This week our Center started volunteer activities in the Sasayashiki region of Wakabayashi Sendai. Even this region located 2 kilometers from the coast was struck by a 1 meter high tsunami and many things were swept away.
We are working to clean up in houses that miraculously remained. During a break, I went for a walk and discovered a blossoming plum tree. The tree was all cut up but the flowers still bloomed this year.
Many people are coming to the Center to volunteer. Even though at times they feel despair when they see the tragic scene of the disaster, they want to do what they can to help.
On this blog, we thought we would like to introduce some of the staff to you. First, we will introduce Etsuya Kataoka, who supervises our external relations.
Etsuya Kataoka is the pastor of a Wakamatsu Sakaemachi Church (Kyodan). He came quickly to Sendai to confirm safety of churches and to help organize and establish the Disaster Relief Center.
He has made time in his busy work as pastor in Aizu Fukushima, staying at the Center now to help with relief activities. Being from Kansai, he has his unique accent and personality that livens up our Center. However, he works too hard and at night you can see him exhausted from the day.
He lends his guidance not only at the volunteer sites but with this blog and other communication. We pray that he will continue provide his guidance.
We sent a team to Ishinomaki, an area especially hard hit by the tsunami. The will stay at Ishinomaki Eiko Church, and help with relief efforts at the church, kindergarten as well as respond to requests the community.
4 students from Doshisha University School of Theology arrived and joined the Ishinomaki team. A total of 7 volunteers took supplies with them and headed off to relief work.
In Ishinomaki, the coastal residents and business districts had catastrophic damage. Supplies are scarce and life continues to be difficulty. Volunteer activity there is hard work.
We continue to ask for your support so that we can be of some help to the people in their pain.
Update: We stopped accepting a van and relief goods. Thank you for your contribution!!
We are grateful for the Van! We can use more!!
Yesterday, on March 31, a lady who read our blog offered the use of a van! We have gotten other offers for which we are also grateful. It will help us in our work and we will use the vehicle with care.
With limited access to transportation vehicles are necessary for are relief work. If you know of someone who is able to contribute a van, please contact our Center.