Dear all, here is another update from Japan.
Four of us went for 3 days to continue our relief efforts in the North East of Japan. This time we took generators and a water pump to bring much needed electricity and water to a needy family and continue to help them clearing up their neighbourhood.
None of us are skilled plumbers or fitters, but with some borrowed tools and limited instructions, we set off on our mission!
It was no easy task to connect our pump to their pipe system, but with some improvisation, mixed with short prayers, we were able to install the pump for them. Great was our rejoicing to see the water came running through the tap! The water is not clean enough for drinking, but it will come in handy for washing, bathing and the upcoming building project. They can now even provide for other families in the neighbourhood who are still without water.
The rest of the team helped the family clear up rubble, alongside another team of volunteers. This is no easy task either. We discovered the pieces of belongings on the property belonged to other neighbours, and their own house was lying some 400 metres down the road. But because it was on a national route, the government bulldozed the whole house with their possessions to the side of the road to make way for rescue and relief vehicles. Now began the daunting task of sifting through rubble, in the hope of finding something useful or sentimental... And whilst doing that, we were separating wood from roof-tiles, from clothes and pieces of iron, to be driven away later to allocated rubbish dumps. The task of clearing will take months, and it will require help from government, local residents and volunteer groups alike.
It is always interesting to meet with other volunteers, serving with the same heart and desire to see God glorified in this situation. The group who stayed with us, and worked alongside with us, was from a Christian worship ministry in Tokyo. The singer of the group, whom I didn’t know before, turned out to be Makoto Iwabuchi, a famous Japanese gospel singer and songwriter. It was humbling to see him sleeping behind the piano on the church floor, together with the rest of us, and together picking up debris, even though he had to sing in a big concert the next day!
As we left the family at the end of the day, Makoto-san sang one of his beautiful songs, and most of us struggled to fight back tears. I believe God is not only using Makoto-san, but each one of us, who serves with a longing to glorify God and see His kingdom come in this unevangelised nation.
Stephan, on behalf of the team
Credit: OM International
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