Many of us awoke much earlier then we normally would have, this is due to being in a completely different time zone! Hopefully our bodies will adjust soon.
We got up and cooked breakfast together as a team. It was an interesting experience with different team members pitching in to cook while others cleaned up. We spent some time in prayer before heading to the worksite.
The worksite is located in Shintona. The drive there takes us through some of the most incredible scenery I have have ever seen in my life. It's a 40 minute drive through the hilly coastline of the Eastern side of Japan. We travel in two vehicles as an entourage. As we approach the community, we see more and more damage and we begin to understand the devastation that occurred under force of the tsunami.
Upon arrival, numerous groups show up to the site one after the other. The Pastor of East Sendai Church pulls us together for announcements and logistics. Each groups listens attentively as Larry translates for us. The Pastor reminds us that;
1. This is as disaster zone.
2. He indicates where we should go if there is a earthquake while we are on the worksite which is a very real possibility.
3. He asks us to refrain from taking too many pictures and to be discreet.
Then he quotes Matthew 22:34-40...this was our devotional focus for today as well!
We head to our assigned area which is a lot filled with enormous debris that was brought in by the wave and dumped into this area of land behind the home owners house. As we begin to dig through the rubble we begin to sort things into piles: shrubs, concrete, garbage and metal debris.
Things start to come up from the ground that makes one start to think. Children's toys, personal home movie tapes, shoes, a purse, clothing, hub caps, sewing items -- all items that makes one wonder who they once belonged to and if they are safe.
Larry told me that the Pastor of East Sendai Church had combed the village looking for one of his parishioner's who was missing and he spent four days looking for her until he finally found her at an evacuation center that we had passed en route to the worksite.
The picture of the Shepherd looking for his lost sheep arises and I feel humbled by the calling of the Pastors here. Please pray for Ken Lee and Larry Spalink who are Pastors working alongside many of these Pastors.
Written by Iona Buisman, CRWRC Global Volunteer Program Coordinator