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)