This memo begins with a prayer request. John and Jeff from the team had their flight cancelled in Seattle. They will be flying down to San Diego today to try and catch a flight to Japan. The concern is the timing will be "tight". We ask for your prayers they make the connection. Thank you.
It was a full day. Our "mini" team started the day with a stop to McDonald's because we were told they had a wireless network. Such was not the case - at least at this McDonald's. Which is why you didn't receive anything from us until 'your' Tuesday morning. Thankfully Larry and Abby arrived last along with his router which connects to the cell phone network so you can read this memo in a more 'timely' fashion. ;-)
We met at the base location to prepare for the day in the small communities of Nobiru / Touna. It is really a hair salon with some empty lots around it. It was one of the first buildings the East Hagidashi Sendai church restored in the area. The church has been coordinating teams from the church and other volunteers since late March. The owner is not a Christian, however she offered her facilities to be used to coordinate the teams going out into the community.
We arrived and met the other volunteers for the day. We had introductions and split into 3 teams. The 4 of us joined a team with 5 others to work at a house which was being gutted in preparation for restoration. I know I will regret writing this once my wife reads it. We spent the day weeding the front yard. I know what you are thinking. Weeding?!? We went to Japan to weed? Yes.
The yard, actually all of them in the community, are full of dead dune grass, some of the original plants and junk. We had been working on it for 3 hours when we discovered there is 3 - 6 inches of additional dirt on top of the original soil. I was asked to help take down dry wall in the front rooms of the house in the afternoon.
I will continue this memo and send you some pictures this evening, but have to sign off for now. It's time for devotions and begin another day. Thanks for your prayers.
Written by Brian Van Zanten, Team Member for Japan Team 2