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The other day I met with a friend who told me, “Even though it was over a year and a half ago, it really seems like just yesterday that the tsunami hit.” Her comment really captured the sense that while people are certainly moving on with their lives, it really does feel like it happened yesterday. Sometimes there are physical reminders of that horrible day such as this view overlooking Onagawa:
Houses continue to be demolished and the ground prepared to build news ones:

Volunteers cleaning up rubble and delivering it to the local dump:

Yesterday, my husband and I went for a long drive through the area. We drove through Onagawa and several places close to the sea in Ishinomaki. I was totally silent as we viewed the many empty fields where houses used to stand, the hundreds of cars piled high and getting rusty, the famous burnt-out school, the desolate houses and small businesses that looked like the tsunami just hit, the trash piled in massive heaps, and the cranes hard at work sorting through rubble. As we were leaving one area we even saw a large tourist bus that had arrived to view the spectacle.

Sifting through the rubble in nearby Onagawa

Driving through the ghastly trash heaps in Onagawa

My husband and a volunteer standing in front of the “miracle house” in Onagawa, a home that miraculously remained standing even though the rest of the town was destroyed. Christians have been personally invited to use the miracle house to bless the community. Pray for wisdom for the Christians groups who are praying about how to best respond to this request.

We stand amazed at what God is doing in this city. Christian workers continue to gather for prayer and are actively working side by side, the gospel is being proclaimed in word and deed, relationships are blooming, the love of Christ is being shared every day, and seeds are being sown in people’s hearts. What will look like when the spiritual harvest time comes to Tohoku? The best is yet to come!

Two friends stand with Mr. T., a wonderful man who is a leader in his community. He just loves to hear “Amazing Grace.” There are so many like him – lots of Japanese are regularly coming into contact with Christians often and their lives are being touched!

By the way, for an exciting update on the Nozomi jewelry project that I blogged about, click here. For ladies, you really have to read this, but be sure to have a tissue box nearby.