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