Konnichiwa from Yamamoto-cho! The morning brought bright sunshine, music, crêpes with fresh strawberries and ice cream. Oh, life is good! Life took a drastic turn the moment we stepped on Mr. Saito's farm right here in Yamamoto-cho. Here is a man who grows paprika for a living. The tsunami wiped out his greenhouses and essentially, his crop for 2012. Not only that, his property was left littered with thousands of small rocks, stones and asphalt as the tsunami receded back...

Konichiwa! The Honda boys were fairly quiet last night so a good rest was had by all. Once again, we woke to the bright sunshine and music. Sunday, a good day! Breakfast and off to church in Izumi. We had been looking for churches and could not find any on our travels. 

Our host for the week, Morris Yaegashi, the man who knows all things about Japan, stops in front of a suburban home and tells us it's time to get...

Konnichwa! I stayed up a little later than the rest of the team last night. When I went to lock up and turn off the lights, I heard a car idling outside the Nozomi center. I went to the windows...but there was no car! The sound was coming from upstairs! Sure enough, two members of the team were snoring in perfect harmony. It sounded exactly like a small Honda with a loud exhaust system. Oh, I should have gone to...

Konichiwa ogenkideska des tomodachi. Well, the afternoon was more of the same - little sleds with dirt and repairs at Nozomi. We finished the afternoon off with a walk in town; that’s when the effect of the tsunami hit home for us. How can we explain what we saw? 

Lucky for you, there are pictures in our photo gallery that will cut down on this blog by several thousand words. Imagine your neighborhood. Now wipe out all the houses for a...

Konnichiwa! Well we are here. All six of us - Mike and Isabel Klapwyk, Jeri and Clarence Batterink, Steve McKnight and myself, John Geerts. It sure was a long flight; we landed in Narita/Tokyo and our first impressions of Japan were lots of nice rectangular rice paddies as well as a very efficient airport. We had another short plane trip to Sendai airport, although there was not much to see as the sun went down just before the plane left...

The next Japan team is packing their bags to head out to Japan soon! They fly out on May 15 and return on May 27. Please keep them in your prayers and visit the blog regularly to see how their trip is going!

We have some exciting news to share about the community center that CRWRC and CRWM are currently building in Japan. They had their first worship service last night; 84 people showed up from the community and many of...

It is mid-April in Nicaragua, and the hot, dry heat of the summer season has arrived. During this time of year, the sun is strong, the dust is thick, and the air is heavy with the scent of the mango harvest. The beauty of this country is an abundant gift that keeps giving, and I am thankful. In previous newsletters, I have briefly mentioned a human trafficking program that the Nehemiah Center has begun. I would like to take the...

As some of you may already know, I will be spending part of fall semester, 2012 volunteering abroad with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.  Throughout the last few years, I have become increasingly interested in world relief as a possible vocation, and I hope this trip will help me discover what it takes to work for an organization like CRWRC, as well as benefiting the people with whom I will serve.  The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee worked in...

On Thursday (April 26), we completed our work at Mr. Atsumi's house. It was a good day and he worked along with a couple people from our team. He had lunch with us each day and openly shared about his tsunami experiences and about his mother and brother. Besides losing his equipment and most of the main level and interior of the house, as well as not having a rice crop due to all the damage and salt water, he...

As I mentioned before, we are cleaning out a house in Sendai under the auspices of Samaritan's Purse (Billy Graham Assoc. affiliate). The SP workers are Yuki and Kei. Both of them are about 25 and they speak very freely about their faith. Kei shared a very moving testimony today.

The work included:

  • removing drywall up to water level of about 7 feet
  • taking out bathroom fixtures, floors/walls and kitchen cupboards
  • removing the remaining floor boards and plywood that were damaged by water

This led...

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