Tono Reflections

Posted on Apr 08 , 2012 in Blog & Ongoing

Smiles from the chidren of Otsuchi which suffered the largest number of casualities from the disaster.

For everything there is a season… a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance…These words from Ecclesiastes were quoted by Amy—one of our Tono base leaders—during one of our debriefing meetings. As I have reflected on these words, I feel that they capture our experiences at the mobile cafes. Every day is a different experience and with it comes an opportunity for a new blessing.  Sometimes we share in the sadness of the losses while at other times we laugh together.

Today was one of the days where we all laughed together and had a lot of fun! We had a number of children come and enjoy their time with watercolors and decorating Easter eggs. The shadow of the tsunami was still present as they alluded to how their lives have changed dramatically since that time. But as I looked around the room and saw a number of children excitedly doing crafts, smiling, and sharing with each other, life seemed a bit “normal.” Sometimes the best thing we can offer is the opportunity to laugh and the blessing is being able to share in their laughter.

CRASHJapan Tono Base Operations Director Miyu with a budding artist from Otsuchi

But sometimes the blessing comes in the opportunity to share in the pain and grief of the survivors. The other day we spent some time with a woman who shared with us about her experience during the tsunami. As she was getting ready to leave the cafe, I handed her one of our “omiyage” packets. I explained to her that this care package was from our church and pointed out the various items including the handkerchief and card decorated by one of the people in our church. As she read the message on the card her eyes began to well up with tears. She bowed and quietly said “Doomo Arigato” (thank you very much) and walked away. She had lost her husband in the tsunami and so the card’s message “We will never forget you and we are praying for you” along with the care package was especially powerful and I hope also provided her with some comfort. I pray that some day by God’s grace the season for her to “laugh and dance” will come again.

I thank God for these amazing opportunities and do thank all of you for your support and helping us be a part of God’s awesome work here in Japan!


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