3.11 memorial event
We had the 2nd memorial event in Sasayashiki area. Although the snowy weather in the previous day had worried us, the sun came to show its face, and we could hold the event under the graceful daylight.
On that day, we had the picture display, ochakko (tea time), and hand massage for the morning program.
As for the picture display, ex-staff, Horita, had collected pictures titled “hope” and “steps from that day” and exhibited on the wall of the community hall. In addition to those pictures, we filed pictures in five different themes – “working scenes,” “events,” “Sasakko club,” “smiles,” and “fruitions” – and made an album so that the visitors could see it while having a cup of tea. These display and album will be placed at the community hall for a while.
There were several people from the town for the event, and they had relaxing time by having conversations with volunteers, taking a look at pictures, and getting hand massages. I believe the place bored smiles among the people, because some locals remembered some of the volunteers who came to the town through Emmaus before, and they talked about the time when they met, walking down the memory lanes.
From 13:30, we had a small concert by the guitar and accordion. Other volunteers came to join and the place was full, but it felt like the distance between people also grew close. Listening to the music, people sang a song altogether, laughed, and sometimes dropped tears. It was as if I saw a glimpse of slow-work – the quality we Emmaus highly value – in this day even though there was no actual work.
And at 14:46, everyone stood facing the direction for Arahama and gave a silent prayer.
Remembering the day in 2 years ago, lamenting, each of us gave a prayer.
“Each of our work is small and tiny, but not powerless.”
I remembered the words that one volunteer said, who came to volunteer earlier time after the disaster. The recovery work is not done, or rather it is not proceeded yet in the disaster area. Many coast areas are still left bare as debris was removed. In front of such scenery, it cannot be helped that we can do nothing but stand there feeling powerless.
We Emmaus desire to continue our works at our best, however small it is.
However slow it is, we want to keep accompany with the victims and their hearts, making a step to step, side by side.
“it is rather us, who were saved by the strong but kind, and warm smiles that shines in the unimaginable suffering and pain. I hope that I can be, however small it is, a part of your smile.” N.S. a volunteer
There was a college student volunteer who was always cheerful and bubbly. At the event, an old lady was sitting on a chair, and she started to talk to the volunteer. The college student, kneeling down, looked up to the lady and started to listen to her. I came across this scene, but I remembered it touched my heart. I was convinced at the moment that Emmaus could have continued its work, because the people who come to Emmaus are so wonderful like this college student.
It has entered the third year from the disaster.
Please remember Emmaus in your prayer.
We appreciate your continued support.
3.11 memorial event