Walking around Shichigahama, where our cabin is, is still a bit sad even 5 months after the tsunami
At times it seems empty...
hopeless, and discouraging,
But there is hope springing up all around.
We were clearing rubble,
and gathering lumber for our local carpenter friend to use,
And found a church that landed in the middle of the rubble. How the cross is untouched, I have no idea.
This will be a year forever remembered by Japan. But I have hope that it will be remembered not just for the terror and tragedy of March, but also for the amazing recovery and transformation to follow
Right next to the miraculously intact church, there is a Japanese Shinto god-box (right) which is completely smashed.
An old neighbor who lost everything patiently sits and thatches new fishing nets... for the future.
Workers are making good progress and figuring out how to rebuild
We can take a moment to breath in the fresh air and feel the cool water at the beach
And we are doing what we can to help, little by little.
Hidemasa san's land, which we cleared of debris in May, is already growing vegetables again!
And Hidemasa is cheerfully gathering crabs and mussels in the tide pools
His 3 friends caught 30 HUGE salmon the other day, using only fishing rods off of their tiny boat. It was some freak tide caused by the tsunami, and they were all ecstatic with the good fortune. Maybe it was God's way of communicating grace to these people.
Hidemasa san was the designated gutter and scaler...
...and he was sure to explain certain anatomical features of the fish to my mom, to make sure she was an educated high school principal
His family still lives in pre-fab housing, but we are working on getting them houses.
Some women, who own a restaurant by the ocean and are good friends of my family, were severely hit, so my relatives have been helping them out these past few months. As a thank you, they cooked us all a magnificent feast, and we talked and shared stories. Some of them had very traumatic experiences, but they are all very optimistic and joyful now.
Our neighbors, the Aizawas, had there home destroyed, but they are some of the most fiesty, determined people we have encountered, and have been working non-stop to get back on their feet.
They cleared their farmland and are growing rows of beautiful flowers for the Obon holiday (a festival everyAugust to honor the dead) and they say the people will really need these flowers this year.
We helped them clear the rest of their land so they can now do more farming, and maybe even start an orchard.
In moving some of the stumps, it took all the men, and a car to pull them out, but Aizawa san refused to let the car drive it straight out, because it would smash his wife's sprouting hydrangeas, so we drove it all the way around to save the flowers.
Mrs. Aizawa san told us, “before you know it, there will be a great house where this foundation is, and we will have you over for tea.”