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Our God Reigns!

Posted on Apr 14 , 2012 in Blog & Ongoing

Psalm 97
The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!

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Today, Thursday, April 12 was our 10th and last day at the Tono Base Camp. 10 days in Tono doesn’t sound very long, does it? Yet our Team Tono of eight experienced more than I can write about in this blog. We survived a freezing typhoon storm that blanketed our house with snow and marked winter’s end with a climax. Several earthquakes later and now we leave Tono with spring in the air (and without layers of clothing). The Sakura (cherry blossoms) want to bloom.

We launched daily outings via mountain roads to two coastal towns, Otsuchi and Kamaishi, areas that suffered severe damage and loss of life from the tsunami.

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One old man said that he never thought that he would experience another catastrophe like the famine when most of the town of Otsuchi fled to South America. He survived the tsunami when he grabbed his 3 year old grandson and ran up the hill. A partially blind woman shared how she went to her second floor veranda that broke apart. She floated in the water shouting for help when a couple on another building pulled her out to safety. She lost everything except a tansu (chest) that she gave to a relative only weeks before. It was returned to her after she survived. Another woman, creating a vision board (our version of a collage of magazine cut-outs) put a house and a ring on it. She commented afterwards that she lost her wedding ring and her house is gone. I think that she also lost six relatives. A 40 year old man, now a city worker supervising a kasetsu (temporary housing unit), told Cindy that he lost his best friend in the tsunami. Stories like these are heartbreaking but we believe it helps them to heal and move on as they share. One woman told us that she is thankful for the mobile cafes because she usually stayed in her home all day and cried. Now she can come out, smile, and move forward. These survivors enjoyed crafts, photos and frame-making, talking, singing and dancing because our mobile cafes facilitated community building, emotional care, happiness, and smiles in the midst of their hurt and pain.

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We thank our base managers Jim and Eileen and our field managers Amy, Miyu, and Miki for their God-centered leadership, direction and care. We enjoyed a wonderful and blessed time in Tono.

Jon for Team Tono:
Stacy, Beverly, Jenny G., Dean, Lynn, Alison, Cindy and Jon

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