Introspection and Prayer

Posted on Apr 11 , 2012 in Blog & Ongoing

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3

After the mobile cafés at the small kasetsus (temporary housing) of Kawame and Kamiarakawa, we ate our o-bento lunches in the parking lot of Mast in Otsuchi. Then we commenced our prayer walk in the devastated area of Otsuchi, the city that was hit the hardest by not only the earthquake and tsunami but also by the fires that engulfed the city afterwards. Otsuchi lost nearly 25% of its population. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than there are no words to explain what it was like to walk the part of this city that was destroyed. Even though the majority of the large pieces of debris have been cleaned up, broken pieces of household items, toys and glass still litter the concrete foundations that are the silent reminders of the homes and offices that once stood there. As I walked across the broken thresholds, I felt like an intruder rudely striding into someone’s home that, in a moment, was ripped open, exposed and demolished.

Even though more than a year has past since the tsunami, there is still so much yet to be done – it really makes you think about the loss the people that we have been seeing in the temporary housing have had to undergo, process and accept. And quite frankly, I don’t blame a lot of them for feeling hopeless. Honestly, who wouldn’t? Most of the people that come to the mobile cafes are obaa-sans (older women) whom lost their homes and the majority of their money in the tsunami. One woman at Kawame told her friend that she could see herself dying in the kasetsu since she is older and did not see herself rebuilding a home for herself. Her two friends then stepped forward to comfort her and encourage her, reminding her of all the hardships that she has endured and beaten. Hearing this story from the other group reminded me we are not only here to empower the CrashJapan staff, but we are also here to show our support to the people in the kasetsu, even if we cannot communicate with each other in fluid conversation. So, despite all of the ruin, there is still hope burning in this community. It is this hope that was embodied in Kazu-kun from Kozuchi, as he spoke of his community of Otsuchi with pride, as survivors rather than victims that will endure the hardship.

~ Alison, Dean and Lynn

One Comment → “ Introspection and Prayer ”

  1. naomi

    6 years ago

    What a beautiful and sobering post. We really get a sense of how the survivors feel. The women are so beautiful!


Leave a Reply → naomi