief supplies’ http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/32 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/32#respond Mon, 21 Mar 2011 08:35:31 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=32 From today, the relief supplies have started arriving to our church from Kanto and Kansai regions. At first, f … Continue reading ]]> From today, the relief supplies have started arriving to our church from Kanto and Kansai regions. At first, four people (pastor Hiroshi Takao, Kou Saito, Toshihiko Takao and brother Aono) brought it to us after long driving, departed in Saitama prefecture at 1a.m in the middle of night, went through Nigata prefecture and arrived here at 9:30a.m. They said that the highway run smoothly. It was the first arrival of the relief supplies since the day of disaster, and was so touching us when we saw and hugged them and shook our hands with them. Immediately we carried the supplies and prayed altogether after and sent them back.
Then mainly the ladies of our church made over 100 of ‘support set’ of which each set includes some food and several living material with a notice paper which informs that the relief supplies are now available at the church, together with the map and contact address lists of our church. Straight after we brought them to each house around our neighbors, immediately people responded with gratitude and began coming to the church one after another, asking like ‘do you have a cassette cylinder?’, ‘have you got baby nappies?’ or ‘could I have power milk for my baby?’ etc… Since so many people were coming, we eventually run out of things and had to ask them to come back from tomorrow onwards.

While we were responding to the people, the couple called Ogawa brought us petrol with their track. It is very precious to get petrol at the present situation in Sendai. It is impossible to do anything without it, especially not able to bring the supplies to the most devastated area. According to the couple, the farmers of their neighbor offered their petrol which is for their farming machines and their tanks for it. We were so grateful and could not stop giving thanks for them. This couple Ogawa is running vineyard, so we would like you to visit them whenever anyone travel to Nagano, since their grape is so tasty!! The wife of this couple volunteered to remain here to help us.

After this, the chairman of the ‘Trenta-Express’, Mr. Yamaguchi called us that he will be here around 17:30p.m. We appealed the manpower to the church member through the mail, and they started coming and eventually 30 people gathered! Just about the time when we started explaining the way to store the supplies, 4ton track arrived church at 17:30p.m. As we expected, it was literally ‘like a mountain’ of the supplies. We stored the boxes one by one with assembly line, and though at some point we were worried the capacity of the storage space, eventually there was some space remaining when we finished all the storing process. Mr. Yamaguchi told us after he finished getting down all the supplies that he would go back to his place straight after this in order to transport the next supplies to here. As a person who knows the exhaustion by the long driving, I bowed my head in gratitude for his faithful and hard working. We photographed altogether and sent him back with thankfulness. The huge amount of supplies remains…
Since we were asked to share the supplies with the members of our church and their neighbours at first in order to show the love of Christ, each of them brought some supplies home. Everyone smiles, smiles and smiles…. Since the disaster hit, it was the first time that this place is filled with such a smile.
In the evening, we heard that other supplies from Chubu and Kansai region also arrived safely to the Meisei-Academic School. Six volunteers from the churches in Nagoya already began working there. We are supposed to bring the supplies, which is brought with much love, to the area where tsunami hit, such as Ishinomaki area, ;;;;, Wakabayashi and Miyagi area. We are grateful if you can remember in your prayer that the supplies will be used effectively. Yes, we forgot to report the one more joyful news that water supply at the church is recovered today! Hallelujah!
This will release us from worrying about using toilet and from carrying water from other station. We thank God for this! With regard!

[See post to watch Flash video] ]]>
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20th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/30 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/30#respond Sun, 20 Mar 2011 08:34:30 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=30 Continue reading ]]> We had the second Sunday service yesterday since the disaster. There is a situation in the local city of Sendai where people have still been struggling to come to worship due to the lack of petrol. Yet, around 98 people attended the service and about 15 people joined us through the internet relay. We are so grateful! There are numbers of people both men and women who were shedding tears, overwhelming by the presence of the Lord in the midst of their singing praises. It was a very touching service, filled with the heart for the Lord, seeking and expecting him even more in such a difficult situation. I have never felt before how blessed and wonderful the ‘God’s family’ is. Because we have tough time and hardship, we rather trust in Him. When we are facing such a disaster of which no one could expect, we feel that our relationship with the Lord is going deeper. This is exactly what it means to be a blessed one in Christ.

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19th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/28 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/28#respond Sat, 19 Mar 2011 08:33:29 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=28 Continue reading ]]> According to the social worker, the voluntary party of disaster prevention at this area of Kawahira had dismissed today due to the closing of the shelter. It seems that the biggest need of supplies is at the shelters of ward where tsunami hit and is lacking of materials.
Also, according to the members of our church, some certain people are struggling most, such as, elderly people who live at housing complex where the supermarket and shops near from their housing are closed, and people who used to live depending on convenience stores and not having any extra food stock. We feel this is argent to bring the supplies to those people and area.
There has no water and gas supply yet, but electricity, phone line and internet have been fully recovered.
Today we have heard from the Evangelical Free Church in USA for offering the manpower and relief supplies as well, and it is supposed to be helped by the pastor MB who used to be the missionary at our church. Thank you so much!
About the physical distribution, although it is quite costly, for instance, one package of port costs 1000yen, there are available to buy meat at several shops, and so as little kind of vegetables. Also, some petrol station has begun to open daily basis, though the petrol will run out immediately. Since there is no water supply, it is quite difficult in terms of using toilet, taking a bath and washing clothes.
Because it will take another a few months to get the gas supply back, it would be very appreciate if anyone can offer us heating product for bath (‘bath-heater’), since it will enable to take a bath in the areas where the electrical supply has recovered. There is also an argent need of cassette-cylinder or cassette-stove for cooking. We deeply appreciate every hand for support…!!

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18th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/26 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/26#respond Fri, 18 Mar 2011 08:32:32 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=26 Last night there was a meeting held in Sendai where the pastors of Sendai Christian Association and over 10 st … Continue reading ]]> Last night there was a meeting held in Sendai where the pastors of Sendai Christian Association and over 10 stuff from the disaster support organization gathered together and shared the situation of damage at each church and the support plan as a denomination. It was very meaningful time to get some useful information. Please have a look at the short video recorded at the meeting and uploaded below.
From tomorrow, we are supposed to start up a system of which to share the information of relief supplies.

Water supply at church and gas supply at every house has not yet recovered. According to the information received today, water supply will be recovered by the end of this month, which means to take almost another two weeks before the recovery. We need to be patient. We are pushed to prepare for receiving the relief supplies which will arrive from all over the Evangelical Free Churches early next week.

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17th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/24 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/24#respond Thu, 17 Mar 2011 08:30:41 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=24 Continue reading ]]> The water and gas supply has still not been recovered. Within 3km from our church in Miyagi prefecture, there is some supermarket where now open with the restriction of admission. Large vehicle has started driving in the main highway. It is said that Port Shiogama, Sendai airport, Matsushima Self-Defense Force base, have also started their operation. The president of Petrolatum Association of Japan prospected that petro supply will be back to normalize by either within next week, or till the end of this month at latest. It is the first bright news since the electrical supply was recovered.
However, it has been snowing heavily even it is out of season in Sendai, and it became the heaviest snow even in this winter. The possibility of the several accidents is concerned, such as skid or turnover of car, or aggravation of the health condition of the people who are in shelter. We as church launched a support team and had a meeting for many hours to discuss about how to make the most use of the relief supplies arriving from Monday next week. We will continue prepare for this from tomorrow onwards.

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16th of March, 2011 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/22 http://sendaiefc.com/311/en/posts/22#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2011 06:45:32 +0000 http://sendaiefc.com/311/?p=22 Continue reading ]]> Here is today’s update. It is officially announced that the gas supply will not be able to recover within a month but will probably take more than a few months due to the hug damage. Therefore, the difficulty of the living, such as taking a bath, will continue even if the water supply will recover.

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