The sea in the background looked so beautiful as the sun was setting Sunday night, but it was sombering to think that this was one of the spots where the tsunami entered the city.

On Sunday Matthias and I took a drive to one of the worst-hit parts of Ishinomaki. While we were amazed at the speed of the cleanup process in many areas, we also saw a few parts of the city that still looked really terrible.

A massive pile of cars by the ocean

We were amazed at how neatly they were stacked

The school from a distance

I think I had seen the ruins of this school in a documentary about Ishinomaki. The sight took my breath away. As we pulled up, tears came to my eyes as I imagined the horror of that day for the teachers and children who escaped the building. I read online that they were able to flee to safety but I’m not sure if that is a fact or not.

Monday morning we helped a local wakame (seeweed) shop with weighing and carrying big crates of wakame. After we finished, the woman in charge told us everything we wanted to know and more about wakame (which was super interesting).

After that, we headed to a temporary housing unit with the Short family to assist with their two-hour kids’ program. They prepared games, snacks, and music and it was really good. When the girls starting playing some music, it attracted the older folks who joined us to enjoy the concert.

Last night we met with folks from Samaritan’s Purse and were deeply encouraged to see the good work they are doing. Their goal is to restore 400 homes by the end of April!

The winds here have been terrible (as though a typhoon is coming), and it’s supposed to get even worse throughout the day. Train lines are being shut down and roads are being closed to prepare for the oncoming winds. We were planning to participate in an open house cafe for folks in this neighborhood but with the bad weather it will most likely be cancelled. We love being in Ishinomaki! More updates to come soon…