It’s 6:30am on Saturday morning and I can’t seem to sleep. I’ve been up since 5am thinking about our friends here in Ishinomaki. It’s going to be a tough day on Monday for the entire nation. March 11th is for Japanese people what 9/11 is to Americans. I cannot even begin to imagine how one can deal with the pain of remembering the horrific events of that day, especially those who lost loved ones. All the volunteers here are definitely on high gear prepping for several events that will hopefully bring hope and comfort to a lot of hurting people.

I just became Facebook friends with a sweet lady who lost her 3-year old son in the tsunami (you can read her story here). She posted a photo of him on Facebook – it just blows my mind to even begin to think of losing your child that way.  Last night I chatted on Facebook with my Peruvian-Japanese friend who lost many dear friends in the tsunami. She admitted she is hurting a lot and feeling very sad. I invited her to an event tomorrow and she’s planning to come with her husband.

Today we’ll be visiting a few temporary housing units to do two mini concerts; I get to play the piano. Tomorrow morning we will attend a special house church service at 10am and then a big memorial event in the afternoon. I think a few people will be sharing their stories of what happened on 3/11 and there will be some special music. On Monday a Christian group is having an all-day meeting called (hmm, hard to translate) “we’re there for you.” (In Japanese, 共にいる会) People can freely drop by and receive prayer or simply find a safe place to relax and talk to someone if they need help. To be honest, we are all a bit worried about the possibility of people committing suicide so we are praying frequently for people not to fall into despair as they remember 3/11.

Well, I’d better be off, but here is a nice photo that was taken on Thursday. We had a visit from a retired German missionary who joined us for a home visit with two Japanese neighbors. The cute little redhead is a missionary kid who speaks fluent English and Japanese. What a nice afternoon!