What an incredibly busy day. We started the day by driving from our inn to Ishonomaki Christ Church and then we drove through the disaster area. I was once again speechless. No photos we can post can ever possibly explain the horrendous situation there. As we drove around the disaster area, there were self-defense force jeeps everywhere, helicopters flying overhead, debris, shattered glass and crushed buildings…it felt like a war zone. I was horrified at the damage to local businesses, buildings, and homes and on top of everything else, the stench of rotten fish was very bad. After seeing the disaster area, we also stopped by a very big volunteer hub at a university in Ishinomaki and talked with the recruiting agent from the Peace Boat and also met with folks from Samaritan’s Purse. It’s been encouraging to see all the work going on in Japan to help those whose lives have been devastated by the tsunami.

Yesterday we played with kids all day and really enjoyed it. The weather was perfect and a very energetic tiger character called “Shima-jirou” came to visit the kids. There was also a TV crew filming our work with the kids but I tried very hard not to be near the camera! I also loved interacting with the staff members at the play area next to the evacuation center.

The World Vision staff members here, two young ladies, are really wonderful. One is a strong, independent lady and the other is very gentle, kind, soft-spoken, and super sensitive. I am enjoying getting to know them both and appreciate their attitudes. I am learning volumes about Japanese culture from these ladies and how complicated it can be to maneuver one’s way through the culture even when you are Japanese.

God is really encouraging us deeply in our desire to be in Japan long-term. We really do love the people of Japan and long to be back soon! We still have no idea where we might go if we move back to Japan, but there is the possibility we could move to Sendai.  We went to eat sushi for dinner last evening and talked for a while about our future. We’re both open to coming to work here in northeast Japan in the future, although I have to wait until the summer when we can spend time with my family and see how bad their situation really is. My dad is getting worse every month and of course, their needs are our priority. We need a lot of wisdom to know how to proceed with our plans in light of my parents’ failing health. We trust God will show us the best way to go and what we should do. Well, it’s very late here so I’d better go. Tomorrow we’ll get to play with the kids again until noon. I’m so looking forward to seeing them again!

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