This is the latest update from our team leader’s blog!
Our third truck is on it’s way home from Miyagi Prefecture, one of the most devastated areas of the disaster. We’ve only heard bits and pieces from them, but one bit is too good to not to share. (The situation up there is much more chaotic than down in Fukushima–it’s hard to tell if that is because they are getting more supplies, and it’s hard to get them delivered to the needy areas, or because they are getting less and it’s a more desperate situation. Nonetheless, Peter, Pastor Esaki and Pastor Kato spent a good bit of time trying to find the right place to take their supplies.)
At one point they ended up at the base camp of Food for the Hungry, Samaritan’s Purse, and other aid groups. They have a good operation where they are taking supplies out from there to the needy areas. Peter said he was just starting to look around for where to start unloading when he caught some movement out of the corner of his eye. He looked across the warehouse, and who was it but Mr. Hasegawa. Yes, Mr. Hasegawa I wrote about in the last post, the stranger who appeared in our lives just the other day with 15 much needed poly tanks! Somehow he had made his way 12+ hours north, and when Peter saw him, he was directing and organizing much of the activity at this warehouse. Peter called out, “Hasegawa san!!” and he looked up, and replied, “Pe-ta san!!!” They began working together to get our supplies to the right places. Peter said Mr. Hasegawa had his angel wings tucked under his coat so nobody would see them, but we at Nisshin Church know he must be an angel sent by God.
As I’ve been writing, I have gotten a few phone calls. Our friends the Cummings have been on an intelligence gathering mission for two days up north of Sendai. They have settle on Ishinomaki City as the place to focus their efforts for now. They were able to meet with town and evacuation center officials, and this is a place in desperate need of aid. Our fourth truck is up there now, and have now set out from the Cummings home to head for an elementary school in Ishinomaki City. The military has reported that there are 70 refugees in that school, when in fact there are 500 people there. So there is a great need for food, water, and other supplies, which our two ton truck is full of. So Mr. Watanabe, Mr. Kato and Mr. To are on their way now, bringing great help and hope to those 500 people.
I just want to say again that we are grateful for the prayers of God’s people on behalf of Japan. He is answering in ways too numerous for any of us to know–but the heartbreak and emotional and spiritual need in Eastern Japan is overwhelming. The stage for just hauling aid is coming to an end soon, by all reports. The next phase will be where people are needed to be there, to love and serve the victims, and help them begin rebuilding their lives. One of our biggest goals now needs to be getting ourselves established to be able to do that. Keep praying for us to be used as God calls in the midst of this tragedy.