Into Holy Week and work at our various locations continue. The activities planned for this week have been added to our calendar. Please note we will be taking time off from our usual activities at Ohfunato this week. Please pray for a good time of rest for our staff there. ＊This snap is from last week’s Ohmiya Kaori concert and mobile cafe session held at a kasetsu in Kesennuma city.
I moved to Iwate last April. On March 11th, 2011 when the disaster struck, I was in Sendai and onboard the Shinkansen. It was another 20 hours before we were able to get off the train. Although I was living in the western part of Japan at that time, this disaster became a personal encounter.
Here’s this week’s activity calendar of all our locations. Rev Iwatasuka and our staff Michio Nagata are away in the direction of Osaka to give a report on their relief activities. There will be no activities in Miyako this week. Ms Hiromi Obara will join Ippo Ippo Yamada from April and will become staff there, replacing Mr Ikuru Fujita. ＊The snap on the left is that of a volunteer team from Aoyama Gakuin University with our staff at Ohfunato, taken by Yuta Komatsu, one of the volunteers.
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. (Jeremiah 1:7 – NIV)
I was nudged towards coming to Iwate after having experienced two short-term volunteer trips here through which I gained an understanding of the importance of the role mid-long term staff played, and through this passage in the Bible. There was no particular event that caused me to come here. God prepared my heart for the survivors and His word for me to understand, and through this, I was able to take a step forward.
We are holding our “3.11 Memorial” today, exactly two years since the disaster struck. And, as in weeks before, our work will continue (in fact, one team will come to the Memorial after doing their morning activities). We seek your continued prayers and support for the 3.11 Iwate Church Network and above all else for the survivors of the region. We are entering our third year as a Network.
We are now into March and the cold is beginning to ease off, even in the inland areas. As in previous weeks, our work continues across all locations with the help of volunteers. Over in the North Sanriku area (Noda, Iwaizumi and there vicinities), gospel singer Cassandra Peake will be performing over the weekend and into the next week at temporary housing clusters.