On Friday evening, I skipped the last lesson, went home to pick up my kuaggage and went to Shibuya. I met Susanne at Shibuya Station and we went to TBC (Tokyo Baptist Church) together. At the parking lot, everyone was waiting already, since we were a little late. Meeting time was at 6pm but we arrived around 6.10pm. (Susi I LOVE YOU :3)
After getting everything into the 3 vans and 1 car we took off around 7pm. There was kind of traffic jam in Shibuya and also on the streets going out of Tokyo…. maybe until we were almost outside… I hadn’t known that the highway is….in a tunnel (around Shibuya/Shinjuku) =O
In that time we got to know each other. My car was Dwayne (the driver and father of one of the girls who came along), Steven, Maria, Natsuki, Mizuki, Monika and Chloe. Our car’s name (though it was made up later) was CC Melon. Explanation: Christ (obvious) Cleaning (since we were supposed to clean up in Ishinomaki) and Melon for Melon bread (we bought a really big melon pan [pan = bread] later lol well, actually Dwayne bought it for us all :D)
We also started praying. We got a list with prayer requests for each prefecture we had to pass.
We stopped around 8.30 (maybe???) to have dinner. When Monika and me almost had finished our dinner (we were one of the last…somehow) a woman (foreigner) sat down close to us at the table (it was a food corner) and we talked a little. She said that she usually does a lot of volunteering at Fukushima but sometimes goes up to Ishinomaki too. Funny what people you meet coincidently :)
Then we took off again…. for some hour. We kept praying from time to time, talking and kinda sleeping. Around midnight we stopped again (that’s were we bought that melon pan) for a short time. When we arrived at the hotel thing (with onsen…well, public bath) in Sendai…it was almost 2am!! Zzzz I went to sleep right away.
I stood up around 5.40am… went to shower and onsen :D because we had to meet at 6.30.
We had a morning devotion time where we heard about not being a volunteer but being a servant. Because Jesus also didn’t come to earth to volunteer, but to serve. And we are here to serve because we wanna share that love that God has planted inside us.
Then we took off to Ishinomaki. Leaving Sendai… we saw the first parts of damage from the tsunami. But when we entered Ishinmaki maybe 1~1,5h later….we saw some real damage. The rivers were fuller than they used to be (you saw it because of the trees who were kind of inside the river now… and also a lot of “dead” trees), and you saw the houses who were damaged. But it didn’t look that bad….until we arrived at our destination where we had to clean up.
I was assigned to clean up at Nagasato’s houses. I was only putting trash into plastic bags. Sorting between light/breakable stuff and really hard staff. And I mean, it was mostly part of the wall of the houses and such… (Actually, most of the people who were living in the 4-5 houses we cleaned there…had died, I was told. That was somehow a strange feeling.)
I did that all day. Other people from the team were breaking down the walls and such or cleaning kitchen of some other houses which were repaired already (more or less) but…I was outside all day…. and got really sunburnt. We had a bento lunch break in-between. One of our youth members knows (Japanese) sign language and his friend (I guess) who was deaf also came along. In the lunch break he was dancing EXILE’s Choo choo train!! So cool! I was really impressed by that guy… he really did know how to make up for not being able to speak :D
Around 4pm we stopped. Then the volunteers who came from Texas (dunno for how long, definitely not for a weekend like we did) made hamburgers for the neighbourhood and us. Miki, Mami and Elsie went around earlier and invited people. There came maybe around 20-30 Japanese!! :D While they were waiting, we sang three worship songs :3
At some time, there were two Japanese girls (round 10 years old) who wanted to bring 3 plates home but couldn’t really carry it… so Maria decided to help them and I decided to come along in case we got lost (2 is better than 1 ;D). So we talked a little with those girls. I didn’t understand everything they sad D: but I didn’t want to interrupt them… Anyway, they asked why we were there and such and Maria wanted to share the gospel with them but they hadn’t even heard about Jesus Christ so it was difficult in a short time and then we had already arrived the place they stayed at (I think it wasn’t there house because they said that they didn’t know the streets in the area a lot).
I didn’t got to speak with other people from there but later we got introduced to a woman who lives next to where we did the ‘party’. She said that she climbed up the electrical tower with her 4 year old daughter and jumped to the apartment’s roof next to it where she slept over night (while it was snowing). And she said that she felt that something had saved her… I hope she will get to know Jesus Christ! She also said that her son and mother had died a little further away from their house, hand in hand.
After we had finished the ‘party’ and cleaned up, we went to the public bath. On the way to it we drove through some more destruction area. I hadn’t seen that much yet and the place where I was cleaning…around there it looked like still a lot of people would live there… but only from the next street onward… it was really destructed. No one was living there anymore. It was really strange…….
Then we went to the public bath, after that bought our breakfast for the morning and went to Ishinomaki Senshu University were we slept in tents. A lot of people were camping there. We (=the people in my tent) went to bed around 10pm…
I woke up in the morning kinda several times and went to kinda-sleep again. We had to be ready around 8.30am to pull down the tents so I could actually sleep long (XD). I got up around 7.10am, ate my breakfast and got ready. It was raining so it wasn’t very nice to pull down the tents :/ Also, we had planned to do a service outside (at the place where we did the party on Saturday evening) but… we had to use one of the almost-done houses instead. We had a great service were Christ talked about that we shouldn’t be proud of what we did in Ishinomaki but know about the love that Jesus has for us and because of which he came to earth as a human and died for all our sins. And we were there in Ishinomaki because we have this love inside of us and not because we wanna do good things that we can be proud of afterwards. :D
After the service… we went from Ishinomaki to Onagawa. That was… WOW. I can’t put it into words. It looked like after a war. Almost no houses were standing there. Your heart really gets heavy when you see something like that for real…..
After we had looked at that, we went back to Ishinomaki and back home. Loooooong ride. We arrived in Tokyo around 8pm because we had some traffic on the way…
I didn’t really take a lot of pictures. It felt weird taking pictures of destroyed houses. It felt weird taking pictures of places were so many people died or lost their family and everything.
I only took some as memories for myself.
Also, it really feels strange being back in Tokyo again… everything so normal here.
I definitely wanna go again. If I can, I wanna go on the trip in July. If I can’t, then at least the one week camp in August.
I didn’t tell my parents that I went there… I mean, I even drove through Fukushima prefecture!! I don’t think they would like that :O That’s why I was only tweeting about the weekend in Japanese because I dunno if they might read my twitter (or other people from my home church).
And, lastly I wanna say. I don’t regret that I missed the haru doko event. I had bought the DVD just to attend the event. But got told me to go to Tohoku and I went. I even skipped the lesson for it. I also was busy with homework for it. But I’m glad I went. Next time I wanna have more contact with people there. I will pray for the two girls and that woman definitely!
I wanna share Psalm 46 with you =D
Psalm 46 (New International Version (NIV))
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
….the sunburn on my arms really huuuurts T.T
And I have a speech tomorrow and I’m not prepared. Same goes for the two vocabulary tests. Haha but that’s normal already lol( three pictures i wanna share with you )