He says he can still hear her voice shouting for help, but there was nothing he could do. This scene, he says, repeats in his mind like a dream he wishes he could wake up from. The team helped Mr. Suda clear out his house and prepare for renovation. He is now trying to make a new start with his wife, but it is not easy.
In Motoyoshi, near Minami Sanriku, the team distributed food and supplies to the new government-built temporary houses. They packed over 100 boxes with food, cleaning supplies, and body towels with a Bible verse printed on them and distributed the parcels to the 100 houses in a housing unit.
When the people received the packages, many had tears in their eyes. These people have received new housing, but many feel lonely and neglected. The team had heard a report that someone had committed suicide in another of the housing units. It was a privilege for the team to encourage the people, pray with them and have a few laughs together. One older woman responded, “I have not laughed so much since the tsunami.”
A highlight of the trip for Stephan Smithdorff, a team member, was to see Mr. Miura again. Stephan had helped Mr. Miura and his family on many occasions over the past five months. After cleaning what was left of their property, collecting parts of their destroyed fishing boat and receiving temporary housing, Mr. Miura and his son went to Hokkaido to buy a new fishing boat to start working again.
“When I heard he was coming home for a visit, I was really looking forward to seeing him again,” said Stephan. “But then during his visit he had a motorbike accident and ended up in the hospital for two weeks. We went to visit him in the hospital. We both had tears in our eyes as we reflected on his sufferings over the past few months, but we were also encouraged to see him count his blessings.”
Mr. Miura told Stephan that after he had lost everything in the tsunami, he didn’t know how to start his life again. But, when the team arrived to help clean up a small piece of his property, it gave him hope to clean more and more. “He said he didn’t have any hope, but we brought him hope again,” said Stephan. “We prayed for him and two days later he walked out of the hospital, still with a little pain in his left arm, but determined to start fishing again. He said he is convinced something good is going to happen in the near future. We pray that ‘that something good’ will be his coming to know Jesus.”
On Sunday, while Mr. Miura was still in hospital, the OM Japan team had a barbeque picnic and time of worship at his house with his wife, three daughters, their families and a few neighbours. The OM team dreams that this will one day be the beginning of the first church in Motoyoshi.
For more photos of the relief effort, visit the OM Japan Tsunami Relief Facebook page.
Credit: OM International · © 2011 OM International