Hello everyone! Konnichiwa. Tuesday morning came all too soon. The team woke up to the bright sunshine and birds chirping at 5 am, refreshed and ready to face our first day out in the field. Breakfast was prepared by our partner team from the OPC church who arrived last Friday. Considering the size of our combined teams (17 people), we split up into various teams. One team went to work at a strawberry farm potting, weeding and setting up greenhouses. Another team went to Mrs. Suzuki-san's property which used to be her house before being destroyed by the tsunami, but is now being converted to a garden for her to generate food and income. Another group hosted a craft afternoon/tea party for local vistors at the Nozomi Center. Finally, some of us had to make a trip to the local grocery store to pick up enough food to feed our crowd!
By the end of the day we were all sufficiently tired, sweaty and inspired by the stories, testimonies and experiences we heard. Things such as digging a toothbrush out of the ground, getting fresh strawberries and icecream from a farmer and hearing a tsunami survivor's recap of their experience including their guilt and fustration. Yet, it was encouraging to see the returning people and new kids participating and supporting the Nozomi Center.
This first dose of Japan was a rewarding experience. The opportunity learn more about the culture, meet the people and witness the extend of damage cause by the tsunami was eye-opening, inspiring and humbling. We pray that God will provide the comfort and encouragement so desperately required for the people here, and that the Nozomi Center and church is tool to provide the resources and message to do so.
Written by Lauren Beintema, Team Member for Japan Team- July 2012