WOW. It’s been quite a week since I last updated. Time is literally flying and I cannot believe that we will be leaving Japan in less than two weeks now, and Nasu in just one. Summer heat and humidity have finally set in here and we have had several days over 30 C. I missed sweating!
Maybe you remember, but we had 37,000 jars of baby food and dozens of other pallets full of baby food ad children food and muesli cereal. We were at a loss of what to do with them, especially 25,000 jars that were expiring end of July. Saturday was the beginning of distribution!! We loaded up our 1.5 ton truck with food, clothes, shoes, and diapers for a 保育園 (day care) in Iwaki, Fukushima, about 3 hours away. Calvin and I drove there, unloaded the food and spent some time with Akatsu san who is not yet a Christian. Even though we got lost a few times and I was new at driving stick, it was a great trip and a chance to bless that 保育園 that was in need and especially share with Akatsu san about why we are doing this!
loading up truck in rain = not fun
filling up their warehouse
Sunday, Yuko Calvin and I drove to 恵泉チャペル(Keisen Chapel), a chuch two hours away in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima. We gave 10 boxes of baby food to a representative from a town that evacuated almost entirely from near the nuclear plant to Aizuwakamatsu. It was his first time to a church. We had good fellowship and food with the church people afterwards and I was so encouraged to hear what they’ve done and their desire to continue helping the almost 8,000 evacuees in their city. This disaster is bringing many churches to work together to do relief work and ministry and visiting churches like this brings me great joy!
We got to go to a 太鼓 (Taiko) Festival on the way home because my leader Scot was playing in it. Unfortunately he played before we could leave church, but still had an awesome time!
Monday, Kondo sensei and I went on a roadtrip around northern Tochigi. We went to several churches, preschools, and day cares to give out muesli and also to show the baby food. Through one of his contacts we were able to find a place that would take 15,000 jars of baby food! We were overjoyed. Kondo sensei said that I should definitely get an A in my class for finding a home for all the food :)
Wednesday we left Nasu at 6 to go to Big Pallet (evacuation center) to do 炊き出し! We made ラーメン (Ramen) for 1000 people! It was quite the job but we worked with two churches to make it happen. I did not have much opportunity to talk with the people in Big Pallet, but I pray that they saw our love through the ramen that we made. In the end, we fed about 700 people. It was encouraging to see everybody working together and putting their whole heart into making ramen and then serving it to the evacuees. A very rewarding experience. I now have a new appreciation for cafeteria staff. お世話になりました。
Finally, today we distributed 16,000 jars of baby food to two different day cares connected to churches in Fukushima ken. It took two trips, a lot of sweat, and several hours of work. But it was all worth it to see the faces of the teachers receiving it and to know that all the baby food we were so worried about going bad was finding homes for families that need it. Calvin and I will have another big delivery next Tuesday.
I love my work here in Nasu. Thank you for praying. おやすみなさい。